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Russia Planning 10 Year, $640 Billion Military Modernization

by John Reed on February 25, 2011

Well, it looks like the Ruskies are going to persevere with their plans to modernize their military. Remember, a little while ago there was some doubt as to whether Russia would really be able to pursue an aggressive modernization effort.

According to AFP, Russian defense officials just unveiled a ten year, $640 billion spending plan. Yup, in ten years, they’ll spend a little more than we do in one. So there’s no huge cause for concern about the Russian military rising up to take on the U.S. one-on-one.

The real issue here is whether this investment cash will fund advanced weapons that get sold to a number of other nations that aren’t so friendly to the U.S.  Still, only about $64 billion will be dedicated to developing new weapons in the period. So, don’t worry too much.

Apparently, the Russian military will be getting 600 new airplanes, 1000 new choppers (100 choppers this year, alone).

The Russian navy, in particular, is set to get a ton of new goodies including eight new nuclear ballistic missile boats:

The Navy should receive about 100 new vessels, including 35 corvettes, 15 frigates and 20 submarines. Of the submarines, eight should be of the nuclear Borei class, carrying Bulava multiwarhead naval intercontinental ballistic missiles that the ministry plans to commission later this year after additional tests.

The ministry will fund the development of a new liquid-fuel heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, to replace aging RS-18 Stilleto (SS-19 NATO codename) and RS-20 Satan (SS-18 NATO codename), Popovkin said. Such missiles can carry up to 10 warheads, he said, while solid fuel missiles, such as Topol, can carry maximum three warheads.

In addition to this, Russia’s going to put 10 S-500 surface-to-air missile systems in service by 2014 and will buy another 56 S-400 SAMs. Let’s hope these missile remain too expensive for most nations to buy them.

The Russians will also buy “small batches of drones, sniper guns and French-made Felin infantry combat suits.”

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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

icedrake February 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm

"So there’s no huge cause for concern about the Russian military rising up to take on the U.S. one-on-one."

Living in the 60s much? Next up: DT tips on how to spot cryptocommunists at your workplace!


blight February 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm

They're a twelve time zone country with legitimate border security issues. They are bounded in the southeast by the People's Liberation Army; overmatched in the Pacific Ocean by the USN, PLAN, JSDFN, ROKN, etc with similar problems in the west, and seperatists in the south. And Iran. In many ways, their border security issues are worse than America's. A strong military for them is in the cards.

Then again, Russia can probably get its deterrent power on the cheap because they're not in a hundred different countries…just get overflight rights, air to air refuelling and you can fly out of a base somewhere along the border to vacation spots like Kosovo, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, the 'stans…


Jacob February 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Honestly I doubt anyone's going to threaten Russia even if they only maintain a modest military force. If America is stuck in a Cold War mentality, then Russia is stuck in a WWII mentality. There's never going to be another German invasion.


Vitor February 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Honestly I doubt anyone's going to threaten the USA even if they only maintain a modest military force. I


Oblat February 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm

their fears are probably directed towards the chinese

asdf February 26, 2011 at 5:29 am

their fears are probably directed towards the chinese


brian February 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Its interesting to see Russia's security "strategy" is to antagonize the only nations that can help it, and sell weapons to those that would threaten her.

In upside down world of what qualifies as leadership in Russia, they are losing the greater war to win some self defeating battles. Russia needs a revolution again.


antherion February 27, 2011 at 1:38 am

"antagonize the only nations that can help it "
Do you mean US? Any genuine help US gives others is a tool to promote US interests. To think otherwise is close to naivete and or/stupidity. And strong Russia is not in the US interests – that's simple geopolics, nothing personal.

"Russia needs a revolution again." If you say this near a Russian, you will get punched in the head, idiot. We've had enough of that, already, you hear?


@ronny389 January 7, 2013 at 10:10 am

idiots are known for their words of ignorance. I do not know of any single nation or alliance on earth that can take the Mighty Russia nation down no matter what.


Justin H February 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm

$64 Billion a year. What are they currently spending, $40 Billion?


Justin Garak February 25, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Russians do business differently. For one single billion they spend is probably the equivilent of 5 in USA.

Russians don't have a bleeding heart union mentality when it comes to business.


Bill February 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I was going to post the exact same thing; money can go a lot further in poorer areas; you can pay a genius of an engineer in Russia a fraction of what one would get in the States.


Rik February 26, 2011 at 3:35 am

Nearly all the genius engineers left Russia for more lucrative pay rates in the west after the cold war. Suprosingly not many want to go back.


asdf February 26, 2011 at 5:35 am

yeah, but a lot of matematicians, physicists etc from the usa went to work in the financial market after the end of the CW too…


Alex February 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm


"Budget for 2010

For the 2010 fiscal year, the president's base budget of the Department of Defense rose to $533.8 billion. Adding spending on "overseas contingency operations" brings the sum to $663.8 billion.[1][2]
When the budget was signed into law on October 28, 2009, the final size of the Department of Defense's budget was $680 billion, $16 billion more than President Obama had requested.[3] An additional $37 billion supplemental bill to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was expected to pass in the spring of 2010, but has been delayed by the House of Representatives after passing the Senate.[4][5] Defense-related expenditures outside of the Department of Defense constitute between $319 billion and $654 billion in additional spending, bringing the total for defense spending to between $1.01 and $1.35 trillion in fiscal year 2010.[6]"


Stephen Russell February 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm

How can Russia modernize & how???
Whose paying the bills aside some weapons IE French combat suits,
Or doing so since 1989 (covertly)?


Alex February 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Russian is the world largest oil producer


Hale February 26, 2011 at 12:17 am

Holy crap, I didn't know they were the world's largest oil producer. I knew they were the largest natural gas producer, but I thought they lagged in terms of oil. Wow. That's mildly alarming.

Guess they don't have much of a money problem like we do.


asdf February 26, 2011 at 5:35 am

bah, just be lucky, it's them and not iran


Rik February 26, 2011 at 6:54 am

Europaean countries are scrambling to try and get away from a relience on Russia's energy exports after the idiotic games Putin and co played with the gas supllies to Europe a few years back, remmeber when he cut the supplies?
. It is one of the factors that lead to the UK government warming its relationship with Gaddafi's bunch as Libya was deemed to be a viable alternative to Russian energy in the future years. Not so much now though after he's shown his true colours of course but if he is overthrown and a sensible government installed you can bet your life on it the the UK and others in Europe will be appraoching Libya for thier energy exports,

Stratege February 27, 2011 at 5:49 am

"How can Russia modernize & how???"

Strange question,
Russia has knowledge, industry, resources, money and political leadership


Rik February 26, 2011 at 4:32 am

Hehe, i'm sure this is just like the fleet of 12 carriers they said they were most definatly ordering a few years back, only for them to be cancelled after they quietly admitted they can't afford them. Or this is like the Russian airforce who can only afford a handfull of new fighter jets a year (Su-34) or the Russia that develops a 5th gen fighter buit only places an order for 60.

In short we've heard this all before from them many times over and there's nothing to worry about as they're full of crap and will purchase a tiny tiny fraction of what they claim to be buying.


Stratege February 27, 2011 at 5:19 am

"Or this is like the Russian airforce who can only afford a handfull of new fighter jets a year (Su-34)"

Su-34 fighter-bomber is in mass production today.

"or the Russia that develops a 5th gen fighter buit only places an order for 60. "

60 5th-generation aircraft(PAK-FA) should be the FIRST order only, not total number of purchased stealth aircraft.


Peter September 24, 2011 at 12:44 am

Russia has more natural gas and oil than any other nation – supplies Europe. Russia has more net money than the US. And, guy above is correct: adjusted for inflation and lower costs, the Russians spend about 70% of the USA's military budget. Russia and China (or the SCO) will go to war with NATO…God help us all! Pray! Get close to God now, because next year 2012 it seems to be the Great War – WW3


asdf February 26, 2011 at 5:37 am

they don't need carriers, they are overmatched in the pacific as it is, the bering sea is too far from any hotspots (pacific) and they don't have the moneys. they need a lot of nuc subs, as advanced as possible imo.


STemplar February 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Russia's biggest threat isn't someone invading, it's their entire population walking away from their country. Their population is on the decline, which means their population is going to age at a lop sided rate. The Cold War morons running that country should be pouring the 640 billion into infrastructure and commercial viability as opposed to the military. More people are going to simply walk away from Russia over the next 30 years than the Germans killed.


Chimp June 18, 2011 at 3:19 am

I agree. On the other hand, they know that money spent on infrastructure and money stolen are more or less the same thing. Perhaps they're into Reagan type trickle down theories on military spending… for sure, nothing else seems to work there.


tribulationtime February 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm

For me is the right direction to take by Russia. They need a modern armed forces for elude other countries think the huge natural resources russians have are for free. They haven´t money but very valuables goodies easy exchange for money (All you know Gas, Oil, Gold, Wood, Uranium, and "High Tech" for sale all around the world except West).


Stan February 26, 2011 at 7:35 pm

They fantasize big


Stratege February 27, 2011 at 5:45 am

"In short we've heard this all before from them many times over and there's nothing to worry about as they're full of crap and will purchase a tiny tiny fraction of what they claim to be buying."

Now let's look at the some facts about todays Russian forces and their modernization:

- New Borei class of SSBNs are under construction.
- New Yasen class of SSNs are under construction.
- Construction of new classes of diesel subs(SSK), frigates and corvettes for navy.
- RS-24(multiwarhead) and Topol-M solid-fueled road-mobile ICBMs.
- SS-18 heavy ICBM force was upgraded for prolong its service life.
- Sineva SLBM (intended to equip active "Delta IV" SSBNs fleet) is on production line.
- Bulava SLBM (intended to equip future "Borei" SSBNs fleet) at the pre-production stage
- S-400 long-range SAMs is in production. S-500 is in final stage of development.
- Mi-28N and Ka-52 attack helicopters are on production line
- Conventional forces getting new tanks, uniforms, short/middle range SAMs, Iskander" family of theater ballistic missiles, UAVs/ etc.,
- Resumed works on Russia's anti-ballistic missile systems.
- Comleted Su-34, Su-35S, Yak-130 programs for airforce now.. PAK-FA(T-50) 5th generation fighter jet program for future airforce buildup.
- Modern Russia's army structure is going to be drastically reorganized since Soviet era. From divisions-type to brigades-type structure.

Rearmament and modernization of Russia's military is the most ambitious in the world. Even China does not come close to Russia in term of ambitious military buildup.


Lance February 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Don't forget the Russian navy recently said the Navy is buying new MiG-29K fighters with new systems for its carrier.


Justin H February 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I love how Defense Tech wont report the best Russian military news story of the last couple months. Russia's defense minister wants to replace the AK family of rifles.


Stratege February 28, 2011 at 12:30 am

"Defense Tech wont report the best Russian military news story of the last couple months"


"Russia's defense minister wants to replace the AK family of rifles."

This one was internet newspaper hoax…


Lance February 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I read that fox new article Justin the fact is that he said that it coused a mild riot in parlament so I dont see the Military and Political backing to replace AKs. He was just suggesting idea's so no its not changing after Army cheifs and politcal leaders said NO!

AK-74 is here to stay.


Lance February 28, 2011 at 3:05 pm

At Justin H I doubt the AK-74 will go away anytime soon. The Minister didnt even state that tats a goal he is modernizing heavy weapons More Mi-28s and KA-50s MiG-29Ks for the Navy and possibly some more crappy T-90s for the army.

The Russians say one thing but there pocket book says another. They plan to build up but they said so before. I don't think Russians ready to redo the whole military in 5 years.


Justin H February 28, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Really? I didnt hear that it was a hoax. Are you sure they werent just embarraced about the defense ministers comments and tried to play it off like it was a hoax? You know how god-like they think the AK rifles are…


Stratege March 1, 2011 at 12:22 am

Defense minister of Russia didn't said that Ak-74 should be replaced .
The rumors are coming from 'unknown source' without any proofs.

AK-74m is decent assault rifle for its role. Reliable, accurate, relatively cheap. Great weapon for regular soldier in conscription(for the most part) Russian army. Professional / special forces units usually like "tuned" AKs. It could do the job fine.


blight March 1, 2011 at 12:48 am

The Abakan was supposed to replace the -74 but it's unlikely to happen. AK-74s were newish during the Afghan War, and with the demobilization of large amounts of Soviet troops those guns probably sat in storage. It'll take decades to "burn off" piles of guns in reserve, a situation similar to the United States sitting on its stashes of M-16s, and unwilling to transition away from them.

Why fixate on the infantry rifle?


Lance February 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I just read the news from other site including the Russian Defense Ministry. Most of the money is also to modernize existing weapons too. While Su-34s and some more Su-35s are being bought. The measure also improves existing SU-24s and Su-27s. The Russian navy gets to replace te aging SU-33 with newer MiG-29K fighters and the biggest change is get more KA-50/52s and Mi-28 helos to replace most older Mi-24s in Air Force service. There is some Army and Navy units who use Hinds so not all Hinds are going away. And no there is no money to dump AK-74s it will remain the main Russian service rifle for the next decade. The biggest new weapons purchases are for the Navy's sub and surface fleets which desperately need some new ships. There more on modernizing in all services except Navy which need new boats and ships.


Araya February 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm

But the most people forget that Russians can buy with 680 Billions $ more those 4X so much that the US can buy for the same Money. For example a Su34 cost about 40 million dollar and this plan is really better them the similar F15E but the F15E cost more them 100 Millions. Another example the Russians build in this moment 3 modern SSBNs with 16-20 lunch tubes and a new SLBM missile and such a Russian SSBN cost only 0,8 Billion Dollar ! The SSBN-X will cost more them 7.-11 Billions and the will carry only 12 to 16 Tubes with the old Trident Missiles. And another example a US LCS was have no firepower cost about 0,46 Billions a Russian Steregushchy class corvette cost less them 0,2 Billions and carry more surface Firepower (P-800 Oniks) them a DDG51. With other Words the Russians get extremely more for their Money that the USA.


jhm March 1, 2011 at 12:22 am

but less capable, also the maintanence costs adn employment paychecks every month would lower it a bit. When you talk of subs, the more sophisticated and silent( cough cough more expensive) are teh ones of any value. Plus, we dont buy f15es anymore but f35s now. Russia is also pushing towards stealth fighters like tthe suk pak fa and that costs around 100 million. and, the current Russian arensals are dinky with most weapons in storage, newer weapon systems such as teh t90 only are in the hundreds, and dont get to the warship deal with russia!!!! those rusting hulk!!!! teh new funds could be used to revamp their navy adn air force which are equiped with aging craft, making the numbers ordeal not significant


Araya March 1, 2011 at 9:10 am

But one the other Hand you most consider that the Russians spend only 50-60 Billions and the maintain a Army with more them 1,2 Million Soldier, the biggest and most powerful Nuclear Arsenal in the World and a big Space Program with toys like the Glonas GPS and the world second strong War Navy. And they also developed High End Weapons like the Topol M, S400, the Su34, SU35 and the PAK FA and all this by a Budget was is 10-12 smaller them the DOD. I'm not saying that they are as powerful as the U.S Military but they are really more effective them the DOD the get many more for the Mooney, and many things what they build are comparable with the best US Products. For the example the S400 is the best Air defence System of the World and the Yasen class SSNs is comparable with the Seawolf class and many more examples are possible.


Lance March 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm


the T-90 is a T-72 with some more modern fire controls. The T-72 is a failure of a tank inferiour to Both M-60 and M-1A1 tanks and the Ukrainians are far ahead with T-80 moderization and T-84 production giving the Ukrain an 1 to 1 advantage over Russian who do use some T-80s but reluy on inferior T-72 and its regerataed hulk the T-90.


Lance March 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm

And yes after finding the new article out the AK-74 article was a hoax probably.


Krewetki March 5, 2011 at 11:00 am

the difference is Russian buys weapons for their own money (they have no debts!) and USA buys weapons for money borrowed from China…


Peter December 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Russia spends far more than the budget shows. Russia builds a PAK-FA fighter equal to the F-22 for $6 billion dollars. The US spends $366 BILLION! Russia can buy 5 times the weapons the US can for the same money.


Nik January 18, 2012 at 3:10 am

Sukhoi PAK FA —–>Program cost: US$8–10 billion
Unit Cost: US$47.5-57 million (nowhere near $100 million as stated by jhm.)

F-22 Raptor ——-> Program cost: US$66.7 billion
Unit cost: US$150 million


Freddie June 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm

IMO, Russia's doctrine is focused on defense not offence. Why? The Soviet Union blew their chance to 'invade' the west. Russia is no where near invading Europe or the USA etc. The only future conflicts that Russia will have are border conflicts with eg. China and other regional conflicts for example Georgia. Russia has no interest in posing a threat to the west. The Primary focus of the Russian Federation is modernizing its army not having a military build up to invade anyone. The Russians only care about modernization now and protecting what they have. Any one who thinks that Russia is going to 'invade' anyone are delusional. The evil empire is gone and you should rather focus your attention on the USA who are invading more countries now then they did in the cold war. (More or less)

Also conflict with Russia and the USA is insane as why would Russia want to start a fight that will only end in a stalemate as the Americans are still going on like the Cold War never ended (with regards to their military build up) The west still needs enemies as if they realize that Russia no longer poses a thereat then there would be no reason to pour billions of dollars into military modernization. My point being that Russia only wants to focus on defense and not offence. Look at the FACTS. It is not increasing its army/navy/air force but slimming it down to a more professional defense force who can defend the Russian Federation.

My predication is to stop being nostalgic of the Cold War era between Russia and the USA and rather look towards the fact that China and the middle east are your greatest areas of concern. Its childish to still want Russia and NATO or USA to fight a war. That's old history and in the past. Look to the future. :)


asdf February 26, 2011 at 5:33 am

please provide proof about the bittings in the organs due to the weapon sales.
we could say the same for the usa for instance; with egypt being the newest candidate. if they turn the "wrong" way, suddenly the china, russia etc. have access to the m256 and the newest APFSDS (made from wolfram though, not DU, but they are still more advanced then anything chinese) for instance. and let's not forget the taliban.


PacificSentinel February 27, 2011 at 3:37 am

You’re kidding right?

Just look at the Russian Flanker sales to Asia; you’ve got India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, now India & Malaysia are VERY good friends to the USA, & the yanks have been sucking up to the Indonesians recently, on top of that there’s a lot of Asian countries that operate Russian ground equipment and ships.

Your statement that the Russians don’t sell to Americas friends/allies really doesn’t hold water; it’s time you take a look at the wider world.


top June 26, 2012 at 8:14 am

ethics? You mean when america supplies weapons to the cartels, sells afghan heroin, arms terrorists and trains them to topple governments then later fights them with the weapons they've sold.

just because there's and AK in someones hand doesn't mean it was sold by russia


chaos0xomega February 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Carriers are quickly becoming more of a status symbol rather than something with real military utility (not saying that they don't have utility, just that a lot of people pursuing them want them more because of the status it conveys rather than an actual military need for it).

I think its impressive that the entire Russian modernization plan is basically the equivalent of one year of the American military budget, yet their getting 600 new airplanes (mostly SU-34 and 35s), 1000 new helicopters (mostly Mi-8s and Mi-26s), 8 nuke subs, 12 non-nuke subs, 35 corvettes, 15 frigates, 2 more Mistrals, and a couple hundred S-400 and S-500 missile systems among other things, while the US, with a military budget almost 10 times that amount, struggles to get about the same number of new systems delivered in the same timeframe. Granted, much of the Russian order isn't necessarily cutting edge, but it more than gets the job done.


PacificSentinel February 27, 2011 at 3:48 am

"Actually they obviously feel they do need carriers, a fleet of 10 if I remember correctly"

Yes, the whole reason for the Carriers was to deploy at least half to the Pacific to defend against China’s future carrier fleet & a possible invasion by Japan to regain the disputed islands, while the other half would counter all those little STOVL & CATOBAR carriers around the Med/North Atlantic.


STemplar February 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Would the Taliban be the insurgency created because Russia invaded and repressed a people?


Justin H February 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm

And even today they spend a large chunk of their defense budget on nukes and ballistic missiles.


antherion February 27, 2011 at 1:54 am

Well, let's see. US spends 10-times worth of Russia's defence budget every year…. and those armed-to-the-teeth bullies call Russians war-mongers? Who is the crack head here? Or I forgot .. the US army is all peace-keeping (on all those hell-knows-how-many military bases around the world, which number may be according to the Defense Department's annual "Base Structure Report" for fiscal year 2003, which itemizes foreign and domestic U.S. military real estate, as high as 702 overseas bases in about 130 countries)… And all those advanced next-generation bombers, laser weapons and what-not are only strictly for peace-keeping.
Do you still wonder why Arabs always want to blow you up? Cmon, you just reinforce our belief of american mass-population stupidity. Not the top-brass, they are geniuses that rule a mass of ignorant peasants.


Oblat February 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Nope the new taliban is all our own work.


antherion February 27, 2011 at 1:56 am

"the idiotic games" – if making customers pay is idiotic, then ..well, no offense taken.


PacificSentinel February 27, 2011 at 3:41 am

Yes, but to make all of Europe suffer because 1 country wouldn't pay was stupid!


Justin H February 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Russia builds up its forces to fight the U.S in some fantasy war. Who is the crackhead now? It picks on its neighbors and it only has the worlds 8th largest economy, yet it maintains the 2nd or 3rd most powerful military on Earth… By the way I know you are too lazy to figure this out, but a large chuck of the U.S defense budget is for pay, logistics, fuel, food, and funding of ongoing operations overseas.


Justin H February 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Try not to get all of your information from rRussia's gangster-run media known as Pravda and Russia Today.


Justin H February 28, 2011 at 2:33 am

Btw Russia's "media" was ranked #140 most free by Reporters Without Borders in 2010, out of 178! The U.S media was ranked 25th fyi.


blight March 1, 2011 at 12:50 am

To be fair, that's probably why the Russians are eager to sign new arms treaties. A smaller nuclear force means more money for conventional weapons. There's a move towards hypersonic cruise missiles to escape the IRBM loophole, and more sophisticated BMs to evade BMD systems instead of massive throw-weight of missiles, which is economically unsustainable.


Lance March 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Disagree Stratge

The M-60 in Desert Storm and in Lebenon in 1982 destroyed massive numbers of T-72s with little to no loss.

The T-84 is far Superior to the T-90 faster better fire control and targeting. the T-90 is at best equal to mid production T-80.


birbal February 10, 2012 at 6:25 pm

T-72s in Lebanon were only destroyed by anti-tank weapons. Not one of them were lot to enemy tanks (not that many of them were operational at the time).

And Iraqi T-72s hardly qualify as actual T-72s given that they were export models with significantly thinner armor and worse aiming devices.


blight February 10, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Collective punishment.


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