Russian vehicles are to be integrated into regional fleets of the World Food Program

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Russia is donating 727 million rubles of KAMAZ vehicles and products to the UN World Food Program. This amount includes refueling servers and mobile repair shops with spare parts. The Russian equipment will also be used to retrofit truck fleets used in humanitarian missions.

In 2014 Russia will spend 436 million rubles on vehicles and services and 291 million rubles in 2015.

Russia will also make an additional, special contribution of up to $1.6 million to the UN program. These funds will be used to develop transportation in various parts of the world. Part will be spent on integrating KAMAZ trucks into regional fleets of the UN World Food Program, which requires training to be able to work in a particular region.

KAMAZ is the official provider of vehicles to the Russian Emergency Ministry for 2014-15.

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Russia to Float Out Stealth Sub for Black Sea Fleet in May

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A St. Petersburg shipyard said Wednesday it will float out in May the second of six Varshavyanka-class diesel-electric submarines to be delivered to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in the next two years.

The much anticipated delivery of the submarines, dubbed “black holes in the ocean” by the US Navy because they are nearly undetectable when submerged, is a key part of Russia’s naval strategy in the Mediterranean, where Moscow has recently deployed a permanent task force consisting of some 10 surface ships.

Construction of the second submarine – the Rostov-on-Don – began at the Admiralty shipyard in November 2011, followed by the Stary Oskol in August 2012.

The first boat in the batch, the Novorossiisk, will begin dock trials on February 1, while construction of the fourth vessel, the Krasnodar, is expected to start on February 20, the shipyard said.

Russia to Create Cyberwarfare Units by 2017

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Russia plans to create special cyber-defense units to protect the country against online warfare in the coming years, a senior military commander said Thursday.

The units are being formed “to defend the Russian armed forces’ critical infrastructure from computer attacks,” Major-General Yuri Kuznetsov said at a meeting of military officials.

Formation of the units will be conducted in stages and will be completed by 2017, Kuznetsov added without disclosing further details.

In August, a Defense Ministry spokesperson confirmed there were plans to train cyberwarfare units, but dodged a question on the timeframe of their activation.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in July the army must heavily recruit new programmers to meet the rising need for military software.

Russia plans to launch a powerful space observatory by 2020

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One of the most important areas of activity of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) is fundamental research, head of Roscosmos, Oleg Ostapenko, said during a conference held at Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Interfax reports.

“In the network of the fundamental space research we will lay emphasis on special space observatories. We will launch the national space observatory with a very high sensitivity and resolution”, – he said.

Among other important objectives Ostapenko mentioned “development and production of spacecraft using a building-block principle and development of manned platforms”. According to him, the topical problem related to space debris must be solved.

Ostapenko stressed the importance of cooperation between the industry and scientific institutions.

“Today we have signed the corresponding agreement with Bauman Moscow State Technical University and we will sign similar agreements with the institutes of St. Petersburg and Kazan. These programs must yield the result – a specific product”, – he assured.

Rostec and the Omsk city administration are revealing an all-terrain hovercraft

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Rostec, together with the Omsk city administration and small enterprises in the city, will present in early February the all-terrain vehicle Korsar, a small amphibious hovercraft, as reported by the press service of the city administration.

The project was developed, implemented, and brought into reality by small business in the city.

“We endeavored to find and support small companies whose ideas could be brought into reality using existing manufacturers in Omsk, or create new ones. The Korsar project has many benefits, and it is also new and interesting. We are not preparing a demonstration of the final product, at which four hovercrafts will be shown,” said Igor Borovik, the head of Omsk’s Department of Industry, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship and the Department of Urban Economic Policy.

The Federal Space Agency is elaborating a proposal for development of super-heavy space rocket

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The Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) is elaborating a proposal for development of super-heavy space rocket able to place into orbit a payload of over 160 tons, head of the agency, Oleg Ostapenko, said on Tuesday, Interfax reports.

“In the near term (in February) we will introduce the proposal for consideration by the military-industrial commission”, – Ostapenko said during a conference held at Bauman Moscow State Technical University.

He also said that Roscosmos is studying the possibility of developing the super-heavy space rocket. “This refers to development of a space rocket able to place into orbit a payload of 80 tons in the near term”, – the head of Roscosmos said.

“The launch facilities will be used for space rockets able to place into orbit a payload of 160 tons and more. It is a real task. There are even higher parameters in our plans”, – Ostapenko said.

He reminded that Vostochny cosmodrome is being constructed in Amur Region in order to grant Russia the ability to launch spacecraft. The first launch of Soyuz-2 launch vehicle from Vostochny cosmodrome is scheduled for 2015.

Russia-Belarus Union State Increases Defense Spending in 2014

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The Russia-Belarus Union State will allocate 3.2 billion rubles ($91.5 million) in 2014 for joint military, defense industry and security projects, the body’s top official said Wednesday.

The supranational entity spent only 1.3 billion rubles on defense and security from a 2.5bln-ruble budget assigned for this purpose last year, State Secretary of the Russia-Belarus Union State Grigory Rapota said.

The plan for this year includes joint programs in space exploration, strengthening of the regional military contingent and construction of new military facilities, Rapota said.

The Union State was formed in 1999 as an attempt at political and economic integration between the former Soviet republics. It has made progress in regional military alignment, coordinated air defense and joint military maneuvers since then.

The number of Russian infantry fighting vehicles in the Indonesian army is growing

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During today’s ceremony an official representative of Rosoboronexport transferred to the Indonesian Ministry of Defense 37 BMP-3F vehicles, which will join 17 of the same model that are already used by Indonesian forces, RIA Novosti reported.

The first batch of Russian infantry fighting vehicles was given to Jakarta as part of a billion-dollar loan to Indonesia by the Russian state, signed September 6, 2007, during a visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Indonesian capital. The infantry fighting vehicles ordered by Indonesia arrived at its main naval base in the Javanese city of Surabaya in November 2010.

A new contract to buy 37 more Russian BMP-3 vehicles, worth $114 million, was signed in early May 2013.

After delivery of this second batch of vehicles to Indonesia, Russia hopes to sign a contract with the country for the delivery of additional, larger orders. Creating a regional center in Indonesia to service the Russian armored personnel carriers was also discussed.

Ka-32 service and maintenance centre opens in the Republic of Korea

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The Korea Forest Service has formally opened a new service and maintenance centre for Ka-32 helicopters manufactured by Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec.

Representatives of Russian Helicopters took part in the opening ceremony for the centre, which will promote the use of Ka-32 helicopters in the Republic of Korea and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and reduce waiting times for maintenance and repair of these helicopters.

“The opening of the new service centre will first of all have a positive effect on prospects for promoting Russian-built Kamov-brand helicopters in East Asia,” said Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev. “This is a key region for our industry, and we want to be able to offer helicopter operators high-quality maintenance services through the whole life-cycle of our helicopters.”

Bangladesh Buys Russian Combat Training Jets Worth $800M

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Bangladesh ordered 24 Russian Yak-130 light fighter jets worth $800 million in the final quarter of last year, a Russian newspaper reported Tuesday.

The deal was paid for with a loan extended by Moscow to the country a year ago, the director of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said in a separate interview published by Kommersant on Monday, without disclosing the deal’s price tag.

The newspaper said Tuesday that the sale was worth $800 million, citing unnamed sources in the defense industry. The planes are to be fitted with English-language cockpits and delivery is scheduled to begin next year.