Soon something like a final draft State Program of Armaments (GPV) 2018-2025 will go to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He’ll almost certainly affix his official approval prior to the end of 2017.
Many observers bet the new GPV will contain 17 trillion rubles for the MOD to procure weapons and other military equipment. GPV 2011-2020 was a little higher at 19.1 trillion. But the new GPV will disburse its rubles over fewer years. However, Russia’s high inflation rate (e.g. 11% in 2014, 13% in 2015) means a trillion rubles in 2011 bought more guns than it does today.
Last week, Deputy Editor Vladimir Gundarov published a pithy piece in NVO describing how the new funds might be distributed among Russia’s armed services. He sees a shift in favor of the Ground Troops and VDV which will force the Navy to “curb its appetite.”
It happened already in GPV 2011-2020, writes Gundarov. It originally envisaged 4.7 trillion for the Navy, but this was reportedly cut to 2.6, while the army and airborne went from 2.6 to 4.2 trillion.
The rationale, he says, is multifold. The Ground Troops face the expensive prospect of fielding new generation armored vehicles on the Armata chassis. Given its involvement in wars in Ukraine and Syria, Russia faces a “complex situation” in the southwestern strategic direction requiring more attention to the army’s modernization.
But the main reason for rewickering MOD procurement is economic. GPV 2011-2020 was formulated with oil at $100 per barrel; it’s now half as much.
Gundarov concludes that Russia:
“. . . can’t spend money to buy arms and military equipment in the previous amount, particularly for such expensive systems as those for the Navy. So only the budget for strategic nuclear systems will be preserved whatever the price of oil.”
He doesn’t say where he got his numbers for this article, but it sounds like he based it on some expert opinion and off-the-record comments.