MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military's arms modernization program won't be affected by budget cuts prompted by the country's economic problems, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
Putin, who spoke at a meeting with the top military brass and leaders of arms industries, said the military last year received hundreds of new aircraft, missiles and armored vehicles as part of an ambitious weapons upgrade.
He noted that the new Russian weapons have proven their worth during Moscow's air campaign in Syria.
Putin said Russia's arms industries have significantly reduced their reliance on imports, but still remain dependent on some foreign-made components. He urged the industries to move more quickly to develop production of local substitutes.
Putin said the military last year received 96 new warplanes, 81 helicopters, 152 air defense systems, 291 radars and more than 400 armored vehicles and artillery systems.
While arms industries honored most of the contracts, some haven't been fulfilled on time, Putin said.
Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov told the meeting that arms plants have missed delivery schedules on 15 warplanes, eight navy ships and 240 armored vehicles among other weapons systems.
Borisov said that some of the delays were linked to subcontractors going out of business and missing technology.
He claimed that the Western ban on the sales of weapons and arms technologies to Russia and Ukraine's decision to halt military industrial cooperation with Russia "had no significant impact" on Russian arms production.