Russian Air Force Bulking Up

Russia plans to invest heavily to rebuild and modernize its air force by 2020, said Russian President Vladimir Putin. He announced this plan at the Moscow Air Show on Aug. 11 in comments marking the Russian air force’s 100th anniversary, reported the Associated Press (via ABC News). Putin aims to re-equip the air force with 600 new fixed-wing aircraft, such as the Sukhoi T-50 stealth fighter, and 1,000 new rotary-wing platforms, with deliveries starting this year, according to the report. “I’m sure, each of us will feel pride for the country, for the people who build such aircraft and pilot them,” he added, stressing the government’s commitment to defense revitalization. Russia reportedly intends to spend some $625 billion on new weapons through 2020. “I want to thank those who helped our air force survive during a difficult period in the 1990s and the early 2000s,” said Putin.