Russian Air Force received 48 new fighters in 2018

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As is often the case at the start of the year, it is time to take stock, and the results of the Russian aeronautical defense industry are flattering. Over the year, the Russian forces will have received 14 Su-30SM multi-purpose fighters, 14 Su-34 attack fighters, 10 Su-35S multi-purpose air superiority fighters, and 10 Yak-light attack and training fighters. 130. To these 48 new devices, is added the modernization of 8 Su-27 SM3 air superiority fighters, and an undetermined number of Mig-31BM and Mig31K interceptors, the latter being modified to carry the Kinjhal hypersonic missile.

Regarding the strategic bomber fleet, work began this year on the modernization of 35 to 60 supersonic long-range Tu-22M3M Backfire bombers, the construction of 10 new Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers to M2 standard, the existing fleet being gradually brought to the M standard.

With the outcome of this modernization phase, which will end in 2020 with the ten-year investment program (or GPV in Russian) 2011-2020, the Russian air and naval forces will have a modern equipment rate of 80%. A remarkable rate for a country whose GDP remains at the level of that of Italy, and which has not sacrificed numbers for its modernization. Thus, in 2020, the Russian Air Force will field 1200 fighters and interceptors, of which more than 900 will be considered modern or modernized. This is almost twice as many aircraft as the British, French, German, Italian and Spanish air forces combined, these countries together having a GDP 2 times higher than Russia, and not having, moreover, a fleet of bombers. strategic.

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The figures are, as such, significantly comparable when we study the acquisition and modernization of armored vehicles, artillery systems, anti-aircraft defense systems, or helicopters. Only the Navy is more balanced, with Russian shipyards struggling to produce vessels with tonnage greater than 2000 tonnes. 

Regardless, Russia shows no sign of weakness in its determination to modernize and strengthen its defense tools. As the gap continues to widen between Russian and European military power, dependence on American protection will grow, even though the United States will have to, for its part, concentrate an increasing share of its resources to contain Chinese military power. A dichotomy to keep in mind, in these times of social unrest…

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