NO STAR WARS

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Ministers and military commanders discuss air and space defense

Senior Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov says he doesn’t anticipate any Star Wars scenarios in the foreseeable future, but he does consider it necessary to take measures in advance so as to ensure that futuristic attacks from orbit never become a grim reality for Russian citizens.


The Military-Industrial Commission, chaired by Senior Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, met on Tuesday afternoon to decide what kind of weapons would provide a reliable defense against attacks from space.

Ivanov said that he doesn’t anticipate any Star Wars scenarios in the foreseeable future, but he does consider it necessary to take measures in advance so as to ensure that futuristic attacks from orbit never become a grim reality for Russian citizens.

The Concept for National Air and Space Defense to 2016 and beyond was approved two months ago. At the latest Military-Industrial Commission meeting, federal ministers and military leaders discussed how this program can be reinforced with new weapons, control, and intelligence systems.

The Defense Ministry, acting as the main client for the project, prepared an implementation plan for the MIC meeting. Since the discussion concerned classified defense technology developments, journalists were not informed of the details. But it is known that air and space defense is an area where all the innovations of the Russian defense industry are being applied – including combat lasers.

Sergei Ivanov noted that the task of establishing air and space defenses extends beyond the military, involving other agencies – such as the Industry and Energy Ministry and the Federal Space Agency (RosCosmos). Consequently, it is important to create “an effective consolidation and coordination mechanism for integrating all work in the field of air and space defense.”

Ivanov mentioned the Industry and Energy Ministry again when the discussion turned to establishing state-owned enterprises and large holding companies in the defense sector. The MIC meeting in March discussed the legal details of relations between parent companies and subsidiaries. Three months later, Ivanov said that the ministries involved, including the Industry and Energy Ministry, should now report on progress toward creating an organizational and legal mechanism for managing the holding companies.

It’s an open secret that the Armed Forces discard or melt down a vast quantity of ammunition and military hardware each year. The current stage of scheduled disarmament is part of a federal targeted program running from 2005 to 2010. The Defense Ministry used to be responsible for the program, but it is now managed by the industry. The changeover has involved some organizational problems, including delays in weapons destruction. “To put it plainly, the program is behind schedule,” said Ivanov. His colleagues attempted to come up with a solution, so that old weapons aren’t left lying around in military and industry warehouses.

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