Armament or disarmament: how the coronavirus has affected the defence budgets of the USA and Russia

In terms of quarantine and economic downturn, the Pentagon announced the beginning of a new ambitious and costly project — the creation of a new missile for a missile defense system of the country, writes the BBC.

Вооружение или разоружение: как коронавирус повлиял на оборонные бюджеты США и России

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Agency missile defense has placed the announcement of the tender on the American website of government contracts. The program is called Next-Generation Interceptor (NGI).

New tender American authorities announced tough economic conditions. The international monetary Fund believes the US this year for a recession amid the outbreak of coronavirus and quarantine, the country’s economy, according to IMF forecasts, can be reduced to 5.9%.

In terms of the tender says that the deadlines may be adjusted due to pandemic coronavirus. While there is no indication that the United States is prepared to radically revise its military budget amid the crisis and the need to reallocate spending to help the business and supporting health. Nevertheless, American manufacturers of military equipment faced with challenges.

The same applies to Russia: according to the IMF, the economy could decline this year by 5.5%, and authorities need to support not only healthcare, but business as well. But official statements on the reduction of defense spending was not.

Both Russia and the United States is among the leaders in terms of defense spending at the end of last year. Why countries have not yet solved on the spending cuts and how it feels to manufacturers of military equipment?

What’s this new program of the Pentagon and how much to spend?

The Pentagon said the military online edition of Defensenews, has requested the execution of the program NGI 2021 fiscal year 664,1 million dollars, and in just five years it is planned to spend $ 4.9 billion.

The interceptor missile, which plans to adopt the Agency, will be the basis ABOUT American soil for a long time.

We are talking about a system to intercept missiles in the middle part of the trajectory, when the warhead is flying in space. This system will not be able to reflect the massive launch of rockets in the case, for example, a nuclear conflict with Russia. It is designed to be able to intercept single launches from countries like North Korea or Iran.

The new interceptors will be part of a missile defense system Ground-based Midcourse Defense System, which includes two bases, launchers interceptors in Alaska and California. They placed 44 missile interceptor, 20 pieces of the Pentagon ordered in 2019.

The validity of the tender is declared until 31 July, however, the Agency for ballistic missile defense warned that it may change due to pandemic coronavirus.

The American military-industrial complex is severely affected by the pandemic. The situation in the USA is one of the toughest in the world.

National Association of defense industry of the USA published last week a study, interviewing 770 small companies associated with the defence industry. 67% of respondents said they experience financial problems, and 60% believe that the problems will be long-term.

The problems of small industries reflected in large programs of production of weapons, since they are subcontractors of large manufacturers and included in the technological chain.

The Department of defense expects a three-month delay in deliveries in most major programmes as a result of problems with the workforce and gaps in the supply chain caused by the pandemic coronavirus, said April 20 head of the Pentagon procurement Ellen Lord.

According to the publication DefenseNews, the suspension of work of some subcontractors had an impact on the development of hypersonic weapons. The details of the publication does not, but, referring to the representative of the Department of defense, it reports that the program suffers from the fact that the small company sub-contractors have closed as a result of quarantine measures.

Until now, any serious cuts in defense programs in the United States did not declare. The Pentagon is trying to seek financial support for critical industries and R & d, considering the funding as the primary and most effective tool to support the defence industry.

In Russia everything is calm?

In Russia the full information about how much the defense industry is suffering from a pandemic in the public domain.

The information that comes to the press, rather optimistic. So, the head of UAC Yury Slyusar on April 22 announced that all enterprise corporations have returned to work, although holding strongly reduced production.

However, Russian companies obviously face the same problems as the us.

So on April 9 at the meeting of the Commission on military-technical cooperation the Governor of Rostov region Vasily Golubev said that only the company “Rostvertol” of the 122 sub-contractors worked 25. He also spoke about the shortage of working capital due to the shutdown.

According to the military expert of the Russian Council on foreign Affairs Ilya Kramnik, the specific problems of the Russian defense industry is that they suffer not so much from the quarantine directly (stop of production, lack of Finance and breaks production chains), but the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

According to him, the government can use military spending as an instrument of overcoming the crisis. The infusion of money in the defense industry, he said, is likely to be aimed at the production machinery to provide employment and money circulation. Accordingly, the support, he said, will be those of production that maximize employment and cooperation.

Head of military economy laboratory of the Gaidar Institute Vasily Zatsepin considers that even if I have to save money, state armaments program Russia cut can not be.

According to him, for financial support of defense spending will first use funds from the national welfare Fund, which holds the Russian reserves, and only when it ceases to be possible, the defense Ministry will go on reducing.

“The state armaments program, we have never reduced. Cut all your current expenses, maybe even for petrol, oil and lubricants, military salaries, salaries of civil servants of the Ministry of defence, as well as their quantity, and the cost of the armaments program have not been reduced and transferred,” explains Zatsepin.

Ilya Kramnik admits that be affected by can programs that require large financial investments in the early stages of research and development work.

For example, it does not exclude the fact that the military can abandon the project “Thunderbird”. About it for the first time, said Vladimir Putin in his message to the Federal Assembly on March 1, 2018. Then Russia announced that the missile equipped with a nuclear air-jet sustainer engine.

Some experts believe that this product exploded during testing at the site near Severodvinsk in August 2019.

According to Kramnik, under reduction can get expensive design in the interests of the fleet, such as heavy ocean zone destroyer and an aircraft carrier. May be pending delivery in the army of new systems for armored vehicles, including a series of “Armata”, “Kurganets”, “boomerang” and others.

Armament or disarmament?

According to the latest report of the Stockholm international Institute for peace studies (SIPRI), in recent years, defense spending in the world was growing strongly, but the pandemic coronavirus and economic crisis to which it will lead, will force the country to spend less money on weapons.

Last year’s spending, according to SIPRI, has reached the highest level since the financial crisis of 2008. World military spending reached 1.9 trillion dollars.

Most of all defence spending US — 732 billion (38% of world expenditure on arms). In second place is China, whose military budget amounted to 261 billion dollars. After the US and China are the third highest spending on weapons has taken India (71,1 billion) for the first time in the top five were two countries from Asia.

Russia took the fourth position in the ranking, from 65.1 billion, the top five is Saudi Arabia, with 61.9 billion In Western Europe the most significant growth in military spending showed Germany, last year raised its defence budget by 10%.

But, say the authors of the report, the pandemic of mers will make adjustments to the spending on defense, many countries will review the budgets for next year and are likely to spend more on health and education than defense.

“In the next year or three years, we can see a reduction in military spending, which then will be replaced by another increase in the following years,” said AFP one of the authors of the report of Nan Tien.

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