— Part of the additional defense expenditures announced by
in the wake of its invasion of
will finance new satellites to enable its armed forces to continuously monitor areas of interest, a Russian Defense Ministry official said.
On Sept. 16, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that
‘s defense spending will grow by 27 percent next year. “Nearly 2.4 trillion rubles ($94 billion) will be allotted for the needs of national defense and security,” Putin said in nationally televised remarks.
Russian defense spending in 2008 will total 1.28 trillion rubles, Deputy Prime Minister AlekseiKudrin told the national parliament Sept. 11. However, this does not include so-called security spending, which was included in the 2.4 trillion figure cited by Putin.
did not say how the additional funds would be spent, but a Defense Ministry official told Space News Sept. 18 that the cash would be spent on “all programs, including armament and systems.” Asked if some of the extra funds would go toward beefing up
‘s spy satellite fleet, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, answered “Yes, it will be spent on satellite reconnaissance systems too.”
Pukhov, a member of the Defense Ministry’s Public Council, said the brief conflict, in which
deployed troops to drive back Georgian forces from the separatist
in August, highlighted
‘s lack of modern command, control, communications and information systems. Pukhov told Space News Sept. 18 that the Russian armed forces need not only to deploy better space-based surveillance capabilities but also to finish replenishing the Glonass satellite navigation system.
announced Sept. 15 that he had signed an edict to add 67 billion rubles to the sum that the federal authorities are planning to spend on Glonass next year. In televised comments, Putin also said he had signed another edict to add 45 billion rubles to the so-called Federal Space Program, which covers most of
‘s space-related projects.