MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin says the Russian military's arms modernization program won't be affected by budget cuts prompted by the country's economic problems.
Putin, who spoke at a meeting with the top military brass Friday, said the military last year received hundreds of new aircraft, missiles and armored vehicles as part of an ambitious weapons upgrade.
He noted that the new Russian weapons have proven their worth during Moscow's air campaign in Syria.
Putin said Russia's arms industries have significantly reduced their reliance on imports, but still remain dependent on some foreign-made components. He urged the industries to move more quickly to develop production of local substitutes.
Putin said the military last year received 96 new warplanes, 81 helicopters, 152 air defense systems and 291 radars among other weapons.