Today, Russian aerospace company Tupolev will unveil its upgraded long-range missile-carrying bomber, the Tu-22M3M, in Kazan. This bomber marks the first of a planned modernisation of 30 Tu-22M3 planes. The upgrade will revamp the Tu-22M3’s Cold War-era avionics while also giving the bomber nuclear and anti-ship missile capacity.
This upgrade is part of Moscow’s State Armament Program, which has allocated $301.5 billion over the next 10 years to modernise, research, and acquire new military equipment. As half of Russia’s $57.3 billion yearly military expenditure will go towards the program, Moscow will need to raise its defence spending between 2021 and 2027 in order for the upgrades to be feasible.
While Beijing and Washington are most powerful at sea, this program further entrenches Russia as a land power, capable of defending itself from any sea-based attacks. If all goes to plan, expect the State Armament Program to push Moscow to the head of the game in terms of anti-ship missiles, electronic warfare and air defences.
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Sophie provides analysis on issues on politics and strategy, with a particular focus on the Asia Pacific.