Vladimir Putin heard a report via videoconference that the Voronezh-DM early warning radar station has been put on combat duty in Armavir.
In addition, the Commander-in-Chief was briefed on the permanent task force of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean, whose headquarters and operational command have been formed.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Shoigu, officers,
Today, I expect to hear your report on the Voronezh-DM new generation radar system. I know that it passed state tests successfully in April and May, which confirmed the highest performance characteristics.
Modern radars must be an important link in the missile warning system, seriously enhancing the combat potential of Russia’s aerospace defence on the southern and south-western strategic directions. Suffice it to say that the Voronezh-DM radar station will completely take over the functions previously performed by the Dnepr and Daryal systems, which are located in the Ukraine and in Azerbaijan, respectively; in Mukachevo and Sevastopol, Ukraine, and Gabala in Azerbaijan.
Thus, we will strengthen our security guarantees in the priority directions. We must have the ability to monitor the situation and respond rapidly to any changes in the world and in these regions.
I have met with the new radar system’s developers and I know its technical capabilities. We have honoured our scientists’ achievements in this field. Radar station allows us to literally look over the horizon, to detect even the most inconspicuous object and to detect in a fraction of a second various types of missile launches hundreds and even thousands of kilometres away from our borders. We will continue to supply such equipment and new generation weapons to the aerospace defence troops.
Voronezh-M, another modern radar complex, was put into service in December 2011 in the Leningrad Region. The next step is Voronezh-DM radar in Armavir. Overall, seven more such stations will be put into operation by 2018.
I want to thank everyone who took part in the creation of this system, including the scientists and engineers whom I have already mentioned and who as I said, were honoured at the highest state level. As for those who will serve at the station, I wish you every success.
Another issue we will discuss today is related to the formation of the Russian Navy task force in the Mediterranean. As you know, our ships were stationed in that area permanently in the past. This is a strategically important region, where we have interests related to the national security of the Russian Federation. Therefore, we are talking about creating the conditions for the continued presence of Russian warships in the Mediterranean today. Please report on what solutions you have found.
Let's get to work. Go ahead, please.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu: Comrade Commander-in-Chief,
The deployment of the radar complex in Armavir and creation of the Russia Navy task force in the Mediterranean will contribute to strategic stability in the world and the balance of power in some regions. This is the result of a systemic and planned efforts carried out by the national military and political leadership in order to strengthen national defence.
The centre in Armavir is equipped with the Voronezh-DM new generation early warning radar station, which meets the latest requirements of aerospace defence. The complex will allow us to monitor the near-Earth space and extend the capabilities of the missile warning system in the south and south-west directions.
The resumption of Russian warships’ permanent presence in the Mediterranean will ensure the protection of national interests in this currently troubled region.
The Navy task force will perform a wide range of tasks to ensure Russia’s naval presence and economic activities in the Mediterranean.
The General Staff supervised the radar’s preparation for deployment and the formation of the Navy task force. Chief of the General Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces General Gerasimov will report on these issues.
Chief of the General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov: Comrade Commander-in-Chief,
Currently, our missile warning system includes six radar stations. Overall, they fulfil the objectives set. At the same time, our capabilities in certain areas are somewhat reduced for various objective reasons. Starting from February 2009, we no longer receive information from several radars located, in particular, in Ukraine, and in December last year the Gabala radar station was removed from missile defence system operations.
The Defence Ministry, together with companies in the defence industry, is making a significant effort to create and deploy new-generation radar facilities, created with the use of modern technology on a new element base, with the aim of increasing our missile warning system’s capacity.
In 2012, a new prefabricated radar near Lekhtusi in Leningrad Region was added to the missile warning system. Similar radars have entered trial combat duty in Kaliningrad and Irkutsk, and today, a radar station in Armavir entered on duty. It surpasses the previous radars in terms of range, improved ballistic missile detection capability and interference immunity, while consuming less energy. The Armavir radar station deployment will allow us to significantly increase our aerospace surveillance capacity.
Let’s hear the report by the Aerospace Defence Forces commander.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Golovko, please go ahead.
Aerospace Defence Forces Commander Alexander Golovko: Comrade Commander-in-Chief, the centre’s staff is ready to enter on combat duty.
The radar’s performance capabilities have been confirmed by official tests. The necessary conditions for maintaining round-the-clock combat readiness have been created. A separate radar centre has been equipped with Voronezh highly prefabricated radar and is ready to enter on combat duty. I am asking your permission to put the radar into “combat performance” mode.
Vladimir Putin: Go ahead.
Alexander Golovko: Duty commander, take the Voronezh radar station into combat alert mode. Combat crew, go on combat duty.
Report: Comrade Commander-in-Chief, the Voronezh radar station is in combat performance mode. The combat crew has begun fulfilling combat alert duties.
Alexander Golovko: Report accepted.
Comrade Commander-in-Chief, the Armavir radar centre has entered combat duty. Report completed.
Vladimir Putin: Very well.
Mr Golovko, I would like to thank you and all your officers for their work to get the station ready for operations.
I met with you and the commanders of other forces and we had a substantive discussion concerning our problems, of which we still have many, including in your area of responsibility. I won’t repeat everything, and this wouldn’t be the right place to do it; we remember what we agreed upon. We will meet again in the second half of the year for another comprehensive discussion.
I wish you success and I am asking you not to forget about our agreements. Please prepare for our next meeting as regards our plans for the near future in terms of developing our Armed Forces, including the tasks within your field of responsibility.
Thank you very much. Now let’s talk about the Navy. Please, go ahead.
Valery Gerasimov: Comrade Commander-in-Chief, in accordance with your decision, a naval task force began fulfilling the tasks in the Mediterranean Sea as of June 1.
Currently, it comprises 16 surface combatants and three ship-based helicopters. In the future, the composition of the task force will vary depending on the situation.
The task force headquarters is deployed on the Admiral Panteleyev large anti-submarine destroyer. Being under operational command of 1st Rank Captain Yury Zemsky, the task force reports to the Black Sea fleet commander.
I suggest that we listen to the report by 1st Rank Captain Yury Zemsky on the unit’s readiness to perform the tasks set.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Zemsky, please go ahead.
Russian Naval Task Force Commander Yury Zemsky: Comrade Commander-in-Chief,
The task force’s main efforts are focused on fulfilling the following tasks: foreign naval activity surveillance in the Mediterranean Sea, naval presence and showing the colours of the Russian Federation, ensuring safe navigation and maritime economic activity for Russia. Also, the task force is ready to fulfil impromptu tasks, taking into account the situation unfolding in the region.
The task force includes four combat teams located in Western and Eastern Mediterranean. Battle training events are underway. Our plans include missile and artillery shooting practice, and visits to ports in Cyprus, Malta, Syria and other Mediterranean states.
The task force’s combat potential is maintained at the necessary level. The personnel is healthy; its moral and psychological condition is good.
Comrade Commander-in-Chief, we have begun discharging combat duty tasks in the regions specified.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you, Mr Zemsky.
Comrades, I would like to draw your attention to the following. The government has allocated very extensive resources toward developing the Navy. It is very important for these resources to be spent wisely and for all our plans and objectives to be fulfilled on time and with proper quality.
Restoring the Russian Navy’s permanent presence in the Mediterranean Sea is not about flexing our muscles. We have done a great deal jointly with our partners, including partners from NATO countries, with regard to the threat from criminal organisations; this included doing many things together in the fight against piracy.
I count on our Navy men in the Mediterranean Sea to, first of all, receive new modern technology in due time, and second, to build positive, partner-based relations with their colleagues in the Mediterranean and with all our partners who are present in these regions of the world.
I wish you all successful work and fair seas, and I hope that all the tasks set by the Russian leadership and the Defence Ministry will be carried out thoroughly and adequately.
Thank you very much for your work.