MOSCOW - Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, attending naval exercises in the Barents Sea, said on Oct. 11 that his country was to start building an unspecified number of aircraft carriers to come into service in the next seven years, Russian agencies said.
The agencies said he observed maneuvers by the navy and air force from an aircraft carrier and watched the launching of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The missile, fired from a nuclear submarine, beat previous records by landing in the Pacific Ocean 11,547 kilometers (7,175 miles) away.
"It's the best result ever obtained by anyone," said Medvedev, who repeated that modernization of the country's armed forces was a priority.
"We are not going to spare our financial resources," he said. "It is extremely important to maintain the combat capacity of our armed forces."
He had instructed the defense ministry to launch at once a program to build new aircraft-carriers "so that the first results appear between 2013 and 2015." He did not say how many carriers would be built.
Last month, Medvedev said Russia would boost its air and naval defenses by building more modern warships, nuclear-powered submarines and a system of air-space defenses.
"Construction of new types of warships is planned, primarily nuclear submarines armed with cruise missiles and multi-purpose submarines" by 2020, he said.
The Oct. 11 exercises were part of a program of military maneuvers called "Stability 2008" taking place in several Russian regions.
At the same time, a number of Russian warships on their way to take part in joint exercises with Venezuela at the end of next month called into Libya on Oct. 11 for a three day visit.
Source: Defence News