by Carlo Munoz
Moscow (UPI) Apr 5, 2016
Russian arms maker Kalashnikov Concern announced on Tuesday its delivery of a new tranche of air-to-ground guided missiles to Russia's military, as part of an ongoing effort to revamp the country's armed forces.
Kalashnikov delivered the new Vikhr-1 munitions, designed to take out tanks and other pieces of heavy artillery, as part of a $191 million deal with the country's ministry of defense, according to a company press release quoted by Russia's state-owned Sputnik News.
The missile has been fielded aboard Russia's KA-50 Alligator and KA-52 Black Shark attack helicopters, as well as the Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft. A maritime variant of the missile, known as the Vikhr-K, has also been deployed on Russian navy ships to defend against anti-ship missiles.
The deliveries were part of Russia's plan to update and modernize 30 percent of its overall ground and naval forces by 2020, according to recent reports.
On Monday, Moscow announced a deal with defense aviation firm Irkut Corporation for 30 new Su-30SM fighter jets for the country's air force.
The new multi-mission attack aircraft, dubbed the "Flanker," are expected to arrive by the end of 2018, according to the deal signed between Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov and Ikrut President Oleg Demchenko.
In February, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced Russian military leaders were moving faster than anticipated in its modernization efforts.
"We are ahead of time. Instead of rearming the Russian Armed Forces, including the Arctic Strategic Command by 30 percent we have achieved 47 percent implementation," he told Russian lawmakers at the time.
"In other words, we are 50 percent ahead of our own targets. We are ahead of time," he added.
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