The Russian government disclosed some of its defense spending and acquisition plans for 2007. According to the minister of defense, in 2007 the total spending on national defense will reach “more than 820 billion rubles”, “more than 300 billion rubles” of which will be the “state defense order”. A similar figure for 2006 was 237 billion rubles. Taking inflation into account (expected to be 8.5% in 2006), we can estimate that the real growth of the acquisition budget will be roughly 17%, which is comparable to the 16% growth this year. Of the 300 billion rubles, 144.4 million will be spent on acquisitions, 61.9 million - on repairs, and 94.1 - on research and development.

In a significant change from the established pattern, the defense ministry is planning to increase almost threefold the number of new ICBMs – the 2007 plan includes acquisition of 17 new ballistic missiles. So far Russia has been deploying no more than six missiles annually. No further details were given, but it is clear that these 17 missiles will be silo-based and road-mobile Topol-M missiles. (Five and twelve respectively? By the end of this year Russia is expected to have 45 silo-based Topol-Ms and three road-mobile ones. And does this mean that the earlier plan to get 69 Topol-Ms by 2015 will be reconsidered?) [UPDATE 12/18/06: Only five of the 17 missiles will be Topol-M ICBMs. Other 12 are expected to be R-29RM Sineva SLBMs]

The acquisition plans in space include purchase of four new spacecraft and four launchers for them. These numbers apparently do not include the Glonass navigation satellites – two launches with six spacecraft are scheduled in 2007 (this is in addition to the launch of three Glonass satellites scheduled on 25 December 2006). Earlier, Glonass launches were counted as military.

The long-range aviation is also expected to receive a wing of new (or upgraded?) planes, but the details are sketchy at the moment.

Neither submarines nor Bulava missiles have been mentioned in the 2007 plan – these are quite far from being operational. The Bulava tests flights, however, are expected to continue, and the first ship of the Project 955 Borey class, Yuri Dolgorikiy, is expected to begin sea trials in 2007. The long-term plan (up to 2015) calls for deployment of four submarines of this type, so we can expect construction of a new submarine to begin shortly after Yuri Dolgorukiy leaves the dock.