From Ria Novisti:
MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia plans to dismantle about 140,000 old missiles and 3.5 billion rounds of obsolete ammunition by 2020, but the country may have trouble meeting that deadline, an Industry and Trade Ministry official said Wednesday.
Russia’s dismantlement facilities are currently able to dispose of 300,000 to 350,000 tons of such munitions a year, but they need to get rid of 1.5 million tons a year to meet the deadline, said Alexander Kochkin, deputy head of the ministry’s arms and ammunition department.
Russia has abandoned dismantlement by detonation due to a series of accidents at disposal facilities. Oleg Bochkaryov, deputy head of the Military-Industrial Commission, said Wednesday that no efficient alternative to detonation had yet been found.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the same day that he expected a NATO-Russia project on disposal and recycling of surplus, obsolete and unstable munitions in Russia’s westernmost region, Kaliningrad, would begin working next year.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in May that the country was already “reducing the number of arms and ammunition” in the Kaliningrad Region, with “several hundred tanks and artillery systems withdrawn from there in recent years.”
The Russian Armed Forces are in the midst of a major program of reform, including a gradual transition to an all-volunteer makeup, organizational changes and re-equipment with modern weapons.
Outmoded tanks and armored vehicles will be scrapped in a “massive” scheme launched by the defense ministry last year, a senior military official said on Friday.
“From 2011 onward, in accordance with a government decree the Defense Ministry has begun taking outdated automobiles and armored vehicles out of service and getting rid of them,” Gen Maj Alexander Shevchenko told reporters in Moscow.
The scheme involves T-80, T-64, T-55, tanks as well as a number of army trucks.
Shevchenko did not disclose the exact number of vehicles to be destroyed, but the Soviet Union produced thousands of these types of tanks from the 1950’s to the 1990’s and stored many of them.
The ministry could not be reached for comment.