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Russia to replace Soviet weapons

Prime minister Vladimir Putin says Russia must replace its Soviet-built arsenals with modern weapons to counter new evolving threats.

Mr Putin, who is running to reclaim the presidency in a March 4 election, laid out his vision of military modernisation in an article published in the government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

He said the government planned on spending about 23 trilliion rubles (£487 billion) over the next decade to purchase more than 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles, more than 600 combat aircraft, dozens of submarines and other navy vessels and thousands of armoured vehicles.

He said Russia would respond to the planned US missile shield by developing weapons capable of penetrating it, adding that "there can't be too much patriotism" on the issue.

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