WARSAW — Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has announced plans to acquire new weapons and military gear to boost the country’s deterrence capability. The acquisitions will include new Polonez long-range multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), fitted with a 200-kilometer strike range, to be delivered in the years 2016-2017.
"We have to inflict unacceptable damage upon the enemy if it decides to attack us. Unacceptable damage, unacceptable losses are what matters. A purely defensive tactic," Lukashenko said Tuesday Nov. 3 during a visit to a Belarusian defense plant in Dzerzhinsk, as reported by the state-run news agency BelTA.
Belarus is also aiming to replace its Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets with new Sukhoi Su-30M aircraft after 2020 to modernize its Air Force. The planned procurement was announced in October by Gen. Oleg Dvigalev, the commander of the Belarusian Air Force.
The fighter jets are to be acquired from Russia’s aircraft manufacturer, Irkut. This would mark another foreign contract obtained by the state-run defense company. In September, Irkut was handed two deals to deliver for the delivery of a total of 22 Su-30s over the next two years. Of these, 14 are to be supplied to Algeria and eight to the Russian Navy.
The Su-30 is enabled with a combat range of 3,000 kilometers, a maximum speed of 2,120 kilometers per hour m/h (1,320 mph), and it is classified by the Russians as a generation 4+ fighter jet.