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originally posted by: Phage
Has Russia been building forces on the Chukchi Peninsula?
Did Russia invade? Oh, wait. No, that was already part of Russia.
The concern would seem to be over NATO allies, not Alaska.
There's no question that Russia has substantially improved the power, and quality of its military over the Putin years.
The second major problem facing the Russian military is the state of its hardware and its faltering procurement process. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia lost a good portion of its industrial and technological base, something that weakened the country's defense industry.
"The country fell behind in many crucial technological areas, particularly during the 1990s," Majumdar writes. "For example, the Russians are well behind on key technologies for building precision weapons, targeting pods and active electronically scanned array radars — which are just a few examples.
" Shipbuilding was another area where Russia began to fall behind.
"Russia no longer has the capability to build large warships the size of a carrier and it uses antiquated construction techniques," writes Majumdar.
Russian soldiers are continuing to use Soviet-built hardware. And while Russia is investing in new hardware, overall procurement is likely to be difficult for Moscow because of Russia's continuing economic difficulties.
These difficulties have led the Kremlin to delay or scale down several major defense projects. A new fifth-generation bomber, the PAK DA, was intended to enter service in 2023. The plane's development has been pushed back and Russia will instead focus on production of an updated version of the Soviet-era Tu-160 supersonic nuclear bomber.
This isn't the only recent instance of Russia having to scale back on its military modernization ambitions. The Kremlin is also having problems financing its hulking third-generation Armata tank. Dmitry Gorenburg of Harvard University estimates that Russia will only be able to field a maximum of 330 Armata tanks by 2020, a fraction of the 2,300 originally planned.
Russia may have a proven ability to take limited territory and sustain multiple small operations. But with its manpower and procurement problems, the Kremlin would struggle in a long war against a major rival military.