MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will expand the role of private contractors in its defense sector, including in the production of strategic nuclear missiles, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.
"By doing this we will reduce production risks, create healthy competition, and infuse the defense sector with 'fresh blood', new ideas and entrepreneurial adrenalin," Rogozin said.
Though the production of nuclear weaponry will remain under tight government control, up to 300 or 400 companies may be involved in the production chain, Rogozin said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Assignments given to private contractors could include the development and production of electronics and novel materials for missiles, said Rogozin, whose brief includes overseeing the defense industry.
Private contractors should account for between 30 and 35 percent of Russia’s defense and allied industrial sectors, Rogozin said. The figure stands at 60 percent in the United States, but Russia has a stronger government sector with 1,350 state-run military industry enterprises, he said.
The government has also begun discussing staff for the Future Research Fund, Russia’s analogue of America's DARPA, tasked with developing new technologies for the military, Rogozin said.
He named no candidates, but said that the government and president will each select seven candidates for the fund’s board of trustees. The appointees will then elect the fund’s director, who will also sit on the board.