The head of the Russian air force said that because of money shortages, the Russian air force is not combat ready and that only five percent of the aircraft are "state of the art." This situation has long been known in the West. Basically, the Russian air force has not been able to buy any new weapons or equipment for the last ten years. Some research and development work has proceeded on new aircraft, but funds are so short that many aircraft can be maintained. Pilots also cannot fly many hours, leaving them unready for combat operations.