Russia's Defense Ministry has allocated more than 20 billion rubles ($363.5 million) for the construction of a military-themed activity park and exhibition center called Patriot Park, newspaper Kommersant reported Thursday, citing data from the state tender website.
The park's central and most expensive attraction will be the 7 billion ruble ($127 million) exhibition and congress hall, which will be lined with various military themed stores. The building, which will be six stories tall, is expected to open by Feb. 20 of next year.
State contractor Oboronstroi won the contract to build the expo center in an 8.3 billion ruble ($150 million) government tender in May, Kommersant reported. No other contractors bid on the project.
By the time the almost 6,000 hectare park is finished in 2017, it will feature a hotel, restaurants, meeting spaces, offices and even a residence for Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Kommersant reported. It is being built west of Moscow in the town of Kubinka.
Among more traditional activities, the park will also offer young visitors the chance to actively engage with Russian military equipment.
“Young people will not only be able to visit exhibits, but also drive and fly on military equipment, shoot military weapons, and do parachute jumps,” Shoigu said at the beginning of park construction last year.
The Defense Ministry also intends to use the park as an exhibition center for Russian defense contractors to hawk their wares.
Already, around 30 temporary pavilions have been erected to host a large military trade show later this month called Army-2015.
Last month, Dmitry Kurakin, head of the Defense Ministry's property management department, told news agency RBC that the ministry would open an auction house at Patriot Park to conduct monthly auctions of old and out of service military hardware.