Russia has developed new plan of activities to 2020

The Russian armed forces will for the first time receive medium-range attack drones in 2019, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told the State Duma defense committee. He noted that, since 2012, 38 military units have been formed in the Russian army, equipped with over 2,000 military drones. "Starting this year, we will be receiving medium-range attack and surveillance vehicles," the minister said.

Russia has developed new plan of activities to 2020

Ratnik infantry combat system in two variants: one for reconnaissance and the second with KRUS Strelets intelligence, control and communications system and AFV crew individual protection kit 6B48 Ratnik-ZK (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stressed that a breakthrough in drone aviation has provided new opportunities for reconnaissance and attack operations. "Thanks to drone laser illuminators, we have managed to give a second life to precision artillery weapon systems Krasnopol, which had not been in demand before. As a result, we decreased the round to no more than two projectiles for one target and increased the range," the minister explained.

In Syria, the Russian Armed Forces carried out 166 cruise missile strikes at terrorists. "For the first time in the course of the operation in Syria, the Armed Forces have carried out 166 strikes with long-range air-launched and sea-based cruise missiles against terrorist facilities," the minister said.

The number of seaborne, air and ground carriers of precision weapons increased over 12 times by 2019 and of cruise missiles - 30 times. "Due to modern data processing and transmission we gradually decreased the preparation time of flight missions from 1.5 months to three hours," Shoigu said.

The new bomber sights, such as SVP-24, allowed dropping ordinary air bombs with a deviation of 10 meters. "Strelets command and reconnaissance system can destroy targets in 8-12 minutes since their detection. It means actually in real time," the minister said.

New guided missiles with an increased range were created for helicopter gunships due to the Syrian experience. "The Syrian operation provided light multirole guided helicopter missiles with a longer range - up to 15 kilometers. It allows firing them without entering the air defense zone. We tested a total of 316 new arms in Syria," the minister said adding that six years ago there was no talk about engaging Russian forces in a distant area, as there were nobody and nothing to engage.

The Russian armed forces have received over 200 intercontinental ballistic missiles, both land-based and submarine-launched, since 2012, Shoigu said. He pointed out that in accordance with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Decrees of May 2012, the Defense Ministry had developed a plan of activities to 2020. "As a result, in the past six years, the armed forces received 109 Yars intercontinental ballistic missiles and 108 submarine-launched ballistic missiles," Shoigu said.

According to the minister, the armed forces also received three Borey-class ballistic missile submarines, 57 space vehicles, seven diesel submarines, 17 Bal and Bastion coastal defense missile systems, 3,700 new and upgraded tanks and other combat armored vehicles, as well as more than 1,000 planes and helicopters and 161 ships.

"This made it possible to arm 12 missile regiments with Yars complexes, ten missile brigades with Iskander complexes, 13 aviation regiments with the MiG-31BM, Su-35S, Su-30SM and Su-34 aircraft. Three aviation brigades and six helicopter regiments were rearmed with Ka-52 and Mi-28 helicopters, 20 missile regiments with S-400 systems, 23 divisions with Pantsir-S systems, 17 divisions with Bal and Bastion complexes," Shoigu noted.

He added that the average share of modern weapons in the Russian armed forces increased to 61.5% by the beginning of 2019. The share in the strategic nuclear deterrence is 82 percent, in the Ground forces - 48.3 percent, the Aerospace Forces - 74, the Navy - 62.3, Airborne Forces - 63.7.

Russia’s Ground Forces and the Navy’s coastal brigades are practically fully equipped with Ratnik combat outfit. "Almost all Ground Forces, as well as the Navy’s motorized rifle brigades and marine brigades - 35 units in total - have been provided with the Ratnik-2 modern combat gear," Shoigu said.

The serial deliveries of the second generation "soldier of the future" Ratnik gear to the Russian armed forces began in 2017. It includes modern small arms, efficient protection, reconnaissance and communication means, and is designed to operate in various weather conditions on a 24-hour basis.

Nearly 400,000 contractors currently serve in the Russian armed forces, Shoigu said. "Since 2012, the number of contractors has nearly doubled, currently reaching 394,000 people," the minister said. According to him, in every regiment and brigade, two battalions are formed by contractors, while one is formed by conscripts who are not engaged in combat missions. Currently, there are 136 tactical battalion groups in the armed forces formed by contractors ready to carry out any mission," the minister said.

Shoigu added that the Russian army is currently manned 95-100%. All district, army and division commanders have combat experience. 96 percent of brigade and regiment commanders have combat experience.

Russia’s grouping in Crimea has been increased and ensures the protection of the peninsula. "The force in Crimea has been reinforced to ensure the protection of the peninsula’s territory and Russia’s interests in the Black Sea," Shoigu said.

The defense minister recalled that an operations command had been set up in the distant maritime zone, which ensures control of warships performing tasks in the Mediterranean Sea. "Now all military units are permanent readiness units," he stressed.

Since 2012, the Russian Defense Ministry has constructed 475 military infrastructure objects in the Arctic. "In total, in the Arctic, on Kotelny Island, Alexandra Land, Wrangel Island, Cape Schmidt, we have constructed 475 objects in six years with a total space of 710 thousand square meters. These objects accommodate servicemen, special arms and equipment," the minister said. He also informed that the construction of military infrastructure is underway in every part of Russia, including Arctic regions and military bases abroad.

The restoration of military control offices at defense enterprises decreased the number of hardware failures 2.7 times, the minister said. They helped create a total early warning radar field by the Russian perimeter and begin deploying the single space monitoring and command system and complete the creation of Angara rocket.

The outsourcing system introduced by Shoigu’s predecessor did not justify itself and did not ensure the provision of troops in combat conditions. "There was nobody to feed the servicemen, to overhaul the hardware, deliver fuel and lubricants. Outsourcing developed only if it produced a good profit," Shoigu said. But it only operated facilities without proper maintenance and overhaul. There were frequent accidents in winter which had to be rectified by emergency efforts, the minister said.

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