Russia to continue rearming in 2021 – Part 1

The Russian armed forces will continue rearming in 2021. The acceptance into service of various arms is usually done by closed orders of the Defense Ministry. publication analyzes which weapons may be supplied to the Russian army in 2021 and later.
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In March 2018, the new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile RS-28 Sarmat underwent an ejection test at the Plesetsk state test cosmodrome (Picture source: Russian MoD)

The armed forces have received 57 military satellites, 109 intercontinental ballistic Yars missiles, 108 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, nuclear submarines with ballistic missiles, diesel-electric submarines, warships and boats, as well as Bal and Bastion coastal missile complexes, over a thousand airplanes and helicopters, and over 3.5 thousand armored vehicles in the past years. Twelve missile regiments were rearmed with Yars complexes, ten brigades with Iskander, 20 air defense regiments with S-400. Thirteen air regiments received MiG-31BM, Su-35S, Su-30SM fighter jets and Su-34 bombers, and three brigades and six helicopter regiments got Ka-52 and Mi-28N rotorcraft.

In 2021, the Defense Ministry plans to build up a test range near Severo-Yeniseisky settlement for flight trials of Sarmat RS-28 ICBM. The multi-stage liquid-fuel intercontinental missile will replace silo-based Voevoda R-36M2 complexes. Sarmat R&D began in 2011. The new missile will be able to attack targets across the North and South Poles and break through missile defense. The unlimited range makes Sarmat destroy targets in any direction. Besides, it has a short acceleration section, which makes it difficult for the adversary to intercept the missile at the active flight stage.

Sarmat will carry a broad range of high-power nuclear charges and the latest systems to break through the missile defense. The effective destruction range of Sarmat is 18 thousand kilometers. The launch weight is 208.1 tons, the payload is over ten tons, and the fuel stock is 178 tons. The missile is 35.5 meters long and 3 meters in diameter. It carries multiple individually targeted reentry vehicles.

Sarmat is being prepared for acceptance flight trials. The 62nd Uzhur division deployed in Solnechny in Krasnoyarsk region is preparing the lead missile regiment for rearmament. Sarmat is to go on combat duty in 2022.

The Strategic Missile Forces operate seven types of missile complexes. They are silo-based Voevoda, Stilet, Topol-M, Yars and mobile Topol-M, Topol and Yars. Missile divisions will be shortly rearmed with Sarmat, Avangard and Yars.

Trials of the hypersonic antiship Tsirkon 3K22 missile will continue in 2021. It is distinguished against other Russian and foreign antiship missiles by over Mach 8 speed. Tsirkon fights various warships ranging from frigates to aircraft carriers, as well as ground objects. The speed of 9,800-11,025 km/h or 2,700-3,062 m/sec makes it invulnerable to available air and missile defense. It is practically impossible to timely detect the launch and escape the missile.

Newly built Tupolev Tu-160M strategic bomber will make the maiden flight in 2021. It is a multirole supersonic strategic aircraft with a variable-sweep wing. It will have completely new electronic equipment and engines. The bomber will carry new long-range weapons and will be the backbone of strategic nuclear air forces for decades to come.

Available Tu-160 and new Tu-160M need new engines. UEC-Kuznetsov Company in Samara signed a contract in August 2014 for the production of NK-32 engines of the second series, which resumed after a 25-year break. NK-32-02 was designed in 1987, but the production stalled because of financial problems. The compressor and the turbine were upgraded, as well as aerodynamics and internal cooling. Fuel consumption decreased, but the 25-ton takeoff thrust remained unchanged. The Tupolev Design Bureau said the new engines can make Tu-160 fly 13950 kilometers, which is 1650 km above the standard option. The engine for Tu-160M2 is designated as NK-32-02M2. On October 23, 2014, the upgrade of the controls and onboard equipment of Tu-160 to the Tu-160M level (product 70M) was approved. The newly-built Tu-160M likely has the same equipment.

Obzor-K radar will be replaced by the new Novella of Zaslon Company. The design bureau in Ulyanovsk (KPB) is creating a new cockpit with LCD monitors. The bomber will have a navigation system with inertial BINS-SP-1 system and astronavigation, as well as a navigation computer.

The Defense Ministry plans acceptance trials of upgraded Tu-160 in 2021. Batch supplies are to begin in 2023. Ten bombers are to be delivered by 2027.

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