Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Army transformation. Part 2.

Part 1.

It's the article of Lieutenant General Vladimir Shamanov, the Chief ot the Main Combat Training and Service Directorate of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, published in Russian English-language 'National Defence' magazine, #1, 2009.

OCRed text
-> Vladimir Shamanov - Chief ot the Main Combat Training and Service Directorate of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant General

The training year Aat has just begun is undoubtedly special for the Russian Army because combat training will take place dur­ing the transition to a new organiza­tional structure of the Armed Forces. In 2009, units and large units will be trained according to an interim com­bat training program prepared with due account for the scope and time frame for their organization and establishment reforming activities.

Jointly with combat training bod­ies of services and branches of the Armed Forces, the RF MoD's Main Combat Training and Service Directorate is to prepare new com­bat training programs according to which the training of troops under a new organizational structure will begin on December 1, 2009. Another feature of this year is a steady growth in funds allocated for the army training, which helps efficient­ly solve problems related to fuel and ammunition supplies. In addition, following a thorough analysis of results of the peace enforcement operation in Georgia in August 2008, current plans for equipping the Armed Forces with new armament and military equipment will be updated.

The previous training year saw several large-scale exercises of the Armed Forces involving units, large units, and HQ elements. Most signif­icant of them was an operational-strategic exercise codenamed Tsentr 2008 (Center 2008) with participa­tion of Volga Ural Military District's troops, units of services and branch­es of the Armed Forces, as well as military units of Kazakhstan's Armed Forces. Summing up results of the previous training year, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov noted that the opportuni­ty to employ so many forces and facilities within a single combat training event had appeared for the first time in the past thirty years.

Last year, the efficiency and level of combat training were tested in real combat during the peace enforcement operation in Georgia. Highlights of the operation include a «test by fight» and the accumulation of actual experience in employ­ing the troops. Assessing the results of our units' actions during the operation, it is necessary to state that despite the low rate of army reequipment with new materiel, the combat training system has proved to be acceptable in general and the troops have shown a high level of combat readiness. This was the deci­sive factor entailing the defeat of Saakashvili's regime in the five-day war. Airborne units, army aviation and the Black Sea Fleet's task force were praised. Motorized rifle, tank and front-line aviation units turned out a bit less effective.

At the same time, the operation exposed some weaknesses in estab­lishing control, while recon units often provided scarce data about the enemy. It clearly showed that our army aviation desperately needed aircraft. In addition to powerful weapons, air defense and reconnais­sance capabilities, a battle group commander must have facilities to quickly transfer troops to a required area and sector to fight effectively. Military transport aviation is the facility for the operational level, while army aviation, i.e. helicopters, is used at the tactical level. We were able to lift a great number of battal­ion tactical trooper groups to the conflict area within two days thus quickly increasing manpower in the South Ossetian and Atohazian sec­tors, owing to the capabilities of our military transport fleet inherited from the Soviet Army. However, our army aviation fleet turned out clear­ly insufficient for mobile fighting, which was a negative factor restrict­ing the pace of advance.

If at least two full-fledged army aviation regiments equipped with combat-ready helicopters had been used in the South Ossetian sector, then attack helicopters could have effectively supported our peace­keepers, while airborne units could have intercepted the basic routes of advance of Georgian all-arms columns and inflicted fire damage to them at the approaches to Tskhinval. For the same reason - shortage of our helicopter fleet - jammer heli­copters were not used in the initial phase of actions in the South Ossetian sector to suppress Georgian air defenses. The result is known: in the first days of war the Georgian air defenses shot down several our planes using Ukrainian-made SAM systems. However, there were no aircraft losses in the
Abkhazian sector where at an air base in Senaki alone airborne units seized a Buk SAM battery. The secret is simple: jammer helicopters started operating right after the beginning of actions thus preventing the effective operation of enemy air defenses.

Experience of the peace enforce­ment operation in Georgia has shown the necessity of achieving qualitatively new characteristics of the entire system of armaments. To this end, tactical level C2 and opera­tional reconnaissance capabilities need improvement. Moreover, the two components should be integrat­ed with field artillery fire control systems and tank units. This is the world trend of future warfare involving combined arms units so we can no longer use outdated com­bat methods when building the competitive Land Forces. Even Georgian trophy tanks seized in suf­ficient numbers in the attack areas of both battle groups included compo­nents of an Israeli-made integrated weapon system of this kind. Using a group of aircraft (including recon­naissance UAVs) and operational reconnaissance facilities such systems allow an almost automated tar­get assignment to weapons on the battlefield. Fortunately, the Georgian tankmen failed to take advantage of the system due to their poor train­ing. The Russian industry has devel­oped similar products, and their prompt introduction is another pri­ority in the reequipment of our army.

The need to develop a new inte­grated identification friend-or-foe (IFF) system and its installation not only on planes and helicopters, but also on ground vehicles is critical. After all, all our neighbors - former Soviet Union republics and socialist countries - are still equipped with Soviet-made weapons carrying the same IFF system that we use. Moreover, their tanks and aircraft look like ours. How then will one distinguish between «friends» and «foes» in combat when each second costs much? In addition, the newly developed IFF system should be able to identify the enemy in no time, which is dictated by the swift nature of modern combat.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) - first of all scout drones able to effectively conduct reconnaissance without exposing the reconnaissance personnel to danger - must enter service with our units in the near future. As to the performance of domestic UAVs, despite long devel­opment efforts undertaken by a variety of enterprises engaged in this area, all available UAVs still fail to meet the requirements as was demonstrated by their use in South Ossetia as well. The Defense Minister's opinion about using UAVs and equipping troops with all required facilities is extremely clear: if the national industry is unable to offer our Armed Forces a competi­tive product, we shall buy it from foreign manufacturers. So, there should be no surprise for the nation­al developers not responding to the needs of troops when they find out that, for instance, Israeli recon UAVs entered service with the Russian army. The Defense Minister has tasked the General Staff, heads of central military administration bod­ies, main commands of services of the Armed Forces and commands of branches of the Armed Forces to carry out detailed analysis of our industry's production capabilities. And if today's industry capabilities give no way to develop this or that item of armament or military equip­ment meeting modern requirements, they should analyze a possibility of purchasing a similar item from for­eign manufacturers. For instance, we are currently buying thermal imagers for armored vehicles and aircraft in France and Israel. Of course, it is important for us to sup­port local manufacturers. However, top priority in the Ministry of Defense's procurement policy - and the Minister has emphasized this -will be the need to supply fighting units with all requisite items to effectively conduct combat and win it. This reason seems rather obvious, but I'll give you another vivid exam­ple. In the same Abkhazian sector, Georgia's Israeli-made UAVs regu­larly flew above the positions of our troops. In most cases we were forced to be reconciled to this. Shooting down such an UAV by the Buk SAM system is too expensive, while the Strela MANPADS cannot lock-on it because infrared radiation emitted from such a UAV is too low. As for the basic air defense weapon of air­borne teams, the ZU-23-2 AA gun, the UAVs flying at altitudes of around 3,000 m were simply beyond its range.

Unfortunately, I should admit that the outfit of Georgian soldiers and their modern individual fight­ing equipment has shown our back­wardness. Specifically, the so-called battlefield kit for both troopers and infantrymen needs a radical improvement. Armor and fighting load vests from different manufac­turers poorly match each other, while ancient clam shovels impede the soldier to move across the battle­field. At the same time, you can easi­ly buy a similar but convenient hand-held foldable shovel in any hunting shop! Or another example: after the peace enforcement opera­tion in Georgia I showed the Chief of the General Staff a US-made indi­vidual device used by Georgian infantrymen to mark their own front line. It is a small flashlight which, if lifted above head, is easily seen by friendly planes and helicopters fly­ing from the rear area, while remain­ing invisible from the front side. At war, such a device is desperately needed: a strike or army aircraft pilot attacking the forward line of enemy troops at night will easily see friendly positions. Our Armed Forces use so-called orange smoke flares for the same purposes thus showing the enemy our forward edge's outline.

Our troops have been equipped with the Kalashnikov assault rifle for over 60 years. Presently, howev­er, small arms of each soldier should be fitted with a sighting unit allow­ing effective fire both day and night. Cumbersome field glasses and R-159 and R-160 heavy tactical radios inef­fective in combat are still in service. Batteries of these radios that lose capacity too quickly were a problem as early as the Afghan war (1980s), but they have never been replaced in troops.

Four years ago the Main Combat Training Directorate was vested with ordering functions and could directly influence the procurement of equipment and weapons neces­sary for troops. Being finalized is the issue of setting up a coordinating council, which will be affiliated to the first deputy defense minister and determine the scope of arma­ments and soldier fighting equip­ment required for the Armed Forces, Naturally, the Main Directorate responsible for training the troops and, thus, making them ready for war should play a leading role in the council. Only then our recom­mendations will form the basis for not only procurement, but also for requisite R&D.

As part of efforts to restructure the training range system, we have drawn up a plan envisaging the reduction in the number of ranges from 296 to 163. The decision on its implementation will be made by the Defense Minister before long. In this regard may I note that reduction in the number of ranges will favor the quality of combat training: having got rid of scarcely used ranges, the maintenance of which costs much money every year, our units and large units will get an opportunity to properly equip gunnery ranges that are really needed for combat training.
Last year efforts were launched throughout the Armed Forces to ful­fill Defense Minister's Order #400, which specified requirements for rewarding the best officers of the Armed Forces with money.

The basic category of officers eli­gible for reward includes the tacti­cal-level military. Criteria used to
select the best officers in the training year of 2008 included: a high level of individual training and model behavior of the officer, results of the accomplishment of training tasks by units and large units, results of over­all inspection in 2008, and perform­ance indicators achieved in exercises and trainings at various levels. An accurate account of the officer per­formance results has made the process objective.

According to last year's results, the officers to be rewarded with money during 2009 will get monthly allowance as follows: platoon com­mander - 35,000 to 60,000 rubles, general commanding officer -110,000 to 150,000 rubles.
In general, the accomplished work suggests that the measures taken to reward the best officers with money will considerably enhance competence motivation among officers, increase the pres­tige of military service, and create a foundation for stabilizing the struc­ture of officer teams during transi­tion to a new organization of the Russian Armed Forces. The task of establishing a competitive environ­ment is coming into the fore­ground.

Preliminary analysis shows that basing on the results for 2008, it is necessary to concretize approaches to follow-up activities on rewarding officers with money. The necessity of adjustment is primarily caused by the specifics of tasks handled by officers. Along with the participation in combat training, active service and combat alert, in 2009 there will also be activities related to transfer of armament, military equipment and materiel stocks, accompaniment of military cargoes and many other issues which are commensurable in intensity with the accomplishment of tasks stipulated by the existing order.

With a transition to a new orga­nizational structure of troops, the strength of personnel in the Land Forces will change in 2009: the num­ber of platoon, company, and battal­ion commanders will increase, while the number of deputy company and battalion commanders and equiva­lents, as well as regiment control officers will simultaneously decrease. Similar changes in the strength by basic officer categories will take place in other services and branches of the Armed Forces.

Given the experience of 2008, reducing the posts of deputy compa­ny and battalion commanders allows expanding the categories of officers eligible for reward. Under review is the issue of adding to the list the officers of engineer, EW, NBC defense and railway units and also Air Force's maintenance personnel previously not taken into account.
Considering the growing impor­tance and intensity of efforts in training the technicians for perma­nent readiness units and large units, it is essential to add district-level training centers as well as service and branch training centers to the list.

I would like to mention the offi­cers who have been enrolled in Service Academies and the General Staff Academy. They are the best officers, and by the time of their entry in the academies they had served 10 months in troops. I think they are worthy of encouragement, the more so this will boost the aspi­rations among officers to be the best and also will socially support their families during the education peri­od.

The issue of including officers of operational and operational-strate­gic commands into the list of cate­gories eligible for reward should also be considered.

Today it is important to prevent outflow of the cadre officers reward­ed with money for their 2008 results. To this end, as part of the efforts for transition to a new structure of the Armed Forces, it is necessary to ensure priority review of their appointment to posts in new struc­tures of units, large units, and mili­tary control elements. Individual work with them should be started, including the explanation of the fact that they are the focus of attention among not only their colleagues, but the public as well. Each of the offi­cers rewarded with money should understand that whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. Field work should be focused on raising the authority of this category of officers, making them an example for others. Their active involvement in training as instructors supporting military unit commanders must become a rule.

Coming back to the list of com­bat training objectives in 2009,1 would like to note that the troops training process will feature deeper changes in the organizational struc­ture of services and branches of the Armed Forces. The Land Forces will switch to a three-tier command and control system: military district -semistrategic command - brigade. Accordingly, the combat training system will be built in a new man­ner.

In line with the priority of efforts to switch to a new configuration of the Armed Forces I shall provision­ally single out four categories of units and large units.

Category 1 - units and large units that will retain their structure and will not change their deploy­ment sites. They are to switch to the tables of organization and equip­ment before February 1, 2009. Their combat training will be conducted in full cycle. If the units are staffed by contract servicemen, this will be a year-long cycle, with two weeks of control sessions between winter and summer training periods. For mili­tary units manned by a mixed prin­ciple, i.e. involving both conscripts and contract soldiers, training sessions and exercises will be conduct­ed according to a five-month combat training program.

Category 2 - units and large units to be reformed before June 1. Until their transition to a new struc­ture is completed, only individual combat training will be conducted. And starting from June 1 they will begin a five-month teamwork development phase followed by company and battalion tactical exer­cises and, subsequently, a brigade tactical exercise.

Category 3 includes units and large units that are to change their deployment sites, move from several small towns to one, transport large quantities of materiel, armament and ammunition, and also make organi­zation and establishment changes. Their reforming is to be completed by December 1, 2009. Relying upon the calculations by district, opera­tional command and large unit HQs, military district commanders are instructed to determine the sched­ules stipulating the time when these units and large units will be engaged
in individual combat training or reforming activities.

And, finally, Category 4 of units and large units - participants in large-scale exercises scheduled for 2009: Kavkaz 2009, Osen 2009, Zapad 2009, and Ladoga 2009. Combat train­ing of these units and large units will be organized with account for scope and objectives of organization and establishment changes, with mandatory platoon and company teamwork development, battalion-level tactical exercises, and manda­tory field exercises of air defense and special units.

By March 1, it is scheduled to complete new combat training pro­grams for the Land Forces, Airborne Troops and Coast Guard Force. Basing on these programs, work on combat training methods for servic­es, branches and special troops will be completed by September 1. Training of the Armed Forces according to new combat training programs tailored to a new army organization is to begin on December 1, 2009.

National    D E F E N 8 E <
1 / 2009


  1. hi Igor,
    has Georgian war in some extent influenced desire in Russian army to buy kind of ship like French overseas operation comand-carrier ship
    Where is "transfer of tech" if Russia only buys hull of ship from French withouth anything else?
    Are those 4 or 5 future carriers Navy was talking about?
    And if not how their price will permit to build true 60 000tons carries on top of those + all other ships that must go with them?
    thanks in advance!

  2. For sure during war in Cauasus they felt the need to urgently demonstrate the Russian power oversea, near US border. PArticulary it means the rebuilding of system of symmetric threats in the West Hemisphere for some extend even bigger then USSR has. SO, they started rethinking current Naval program.

    The French ship is interesting for Russian from the side of ship engeenring, organisation of internal space, may be hydraulic solution etc. I dont think, it's about radically new technologies, it's more about successeful and proved contemporary engineer solution. I dont think Russian shipyards will change their current curve of the technological development for to be more 'French'. THey can do it mostly if not all on the basis of indigeneous technologies, but the project itself is too complicated.

  3. to igorr

    which company will provide arresting wires for ins vikramaditya

    is it true that ship is being fitted with wartsila 1.5MW diesel generators built in italy as claimed in wikipedia

    and do you have more info about rectangular mars passat phased array radars on ex gorshkov and on kuznetsov carrier

  4. hi Igor
    in previous post you said bulava
    bulava total throw weight accounts for 1,150 kg for 6 mirv that comes to as 190kg per warhead so waht is the yield of these warhead of 190 kg ?

  5. igorr

    can you post about semi acitve radar seekers used s300/shtil missile systems

  6. to anon November 19, 2009 5:06 PM:

    Mars-Passat have 4 rectangular passive ESA, 80 target simmultaneousely tracking was planned but the complex was not mature, with many problems, then Fregat radar was added in addition. Mars-Passat was developed in Kiev's NII 'Kvant' (Ukraine). Because these problem the 2nd 'Kuznetsov' class carrier was planned with different ESA radar 'Forum'.

  7. to anon November 21, 2009 12:20 PM:

    RS-24 and Bulava have a new lighten warheads. The exactly parameters of them are classified. The Russian concept says the warhead for strategic weapon must have 150-200 kt yield to be enough for destroying enemy strengthen sub-ground facilities in pre-emptive strike. I can guess they are in this interval. Bulava can carry up to 10 warheads maximum but in reality it will carry significantly less, 3-5 per estimation and in the remained space - light decoys will be installed.

  8. Is it possible to build-adapt French "Mistral" style kind of ship into classical air-carrier type?I've read in Pravda that Vladimir Vysotsky is talking about buying "5or6 aircraft carriers"??!!
    We all know that French Mistral is helicopter carrier, so does that mean that they can be changed and adopted for planes? Or it is just jurnalist error in using word "air-carrier" ?!
    The same was repeated for Aleksandar Popvkin qouting his statement in the same article with again the words "building".."air-carriers"pronaunced by him (not helicopter carriers)
    Is this possible arrangment some kind of Russian magic sollution to have 5 air carriers on the low price tag and if yes aren't those ship to small for air carriers?
    What is your oppinion is there any room on speculation to have air-carriers from that kind of ship (with civilian standards)?
    Thanks in advance!

  9. to anon November 27, 2009 12:55 PM:

    If the question is whether 'Mistral'-class ships can became a part of the Russian aircraft carrier program, the answer is 'yes'. To be remembered even 'Kuznetsov' is not formally a 'carrier' but the 'aircraft carrying cruiser'.

    If turning to the foreign experience, the two Japanese helicopters carriers (the 3rd is under building) are a classic example of such 'transformers' easy be able become the base for STOVL JSF fighters when ready. Should not forget, in the future the main 'population' on the deck will be UCAVs\UAVs anyway.

  10. Thanks for your answer Igor!
    Are those "Mistral"-class ships will stay in 24 000 tons size or will be little biger to get closer tu Kuznetsov size in your oppinion?
    Does that mean that Russia might return to abandoned STOVL Yak 141 project perhaps?


  11. At this stage the most possibility they will buy the 3rd Mistral-class ship which is currently building on a French shipyard. Will be equipped with Russian weapons, radars, communication and fire control systems, Russian vehicles of course. If so they can go for 1- max two more in same dimention built in Russia during next 5-7 years. THen the circumstances will probably suffer the future uncertain dynamics.

    As about STOVL, they said PAKFA derivatives will cover all needs for RuAF and the Navy. If the program (PAKFA/FGFA) succeed, they may go further for STOVL version of PAKFA, but Yak-141 -no it's a dead project of an old gen fighter.

  12. Igorr, do you have information on T-80U upgrades in the Russian Army? apparently some are receiving a deep overhaul with thermal sight, better turbine (device 29 standard with 1250 hp)



  13. To see what the Russian Army plans to be able to do with its UAVs look to this page:

    In the bottom left corner of the page you can see a Flash video showing a Ka-50 carrying a pod containing UAVs which it can deploy in flight.

    I suspect that such a set up would be also used on the Ka-52 as this is a recon helo likely to replace the Mi-2s used in the recon role.
    Having two crew using UAVs would be very interesting.
    Perhaps this explains the teardrop datalink pods on the wingtips of the Ka-52s?

  14. To GarryB:

    ==I suspect that such a set up would be also used on the Ka-52==

    - It's just what they say openly)
    I only can add that they have drones, which could be used for strike high valuable fascilities, not only reconnaissance. Ka-52 is positioned by Army top as a helo for special operations of Gen. Staff special forces group. The planned fleet counts as 15 Ka-52s and 15 Ka-50, working together with drones and ground 'spetsnaz' groups for deep strikes. While Ka-52 - will be used as a fly command and aiming helo and Ka-50s - as a strikers. In night time Ka-52s are the only solution since night capability of Ka-50 isnt satisfying.

  15. Thanks for the confirmation.
    I can't read Russian so I can only make educated guesses.
    This planned fleet of Ka-52s and Ka-50s for special forces sounds interesting. I wonder what sort of transport helos they might use to get the ground forces into position.
    A Ka-29 could be used or perhaps a Ka-60 as a smaller lighter aircraft, or maybe they will go with capacity and the Mi-17 and fit it with all sorts of black ops stuff like radar for night and all weather low level penetrations and of course DIRCMs and some air to ground artillery like 6 x 80mm rocket pods with the rockets fitted with UGROZA guidance packages... :)

  16. ==what sort of transport helos they might use to get the ground forces into position.==

    Mi-17 with the night vision kit, simple. Mi-8/17 is a standard for Russian ground forces, and its deep modernization and full standardization between Ulan-Ude and Kasan serial fascilities is planned. Donno if millimeter radar is worth for each transport helo with night capability. May be enough 9-12 nm IR camera for fog condition, fused electronically with 3rd gen light enhancer, like 'Okhotnik' kit.
    Ka-29 is a marine transportation helo in Ru Navy.

  17. I just thought for special operations they might want a smaller transport that didn't have the larger visual etc signature of the Mi-8 series which is a very big helo.
    The Ka-60 is a smaller lighter craft that might be able to put down in smaller areas and the Ka-27 would already likely be used for Naval Spetsnaz.
    Sorry I was not clear but I was thinking of customised kit designed especially for special forces, much as the Ka-52 seems to be.
    This might seem to be a tangent but do you know if the Army Spetsnaz is considering the ADS as a standard rifle? Though I expect if the new ammo that allows it to be used underwater is based on the standard round that any 5.45 x 39mm AK can be used as an underwater assault rifle too.

  18. To GarryB:

    The dimention of Ka-27 is almost as Mi-8, so I dont see worthless Mi-8 to the former in this case. Ka-60 - is a different bird, while it's 60-75% composite-made, but yet ready.

    ADS is very wanted by many different spec op units, but currently confirmed for marine spetznaz only. True, it can fire regular ammo with even greater accuracy than Ak-74M. THe testing is following, the final configuration is expected.

  19. The Mi-8/-17 series is very underrated in the west.
    I would expect for spec ops use they would add all sorts of stuff like the DIRCMs shown on the Ka-52 and Ka-50.

    Regarding ADS its compact size would make it useful for VDV and Spetsnaz IMHO.
    SHould be interesting to see what new assault rifle is revealed this year...