Today was the 81st anniversary of VDV’s establishment . . .
VDV Commander, General-Lieutenant Vladimir Shamanov is looking for 20 new An-124 transport aircraft to support his troops by the end of GPV-2020, according to ITAR-TASS.
Shamanov told Rossiyskaya gazeta he plans to return to jumping next year, despite injuries received when his vehicle was hit by a truck last fall.
He’s disappointed the BMD-4M hasn’t completed its evaluation; armor testing remains. And Shamanov admitted:
“There’s still no firm agreement on the schedules for testing and supplying this equipment to the troops.”
Shamanov’s first deputy and chief of staff, General-Lieutenant Nikolay Ignatov also told Ekho Moskvy a final decision on the BMD-4M’s readiness for combat employment will come after upcoming tests at Kubinka.
Ignatov talked to Ekho about the VDV’s plans for professional sergeants. He said the VDV will start getting contractees from professional NCO training next fall, and will have only professional sergeants by 2016. They will be “high class” specialists, and platoon and deputy platoon commanders to compensate for officer reductions. The chief of staff said base [rank] contract pay will be 15-25,000 rubles per month, supplemented by a range of duty-related bonuses. Contractees will sign up initially for three years, and their units and divisions will decide if they’re offered a second contract.
Ignatov spoke disparagingly of the 2004-2007 contract service experiment, in which the 76th DShD served as test bed. He said low pay and the lack of service housing for married soldiers bedeviled the program, and the government should have taken responsibility for pay and benefits rather than leaving them to the division.
About conscription, Ignatov said flatly:
“. . . today’s conscript servicemen simply won’t have a chance, he won’t be capable of mastering this equipment [new armaments] fully in all its characteristics.”
Ignatov also spoke at length about a new VDV automated C2 system called Andromeda-D, developed by the Scientific-Research Institute of Communications and Command and Control Systems (NIISSU or НИИССУ).
He describes Andromeda-D as a division-to-soldier system, with stationary points for commanders down to battalion, and vehicle-mounted systems for tactical units. Andromeda-D has passed troop testing, has been deployed in the 76th DShD, and is in the GOZ to buy it for the 7th DShD, 98th VDD, and 31st DShBr, according to Ignatov.
He told Krasnaya zvezda the existing Polet-K system will be integrated into the new Andromeda-D system.
He also says the VDV plans to deploy GLONASS receivers in its vehicles as part of its C2 system.