Putin on Ground Troops and VDV

Meeting on GPV for Ground Troops and VDV

Kremlin.ru has the transcript of President Putin’s introductory remarks yesterday at a meeting on the land armaments portion of the State Armaments Program, the GPV.  This is his second review of where things stand.  Recall in mid-June he held a session on the Air Forces and the GPV.

Noting that “leading countries” are increasing the potential of their ground forces with new reconnaissance, C2, and “highly accurate” systems, as well as modern armor, Putin continued:

“I remind you in the framework of the state armaments program to 2020 it’s planned to allocate more than 2.6 trillion rubles to outfitting the Ground and Airborne forces.  We have to reequip units and sub-units, to fill the troops with new equipment with these resources.  By 2020 its share must be not less than 70 percent.”

“So 10 ‘Iskander-M’ brigade missile systems, 9 S-300V4 army brigade SAM systems, more than 2,300 tanks, nearly 2,000 self-propelled artillery and gun systems, and also more than 30,000 units of automotive equipment alone must enter the Ground Troops.  Besides this, it’s planned to introduce new communications, C2, advanced reconnaissance systems, individual soldier systems.”

As previously, the president stressed that complete fulfillment on schedule and at agreed prices is “very important.”

Then Putin turned to three problem areas.

First, fielding new weapons systems is complicated by the involvement of many sub-contractors.  A breakdown in one contract can cause an entire effort to fail.  Putin cited the VDV’s new BMD and YeSU TZ as examples:

“[BMDs] still haven’t gone through state testing and, as a result, haven’t been accepted into the inventory.  In turn, this is impeding development of practically all the VDV’s weapons sub-systems.  Today I’d like to hear, respected colleagues, why the task of the state program in the area of armor development and supply to the VDV hasn’t been fulfilled.”

“Creating a unified command and control system for troops and weapons at the tactical level [YeSU TZ] is another example.  The test model still doesn’t fully answer the requirements the Defense Ministry set out.  And I’d like also today to hear how this question is being resolved.”

Refer here and here for recent words on the BMD-4M and YeSU TZ.

Second, the Ground Troops and VDV spend too little on R&D (10 and 5 percent of what they spend on serial purchases and repairs respectively).  And the R&D money is put toward a small number of projects.  The president wants more work on advanced soldier systems, infantry weapons, individual protection, and comms.

Third, and finally, there’s a mess in Russia’s munitions industry.  There’s no long-term plan for ammunition makers, and this presents a problem for new arms systems.  The time has come, Putin said, to determine how the Defense Ministry and enterprises in this sector will interact.

President Putin has really seized on the GPV.  It seems near and dear to him.  Or perhaps it seems more tractable than Russia’s political and economic problems.  More amenable to his directive leadership and manual control.

The cases Putin mentioned are longstanding, well-known “poster children” for the problems of the OPK, i.e. easy and logical targets.  One wonders what more pressing and acute, if less publicly advertised, military-industrial difficulties were discussed.  Putin’s focus on R&D is also a bit odd when you consider it’s been blamed for waste and slashed.

Putin didn’t address strong rumors and denials of slipping the schedule for GPV 2011-2020 to 2016-2023.

Does the GPV Look Like This?

If Putin keeps on the GPV, perhaps we’ll gain a somewhat sharper picture of how it’s shared out.  It’d be interesting to learn where the RVSN and VVKO fit.

5 responses to “Putin on Ground Troops and VDV

  1. Am I the only one who thinks the RVSN are getting disproportionately large funding, and wouldn’t it be more practical to devote more money to restoring Russia’s conventional, particularly ground, forces?

  2. That may turn out to be the case. Whether it’s the right use of funding though, is another matter. It all gets back to what the Armed Forces are intended to do, and what threats the Kremlin sees. Updated strategic nuclear forces undergird Russia’s great power status and deterrence. But how much is enough? Maybe RVSN is getting too much, but we probably don’t know yet. Or maybe the Russians really do feel existentially threatened by missile defense. Or maybe VVKO is slated for a very healthy percentage. VVKO would be a good investment for parrying perceived U.S. / NATO air and cruise missile threats. But maybe the Ground Troops need more than what looks like 13 percent of the GPV. They certainly need money to improve their manpower, i.e. making professional enlisted service succeed this time around. There’s been long debate in post-Soviet times over emphasizing strategic or conventional forces, but the Russians usually come back to favoring the former over the latter if they can’t afford to do both. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Austin Joseph

    Hello Thanks for your excellent website.

    According to what I have read and information pouring in lately the break up of SAP 2011- 2020 is as follows

    Army and Airborne Force – 2.6 trillion rubles [ $ 80.5 billion ]
    Navy – 4.7 trillion rubles [ $ 145.2 billion ]
    Airforce – 4 trillion rubles [ $123.5 billion ]
    Strategic Forces – 1 trillion rubles [ $ 30.8 billion ]
    Air and Space Defence – 4 trillion rubles [$123.5 billion ]
    Classified Program – 4 trillion rubles [ $123.4 billion ]

    Total 20.3 trillion rubles [ $627 billion ]

    MIC Program – 3 Trillion [ $ 92.6 billion ]

    Total MIC/Defence Program – 23 Trillion Rubles [ $ 719 billion ]

  4. Thanks for the extra data. It would be nice to know where the 1 trillion for strat forces and 4 trillion for VVKO were published and by whom. One assumes it’s 1 trillion for RVSN alone, with strat Navy and Air Forces being covered in the amounts for their services.

  5. Austin Joseph

    Hello , I dont have one specific source to quote but since I have been following the program for some time and that is what i have gathered over the period of time reading any literature to that effect.

    But to quote one source this is the recently released article that puts similar figures

    Yes RVSN is getting 1 Trillion where the cost of SSBN and Bomber might come from respective service , RVSN does not need much fund as they were well funded during worse times.

    SAP 2020 from what i have read has 70-30 ratio where 70 % of money allocated to Army Navy Airforce will be used for Weapons Procurement while 30 % goes in Maintenance , Salaries etc

    Your thoughts on this ?


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