The Ivanovo-based 217th Parachute Regiment of VDV’s 98th Airborne Division is reportedly taking delivery of the eleventh battalion set of new armor today, according to local media.
Interfaks-AVN reports the 98th VDD will get 31 BMD-4M Sadovnitsa and six BTR-MDM Rakushka (shown above).
Introduction of the new armored vehicles looks like this (click image):
At the current pace, VDV seems likely to get one or two more battalion sets before the end of 2021.
Usually less than 40 armored vehicles (mostly BMD-4M), these eleven battalion sets represent about 400 new pieces of equipment so far.
Deliveries aren’t likely to end soon. A fully new armor inventory for the VDV probably means a total of 1,200 new vehicles. So maybe another 20 battalion sets with 800 vehicles. But the exact endpoint for new airborne armor procurement hasn’t been publicized.
The BMD-4M and BTR-MDM are big development and production undertakings that started before 2010 and haven’t proceeded quickly or smoothly, all Shoygu’s braggadocio about RF MOD rearmament notwithstanding.
Russia’s VDV got its ninth battalion set of new BMD-4M and BTR-MDM armored vehicles on June 19, according to media in Pskov — home of the 76th Air-Assault Division’s 234th Air-Assault Regiment. The tenth battalion set will reach troops in Stavropol before the end of 2020, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Here’s some info on when and where these new airborne infantry fighting vehicles and personnel carriers were delivered.
Click on the image for a larger table where you can click the links therein.
Collect data points wherever you can. You never know when they’ll become useful, especially if you gather them over the long term.
Parade at the Ryazan Higher Airborne Command School named for Army General V. F. Margelov
In early November, Interfaks-AVN reported on a Russian MOD press-release stating that more than 40,000 airborne troops had just gone through a final examination for the 2019 training year.
The MOD statement said:
More than 40,000 servicemen in all formations, military units and sub-units of the VDV deployed in the Western, Central, Southern and Eastern military districts participated in the final examination.
So that’s 40,000 personnel in four divisions, four brigades, units, and sub-units. If we count only those eight formations, that’s certainly no more — probably significantly less — than 5,000 per division or brigade.
If 40,000 is right, then there hasn’t been much expansion of the VDV despite a 2014 report that the elite Russian force could grow by 20,000 troops from a base level somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000.
Last Friday ITAR-TASS indicated that two companies from the VDV’s 45th Independent Reconnaissance Regiment of Special Designation (Spetsnaz), based at Kubinka near Moscow, were the units sent to reinforce Russian military facilities in Kyrgyzstan on 8 April.
Two companies from the VDV’s Ulyanovsk-based 31st Independent Air-Assault Brigade rotated in on Friday to relieve those from the 45th. The VDV’s spokesman has said the contingent numbers 160 contract personnel.
Moscow has been low-key on the deployment of extra troops, denying plans to evacuate dependents, and downplaying threats posed by the political unrest there.
But the Russians must have taken the situation seriously, sending the ‘elite of the elite’ to Kant in the first days of unrest in Kyrgyzstan.