The main trends in the rearmament of the Russian army in 2011-2020

R-36M – in the past the main missile of the Strategic Missile Forces

Since 2008, a large-scale reform of the armed forces has been carried out, and since 2011, the State Rearmament Program has been carried out. Both sets of activities were completed in 2020 with notable success. Thanks to them, over the past decade, the appearance and capabilities of the army have changed for the better in the most serious way. At the same time, in the course of updating weapons and equipment, several key trends and approaches were observed that determined the results of the reform.

At the level of concepts

By the time the reform was launched in 2008-2020. The Russian army had accumulated a number of serious problems, due to which the real combat capability was insufficient, and the costs turned out to be unjustifiably high. In this regard, within the framework of the new reform, a set of fundamental measures was proposed: it was necessary to reduce the size of the armed forces to the required level, restructure the organizational and staff structure of the troops and the administrative apparatus, optimize the system of education and training, etc.

Some of these steps were taken at the first stage of the reform, in 2008-2011. Some of these measures justified themselves and still have a positive effect on the state and capabilities of the army. Other decisions had to be canceled, and then the old structures were restored or new ones created. During the first stage of the reform, the foundation was laid for the next two stages, and in addition, it became possible to launch the next State Arms Program.

“Yars” in mobile design – the basis of the modern grouping of the Strategic Missile Forces

The program provided for the production of the transfer of new types of weapons and equipment to the troops, as well as the modernization of existing items. Directly for the purchase and modernization of the material part in 2011-2020. it was planned to spend more than 19 trillion rubles. In parallel with the procurement, the optimization and modernization of the defense industry was carried out, which required several more trillions.

In the course of the state program, measures were taken to improve the interaction between the armed forces and industry. So, the military acceptance was restored. Introduced mechanisms to control product prices. As reported by the Ministry of Defense, only in 2018-20. with their help, it was possible to exclude unjustified price increases and save more than 550 billion rubles. This money remained in the State Program and was used for new purchases.

Based on the results of all events in 2008-2020, we managed to fulfill all the tasks set. By the end of last year, the share of modern weapons reached the target level of 70%, and in some areas, significantly higher indicators were obtained. In particular, the Strategic Missile Forces carried out an almost complete upgrade of weapons.

Strategic forces

Within the framework of the reform and the State Program, more attention was paid to the development of strategic nuclear forces. At the same time, since 2010, such processes had to be carried out taking into account the START III treaty. Objective restrictions did not prevent the implementation of most of the plans and turn the strategic nuclear forces into the most powerful and modern component of the armed forces.

Modernized tank T-72B3 and its crew

By the beginning of the tenth years, the basis of the Strategic Missile Forces’ weapons was made up of missile systems produced in the days of the USSR. The newest were the Topol and Topol-M systems in stationary and mobile versions; the introduction of new complexes “Yars” began. To date, the number and share of old R-36M and UR-100N UTTKh have significantly decreased, the end of Topol operation is approaching, and Yars has come out on top in terms of quantity. The introduction of fundamentally new complexes “Avangard” has begun.

It is important that the Strategic Missile Forces were updated not only through the purchase of missiles. New objects of various kinds were built and various auxiliary models were adopted. Thus, the stability of mobile complexes has now been increased due to the presence of Typhoon-M anti-sabotage vehicles, Foliage demining complexes and other products.

The naval component of the strategic nuclear forces is developing through the construction of new strategic missile-carrying submarines, project 955 Borey. During the period of the State Program 2011-2020. the industry has delivered four such boats. Also, tests have been completed and the Bulava missile has been put into service for new submarines. These measures make it possible to gradually abandon the older SSBNs and their SLBMs without loss of combat effectiveness.

BTR-82A – an example of a successful modernization of the existing model

The development of the air component of the nuclear forces in the recent past was carried out mainly through the modernization of missile-carrying aircraft. By the end of the decade, it was possible to launch the processes of restoring production of the Tu-160, which makes it possible to count on the appearance of new machines – after several decades of waiting. New models of air-launched cruise missiles with a special warhead have been developed and put into service. Their non-nuclear versions have already been tested in a real operation.

Land vehicles

The ground, airborne and coastal troops are armed with tens of thousands of various combat and auxiliary vehicles – armored vehicles, artillery, command posts, cars, etc. The development of this park has been carried out in several main ways and has been generally successful.

The purchases of samples of new production took place in several areas and differed markedly from each other. Thus, it was possible to purchase large quantities of cheaper and easier-to-manufacture automotive equipment, which had a positive effect on the aging fleet. Completely new combat vehicles, more complex and expensive, were purchased in smaller numbers. A noticeable part of such purchases consisted of new types of armored vehicles for the Airborne Forces.

Repair and deep modernization became the main way of fleet renewal. So, the updated T-72B3 gradually became the most massive tank in the army. Similar projects for the modernization of the T-80 and T-90 have been developed and brought to a series. The same processes are observed in the field of armored vehicles for the infantry: in the units, the modernized BTR-82AM, rebuilt from the available BTR-80, are massively used. This approach allows you to save on the construction of new equipment, but get the most out of existing products.

The most massive modern fighter – Su-35S

In the past decade, the development of several promising families of armored vehicles began at once, now preparing for adoption. They can be viewed as yet another trend in the development of military equipment, creating a reserve for the next few decades.

Combat aviation

The aviation sector has seen significant progress over the past decade. Projects launched in the 2000s or earlier have gone through all the necessary stages and made it to the series. In 2011-2020. The Air Force / Aerospace Forces received hundreds of newly built aircraft. Purchased were Su-34 bombers, Su-30 and Su-35S fighters. In parallel, the repair and modernization of the existing equipment was carried out.

Similar processes have been observed in the field of helicopters. New attack Mi-28 and Ka-52, as well as transport Mi-8/17 were actively purchased. New modifications of this technique are being developed with various differences and capabilities. In the near future they will be brought to service.

Until recently, the development of long-range aviation was associated only with the modernization of equipment. It was only by the end of the tenth years that the process of building new Tu-160s was launched. A lot of efforts required the restoration of the production of transport Il-76 of the latest modification, but such equipment is already being supplied to the troops.

Su-57 – the future of front-line aviation

The past decade has been a period of rapid development of unmanned aircraft. At the beginning of the tenth years, only light UAVs entered service, incl. foreign development, and by the end of the decade it was possible to develop a lot of our own samples of all classes. The operation of the first reconnaissance and strike complexes of the heavy class has already begun, and a number of new models are expected to enter service.

In the recent past, the groundwork was created for the further development of aviation. So, the PAK FA project went through the main stages and successfully reached mass production. Mass deliveries of the Su-57 will begin in the near future. Work continues on the PAK DA bomber, the PAK TA transport aircraft and the PAK DP interceptor. All these projects were launched within the framework of the 2011-2020 State Program. and will be fully implemented in the future.

Fleet development

The growth of the defense budget had a positive effect on the development of the Navy. It became possible to speed up the already begun construction of ships, reduce the time for scheduled repairs and lay down new combat units. Thanks to this, in the last decade, the numerical strength of the surface and submarine forces has grown, as well as the auxiliary fleet has grown. However, the complexity of the construction and development of the Navy leads to the persistence of certain problems.

Diesel-electric submarine “Novorossiysk”, representative of the mass project 636.3

Due to the complexity and financial constraints, the construction of rank 1 ships is very limited. In this category, new submarines of various projects are widely represented, while in the field of surface ships, the results are much more modest. Destroyers of project 22350 are assigned to rank 1 – two of these ships are already in service and eight more will be transferred to the Navy later. In other classes, the situation is more modest. So far, we are talking only about the modernization of large ships.

It is possible to build destroyers, patrol boats, small missile ships, diesel submarines, etc. in fairly large series. At the same time, the lack of displacement is compensated by modern missile weapons. One of the main innovations of the last decade was the “Caliber” complex with a high impact potential, confirmed in practice.

In the previous State Armaments Program, it was possible to find opportunities for a major renewal of the auxiliary fleet. Rescue and hydrographic vessels, transports and tankers for various purposes, etc. have been built or are under construction.

Destroyer “Admiral Gorshkov” pr. 22350

Some of the projects launched in the previous State Program pass into the period of the new one. So, the long-awaited laying of the first domestic universal amphibious ships took place. The construction of warships of a number of types continues. Research work on the theme of the aircraft carrier fleet has intensified.

Seizing opportunities

Having survived two decades of problems and decline, by the early 10s the Russian armed forces had received a number of new opportunities of all kinds. In the following years, reforms were carried out with a number of changes in all key areas, and in parallel, the rearmament and modernization of the defense industry was carried out.

The first large and long-term State Armaments Program has been completed to date with positive results. The current state of armaments and equipment in our army no longer causes such concern as it did 10-15 years ago. On the contrary, there are numerous reasons for pride, and the renewed army has demonstrated its capabilities in a real conflict.

The observed processes and achievements show that the methods and approaches used in the previous State Program, on the whole, justified themselves. They ensured the solution of urgent tasks of restoring the defense capability, and also created a groundwork for further development. It is obvious that in the future the processes of reforming and rearming the army will continue. However, they no longer require record spending associated with an increase in the pace of work. Maintaining and increasing key indicators can now be carried out without rush jobs.

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