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New Contracts For Weapons For Russian Military Should Be Signed In 2019

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New Contracts For Weapons For Russian Military Should Be Signed In 2019

Tu-95. Source: Izvestia/Pavel Bednyakov

Written by Ilya Kramnik; Originally appeared at Izvestia; Translated by AlexD exclusively for SouthFront (January 23, 2019)

The 2011-2020 State Armaments Program (SAP) implementation is approaching the end. In some instances, it will be completely or almost completely fulfilled, in some others there is a big gap between the implementation and the plan. Soon the Russian military will start receiving weapons under the newly reapproved 2018-2027 SAP. Izvestia attempts to assess its key provisions.

Strategic Clarity

The strategic component of SAP provokes the fewest questions. Modernization of strategic nuclear forces (SNF) remains a priority irrespective of situation, and the current political situation can only magnify its importance. It is evident that the SNF will continue to acquire Yars ICBMs in a mobile configuration, replacing the aging Soviet-era Topols. The deployment of silo-based Sarmat replacing the Voyevoda is expected in 2021.

2019 will see the deployment of the Avangard gliding hypersonic re-entry vehicle, whose capabilities were demonstrated in late 2018.

Deployments of Avangard and Sarmat will likely be limited in numbers, at least initially (in the case of Avangard, it was plainly announced that 12 ICBMs carrying it will equip two regiments). This is due to both systems being treated as a major bargaining chip during the expected resumption of negotiations on strategic arms control, with their fate being dependent on future US moves in the realm of ABM systems and new-generation offensive weapons.

New Contracts For Weapons For Russian Military Should Be Signed In 2019

Source: Izvestia/Aleksandr Kazakov

Among the “mass-produced” strategic systems one may also mention the Bulava SLBM and the Project 955 Borey SSBN. It was announced in 2018 that construction will continue in the Project 955A variant, and the navy ought to receive six more boats of this type, in addition to the eight already produced under the 2006-2015 and 2011-2020 SAPs.

Here, too, a lot depends on the future of negotiations, as the naval deterrent could greatly increase if a decision is made to keep in service not only the Boreys but also the Project 667BDRM Delfin armed with R-29RMU Sineva/Lainer SLBMs.

Air-Defense Sufficiency

As far as conventional forces are concerned, the modernization of air defense forces of the Aerospace Forces is proceeding the most smoothly. By the end of 2018, they received 54 S-400 battalions out of 56 ordered under the 2011-2020 SAP.

This system will likely remain in production, given the need to replace many other various S-300 models. The rate of acquisition will likely decrease, since the percentage of modern weapons has increased and there is no need to sustain a high procurement rate.

Moreover, S-400 is now being exported, and the circle of users will increase in the coming years.

The most expected novelty of the Russian frontline air defense should become the S-500 system. It was initially assumed that 10 battalions would be procured under the 2011-2020 SAP, but these plans appear to have shifted. Only 1-2 battalions will be available for testing by the end of 2020.

New Contracts For Weapons For Russian Military Should Be Signed In 2019

Source: RIA Novosti/Viktor Lyashenko

It is evident the S-500 will be the main “hero” of the air and missile defense procurement over the next decade, but the missile’s complexity and cost mean the deliveries will not be very large.

But the medium-complexity S-350, which should replace the aging S-300PS with 5V55 missiles, should be procured in larger numbers. The first systems will be delivered already in 2019.

Finally, the VKS continue to procure Pantsyrs, the gun/missile air defense systems protecting the larger air defense weapons and airfields as the “last line of defense”.

Aviation Deficit

Aircraft deliveries have been on decline since the first half of 2011-2020 SAP. Last year, VKS and Navy Aviation obtained 50 combat and combat trainer machines, far less than 2014-15 when they received 101 and 89 aircraft, respectively. Moreover, they received five non-combat machines, three passenger An-148 and two Tu-214 aerial command posts. Moreover, modernization of various fleets, from strategic Tu-160 and Tu-95 to attack Su-25, is continuing.

There is a whole range of questions concerning aircraft procurement under the next SAP, including the “suspended animation” of the Su-57 which apparently will be procured in “trace” quantities.

Even considering the huge volume of work that’s to be done on this aircraft, its delayed deliveries are hardly justifiable, since they threaten the air forces to lag behind in terms of their modernity, particularly in view of growing numbers of F-35s being delivered to the US military and US allies. Moreover, procurement of the Su-57 would make its export promotion easier.

Therefore clarifying the future of the Su-57 and a fairly sizable procurement contract are among the most expected parts of the new SAP.

New Contracts For Weapons For Russian Military Should Be Signed In 2019

Source: RIA Novosti/Valeriy Melnikov

However, deliveries of 4th-generation aircraft will continue, though in smaller numbers. Su-34 has already become the main aircraft of the frontal bomber regiments and will continue replacing the Cold War and local conflict veteran, the Su-24M. There is less clarity concerning fighter deliveries. The orders for Su-30SM and Su-35 have been nearly fulfilled, and in order for these machines to continue in production (or, likely, one of them), new contracts would be needed that ideally should be signed this year.

Izvestia already discussed helicopter procurement, and to prevent repetition, one may note that this year the VKS will receive the first of the new Mi-38 multirole helicopters. This machine still needs further development, and the helicopter program overall does not look entirely healthy, given production of two combat helicopter types. But once the Mi-28 and Ka-52 contracts are finished, here, too, one should expect clarity.

The most serious questions concern the non-combat aircraft. Izvestia already discussed the problem of new aerial tankers and whether the transport aviation can adequately support the Airborne Forces, but there is no plausible solution to these problems even on the horizon.

The Laggards: Army and Navy

Ground Forces’ situation remains difficult, though the latest Armata-family vehicles are already being delivered. The MOD signed a contract for 132 vehicles for troop testing.

The mainstay of the Ground Forces are still Soviet-era vehicles, and this will remain the case for the next 10 years though the MOD is attempting to modernize the old equipment through T-72, BMP-2, self-propelled artillery, and MRL upgrades.

The greatest hope concerning modernization are tied to the deliveries of “intermediate”-generation vehicles, such as the BMP-3 (including updated versions), T-90M tanks, Msta-S SP howitzers.

New Contracts For Weapons For Russian Military Should Be Signed In 2019

Source: Izvestia/Aleksandr Kazakov

Naval modernization is also experiencing very serious problems, particularly concerning surface ships where the number of ship construction programs is almost greater than the number of actual ships constructed. Here the responsibility is shared by all the decisionmaking institutions, starting with politicians and ending with the industry, without excluding the Naval High Command, but, unfortunately, there are no indications the crisis will be quickly overcome.

The most interesting chapters of the new SAP will be the least reported-on ones, such as the new command and reconnaissance systems, UAVs, communications, etc. These or other systems sometimes are noticed by the media and experts, but the time to make decisions is already upon us. 2019 ought to see the Armiya exhibition and the MAKS-2019 aviation exhibition, and it is likely answers to many questions about new contracts will be given then.

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  • Jacob Wohl

    TU-95s are so scary, 1940’s style bombers with very small munitions payload, no electronic warfare suite, and extremely old radar. C’mon now, only 6 cruise missiles? A B-1 lancer (regular bomber) can carry more than that, let alone a B-52 stratofortress or B-2 stealth bomber. This is what happens when the WW2 mentality never leaves your military – your tactics and weapons/gear remain the same and don’t evolve.

    • Jacob Wohl’s Nose

      More bullshit from u Jacob, ur using me to think while you should be using your brain instead! I can only supply air, not brain cells.

    • Carne João Pasta

      And despite the military advantages of the 3rd Reich/Wehrmacht, tell me who won that war again? Oh, right, it was the US/UK. Riiiighht.

    • jako

      TU-95s will carry high precision missiles not bombs
      This is not 1970’s Vietnam era with tons of bombs for “carpet bombing”

      “WW2 mentality” is in your comment
      Your would be “super” power is outgunned and only good in bombing defenseless shepard’s with AK-47
      You as NATO (30 countries gang) are scared to even come close to Russia…

      • Jacob Wohl

        so scared, you’re forgetting America is invincible with its soon to have fleet of >1,000 F-35s and 500 F-22s. These are the most advanced jets on the planet capable of destroying enemy air defenses and dominating the skies without being detected until it’s too late. F-22/F-35 can only be detected less than 15 km from the most advanced Russian radar and by that time, an F-22 has air to ground weapons with a range of more than 80km! Do the math.

        • jako

          F-35 “flying BRICK” even in thousands are harmless and need protection from F-15’s to survive any mission.
          They are not even combat ready yet. And with endless flaws they are biggest danger to the pilot’s only (who fly them)! :-))))))))))

          As for F-22s you have not more than 80 flyable at the moment of which are only half combat ready at any given time which is negligible number…
          As for ” destroying enemy air defenses” …well they are there in Syria for years already. Yet you COWARDS don’t have guts to attack handful of Russians only because of S-400 !

          Handful of Russians with S-400 have IMPOSED non-fly zone to whole
          US-NATO air-force on the Assad side of Euphrates and not single F-22 had guts to come even close !

          • Jacob Wohl

            US has 3000 fighters/bombers/tactical aircraft. Air superiority by quantity and quality. Deal with it.

          • jako

            You only forget that your “fighters” are too far away from Russia
            except for carrier groups naval “fighters” who can’t even come close to Russian (too dangerous) waters because Russia can sink any carrier.

            As for NATO “allays” in the first hour of attack all airports would be destroyed with tactical high precision nuke missiles.
            You had plenty of opportunity to send your “invisible” B2 to bomb Assad but you were to scared to challenge S-400!
            The same goes for F-22 & F-35.

      • Jacob Wohl

        A single F-22 detected and shot down 8 advanced F-16s in a combat test. these F-16s electronic countermeasures were also useless against the F-22 radar guided lock. So imagine what an F-22 can do against old outdated Russia Migs or Su-27s?

        • jako

          A decades old hangar queen !
          Yeah I wonder what overpriced jet developed 20 years ago …(with NO REAL COMBAT experience what so ever !!) can really do to any modern fighter jet?!

          If that extremely expensive jet (that WHITE ELEPHANT) was worth anything we would be seeing it in the real combat actions long time ago already!
          Those “MIG”s were there in Iraq yet nobody saw F-22’s…it was totally INVISIBLE in any real combat even against AK-47 armed goat keepers.

  • Jacob Wohl

    US AirForce Fighter jet/bomber/attack aircraft strength – 2000
    US Navy fighter/attack aircraft strength – 948
    US Marines fighter/attack aircraft strength – 319
    total strength – 3264

    Russian Air Force fighter/attack/bomber strength – 1565
    Russian Navy Fighter/attack strength – 162
    Total strength – 1727

    US nuclear powered Carrier fleet – 11
    Russian carriers – 1

    And keep in mind every single US fighter/bomber/attack aircraft is upgraded with the newest most advanced electronic countermeasure systems, survivability, avionics, and weaponry. Only about half or less of Russia’s aerial inventory has been upgraded past 1980’s tech.

    • Jacob Wohl’s Nose

      so in other words….. if Russia shuts off airspace with its thousands of S-300/S-400 launchers, and also destroys every US aircraft carrier, US Army will NOT stand any chance against the Russian Army on a infantry warfare scenario. US would run away with its tails between its legs without constant aerial/naval superiority. don’t forget the much more powerful faster n less susceptible to interceptions the Russian ICBMs are than the US icbms. Russia has many EW systems that can disable planes up to 400km. Russia Infantry > US infantry
      Russian tanks > US tanks
      Russian air defense/SAM > US
      Russian nuclear arsenal > US
      Russian hyper-sonic missiles/missile technology > US
      Russia electornic warfarees > US
      There you have it :)

      • Carne João Pasta

        My mind is blown! F’n hilarious moniker and dead to rights summation of the reality of the RF’s military prowess (which has much greater morale amongst its personnel, and by extension, its citizenry to which it defends.)

    • jako

      “unparalleled and unmatched Naval and Aerial superiority for years to come.”

      Such nonsense.
      Without air carriers capable to come closer to the Russian shores there is no “Naval and Aerial superiority”.
      Mach 10 hyper-sonic Kinzhal 2000 km + 4000 km bomber range (on MIG-31K or TU-22M3M can sink all your carriers far from Russia) not to mention all other
      anti-ship missiles.
      Also not even mentioning by far the best air defenses on the planet and their S-400,S-300, BUK, Pantsir, TOR and other air defense systems
      So WHERE is that “Naval and Aerial superiority”?!?
      It does NOT exist!!!
      US is not even threat to Russia in conventional weapons, that’s why you try so hard to push NATO in the mix.

      “Modernised Tu-22M3M Capable Of Carrying Mach 10 Kinzhal Missile”
      http://www.defenseworld.net/news/23976/Modernised_Tu_22M3M_Can_Reach_a_Speed_of_Mach_10#.XGksiWTxuCk

      • Jacob Wohl

        F-35 and F-22 greatly decreases the detection range for Russian advanced radars. A swarm of 10 or more F-35 can destroy a S-300 or S-400 battery easily. Also 1 single F-22 defeated 8 F-16s in a test. Imagine what it could do to outdated Russian mig-29s or su-27 planes with 1980’s avionics.

        • jako

          RUSSIAN non fly zone with S-400 is there is Syria WAITING or years that “invisible F-22, F-35” come to visit but they are to SCARED !

          Hyper-sonic “Kinzhal” is flying MACH 10 which is 10 TIMES FASTER than only US anti ship missile!
          No “Sea Sparrow” can hit “Kinzhal” too slow for that !
          You have NOTHING so fast to defend against “Kinzhal”
          Also jamming is impossible because at those speeds radar can’t even locate missile accurately because of heated PLASMA created around missile.

          “carriers will be escorted by many destroyers, cruisers, and corvettes plus dozens of F-35 and F-18 fighter jets”

          How NICE!
          Sheer kinetic energy will rip carrier apart and make huge holes on both sides of the ship. And if “Kinzhal”with nuke warhead than carrier will simply explode like big fireball !
          So they all can sit and watch from their “destroyers, cruisers” while air carrier is sinking !

          • Jacob Wohl’s Nose

            *sniff sniff, honk honk*

          • Jacob Wohl

            super scary

          • jako

            Not “super scary” as long as air carrier battle groups stay far way from Russian waters…
            Russians are not warmongering lunatics like some US necons who are trying to start new war every day.

    • Harry Smith

      In short, while most nuclear weapons can end a city, Russia’s Poseidon could end a continent.

      The whole story is here:
      https://nordic.businessinsider.com/the-real-purpose-of-russias-poseidon-nuclear-doomsday-device-2019-2

    • FlorianGeyer

      Jacob Wohl’s Nose , knows the true facts , Jacob :)

      • Jacob Wohl

        nose jokes? really?

        • FlorianGeyer
          • Jacob Wohl’s Nose

            Jacob is severely offended by this, crying salty tears and blowing his nose uncontrollably. Now I have to suffer :/ wish me luck… it’s not easy being his nose

          • FlorianGeyer

            I am told that Jacobs nose is a ‘ Nose for all seasons ‘.
            Spring is on its way and then Summer, when you can take revenge on Jacobs eyes with ‘Hay Fever’.

            That will keep him quiet. :)

          • Jacob Wohl

            Didn’t Hitler also make fun of Jewish noses?

          • FlorianGeyer

            I nearly forgot that, thank you. :)

        • Jacob Wohl’s Nose

          Yes really, Jacob. you should know I’m a very large part of you by now. as a matter of fact, your face is ON ME. instead of ur face being on ME.

          • Jacob Wohl

            get the heck out of here

          • Jacob Wohl’s Nose

            How can I get out of here? I’m YOUR nose! Silly!