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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

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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  • Jesus

    The strategic procurement of mobile Yars and Sarmat would continue along with the deployment of the Avangard, I do not see US negotiating a new IMF agreement, and most likely will disregard New Start treaty commitments limiting launchers and total strategic warheads.
    The Air Force will start production of the Tu 160M, and will likely continue acquiring Suk 30, 34 and 35 and MIG 35 aircraft, the ground forces are undergoing remodernization, however, still using legacy Soviet tanks and a wide array of other armoured vehicles, new equipment coming through in smaller quantities.
    The navy will continue with submarine construction and slowly ramp up frigate and other ship construction on a more consistent basis.
    The number of high precision weapons will increase significantly, given the reliable and resilient platforms available to fire them.

    • Gary Sellars

      Naval programs are waiting for serial production of marine gas turbines by Saturn to replace Ukrainian engines. This is a 5-year project, but the end is in sight. Once engines become available we can expect the 3rd & 4th units of Gorhkov 22350s to be completed and a new series of hulls laid down. We might see additional Grigorovicth 11356s laid down as well to raise the Black Sea complement to 6 units from current 3. Export units to Indioa will still use Ukropi turbines I expect, to be purchased by India rather tahn the Russians shipyards.

      Su-57 will go thru a few years of intensive trials by RuAF to fully test the sensors and weapons before they commit to serial manufacture. By then the new 5G engines will be ready for service. Seppostani propaganda about “cancellation” is just that – puerile childiness. Unlike the Muricans who rushed preliminary models of F-35s into service, thge Ruskies will buy them when they are ready and when they do what they are supposed to. No cash will be wasted on interim junk that can’t be upgraded to full standard.

      Su-30SM and 35S will contuinue, and I wonuldn’t be surprised when new variants appear with Su-57 avionics and Izd-30 engines. Russia isn’t going for an all-stealth fighter force as they clealry belive taht advanced sensors and signal processing will defeat stealth in the medium to long run. Better to have a fleet of stealth aircraft to penetrate NATOstani airspace and take out tankers and AWACs (NATO ADS won’t have much anti-stealth capability) while using tooled-up non-stealth aircraft to operate defensively within Russian multilayered IADS. Deep offensive against NATOstani vital targets is best left to precision missiles, either Iskander (enhanced range variant bnow that the US is scuppering the INF) or GLCMs based on Kalibre.

      “Legacy” vehicles have a lot of capability in them, as demonstrated by the surviveability and effectiveness of T-90s in Syria. Ruskies have demonstrated that you don’t need a 65T steel behemoth costing an arm and a leg to be effective on the battlefield. They will adopt a mixed armoured force, ie a few heavy battalions of Armata family vehicles (not just T-14) and a larger number of T-90 and T-72 developments. They’ll modernise the T-80s for arctic use as they are gas turbine powered. They’ll do similar with Kurganetz medium and Boomerang wheeled systems, ie unified units of same-class vehicles to act in support of tank regiments as the threat enviuronment dictates.

      Sarmat will be a big force multiplier as its performance will be such that it can send Avangard
      HGVs on southerly trajectories and come at the Sepos from their poorly defended southern border. Sarmat will probably be able to carry 3 Avanagards, maybe reduced to 2 for South Pole trajectory.

      There is also the Poseidon super-heavy “torpedo”, essentially a long range high-spped underwater drone. Also the Burevestnik nuke-engine GLCM which promises to be able to fly through uncontested airspace and attack Seppoland from any direction after days or even weeks after launch – a nightmare for defense planners. You don’t need many of them to add another layer of complexity to the problems the Seppos will face trying to make a reality of their pathological nuclear primacy wet-dreams

      The author of this piece is generally pretty clueless.

    • Justin

      INF! Not IMF!

  • Tommy Jensen

    If contracts is signed in 2019 Russian weapons will normally be delivered in 2028, and then there is the famous training issue.

    • Gary Sellars

      Idiotic statement….

      Training issue? What training issue? FFS, these pro-seppo retards and their endless blabberings

      • Tommy Jensen

        Assad/Kremlin signed a S-300 contract in 2010, supplied in 2018-2019 + training period.
        Iran/Kremlin signed a S-300 contract in 2007, supplied in 2016, + training period.
        In addition the all the training issues and training problems, we have the spare parts problems and the maintenance problems. Which is a third stage.

        • Gary Sellars

          Don’t be a schmuck…. The S-300 contract was held up due to US pressure on Moscow. It had nothing to do with the equipment build or training.

          Iran was the same. Held up for political reasons.

          Russia has learned its lesson now. There is no point in acquesing to US demands as Russias concilliatory moves will simply be pocketed by the Seppos and no credit given. If the US is going to sledge Russia regardless of Russian concessions, there is simply no reason to co-operate futher.

          More pro-Seppo anti-Russia yabberings…

          • Tommy Jensen

            9 years is 9 years whatever the reason is. Lavrov´s talk about training problems is an exact copy of his statements on same issue in 2013-14.

            Russia has learned its lesson? I doubt that. We still see the “our equal partners” strategy unfolding after 18 years, resulting in spreading of Western cancer, destruction and death unchallenged. Next “7 wars in 5 years” in Latin-America.

          • Tudor Miron

            Tommy, I suggest that every time you feel an urge to repeat similar “smart” statements you look at Syrian map of 2014 and 2018. Also I suggest that you realize that world is bigger than Syria (while Syria is important part of this world).

        • Nosferatu

          both of those conracts were postponed for political reasons, havent you noticed?
          Russia basicaly still had hopes that the west would start to behave responsibly so they gave them a chance and showed it by not delivering S300. The west showed it sees it self as superior and arogantly continued its imperial policies. But worry not Putin will defeat the west by 2024.

  • Robert McMaster

    Russia should make a deal with China. Deliver advanced technology in return for manufacturing capacity. We give you the S-500 details and you give us a goodly number of S-35s. Yansen sub plans for China built destroyers. Iskanders for helocopter carriers. Why not? Good and fast for both parties.

    • Tudor Miron

      Robert :) China can’t build (so far) Su-35 even if they have the documentation. Same goes to subs etc. Things are not that simple.

      • Justin

        agree! They couldnt build a super-cruise engine! had to buy the SU-35 in order to TRY and copy it just as they copy everything else!

    • Chris Saunders

      China hasn’t even managed to built a successful indigenous multirole fighter jet engine. They are doing amazingly well in many areas of military technology, but some things like jet engines, tanks and submarines take decades of R&D, plus a solid history of development of those technologies . .

      • Robert McMaster

        This is a tiresome rebuttal. True, but besides the point. China has the money, motive, manufacturing capability and engineering capability. They will resolve their deficiencies. Maybe the Russians will be agreeable in helping speed that along. But things change fast and one of them is that the US military procurement is utterly corrupt.

    • Justin

      Fuck China, they copy everything! They bought the SU-35’s for their engines, not to keep! They asked russia FIRST for just the engines and Russia said “Nope”!
      China was unable to build a super-cruise engine!
      China might become a problem one day even for Russia (who has a shit load of oil and gas)!
      U want this “president for life” digital dictatorship, communist nation to get Russia’s tech too? They already stole USA tech via Hillary Clinton (pay for play).
      Careful what u wish for!

      • Robert McMaster

        The Chinese have risen on every front about as fast as is done in history. While the US spirals down into corruption, decay and internal division. Such tendencies will continue to play out. We’re well beyond the tipping point. Always uneven of course. Two steps forward, one step backwards, but still, the US world system will crumble, painfully into ruin.

        • Justin

          China inherited jobs from the US and Western nations industries!
          Globalists did this!
          They were chosen!
          Hillary Clinton when she was Sec of State sold (along with the CIA) China military secrets!

          You are wrong!
          You are wrong because u dont have all the answers!
          u dont have all the answers because u do not seek them!
          u just assume!

          43mins!
          Listen carefully!
          Im telling u the truth!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeVrMniBjSc

          This will become mainstream information the day that Donald Trump Declassifies the FISA application to soy on him!
          This is all connected!
          And ask urself why Seth Rich was killed and why! THE REAL REASON!
          if u so happen to not know anything about this, then truly, u have no real position to comment of China! What u know is what a normal uninformed person would know!
          dont take offence, just try to learn more! China is one of the main enemies and if u think about it carefully u will know im right!
          think about how China rose to power and why and by whom!

  • Robert McMaster

    Russia actually builds physical stuff like Toronto builds subway stations. Not much.

    Russia designs impressive hardware but can’t make any copies. After 15 years, 3 Yansens. In 8 years they will squeek out 14 Mig-35s. Two sorta decent destroyers. Yawn.

    Good on the missile defense, electronics, tanks. But we won’t be seeing any Su-57s in this century at the rate Russians can build stuff.

    r

    • Barba_Papa

      It all boils down to money. And Russia no longer has the bottomless budget that the USSR used to have. 80.000 T-34’s? No problem. Massive tank armies in East Germany? No problem. In today’s Russia stuff costs money and the Russian economy’s GDP is only at that of Germany. Which is still impressive from what it used to be. But not enough to field massive tank armies or to darken the skies with MiG’s. Russians like being proud of the motherland, and all that stuff. Solidarity between brother nations and standing in line for empty shows while T-72’s roll of the production line by the bucketload, not so much any more. So Russia has to invest what it has wisely. So the nuclear deterrent gets a lot, and the conventional armed forces only get new stuff piecemeal. Which makes sense, as the nuclear deterrent is what gives pause to Washington, not SU-57’s.

      • Robert McMaster

        Reasonably put. But Russia has the momentum in the development of new military technologies so what’s the point if you haven’t budgeted for actually making the stuff. Why stall out at the point where they could leverage you the power to change the rules of the game in your favour?

        • Barba_Papa

          Maybe Russia wants to keep its options open? Maybe that if they want to field a 100+ stealth fighters they at least have a working aircraft they could produce, rather then have to develop it first? And maybe also to make sure that all the clever scientists and engineers at Sukhoi are kept in business, rather then leave the company and seek employment elsewhere?

          • Robert McMaster

            OK. Keeping options open is valid. But encouraging the US by displays of what they consider to be weakness is not wise.

          • Barba_Papa

            Depends on how you define weakness. In the West weakness is to make a big show of force when challenged. The ‘OMGZ WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!’ reaction. The Russians seem more balanced. When you push them they won’t respond with a cruise missile strike that only hits empty buildings so you can look tough at the 8 o’clock news, they’ll just slowly but surely increase Syria’s air defenses to the point that the Pentagon now claims that the spread of Russian air defense systems is impeding their operations. That doesn’t make the 8 o’clock news, but it has infinitely more long term impact then a ‘we have to do something/we have to send a strong signal’ cruise missile strike.

            In the end its simple, when the Russian intervention in Syria began Assad only controlled the big cities, Latakia and the supply lines in between. ISIS controlled half, the other headchoppers the rest. Nowadays Assad controls 2/3rds of the country, ISIS is all but gone and the remaining headchoppers cower behind Turkey for protection, as Assad could steamroller Idlib in a matter of weeks. There’s also the Kurds, but they are already starting to see that selling themselves to the US is not a very productive long term strategy. The war in Syria is won, it’s only a mopping up operation that’s left. If that is a sign of Russian weakness then sign me up for that shit because its way better and productive then American strength,