Originally appeared at Red Star; Translated exclusively for SouthFront
Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu took part in the extended meeting of the Defense Committee of the State Duma.
The head of the defense ministry gave a detailed update to those in attendance about the results of the six-year large-scale work to strengthen the defense capability of the Russian state by increasing the combat power of our Armed Forces. In fact, Russia now has a completely different army compared to the one it had prior to 2013. Today we are publishing the full text of a speech by Army General Sergei Shoigu at an expanded meeting of the Committee on Defense of the State Duma of the Russian Federation.
Good day, dear colleagues!
Our regular meetings and close interaction allow us to quickly solve problematic issues in the sphere of the country’s military security.
With your support, the Ministry of Defense continues to systematically re-equip and enhance the combat capabilities of the Armed Forces.
In 2013, the level of modernization in the Russian Army was only 16%.
Modern samples of military equipment were purchased only in single copies. As expected, they were of poor quality due to the reduction of military representative offices. In 2012, the number of reclamations was 40% higher than in 2011.
In order to improve quality of life, the Armed Forces have carried out a synchronization of the time schedule and have been organizing events such as water sports and recreation, construction of infrastructure for training, training of specialists, provision of the necessary training materials and fund have funded service housing.
In accordance with the announcement from May 2012, the President of the Russian Federation has decided to develop and implement a Plan of Action by 2020 on a year-by-year basis.
As a result, after the 6th year the Armed Forces received 109 ICBM “Yars”; 108 submarine ICBM; three Borei-class strategic missile submarine cruisers; 57 spacecraft; 17 Bal and Bastion coastal missile defense systems, as well as 3,712 new and upgraded tanks and other armored combat vehicles; more than 1 thousand airplanes and helicopters; 161 surface warships, boats and vessels.
This allowed to rearm 12 missile regiments part of the Yars complex; 10 missile brigades part of the Iskander complex; 13 MiG-31BM, Su-35S, Su-30SM, Su-34 aviation regiments; three brigades part of the army aviation and six Ka-52 and Mi-28 helicopter regiments; 20 anti-aircraft missile regiments of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system; 23 divisions part of the the Pantsir-S complex; 17 battalions part of the Bal and Bastion coastal defense systems.
Revived in the modern form of military representative offices. Thus, the control over the quality of products by defense companies has been improved, the number of failures of new weapons and equipment has been reduced by 2.7 times.
By 2019, the undertaken measures allowed an increase increase in the number of carriers of high-precision long-range weapons on land, sea and in the air by more than 12 times, and high-precision cruise missiles – by more than 30 times.
By 2019, a complete radar field for the missile attack warning system in all strategic aerospace directions and for all types of ballistic missile flight paths was created around the perimeter of the Russian border. The Unified space detection and combat control system is being developed.
The new Angara space rocket system complex was created.
Practically all Ground Forces, as well as motorized rifle brigades and naval infantry brigades — a total of 35 formations — were provided with the Ratnik-2 modern combat equipment.
As a result, by the beginning of 2019, the level of equipment of the Armed Forces with modern weapons was increased by 3.8 times – from 16% to 61.5%. In the Strategic Nuclear Forces that amount is 82%, in the Ground Forces – 48.3%, in the Aerospace Force – 74%, in the Navy – 62.3%, Airborne Forces – 63.7%.
The consistent and systematic work carried out by the Ministry of Defense over the last six years, has allowed the creation of a new type of Armed Forces – the Aerospace forces; form the JSC “Northern Fleet”; three armies: a combined-arms, tank, air force and air defense army; four army corps; 25 formations; more than 150 military units and organizations.
Strengthened the composition of the troops in Crimea, which ensures the protection of the territory of the peninsula and the interests of Russia in the Black Sea. The Operational Command was created in the far sea zone, which provides control of the ships carrying out operations in the area of the Mediterranean Sea.
Currently, all military units are partially in constant readiness.
Let me remind you that this was not always the case. In 2012, the composition of the forces for immediate deployment contained only 16 formations. Instead of divisions, brigades were formed, staffed at a level of 50–75%. The time parameters for bringing them to alert within one hour were not achieved.
At that time, there were practically no long-range precision weapons in the Armed Forces. There were only 30 operational aircraft carriers, and only 37 aviation cruise missiles.
Due to the lengthy preparation of flight missions – about 44 days – effective use of these weapons was out of the question.
In regard to the equipment of the three units of unmanned aircraft in the Armed Forces, there were 91 obsolete complexes with unmanned aerial vehicles from the 1970s. According to their characteristics, they could not perform tasks in modern combat.
By 2019, the undertaken measures allowed an increase in the number of carriers of high-precision long-range weapons on land, sea and in the air by more than 12 times, and high-precision cruise missiles – by more than 30 times.
For the first time, during an operation in Syria, the Armed Forces carried out 166 strikes of long-range air and sea-based cruise missiles at terrorist targets.
At the same time, due to the introduction of modern data processing and transmission systems, we gradually reduced the time for preparing flight missions from a month and a half to 3 hours.
The equipping of bombers with new aiming and navigation complexes, such as the SVP-24, made it possible to use conventional aerial bombs as high-precision weapons with a deviation of no more than 10 meters from the target.
Arsenal restoration at the repair shops for only this year has returned 550 thousand missiles and ammunition to service. Their purchase would have cost the budget 63 billion rubles.
With the Strelets control and communications system the possibility of hitting targets in 8-12 minutes from the moment of their detection, that is, almost in real time, was realized.
A qualitative breakthrough in the development of unmanned aircraft created new opportunities for reconnaissance and destruction of enemy targets.
So, thanks to the laser illumination from the drones, it was possible to give a “second life” to the previously underutilized Krasnopol high-precision artillery shells. As a result, their consumption decreased – no more than 2 shells per target – and the range of use was increased.
In six years, 38 military units have been formed, armed with more than two thousand modern UAVs. Starting from this year, medium-range reconnaissance and strike complexes will begin to enter service.
Thanks to the Syrian experience, our helicopters received light multi-purpose guided missiles with a significantly increased range of up to 15 kilometers. This allows you to use them without entering the zone of destruction of air defense systems.
In total, we tested 316 models of modern weapons in Syria.
In 2012, the use of the Armed Forces in a remote region was out of the question. There was no one and nothing to fight.
At that time, operational training activities were conducted with low intensity. As a result of the disbandment of the Main Directorate of Combat Training, the unified leadership of the process of the troops’ combat training was lost.
In 2019, a continuous radar field of the missile attack warning system was completed around the perimeter of the Russian border.
Since 2013, the practice of sudden checks of combat readiness, including in the form of command-staff trainings, has been introduced to remedy the situation. Today, the number of annual combat training events has increased by six and a half times compared to 2012, up to 18 thousand. The number of annual interspecific maneuvers has increased by 2.7 times – up to 1500, and bilateral exercises 57 times – up to about 1,700.
From December 1, 2014, the National Defense Command Center of the Russian Federation began combat operation
A system of command and control centers of the Armed Forces was created. A network of secure video conferencing was deployed, with more than 210 fixed terminals and 70 mobile sets.
New digital telecommunications equipment was installed at more than 1,200 facilities of the Ministry of Defense – in virtually every formation and military unit, in all military educational institutions.
Today, there is a new recruitment system for the Armed Forces in operation. Since 2012, the number of contractors has increased by more than 2 times and currently stands at 393.8 thousand people.
At present, in each regiment and brigade, two battalions are formed, staffed with contract soldiers, and the third with conscripts. At the same time, recruits are not involved in combat missions.
Today in the Armed Forces there are 136 battalion tactical groups, staffed by contractors, ready to carry out any assigned tasks.
According to the results of the work carried out, the overall staffing of the Armed Forces compared with 2012 increased by 35% and was brought to 95-100%.
All commanders of military districts, combined arms armies, air force and air defense armies, division commanders, as well as 96% of the commanders of combined-arms brigades and regiments have combat experience.
The plans for the provision of permanent housing to servicemen was fully implemented. Over six years, the right to housing was implemented for 126.4 thousand people, of which 95.8 thousand received apartments, and 30.6 thousand – housing subsidies.
We have completed the creation of a network of modern military medicine.
Over six years, more than 240 objects of medicine and sanatorium-resort complexes were built and reconstructed. Over 32 thousand units of new medical equipment were delivered to military medical organizations, which increased the level of modernization by 2 times.
Let me remind you that in 2012, half of the military medical institutions required an improvement in the material and technical base, more than a third of the hospitals required reconstruction or major repairs. 26 hospitals were closed, the training of military doctors was discontinued.
The level of modern medical equipment was no higher than 18%.
Today, medical sub-units of the military units are being re-equipped with modern mobile medical complexes based on pneumoframe facilities with unified field medical equipment.
A multidisciplinary clinic was opened at the Military Medical Academy named after Sergei Mironovich Kirov, capable of receiving up to 35 thousand patients per year. This is the largest medical institution that has no analogues in Europe and is equipped with the most modern medical equipment. The clinic covers an area of more than 147 thousand square meters.
In 2018, 98 innovative diagnostic and treatment methods were introduced in the clinic. The capabilities of the clinic allow providing highly specialized care to more than 2.5 thousand patients.
Systems of sanitary-aviation evacuation were created using medical modules for transportation from the battlefield to the hospital. Telemedicine is in active operation.
Last year, the restoration of the military education system was completed, which allowed the high schools of the Ministry of Defense to carry out a full-fledged graduation. More than 12 thousand officers were sent to the Armed Forces.
The military training of 60 thousand students in 93 military training centers of universities without separation from study was also carried out.
The system of pre-university education is being actively developed. Since 2013, 15 pre-university educational organizations have been established, including four Suvorov military schools, three presidential cadet schools, three branches of the Nakhimov naval school, two cadet corps and three schools for gifted children.
Military political bodies were created in 2018, in accordance with the decree of the President of the Russian Federation. One of the most important areas of their work is the patriotic education of servicemen of the Armed Forces and the youth.
The Young Army Cadets National Movement (Yunarmiya) is expanding. Today it is represented in each subject of the Russian Federation and unites 347 thousand teenagers.
Between 2009 and 2012, the reform and reduction of the housing and construction agencies of the Ministry of Defense led to a decrease in the number of military infrastructure facilities under construction to 200–300 per year. Contractor debt to the Ministry of Defense amounted to 547.7 billion rubles. One ruble of budget funds invested in construction accounted for just over 20–25 kopecks of fixed assets introduced.
We managed to reduce the debt by 3.5 times, and today it is about 156 billion rubles.
About 100 thousand soldiers were on the waiting list for housing. At the same time, 26 thousand apartments were not wanted because of their unfortunate location.
Since 2013, the creation of the military infrastructure began being synchronized with the timing of the weapons and military equipment entering the troops.
The annual growth rate of construction associated with the introduction of buildings and structures in operation reached an average of 6% while reducing the amount of funding. This is achieved through the implementation of standard and modern technological projects. As a result, the construction cost of one square meter of the facilities of the Ministry of Defense does not exceed 32 thousand rubles, which is lower than in the whole country. One ruble invested accounts for 1 ruble 40 kopecks of the fixed assets that will introduced.
Today, military infrastructure is being built throughout the country, as well as in the arctic areas and military bases located abroad. A total of 475 objects with a total area of more than 710 thousand square meters were built in the Arctic on the Kotelniy Islands, Alexandra Land, Wrangel Island and Cape Schmidt over the six years. They house the military, special weapons and equipment.
We have completely fulfilled the plans for the provision of permanent housing for servicemen. Over six years, the right to housing was implemented for 126.4 thousand people, of which 95.8 thousand received apartments, and 30.6 thousand – housing subsidies.
The rate of accumulation of the specialized housing fund was increased by 5.5 times. Currently, it contains more than 275 thousand service dwellings.
Since 2013, housing has been provided to 97 thousand soldiers – members of the savings and mortgage system.
The system of outsourcing, which had already been established by 2012, was absolutely not justified.
The tasks of providing for troops in combat conditions were not solved. There was no one to feed the servicemen, the equipment was not repaired, fuels and lubricants were not delivered to the field outlets.
In fact, outsourcing flourished only where it brought in a good income and there were no obligations, for example, maintenance of housing and communal facilities, electricity and heating facilities. At the same time, outsourcing was engaged only in their operation without proper maintenance and repair. This was especially true in winter, when numerous accidents occurred or there were no fuel reserves. As a rule, entry into emergency mode was necessary to eliminate these shortcomings.
The Ministry of Defense had employed 124 thousand people as just cleaners and janitors. And if we add to this more than 100 thousand workers in the factories, then this number can be compared with the number of servicemen serving in conscription.
Today the situation is radically different.
Over the last six years, innovative approaches have been implemented in the Effective Army program. During this period, we have managed to cover the deficit of basic indicators on the items of material, technical and public utilities in the face of rising prices for these services.
All activities are carried out within the funds provided for the Ministry of Defense, without additional requests.
The annual effect of the work of the restored full-time military repair agencies amounts to about 1 billion rubles in budget savings.
The installation of 730 control, access control and food order systems in canteen military units gave an economic effect of about 3 billion rubles.
Equipment of all military camps with 111 utilities metering devices allowed for the saving of 5 billion 300 million rubles.
Arsenal restoration at the repair shops for only this year has returned 550 thousand missiles and ammunition to service. Their purchase would have cost the budget 63 billion rubles.
Since 2016, about 590 thousand pieces of new modern elements have been purchased and supplied to arsenals. This allowed the saving of 1 billion 400 million rubles.
The troops are fully equipped with modern appliances.
A bout 50 thousand showers were installed to improve the sanitary conditions and daily hygiene in military units.
By the end of 2020, the total economic effect of the activities of this program will be 544 billion rubles.
Since 2012, Russian society has shown a steady increase in the approval of the activities of the Armed Forces. At the same time, negative ratings dropped 4.5 times – from 31% to 7%. Sociological polls conducted over the last 2-3 years show that about 90% of the population of the country trusts the Russian army.
In the interests of further stable development of the Armed Forces, a new Action Plan for the Ministry of Defense for 2019-2025 was approved, providing for the implementation of over 50,000 measures. All activities are aligned with the parameters of the State Arms
Program for 2018–2027, they are interconnected and synchronized.
It is planned to create qualitatively new types of weapons and military equipment, superior in their characteristics to foreign analogues. As a result of the implementation of planned activities, the share of modern weapons by the end of 2020 will be increased to 70%.
All this has become possible thanks to the constant attention to the Armed Forces by the Supreme Commander – President of Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. He deeply and comprehensively knows the state of affairs in the army and navy and personally controls the most important directions of their development.
For six years now, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has held meetings twice a year with the leadership of the Armed Forces and the military industry. At these meetings, a thorough analysis of the state of affairs is carried out and measures are being developed for the further development of the Armed Forces, their equipment with modern weapons and military hardware.
We will continue to do everything to increase the combat capability of our army, to make the population of Russia confident that the military security of the state is reliably ensured.
The Ministry of Defense is grateful for the all-round support for the development of the Russian army. We expect that in the future you will contribute to the implementation of plans for the construction and development of the Armed Forces, strengthening the authority and improving the prestige of the military service.
Thank you for your attention.
* * *
After the speech, Army General Sergei Shoigu continued to the meeting with State Duma deputies in private. According to the press secretary of the head of the military department Rossiyana Markovskaya, the event lasted longer than two hours, which was more than the alloted time according to protocol. The parliamentarians representing all factions were interested in the deadlines for the arrival of the newest weapons to the troops, the situation in Syria regarding the military operation there, the development of Yunarmiya, the construction of the Main Temple of the Armed Forces and many other issues related to various aspects of improving the Armed Forces. “A very thorough, interesting conversation took place”, – Markovskaya summed up.
“In conclusion of the meeting, Parliament Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin presented the Minister of Defense with the Certificate of Honor, the decision to award was made by the Council of the State Duma,” the spokesperson said.