Compiled and analyzed by J.Hawk exclusively for SouthFront
This week’s most interesting developments concern international cooperation. King Abdallah II’s visit to MAKS-2015 demonstrates, aside from the failure of US efforts to isolate Russia, the possibility of Russia drawing Jordan over to its point of view concerning the security of the Middle East. With wars waging on its periphery, Jordan’s leadership can hardly be thrilled with the US efforts so far in that region. The visit by the submarine Novorossiysk to the Spanish naval base of Ceuta likewise exploits the tension between the US-UK “co-empire” and, well, The Rest of the World.
Other news of the week reveal the nature of the current military concerns and priorities. The most likely threat scenario remains a conventional threat somewhere on Russia’s borders threatening to escalate all the way to a nuclear exchange (as the most recent RVSN exercise suggests). Where that emergency might originate (Ukraine? Georgia? The Arctic?) remains to be seen…
1. RVSN conducts a major attack exercise
The exercise was intended to test the ESVOP, or the Unified WMD Attack Identification and Assessment System whose purpose is to monitor and ameliorate enemy WMD strikes against Russian targets. Participants in the exercise included 1200 troops with 200 pieces of equipment. It was the largest exercise of this sort in years.
The order to implement English-speaking Wednesdays at the VDV Academy was issued by the VDV Commander General Vladimir Shamanov, in order to improve the level of language proficiency among its officers in the most likely “target language.”
Location: Tarskoye, North Ossetia
The brigade’s equipment used in the exercise included T-90 tanks, BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, Msta-S self-propelled howitzers, supported by Mi-24 attack helicopters.
Each motorized rifle brigade is to establish a special battalion task force capable of immediate deployment. This development is no doubt the outcome of lessons drawn from the conflict in East Ukraine, where the danger of the fighting spilling onto Russian soil forced the Russian military to quickly increase its military presence in the border area. These battalions are to be predominantly staffed by contract soldiers. The standard operating procedures for such task forces are only being established, with Major Yuriy Kotyonok, assigned to a motorized rifle brigade based near Yekaterinburg, being one of the officers aimed at formalizing a practice that has been used by the Russian military since the First Chechen War.
The Central Military District forces tested the GLONASS-based 14Ts884 system used to manage march columns and logistics by Ground Forces units during a major exercise involving several thousand troops.
Two additional regiments will be delivered by the end of 2015.
7. High-altitude reconnaissance UAV from Myasischchev
Codenamed Obzor-1, this UAV is part of a classified Russian federal program aimed at bolstering Russian UAV capabilities. The Obzor-1 is intended to have a flight ceiling of above 10km and endurance of at least 24 hours.