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Russia’s Ministry of Defense held its end-of-the-year Board Session, and released a lengthy report on what was presented, including a plethora of videos and photographs.
Straight from the get-go, the report began by outlying the fact that NATO activity along Russia’s borders has increased.
Notably, US deployments were moved closer to Russia, from Germany to Poland and the Baltic states.
“In 2020, the geography of challenges for our country expanded, the role of military force in solving international problems increased. NATO sees Russia as main threat and is building up its military potential at our borders.
The United States began relocating combat units from Germany to Poland and the Baltic States.
By 15%, compared to the last year, the intensity of reconnaissance and demonstrative actions of American aircraft and ships near the Russian borders increased. The advanced presence of American ships in the Arctic region is being increased.”
To this end, Russia has to be vigilant, protect its borders and improve the level of modernization and equipment of all of its branches of military.
The nuclear triad is maintained at a level that warrants strategic deterrence. 95% of the Strategic Missile Forces launchers are in constant readiness.
Long-range aviation successfully solved the tasks of air patrol. This year, 50 flights of strategic missile carriers have been carried out along the established routes.
The high combat readiness of the strategic nuclear forces is ensured by the unprecedented level of modernity, brought to 86%.
Three missile regiments of Strategic Missile Forces have been re-equipped with modern Yars missile systems.
Rearmament of the 1st missile regiment with Avangard complex with hypersonic gliding systems continues.
The lead nuclear-powered submarine of the Borei-A project, Knyaz Vladimir, armed with Bulava ballistic missiles with a modern complex of means of overcoming antimissile defence, entered the Russian Navy.
Five modernized Tu-95MS missile carriers have entered strategic aviation nuclear forces.
A modern infrastructure has been created for the Yars and Avangard missile systems. This year, more than 950 buildings and structures were built in the interests of the Strategic Missile Forces.
In terms of land forces:
they received more than three and a half thousand new and modernized weapons, including 220 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, over one and a half thousand units of wheeled vehicles. A new motorized rifle division, missile and artillery brigades have been formed.
In total, 220 tanks and armored vehicles were delivered, more than 1,500 units of wheeled vehicles.
In terms of aerospace forces:
13 military units were formed, including a military transport aviation regiment and an anti-aircraft missile regiment.
147 aircraft were supplied, more than 150 samples of air defense equipment, including 4 S-400 anti-aircraft missile complexes and 24 Pantsir-S combat vehicles.
In order to develop the airfield network of the Armed Forces, runways at 14 airfields were reconstructed, more than 270 buildings and structures were built.
The Aerospace Forces began to receive the first modern complexes with reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial vehicles of medium-range “Inokhodec” and “Forpost”.
In terms of Russia’s Navy:
Two new modern submarines were delivered.
7 Surface ships, 10 combat boats, 10 support vessels and boats.
In terms of Naval defense, new Bal and Bastion coastal missile complexes were delivered and activated.
According to the number of coastal missile systems Bal and Bastion this year reached the figure of 74% of the need.
The Navy has created a motorized rifle division and a coastal missile brigade.
The entirety of the Russian Armed Forces increased its level of modernized equipment in comparison to previous years.
Thus, the task of rearmament, set by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief in the May 2012 Decree, has been completed. 70.1% share of modernity in the Armed Forces.
In order to further increase it, the Ministry of Defence is working to improve the methods of pricing.
This made it possible to exclude an unreasonable increase in the cost of government contracts in 2018-2020, to keep 551 billion rubles and to use these funds to re-equip troops.
In terms of future supply of the Aerospace forces:
For aviation equipment, early deliveries of 94 aircraft and helicopters by the end of 2024 are envisaged. Among them there are 22 Su-57 aircraft, the number of which will be increased to 76 by 2028.
In terms of future supply of the Navy:
The long-term problem of building surface ships of the far sea zone is being solved.
The use of advanced financing allows to solve the problem of a shortage of funds for the construction of ships in the far sea zone and to reduce the delivery time of modern aircraft.
Currently, 16 surface ships of the far sea zone are under construction and 19 are under madernization for another 6 state contracts will be signed next year.
In total, taking into account the current state contracts, the total number of built and modernized warships of the far sea zone will be 41 units.
At the beginning of next year, Russia will conclude long-term contracts for the additional purchase of high-precision long-range missiles, thereby doubling their number.
“Finishing the topic of rearmament, i would like to emphasize that our Armed Forces are among the most advanced and most technologically advanced armies in the world. In terms of modernity, we are higher than similar indicators of the armed forces of many states. At the same time, in terms of defence spending this year, Russia has moved from eighth to ninth place. The rearmament of the Army and Navy was carried out under conditions of restrictive measures. At the same time, there was a threat of non-fulfillment of the state defence order by defence industry enterprises. During the pandemic, 2 million 300 thousand specialists were in self-isolation.”
Despite COVID-19 and the fight against its spreading, Russia’s Armed Forces were subject to many surprise inspections, and took part in a large number of military drills.
The map below shows the locations of training grounds:
In total, over 18,500 exercises and trainings of various levels were held in the Armed Forces during the year. The intensity of joint exercises has increased by 5% and two-way exercises by 6%.
The main event of the combat trainings throughout the year was the Kavkaz 2020 maneuver.
It showed a high level of training of military command and control bodies at the strategic and operational levels, the ability of groups of troops to reliably ensure the military security of Russia on the south-western borders
Approximately 80,000 troops took part, more than 650 units of aircraft, more than 14,000 units of ground equipment and more than 65 warships and support vessels.
In terms of the potential hotspot of the near future: the Arctic, the Russian Ministry of Defense continues the systematic development of military and social infrastructure in the Arctic zone.
Over the past two years, more than 360 buildings and structures with a total area of more than 413 thousand square meters have been put into operation.
On the island of Alexandra Land, the construction of a military base was completely completed. This is the only object in the world at 80 degrees north latitude. It has a total of 334 buildings and structures.
The runway at the Nagurskaya airfield has been increased to three and a half kilometers. Facilities of the second stage of the military camp in Tiksi for 300 servicemen were put into operation.
Measures to eliminate environmental damage to the Arctic have been continued. During the year, 2,830 tons of scrap metal were collected.
Completed works on cleaning the territory of Cape Marre-Sale, Kildin Island and the Shantar Islands park. In total, since the beginning of these works, 26 thousand tons of scrap metal have been collected, more than 20 thousand tons have been exported.
In terms of Russian activities beyond the borders, it was a busy year.
Since November 10, in accordance with the trilateral agreements, the Russian military contingent has successfully conducted a peacekeeping operation in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. In the shortest possible time, the group of Russian troops deployed in the designated areas and began to perform tasks at 23 observation posts.
The Russian force grouping continues to act as a guarantor of maintaining peace in Syria. Together with the Turkish military, patrols are carried out along road routes in the north-east of Syria, as well as close cooperation in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
With the assistance of the Russian military contingent, the movement of civilian vehicles along the M-4 highway in northern Syria was organized. Since May 25, the Russian military police have escorted about 35 thousand cars and more than 66 thousand people.
Military personnel of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides held more than two and a half thousand humanitarian actions.
Military medics provided assistance to over one hundred and thirty thousand civilians.
The Hmeimim Airbase, and the Tartus Naval CSS point were modernized and effectively defended throughout the year.
A video of Hmeimim:
And a video of Tartus:
In conclusion for 2020:
“The rearmament of the army and navy, as well as the planned repair of military equipment, made it possible to increase the level of serviceability in the Armed Forces to 95%. 3,200 buildings and structures were put into operation. At the same time, the military construction complex implemented large-scale infrastructure projects for four to seven months.
In 2020, the total amount of capital investments transferred to users amounted to more than 275 billion rubles, which is almost twice as much as last year – thereby significantly reducing the volume of construction in progress. The identified issues and solutions are taken into account in the Ministry of Defense plan for 2019-2025.”
For 2021, the rough roadmap for the Russian Armed Forces is the following:
Put on combat duty in the Strategic Missile Forces 13 launchers with intercontinental ballistic missiles Yars and Avangard. At the expense of additional funding allocated for the production of these complexes, to reach the level of modernity of the strategic nuclear forces of 88.3%.
Complete the construction of infrastructure for the Yars and Avangard complexes in Kozelsk, Yasny, Uzhur, Novosibirsk and Yoshkar-Ola.
Build a test site near Severo-Yenisei for flight tests of the Sarmat missile system.
Start state tests of the upgraded Tu-160 aircraft.
To accept to the fleet two nuclear-powered submarines of the Borey-A project Knyaz Oleg and Generalissimus Suvorov, equipped with ballistic missiles Bulava.
General Purpose Forces:
Deliver more than five hundred modern armoured combat vehicles to the Land Forces, Airborne Troops and Coastal Forces of the Navy. Form an anti-aircraft missile brigade in the Southern Military District.
Deliver more than a hundred new and modernized aircraft to the Aerospace Forces and naval aviation.
Complete the construction of a high-readiness radar station in Vorkuta and put it on experimental combat duty.
Start work on the construction of the Yakhroma radar station in Sevastopol and separate nodes for over-the-horizon detection of air targets in Kaliningrad and Zee.
Take into the Navy four submarines, six surface ships, 22 boats and support vessels.
The year promises to be busy, with NATO, and not only, coming in from every direction.
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