Popovkin Details the GPV

Yesterday First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin gave RIA Novosti more details on Russia’s procurement plans under the State Program of Armaments (GPV), 2011-2020.  He said 78-80 percent of the 19-trillion-ruble Armed Forces portion of the GPV will go to procurement.   

Popovkin said Russia plans to develop a new liquid-fueled heavy ICBM to carry up to ten warheads, and having a service life of up to 35 years.  Former RVSN Commander General-Lieutenant Andrey Shvaychenko talked about a new liquid heavy as far back as late 2009, and the issue’s been debated in the Russian military press since. 

Popovkin said the Defense Ministry plans to accept the Bulava SLBM and the first two Borey-class SSBNs this year.  There will be 4-5 Bulava launches this year.  Recall to date only 7 of 14 Bulava tests have been successful.  Addressing the missile’s past failures, Popovkin said there were many deviations from the design documentation during production.  He also said Russia plans to build eight SSBNs to carry Bulava by 2020.  He was unclear if this includes the first two Borey-class boats.

Popovkin said work on a new strategic bomber is ongoing, and he claimed a technical design will be complete in 2015.  He said this work isn’t being rushed.

Popovkin told RIA Novosti  the Air Forces will receive more than 600 new aircraft and 1,000 new helicopters by 2020.  In 2011, Su-27SM, Su-30M2, Su-35S, Yak-130, and Su-34 aircraft are to be procured.  More than 100 helicopters, including Mi-26 transports and Mi-28N and Ka-52 combat helicopters will be acquired this year, according to Popovkin. 

Popovkin said a contract for the first ten experimental PAK FA (T-50) aircraft will be signed in 2013, with serial production of 60 aircraft beginning in 2016.

The GPV includes the purchase of ten S-500 air defense systems.  Popovkin said this system will begin testing in 2015, initially with missiles from the S-400.  Fifty-six S-400 units will also be purchased by 2020.  This sounds like seven 8-launcher battalions.   

Popovkin said the GPV will buy 100 ships – including 20 submarines, 35 corvettes, and 15 frigates – for the Navy.  He didn’t specify types for the other 30 ships, and it’s unclear if new SSBNs are included in these numbers.  Popovkin reconfirmed Russia’s plan to buy two and build two Mistral amphibious ships.  Recall also the Black Sea Fleet alone is supposed to get 18 new ships including proyekt 636 diesel-electric submarines, proyekt 11356 and 22350 frigates, and proyekt 11711 LSTs.

Popovkin also mentioned plans to buy a limited number of French FELIN soldier systems, with the intent of Russia producing its own version by 2020.  He looks for it to equal the advertised capabilities of U.S. and German equivalents.

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3 responses to “Popovkin Details the GPV

  1. Dmitry Gorenburg

    It seems to me that Popovkin is calling for 56 battalions of S-400s, rather than 56 units. The term used in the article is “divizion,” which I understand as a battalion, rather than a unit. Or am I missing something? (That would also square with the mention that four are already in service — I think that’s four battalions, rather than four units.) Of course, I can’t imagine they’ll actually build 56 battalions (i.e. 450 units) of S-400s in 10 years. They were supposed to add four battalions in 2010 but only managed to get two completed.

  2. They are indeed playing a lot of semantic games with S-400 deployments — talking about ‘regimental sets’ and ‘units.’ Regarding the number 56 in the GPV, RIA Novosti wrote ‘sistema,’ which would imply a single 4-missile launcher, one of 8 in a standard SAM battalion. Other media outlets wrote ‘yedinitsa’ which would be one unit, a single launcher. For its part, KZ (normally precise if not scintillating journalism) said ‘divizion,’ or battalion. This is almost certainly a mistake. Right now, it’s pretty much inconceivable that they could (for production reasons), or would want to (because of the S-500), produce and field 448 S-400s. Recall that GPV 2007-2015 called for just 18 battalions by 2015, and this ain’t happening. VVS CINC Zelin talked about 5-6 battalions in 2010, and that didn’t happen either. Seven battalions (56 launchers) over the next 10 years sounds realistic. There are two battalions currently in service since 2007-2008, and the deployment of two more slated for March will make a total of four.

  3. Pingback: Popovkin provides more details on armaments program « Russian Military Reform

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