“New Profile” Brigades

Representative "New Profile" Brigade

Not long ago someone asked what Russia’s “new profile” brigades look like.  There’s a good bit available on this. 

General Staff Chief Makarov signed off on the TO&E (org-shtat) as far back as three years ago, just a couple months after Defense Minister Serdyukov’s reforms were launched. 

The org chart for a typical motorized rifle brigade shown above is inelegant.  Some elements aren’t represented due to your author’s lack of graphic skills.  Among important missing items are the artillery command recce battery and air defense radar platoon.

The sniper platoon has been part of the new TO&E, but its existence was only emphasized by the media of late.

And this post doesn’t delve into precisely how postulated Russian light, medium, and heavy brigades might differ.

The manpower looks to be under 4,400 officers and men, 327 officers and 4,066 soldiers (including 1,005 sergeants) to be exact.  Russia’s officer corps bloat doesn’t seem to apply to serving out here “in the troops,” as they say.  Officers are only 8 percent of the brigade’s personnel. 

However, this representative brigade is (or was) commanded by a general-major (O-7), and had 5 full colonels, and 29 O-5s.  There are almost as many majors (43) as captains (68), and a fairly low number of senior lieutenants (181).

In terms of equipment, battalions remain battalions — 40 tanks or armored vehicles per.  The SP howitzers are 152mm 2S19 Msta-S or 2S3M Akatsiya and/or 122mm 2S1 Gvozdika.  MRLs are the venerable BM-21 Grad, in a battalion of three batteries with six launchers per.  Antitank artillery is towed and ATGMs are Konkurs (AT-5 / Spandrel) and Shturm-S (AT-6A / Spiral).  Air defense isn’t particularly modern consisting of batteries of 2S6 Tunguska (SA-19 / Grison), Strela-10 (SA-13 / Gopher), and Osa (SA-8B / Gecko). 

Other English-language observers have looked at the same data.  This one shows the organization and manpower distribution for a brigade’s sub-units (battalion-level and lower).  This one does much the same with some guessing at tactical organization and equipment.

P.S.  One forgotten thing here is how logistics and maintenance may, or may not, have changed at the brigade level with Serdyukov’s outsourcing, Oboronservis, and taking soldiers off noncore (i.e. non-combat) duties.  But the supply and repair battalions still appear on the org charts.

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