Kremlin.ru has the transcript of President Putin’s introductory remarks yesterday at a meeting on the land armaments portion of the State Armaments Program, the GPV. This is his second review of where things stand. Recall in mid-June he held a session on the Air Forces and the GPV.
Noting that “leading countries” are increasing the potential of their ground forces with new reconnaissance, C2, and “highly accurate” systems, as well as modern armor, Putin continued:
“I remind you in the framework of the state armaments program to 2020 it’s planned to allocate more than 2.6 trillion rubles to outfitting the Ground and Airborne forces. We have to reequip units and sub-units, to fill the troops with new equipment with these resources. By 2020 its share must be not less than 70 percent.”
“So 10 ‘Iskander-M’ brigade missile systems, 9 S-300V4 army brigade SAM systems, more than 2,300 tanks, nearly 2,000 self-propelled artillery and gun systems, and also more than 30,000 units of automotive equipment alone must enter the Ground Troops. Besides this, it’s planned to introduce new communications, C2, advanced reconnaissance systems, individual soldier systems.”
As previously, the president stressed that complete fulfillment on schedule and at agreed prices is “very important.”
Then Putin turned to three problem areas.
First, fielding new weapons systems is complicated by the involvement of many sub-contractors. A breakdown in one contract can cause an entire effort to fail. Putin cited the VDV’s new BMD and YeSU TZ as examples:
“[BMDs] still haven’t gone through state testing and, as a result, haven’t been accepted into the inventory. In turn, this is impeding development of practically all the VDV’s weapons sub-systems. Today I’d like to hear, respected colleagues, why the task of the state program in the area of armor development and supply to the VDV hasn’t been fulfilled.”
“Creating a unified command and control system for troops and weapons at the tactical level [YeSU TZ] is another example. The test model still doesn’t fully answer the requirements the Defense Ministry set out. And I’d like also today to hear how this question is being resolved.”
Second, the Ground Troops and VDV spend too little on R&D (10 and 5 percent of what they spend on serial purchases and repairs respectively). And the R&D money is put toward a small number of projects. The president wants more work on advanced soldier systems, infantry weapons, individual protection, and comms.
Third, and finally, there’s a mess in Russia’s munitions industry. There’s no long-term plan for ammunition makers, and this presents a problem for new arms systems. The time has come, Putin said, to determine how the Defense Ministry and enterprises in this sector will interact.
President Putin has really seized on the GPV. It seems near and dear to him. Or perhaps it seems more tractable than Russia’s political and economic problems. More amenable to his directive leadership and manual control.
The cases Putin mentioned are longstanding, well-known “poster children” for the problems of the OPK, i.e. easy and logical targets. One wonders what more pressing and acute, if less publicly advertised, military-industrial difficulties were discussed. Putin’s focus on R&D is also a bit odd when you consider it’s been blamed for waste and slashed.
Putin didn’t address strong rumors and denials of slipping the schedule for GPV 2011-2020 to 2016-2023.
If Putin keeps on the GPV, perhaps we’ll gain a somewhat sharper picture of how it’s shared out. It’d be interesting to learn where the RVSN and VVKO fit.