Krasnaya zvezda called this story “Year of Accomplishments,” but might have called it Day of Military Acceptance . . . .
President and Supreme CINC Vladimir Putin visited the NTsUO for the first time on 18 December. He familiarized himself with the new national command center and its capabilities for accommodating and coordinating the work of the military and other high-level government organs.
Putin’s seat is in the upper balcony opposite the big screens.
The first real order of business, however, was reviewing fulfillment of the State Defense Order in 2014.
Recall this year the political leadership and Defense Ministry launched a quarterly exercise of enumerating what was procured the previous three months on what they call the Day of Military Acceptance (День военной приёмки).
It’s almost as though the Kremlin is irritated someone has audaciously suggested that Russian output of new armaments and other military equipment hasn’t been especially impressive in years past.
The Supreme CINC said:
“At recent meetings in Sochi we already noted that practically all Gosoboronzakaz tasks for this year have been fulfilled, and its general volume increased by almost half in comparison with 2013.”
Putin went on to say that 4,500 weapons, military, and special equipment were acquired in 2014, including:
- 142 aircraft;
- 135 helicopters;
- 4 submarines;
- 15 surface ships and boats / craft;
- 19 SAM systems;
- 590 tanks and BMPs;
- 3 Yars ICBM regiments;
- 7 modernized Tu-160 and Tu-95MS bombers.
It isn’t clear which four submarines the Russian president means. Probably the third Borey-class (proyekt 955A) SSBN Vladimir Monomakh and Improved Kilo-class (proyekt 636.3) diesel-electric Novorossiysk. But Borey unit 2 Aleksandr Nevskiy was accepted late last year. And it would be a stretch to accept the next two Improved Kilos before January.
KZ then turns to Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and his words before an expanded MOD collegium in the NTsUO.
He said Russian strategic forces received 38 intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2014 — 16 ICBMs and 22 SLBMs — most of the latter placed on Borey unit 1 Yuriy Dolgorukiy. He claimed that 56 percent of Russia’s strategic weapons are now “modern.”
Shoygu said Russia’s 14 UAV sub-units (companies or platoons) received 179 UAVs.
He expounded a bit on the Supreme CINC:
“The Ground Troops were supplied with two brigade sets of operational-tactical missile systems ‘Iskander-M,’ 294 modernized tanks, 296 other armored combat vehicles, two ‘S-300V4’ Ground Troops air defense systems, almost 5 thousand vehicles.”
“The Air Forces received 142 aircraft, of which 53 are multipurpose Su-30 and Su-35S aircraft systems, 16 Su-34, 28 transport and training aircraft of various types, 18 modernized fighter-interceptors MiG-31BM, 135 helicopters, including 46 combat and 72 transports.”
Mil.ru posted the videos and texts presented to Putin and the collegium. They address all of the priority tasks of the military this year. One, of course, is “Equipping with Modern Armaments and Military Equipment.” It provides the following data (different from Putin and Shoygu):
- 294 modernized T-72B3;
- 7 S-400 SAM systems;
- Yasen-class SSN Severodvinsk (accepted in 2013?!@#) ;
- 5 surface ships and 10 boats / craft of various classes.
This account mentions that the serviceability of weapons and equipment rose from 80 to 85 percent.
Accepting submarines at year’s end seems to enable Moscow to claim that they were accepted, or to count them as “produced,” in two years rather than just one.
All in all, more weapons and equipment were acquired in 2014 and 2013 than in 2012, 2011, etc. But it’s a little like comparing something and nothing. Serious procurement on a fairly wide front didn’t begin until after 2012.