Tag Archives: ДА

Defense News

Some Russian defense news from Monday, April 16, 2012 . . .

Bear Bomber Landing

Mil.ru covered the start of Far East LRA command-staff training (KShT).  Crews from Belaya, Tiksi, Seryshevo, and Kamennyy Ruchey will fly on the Litovka range in Primorskiy Kray.

Tu-95MS, Tu-22M3, and Il-78 aircraft will rebase, patrol, and conduct aerial refuelings and cruise missile launches until April 20.

Krasnaya zvezda described a recent Western MD comex.  Signals Troops built an autonomous multilevel network of nodes connecting open and secure comms for Ground Troops’ brigades and regiments, Baltic and Northern Fleets, and Air Forces and Air Defense throughout the region.

The defense daily said these forces were connected in a single, online information space.  Training ended with a videoconference.  About 7,000 troops and 1,500 pieces of equipment participated.

Mil.ru noted the arrival of 152mm Msta-S SP howitzers in the Southern MD.  They are replacing 20 2S3 Akatsiya howitzers.

There’s a lot of media attention to the renewal of arms and equipment in Russia’s South.  You can find one comprehensive review here.

RIA Novosti picked up Aviastar-SP’s announcement that it’s renovating six An-124 / Ruslan transports for the Air Forces by 2014.

This modernization will give them newer engines and bring the aircraft to the An-124-100 level.

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LRA Command-Staff Exercise

Today Russian Long-Range Aviation (LRA or ДА) began a large three-day command-staff exercise (CSX or КШУ) under Air Forces CINC General-Colonel Aleksandr Zelin’s direction.  The CSX involves units from Siberia, the Far East, but also Lipetsk, and 40 aircraft including the Tu-160, Tu-22M3, Tu-95MS, Il-78, A-50, MiG-29, MiG-31, and Su-27SM.  They will operate both from their home and temporary bases, and fly over central Russia, the Far East, and extreme northern parts of the Russian Federation.  A-50 crews will control the airspace for the exercise.  Il-78 tankers will conduct mid-air refueling, and ranges at Pemboy near Vorkuta and at Nogotay in Irkutsk Oblast will be used for missile launches and other weapons training.

Frontal, Army Aviation to OSK Commanders

Air Forces CINC, General-Colonel Aleksandr Zelin had many announcements yesterday on the eve of his service’s holiday, but none more interesting than the not-completely-surprising news that frontal and army aviation will transfer from the Air Forces to be directly subordinate to Russia’s four new ‘operational-strategic commands.’

Zelin said:

“The Air Forces will remain a service of the Armed Forces, its Main Command [Glavkomat or Главкомат] will continue functioning, the transfer of four Air Forces and Air Defense commands [i.e. armies] to the commanders of the new military districts — Western, Southern, Central and Eastern is planned.”

“Frontal and army aviation is transferring to the commanders of these districts and, accordingly, to the unified strategic commands.  As regards the aviation component of the RF strategic nuclear triad — Long-Range Aviation, it, like Military-Transport Aviation and the Operational-Strategic Command of Aerospace Defense [ОСК ВКО] will remain immediately subordinate to the Air Forces CINC.”

So what’s happened?

After years of lobbying, army aviation is leaving the Air Forces, but not exactly returning to the Ground Troops.  It is, however, returning to a Ground Troops-dominated environment in the OSKs.

The OSKs look more and more like U.S.-style unified, combatant commands, and the RF armed services like force providers.  

One supposes that the Air Forces, like the Navy, will have to continue playing a very large role in developing doctrine, tactics, acquisition, training, and operations and maintenance of frontal aviation at least, and probably army aviation as well. 

Zelin had more fragmentary comments on this subject.  The Air Forces CINC will retain:

“. . . immediate authority to direct combat training of all aviation and air defense forces, development of all directive documents, and also material-technical support.”

“This entire system is arranged just to optimize command and control and concentrate the main forces and means in the troops [i.e. OSKs].”

He added that these measures must:

“. . . prevent theft and waste of material and financial means and guarantee their strict centralization.”

One wonders how aspects of this ‘material-technical support’ (MTO) role for the Air Forces CINC will track with General-Colonel Bulgakov’s new MTO empire in the increasingly civilian Defense Ministry.