Tag Archives: Bases

Visit to the 26th Missile Brigade

Mil.ru provided quite a few good pictures of the new base of the Russian Army’s 26th Missile Brigade at Luga in the Western MD.  They were taken during Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu’s recent inspection trip.

Shoygu with Western MD Commander General-Colonel Anatoliy Sidorov (photo: Mil.ru)

Shoygu with Western MD Commander General-Colonel Anatoliy Sidorov (photo: Mil.ru)

Yes, what follows is ripped-off photo journalism, but the pictures are too good to pass up.

Iskander-K Cruise Missile Canister Being Transloaded (photo: Mil.ru)

Iskander-K Cruise Missile Canister Being Transloaded (photo: Mil.ru)

Iskander-M Ballistic Missile Being Transloaded (photo: Mil.ru)

Iskander-M Ballistic Missile Being Transloaded (photo: Mil.ru)

The Brigade's "Tent-Mobile Shelters" (photo: Mil.ru)

The Brigade’s “Tent-Mobile Shelters” (photo: Mil.ru)

The army erected what are termed “tent-mobile shelters” at the missile brigade’s obviously new base.

"Tent-Mobile Shelters"(photo: Mil.ru)

“Tent-Mobile Shelters”(photo: Mil.ru)

Shoygu Points Something Out, Colonel on Right Likely the Brigade's Commander (photo: Mil.ru)

Shoygu Points Something Out, Colonel on Right Likely the Brigade’s Commander (photo: Mil.ru)

Fuel Hoses Hang Inside the "Tent-Mobile Shelter" (photo: Mil.ru)

Fuel Hoses Hang Inside the “Tent-Mobile Shelter” (photo: Mil.ru)

A Last Chat Inside the "Tent-Mobile Shelter"(photo: Mil.ru)

A Last Chat Inside the “Tent-Mobile Shelter”(photo: Mil.ru)

Shoygu wanted to see that his orders to build essential basing facilities for new arms and equipment are being followed.  The 26th brigade not too long ago received its Iskanders.  Mil.ru noted that the brigade’s vehicle storage area has space for 200 pieces of equipment including the Iskanders.

The defense minister noted that “tent-mobile shelters” also need to be heated, so the missile launchers are always ready.  One wonders, of course, how they’ll hold up against heavy snow, ice, etc.

Shoygu repeated familiar words about synchronizing the arrival of new systems like Iskander with the selection of contractees to operate them.

He checked on the construction of concrete weapons bunkers, but nothing of this is shown or shared.

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Defense Ministry Collegium

Wednesday Defense Minister Serdyukov presided over a collegium dedicated primarily to military bases, housing issues, and flight security, according to available accounts.

Mil.ru reported Serdyukov and his subordinates discussed the deployment of troops in military towns, the outfitting of garrisons, and preparations for the coming heating season.

Rossiyskaya gazeta was more forthcoming stating that the Defense Ministry owes fuel suppliers the not-small amount of 4.5 billion rubles for earlier deliveries.

According to the paper, the Defense Minister repeated past declarations that the military plans to consolidate its current inventory of 7,500 facilities into 300 by concentrating personnel and units in larger bases and garrisons.

Serdyukov, in Kursk, said five units numbering 5,000 men will move to a military town near that city.  But he also indicated new infrastructure (barracks, housing, medical, recreation, and parking facilities) has to be built to accommodate them.

So it’s not just as easy as ordering them to go there.

Mil.ru wrote that the Defense Minister called provision of permanent housing to former servicemen in accordance with the president’s and prime minister’s instructions a “priority mission.”  He provided more details:

“Since the beginning of the year, 34 thousand servicemen have received apartments.  The number of territorial housing support organs has increased, the normative-legal base is being completed, and the simultaneous transmission of essential information to all levels of housing presentation has also been organized in the interest of fundamentally improving resolution of housing issues.”

Serdyukov also demanded that military leaders eliminate “violations of time periods for making decisions on the receipt of distributed housing by servicemen.”

Serdyukov met with President Putin a week ago to discuss military apartments.

According to Kremlin.ru, Serdyukov told the Supreme Glavk some 54,000 servicemen were owed apartments at the start of this year, and 33,000 have gotten them.  He said the handover of 1,500 to 1,650 apartments is completed every week, and, at that rate, he believes the housing line will disappear by early next year, at the latest.

Then Putin asked his Defense Minister if he dealt with excess bureaucracy in the process of giving out apartments.  Serdyukov replied that 37 additional offices are open for this purpose, and paperwork requirements have been cut.

Putin and Serdyukov seem focused only on procedure and process problems in handing over housing.  But military men have refused large numbers of  proffered apartments because they aren’t ready to inhabit, lack essential infrastructure, or are simply in places they have no desire to live.  It is more likely than not housing will still be an issue well into 2013 and beyond.  For background on substantially larger amounts of money required and 167,000 men awaiting housing, see Kommersant.ru here and here.

But back to the collegium . . .

RG noted the talk about flight safety came against a backdrop of more new airplanes and helicopters arriving — reportedly 150 in 2010 and 2011, 190 thus far in 2012, and perhaps 1,200 over the next seven years.  RIA Novosti hinted the fatal crash of a new Mi-35 helo, blamed on weather and human error, might have prompted discussion of aircraft accidents.

Kachalkin on VTA Prospects

General-Lieutenant Viktor Kachalkin

This week marked Military-Transport Aviation’s 80th anniversary, and VTA (or ВТА) Commander, General-Lieutenant Viktor Kachalkin made a variety of comments regarding the branch’s future.

Now relatively little’s been said about this subject.  VVS CINC, General-Colonel Zelin insists VTA’s a priority, but hasn’t ventured numbers or dates for new aircraft.  His deputy, General-Lieutenant Sadofyev’s alluded vaguely to modernization of existing aircraft and acquisition of 50 percent new aircraft.  But nothing more specific.  If VTA is the red-haired stepchild of the Air Forces, at least the VDV loves VTA – loves to hate it, that is.  General-Lieutenant Shamanov and other VDV officers never tire of saying that shortfalls and shortcomings in air transport are turning their branch into no more than elite ground troops.

At any rate, on to what Kachalkin said . . . he hopes new An-70 and deeply modernized Il-76MD90A transport aircraft will enter the VTA inventory starting in 2014.  The latter is an updated Il-76MD with new PS-90A-76 engines.  It also goes by the name Il-476.  In the more distant future, VTA looks toward buying a new An-124-300 variant.  The VTA commander believes all this will translate into “dozens” of new aircraft by 2020.

Kachalkin also plans on the “deep modernization” of existing transports into Il-76MDM and An-124-100 variants.

In a Krasnaya zvezda interview, he sums it up this way:

“If the volumes of new aircraft and deep modernization of the existing aircraft inventory announced in the program [GPV-2020] are assessed, then the growth in VTA capabilities is obvious.”

Later he adds:

“Despite the fact that the service life of the greater part of the current VTA aviation inventory is figured at 2020-2030s, the percentage share of new aircraft will grow steadily.  In this context, the mobility of the Armed Forces will increase overall.”

In his KZ interview, Kachalkin mentioned the impact of the “new profile” on his base structure.  VTA now has only one first rank air base at Tver, which is home to multiple aviation groups using basing locations at Pskov, Orenburg, and Taganrog.  As recently as late 2009, the VTA commander spoke of first rank bases at Tver and Orenburg, and second rank ones at Pskov and Taganrog.

Kachalkin indicated an aviation group of not less than 15-20 VTA aircraft will take part in the upcoming Tsentr-2011 operational-strategic exercise.

A couple contradictory points worth noting were also made this week . . .

Deputy Air Forces CINC, General-Major Viktor Bondarev predicted An-70 purchases in 2012-2013, according to RIA Novosti.  The wire service also reminded readers that Defense Minister Serdyukov has said not before 2015-2016.  One guesses Kachalkin split the difference with 2014.