Russia to establish 40 more army brigades by 2020

Russian Deputy Defence Minister Nikolai Pankov announced on 30 September that Russia plans to establish 40 new army brigades by 2020, according to an official military statement.

Pankov indicated new brigades will be raised without increasing the strength of the armed forces above their current authorisation of 1,000,000 men. The Russian ground forces currently have around 300,000 personnel.

He also hinted that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) may re-establish a couple more divisions disbanded after 2009.

The MoD press release reported that the ground forces have purchased 600 weapons systems and other equipment in 2013.

In 2014, the army plans to buy 750 major systems, including Iskander-M tactical missiles, 9A53 Tornado-G multiple rocket launchers, and Tayfun and Tigr-M armoured vehicles. It intends to outfit brigades with Kornet anti-tank guided missiles, Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled twin guns, Verba man-portable air defence systems and Ratnik soldier systems.

Pankov concluded that the new brigades, arms, and equipment will “increase the power and combat readiness of the ground troops and take them to the level of the most modern requirements.”

Forty brigades would represent a very significant build-up in the current structure of about 70 ground combat brigades. It would satisfy those who lament cuts in Russia’s mobilisation system after 2009 and who believe the country is unprepared for large-scale conflicts.

Full article: Russia to establish 40 more army brigades by 2020 (IHS Jane’s 360)

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