Future Russian army could deploy anywhere in the world – in 7 hours

   March 19, 2015 

Artist concept of future Russian Special Purpose Aircraft (Concept: Aleksey Komarov, Customer and Technical Manager: Volga-Dnepr Group)

Artist concept of future Russian Special Purpose Aircraft (Concept: Aleksey Komarov, Customer and Technical Manager: Volga-Dnepr Group)

In the future, a fleet of heavy transport aircraft will reportedly be capable of moving a strategic unit of 400 Armata tanks, with ammunition, to anywhere in the world. And probably at hypersonic speed, enabling Russia to mount a global military response.

According to a new design specification from the Military-Industrial Commission in Moscow, a transport aircraft, dubbed PAK TA, will fly at supersonic speeds (up to 2,000 km/h) and will boast an impressively high payload of up to 200 tons. It will also have a range of at least 7,000 kilometers.

The PAK TA program envisages 80 new cargo aircraft to be built by 2024. This means in a decade Russia’s Central Command will be able to place a battle-ready armored army anywhere, Expert Online reports, citing a source in the military who attended the closed meeting.

Artwork: Aleksey Komarov

Artwork: Aleksey Komarov

One of the main tasks of the new PAK TA is to transport Armata heavy missile tanks and other military hardware on the same platform, such as enhanced self-propelled artillery weapons systems, anti-aircraft missile complexes, tactical missile carriers, multiple launch missile systems, and anti-tank missile fighting vehicles.

The PAK TA freighters will be multilevel, with automated cargo loading and have the capability to airdrop hardware and personnel on any terrain.

Diplom – Alexey Komarov from Alexey Komarov on Vimeo.

A fleet of several dozen PAK TA air freighters will be able to lift 400 Armata heavy tanks, or 900 light armored vehicles, such as Sprut-SD airborne amphibious self-propelled tank destroyers.

READ MORE: Russia’s new Armata tank on Army 2015 shopping list

Russia's T-14 Armata Main Battle Tank. (A still from Youtube video by arronlee33)

Russia’s T-14 Armata Main Battle Tank. (A still from Youtube video by arronlee33)

“With the development of a network of military bases in the Middle East, Latin America and Southeast Asia, which is expected to be completed during the same time period (by 2024), it’s obvious that Russia is preparing for a full-scale military confrontation of transcontinental scale,” Expert Online says.

A source who attended the closed meeting of the Military-Industrial Commission told the media outlet on condition of anonymity that he was “shocked” by the demands of the military..

Sprut-SD airborne amphibious self-propelled tank destroyer. (RIA Novosti / Vjacheslav Afonin)

Sprut-SD airborne amphibious self-propelled tank destroyer. (RIA Novosti / Vjacheslav Afonin)

According to the source, the PAK TA project has been ongoing for several years now and will eventually supplant the currently operating air freighters. But such a global mission statement for national military transport aviation has never been voiced before.

“It means for the first time we have the objective of creating an operational capability to airlift a full-fledged army to any desired place on the planet,” the source said. This means delivering a task force the size of the former NATO and the US troops in Iraq, in a matter of hours to any continent. “In the context of the current military doctrine that defies comprehension,” the source said.

READ MORE: Putin: Talking to Russia from position of strength is meaningless

Artwork: Aleksey Komarov

Artwork: Aleksey Komarov

The initial PAK TA specification entailed building subsonic air freighters with a conventional 900 km/h cruising speed and a moderate 4,500-kilometer range.

The program involves the creation of wide-body freighters, with payloads varying from 80 to 200 tons, to replace all existing Ilyushin and Antonov cargo aircraft.

The only operating aircraft with a comparable payload is the Antonov An-225 Mriya (up to 250 tons), but this is a one-off aircraft created specially for the Soviet Buran space shuttle program.

Artwork: Aleksey Komarov

Artwork: Aleksey Komarov

Last year, it was reported that future military air freighters will be developed by the Ilyushin Aviation Complex, with some experts saying the company may base designs on the Il-106 cargo plane (80 tons) project that won a government tender in the late 1980s, but was abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Now, with ambitious specifications and objectives, the PAK TA is a truly next-generation transport aircraft.

Deputy minister: Russian defense minister will answer if US defense secretary makes a call

 

March 19, 11:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the official, Russia does not seek confrontation between US and NATO

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

“If, for example, minister of defense of the United States decides to make a call to Mr. Shoigu, I am sure there will be no negative answer from his side,” Antonov said. Shoigu sent a letter congratulating Ashton Carter with appointment in February this year.

Channels and connections between Russia and US still exist, but they are not used, Antonov said.

Russia does not seek confrontation between US and NATO, but “they must change their behavior,” Antonov said. “It was not Moscow [that] has decided to freeze military relations between Washington and Moscow,” he added.

Antonov also reminded that Russia’s Defense Ministry has invited its American colleagues to the 4th International Security Conference in Moscow on April 16-17.

Russian arms industry targets new markets

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Russia sold weapons worth $10 billion in 2014, a 9% increase over the preceding year, says IHS Jane’s Annual Defence Budgets Review. However, Rosoboronexport says that in 2014 Russian arms exports were $3 billion higher than the figure published by IHS Jane’s. Against the background of what the United States achieved during this period, even this figure loses its impressiveness. In 2014, US arms manufacturers sold weapons worth $23.7 billion, racking up a 19% growth over the previous year. In other words, even if we make an adjustment, in terms of absolute value ​​(American weapons being more expensive), the growth of US sales dynamics are almost two times higher than that of Russia’s.

Russia to resume construction of small landing craft with air cushion of “Zubr” type

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Russia will resume construction of small amphibious hovercraft of project 12322, the delegation of “Izumrud” (part of “Morinforsist-Agate”) said on Wednesday at the 13th International Exhibition of aerospace and naval industry “LIMA-2015″.
“We have received a preliminary application for the creation of seven sets of multi-function integrated fire-control radar “Bagira-M”, intended for these vehicles,” the source said.

Russia’s Su-30 fighters upgraded to carry supersonic cruise missiles

March 19,  LANGKAWI
India has started flight tests of the first Su-30MKI multirole fighter modified by Russian and Indian specialists to carry BrahMos-A supersonic cruise missiles

© ITAR-TASS/Marina Lystseva

LANGKAWI /Malaysia/, March 19. /TASS/. Russian Sukhoi Su-30 (Flanker-C) multirole fighter jets are getting an upgrade to carry supersonic cruise missiles. The planes will be modernized both for the Russian Air Force and the Indian military aviation.

India has started flight tests of the first Su-30MKI multirole fighter modified by Russian and Indian specialists to carry BrahMos-A supersonic cruise missiles, BrahMos Aerospace Russian-Indian Joint Venture Head Sudhir Mishra told TASS on Thursday at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA’2015) in Malaysia.

The BrahMos Aerospace head said the flight tests for the Su-30 fighter jets would be over this year.

India has allocated $1.1 billion to purchase 200 BrahMos-A missiles to be installed on Indian Air Force Su-30MKI fighter jets. A total of 42 Su-30 fighters will be modernized at the production facilities of India’s HAL corporation to carry supersonic cruise missiles.

In Russia, military aircraft, including Su-30SM fighters, will be modernized at the Irkut aircraft corporation to carry supersonic cruise missiles, Irkut CEO Oleg Demchenko said at the LIMA’2015 air show.

When asked whether the Russian Air Force would follow India’s example to modernize Su-30SM to be fitted out with supersonic cruise missiles, the Irkut head said the Russian Defense Ministry was working out a relevant plan of measures and looking for financing sources to carry out modernization.

Intensity of Russian submarines’ combat patrol missions up 50% — Navy’s commander

 

March 19,  MOSCOW
The intensity is maintained at a level that guarantees Russia’s security

© Lev Fedoseyev/TASS

MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. The intensity of Russian submarines’ combat patrol missions has been up 50% since the beginning of 2014, the Russian Navy’s commander, Admiral Chirkov, said on the occasion of Submariner Day.

“I can say that the intensity of combat patrol missions by strategic and multi-role nuclear-powered submarines in the World Ocean is maintained at a level that guarantees the security of our country. Moreover, I should say that in January 2014 through March 2015 the intensity of combat patrol missions by our submarines has been up by 50% in contrast to 2013,” Chirkov said.

“This is necessary and natural for guaranteed security of the state,” Admiral Chirkov said. “We do not indulge in saber rattling. We are just regaining our foothold,” he said.

Chirkov said last year alone ten crews were trained for Northern and Pacific Fleet submarines, expected to patrol various parts of the World Ocean.

US to Start Training 780 Ukrainian National Guard Soldiers Shortly – Biden

Ukrainian servicemen ride atop an armoured personnel carrier (APC), as they return from the frontline in eastern Ukraine, in Kiev March 11, 2015

US Vice President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that the United States would conduct training sessions for 780 Ukrainian National Guard soldiers as soon as possible, a statement on Poroshenko’s website said Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The announcement was made during a phone conversation between Biden and Poroshenko.

 

“Joseph Biden spoke about the US president’s decision to conduct training sessions for 780 soldiers of Ukraine’s National Guard that are to take place shortly,” the statement said.According to Poroshenko’s website, Biden also said that the first set of military vehicles will arrive in Ukraine in late March “to boost the defense capabilities of Ukraine.”

The United States, alongside the United Kingdom, Canada and Poland, has earlier expressed the intention to send military advisers to Ukraine to train local troops.

On Tuesday, US Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges reportedly said that the training of three Ukrainian army battalions had been delayed in order to give more time for the implementation of the ceasefire agreements between Kiev forces and the independence supporters of Ukraine’s southeast.

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Indian Air Force to Use Russian-Indian Missile by 2016

Brahmos Missiles

The short-range supersonic BrahMos cruise missile was jointly developed by Russia and India and has been in use by the Indian Navy since 2005.

 

LANGKAWI (Sputnik) — The Indian Air Force plans to start mounting BrahMos cruise missiles on its aircraft in 2016, BrahMos Aerospace CEO Sudhir Mishra told RIA Novosti Wednesday.The short-range supersonic missile was jointly developed by Russia and India and has been in use by the Indian Navy since 2005.

“The missile is scheduled to be adopted in 2016, ten more tests will be carried out by the end of the year,” Mishra said.

 

He added that the next test flight is due in May with the aircraft carrying the missile launcher. This will be followed by flights with the equipped missiles and, eventually, test firing them.India is Russia’s biggest arms trade partner, with more than 70 percent of India’s military equipment coming from Russia or the former Soviet Union, according to Russia’s state arms exporter.

The two countries are taking part in the major Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA’15), currently underway in Malaysia.

The Russian-Indian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile
The Russian-Indian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

Azerbaijan Becomes Europe’s No. 2 Arms Importer, Gets Most From Russia

Military vehicles make their way down a road during a military parade marking Armed Forces Day in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2011.

Azerbaijan was the second-largest arms importer in Europe over the past five years, according to a new eye-popping report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, an arms trade research group.

Situated along the western banks of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan accounted for 13% of all of Europe’s arms imports over the last five years, behind only the United Kingdom.

 

While overall arms imports have been decreasing across Europe, Azerbaijan imported 249% more arms in 2010-2014 than it did in 2005-2009, the report stated.

The former Soviet state also is the world’s fourth-largest importer of drones since 1985, trailing only the UK, India and Italy.

Those numbers have contributed to the swell in Azerbaijan’s defense budget, which has seen the second-largest increase in the world over the past ten years, according to SIPRI.

Azerbaijan acquired 85% of its arms from Russia – a particularly striking figure considering Moscow’s alliance with Armenia, which is bracing for renewed conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh.

Despite a 1994 ceasefire brokered by Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia have continued to engage in skirmishes over the region, which lies in Azerbaijan but is populated primarily by ethnic Armenians.

 

The SIPRI report also found that between 2010 and 2014, there were 439 drones exchanged around the globe compared to 322 in the five years prior to that. Armed drones with the capacity to kill account for 11 of the 439 drones, or 2.5%.

There were 35 different countries importing drones in 2010-2014, nine more than 2005-2009.

Israel was named the largest exporter of drones, delivering 165 worldwide in 2010-2014. The US came in second with 132, followed by Italy’s 37. Since 1985, Israel has accounted for 60.7% of drone exports worldwide.

Despite the increase in trading, drones made up just 0.3% of all major arms trade between 2010 and 2014, according to SIPRI.

Russia, US unlikely to agree on new START treaty soon

 

March 17, 
Nuclear weapons of Washington’s NATO allies should now also be taken into account, Russian deputy defense minister says

© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Korotayev 

MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Russia and the United States are unlikely to reach new agreements on reduction of strategic offensive arms soon, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday.

“It seems to be unlikely to reach new agreements between Russia and the United States in the near future, if ever. Russia’s security now depends not only on the balance of strategic nuclear weapons of Russia and the United States. It depends on many other factors, such as US global missile defense plans, the situation in the area of sea-based long-distance cruise missiles and other types of long-distance high-precision systems,” he told journalists.

He said that nuclear weapons of Washington’s NATO allies should be taken into account too. “Other important aspects are the balance of conventional forces and numerous military bases with developing military infrastructure in the proximity of the Russian borders,” Antonov noted.

Of special concern, in his words, are plans to deploy weapons in outer space.

“All nuclear powers are being involved in the process of reduction of nuclear forces. Can Russia ignore all these factors? Of course, no,” he said. “Serious consultations on the entire spectrum of these problems are needed before serious talks.”

Deputy Director of Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department on Security Affairs and Disarmament Vladimir Leontyev said last week Russia was not looking at reviewing its obligations under the START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). “At a certain stage [in the future], Russia will probably have to analyze observance of START treaty in connection with [NATO’s] plans to deploy a missile defense system in Europe,” Leontyev said. “However, the issue is not on the agenda at the moment. “We are attentively following and analyzing the situation, and will continue doing so.”