Foreign customers eye Russian robots after Syria operation — state arms exporter

Uran mine-clearing robot

Uran mine-clearing robot

© Russian Defence Ministry’s Press and Information Department/TASS

BANGALORE (India), February 16. /TASS/. Foreign customers have started to file more applications for Russian-made Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers, the export modification of Kalibr cruise missile systems and Uran mine-clearing robots, the head of the delegation of the Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport at the Aero India 2017 exhibition said on Thursday.

Rosoboronexport delegation Head Sergei Goreslavsky said that the Russian military hardware had proved its worth as “reliable, qualitative and trouble-free weaponry capable of successfully performing missions in real combat conditions.”

“Naturally, this has been noticed by foreign customers and, correspondingly, the number of inquiries to Rosoboronexport about the types of armaments used in the operation has increased. From among aircraft, customers have displayed interest in multipurpose and combat helicopters, multipurpose fighter jets, fighter-bombers and unmanned aerial vehicles,” Goreslavsky said.

“Higher interest has been displayed in Club-N and Club-S integrated missile systems [the export modification of Kalibr missiles], as well as in various Russian robotized complexes, including from the Uran family,” the Rosoboronexport official said.

Russia launched its anti-terror operation in Syria in late September 2015. The operation involved upgraded Su-30SM and Su-35 multipurpose fighter jets, modernized Su-24 frontline bombers and Su-25 attack aircraft, Su-34 fighter-bombers and also deck-based Su-33 and Mikoyan MiG-29K/KUB planes.

Besides, Russia used multipurpose and attack helicopters, including Mil Mi-28N and Kamov Ka-52 gunships while drones were employed to reconnoiter and monitor the situation. The strikes against militants in Syria were delivered with Kalibr cruise missiles both by surface ships and submarines of the Russian Navy while the Russian military used Uran robots for mine-clearing operations.


Russian naval aviation pilots destroyed over 1,200 terrorist facilities in Syria

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January 06, 12:55 UTC+3
“Over the two months of their participation in combat operations, naval aviation pilots have carried out 420 sorties, including 117 in nighttime,” Commander of Russia’s Group of Forces in Syria said

MOSCOW, January 6. /TASS/. Russian naval aviation pilots have performed 420 sorties and destroyed 1,252 terrorist facilities over the two months of the aircraft carrier naval group’s participation in the Syria operation, Commander of Russia’s Group of Forces in Syria Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov said on Friday.

“Over the two months of their participation in combat operations, naval aviation pilots have carried out 420 sorties, including 117 in nighttime. Actually all flights were performed in complex weather conditions. A total of 1,252 terrorist facilities have been destroyed,” he said.

The Northern Fleet’s aircraft carrier naval task force comprising the heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, the heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy, the large anti-submarine warfare ship Severomorsk, and also the Black Sea Fleet’s warships and support vessels has been accomplishing missions since November 8, 2016 to fight terrorists in Syria, he said.

“The strikes were delivered against infrastructure facilities, the amassments of militants and military hardware, fire emplacements and strongholds of illegal armed formations,” the commander said.

“The Black Sea Fleet’s frigate Admiral Grigorovich staying in the Mediterranean Sea delivered a missile strike on November 15, 2016 with Kalibr cruise missiles against facilities of the ISIL [the former name of the Islamic State terrorist organization outlawed in Russia] on the territory of Syria. All the targets were destroyed,” he said.

The missions of delivering strikes against ground facilities directly from aboard warships were accomplished by deck-based aircraft for the first time in the history of the Russian Navy, the commander said.

Russia’s aircraft carrier naval group accomplished missions in Syria

The tasks of Russia’s aircraft carrier naval group in Syria have been accomplished, Kartapolov said.

“The tasks assigned to the aircraft carrier naval task force have been accomplished,” the general said.

The aircraft carrier’s naval group’s warships and vessels are fully provided with all material supplies and are technically fit, he said.

“The Northern Fleet’s aircraft carrier naval group is ready for further operations,” Kartapolov said.

During its stay in Syrian waters, the Russian aircraft carrier naval group established close interaction with Russia’s air task force and Bastion coastal defense missile systems, he said.

“A unified air defense system has been created jointly with the resources and capabilities of the air defense system of the Russian grouping in Syria on the basis of modern S-300 and S-400 complexes to reliably protect facilities on the ground and at sea,” the commander said.

All types of defense, multi-service force interaction and comprehensive provision were practiced as Russia employed aircraft groups both from aboard the aircraft carrier and from the coastal aerodrome, he said.


German FM Welcomes Relaunch of NATO-Russia Council to Avoid Confrontation

September 2 – German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday he was satisfied with the relaunch of the NATO-Russia Council. He added that it is necessary to restart the dialogue on specific subjects, including negotiations on arms control. “I am happy that thanks to your help as well, the NATO-Russia Council is working again, at the ambassadorial level so far,” Steinmeier told reporters at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“In order to be sure that we are not rolling back to confrontation,” the minister added. The NATO-Russia Council was created in 2002 as a consultative mechanism. NATO suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation with Russia after the Ukraine crisis broke out in April 2014. The first Russia-NATO Council meeting since the relations deterioration, held at the level of permanent envoys, took place on April 20 but failed to yield any significant results due to the sides’ disagreement on a number of geopolitical issues. One more meeting of the Council at the ambassadorial level was held in the Belgian capital of Brussels on July 13.

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Russian Defense Ministry publishes video footage of snap check firing practice

Firing practice in Russia’s Southern Military District

MOSCOW, August 29. /TASS/. Troops involved in the snap readiness check that began on August 25 have completed with redeployment and begun firing practice, the Defense Ministry’s press-service said.

“Troops have started live firing practice using standard firearms and equipment at proving grounds of the Southern Federal District. Taking part in the exercises are tanks, armored personnel carriers, air defense rocket and artillery systems, mortars and grenade launchers,” the Defense Ministry said.

Military transport aircraft have airlifted the personnel and hardware to the designated areas and proving grounds. Bombers, fighter-bombers and front-line aircraft are getting ready for training flights. Rockets and bombs will be used, the Defense Ministry said.

The snap check of combat readiness is being held in the Russian armed forces on August 25 through 31. The Southern Military district, some units of the Central and Western military districts, the Northern Fleet, the Air and Space Force and paratroops are taking part. The snap check is part of preparations for the strategic exercise Kavkaz-2016 due in September.


Symmetrical Response: Russia Will Get Division of Troops 85 KM Off US Border

Far Eastern Command College in Amur region
Last week, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed that the Russian military plans to establish a coastal defense division in Chukotka, eastern Russia by 2018. Respected independent defense analyst Sergei Ishchenko comments on the news, and on how it may ultimately affect the security situation in the region.
      Speaking at a Defense Ministry meeting on Tuesday, Shoigu confirmed that “there are plans to form a coastal defense division in 2018 on the Chukotka operational direction.” The minister added that this decision was actually made in July 2015, and is part of a plan to establish a unified system of coastal defense stretching from the Arctic in the north to the Primorye Territory in the south.
The system, according to Shoigu, is intended “to ensure control of the closed sea zones of the Kuril Islands and the Bering Strait, cover the routes of Pacific Fleet forces’ deployment in the Far Eastern and Northern sea zones, and increase the combat viability of naval strategic nuclear forces” operating in the area. In other words, the new division will help ensure the defense of Russia’s sparsely populated eastern coast.
Commenting on the defense minister’s announcement in an analysis for the independent online newspaper Svobodnaya Pressa, defense analyst Sergei Ishchenko pointed out that so far, no other details have been provided on this future military force. “However, it’s obvious that this is not just ordinary news, not least because what we’re talking about is the creation of a serious military force just a stone’s throw away from the United States: only the Bering Strait will separate the Russian coastal defense division from Alaska. At its narrowest point, that’s only 86 km away. Therefore, it’s worth taking a closer look at this announcement.”
     What’s more, the military analyst pointed out that the news is important because today, the Russian military “does not actually have a single coastal defense division. Therefore, there is no model on how it may look, and how it will be staffed. The only similar force is based in Crimea – consisting of the 126th Separate Coastal Defense Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet (formerly the 36th Separate Brigade of the Ukrainian Navy, which changed sides almost in its entirety to Russia in 2014). But a brigade-sized force is far from being a division. Its combat capabilities are much more modest.”
    “Secondly,” Ishchenko noted, “we have had a short-lived but not particularly successful experience in creating coastal defense divisions as part of the Soviet Navy.” The analyst recalled that in the late 1980s, in accordance with the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, the Soviet military transferred four infantry divisions to the Navy, placing them in the charge of the Baltic, Pacific, Northern and Black Sea Fleets.
    “Of course, the personnel, armaments and equipment used by these suddenly ‘navalized’ forces did not change, and remained typical Soviet ground forces’ fare. It’s just that their range of tasks now also included the defense of sea and ocean coasts, fighting enemy landing parties, and being prepared for their own deployment on enemy shores in the second tier after the naval infantry.”
      In reality, these coastal defense divisions did not have the time to prepare to carry out these tasks,” the analyst noted. “The two that stood at Klaipeda [Lithuania] and Simferopol [Crimea] did not survive the collapse of the USSR.” As for the divisions inside Russia proper, the last of them, the 40th Division of the Pacific Fleet, was disbanded in 1994.
      Apart from that, the Chukotka region has already stationed another Soviet military force – the 99th Motorized Rifle Division, which while not operating formally as a coastal defense division, defended Anadyr and its environs beginning in 1983.
      Back then, Ishchenko recalled, the Soviet Union and the United States were locked in the Cold War struggle. In a situation where US intermediate range missiles based in Western Europe were capable of reaching the Soviet capital in just over five minutes, the Soviet defense ministry responded with plans to deploy its own intermediate range missiles, the SS-20 Pioneer, against Alaska and the northern states of the US West Coast, in Chukotka.
      “The kill zones of our missiles included the US early warning station at Clear, Alaska, the Cobra Dane radar on Shemya Island in the Aleutians, the Parks early warning radar in North Dakota, and the US nuclear missile sub base at Bangor, near Seattle. That was enough to force Washington to put on its thinking cap.
      ” The 99th Motorized Rifle Division was deployed to the Far East to keep an eye on the Pioneer missiles, and to defend the strategically important Anadyr Airport, which then held the strategic bombers patrolling the northern Pacific near US borders.
    “What were the conditions like for our motorized infantrymen in these parts? During the winter, which in Chukotka lasts nearly 9 months, the division’s tanks, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles were buried so deep under the snow that it was necessary to search for them using improvised wire feelers. Those Moscow journalists who visited the area in the 90s named the 99th Motorized Rifle the ‘Frozen division’. But at the same time, neither would it be easy for anyone who dared to encroach on Soviet Chukotka. Across the Bering Strait, the US Army fielded the 6th Light Infantry Division.”
     In the early 1990s, the expert wrote, “the winds of Gorbachev’s perestroika blew everything away – including the Pioneer missiles, the Anadyr airport, its top-secret Object C nuclear storage facility, and the 99th Motorized Rifle Division itself, which was disbanded in 1996.” For many years, “the polar winds whistled through Anadyr’s abandoned barracks, among the military equipment, and the clubs, cafeterias and homes of the officers…”
        “The restoration of the area’s garrisons began with the airfield. The military returned there in 2014. Anadyr has once again become an airbase for the Tu-95MS and Tu-160 strategic bombers, which regularly visit from the Engels air force base along the Volga. Returning the Pioneers is impossible – they were all destroyed. But a division of troops, it’s now clear, will come here once again – this time not the 99th Motorized Rifle, but a coastal defense division belonging to the Pacific Fleet.”
        Some may ask why the Russian military would seek to place a division’s worth of troops in such an inhospitable area. The answer, Ishchenko suggested, isn’t hard to find. “To find the answer to that question, it’s enough to look across the border. In Alaska, we see a scattering of important objects belonging to the US Army. First of all, this is the Elmendorf Air Force Base at Anchorage, which stations not only aircraft, but the command of the 11th Air Army and the Alaskan zone of NORAD. Next door is Fort Richardson, which houses the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) of the 25th Infantry Division.”
     “And most important, of course, is the air base. It’s from its well-heated hangers that the newest fifth generation US fighter, the F-22 Raptor, rises into the air to intercept the Russian strategic bombers which have resumed regular patrols along the edges of US Arctic borders.”
      Effectively, the analyst suggested, “if we suppose that alongside the coastal defense division, Russia deploys the Iskander mobile short range ballistic missile system, the US F-22s may no longer have time to intercept the Russian bombers, while US missile warning stations could unexpectedly go dark.” In any case, he noted, “the staff at the Elmendorf base, and the troops at Fort Richardson will go to bed at night with an uneasy feeling, as they did during Cold War days.
       ” Perhaps then, US military officials may get at least a taste of the concern Russian military planners feel when they see large-scale NATO exercises along Russia’s western frontiers, and parades involving US troops just a few hundred meters from Russia’s borders.

Russia Appoints New Commander of Military Forces in Syria

The Russian Federation on Friday morning appointed Lieutenant General Aleksandr Zhuravlev as the new commander of their military forces in Syria.

Lt. Gen. Zhuravlev’s prior military experience, other than the fact he has played an integral role in the training of the Syrian Armed Forces, has been a major contributor to his appointment, Interfax reported.

The newly appointed Russian commander also helped plan the Syrian Arab Army’s Palmyra offensive, which resulted in the ancient city’s liberation from the ISIL terrorist group.

Lt. Gen. Zhuravlev is expected to take over the command post of the Syria operations immediately.

Mideast Russia's photo.

Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov had a meeting with the Deputy Director of Foreign Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China Major General Ci Guowei

Today, Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov had a meeting with Deputy Director of Foreign Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China Major General Ci Guowei

Parties discussed issues of bilateral military and technical cooperation, topical problems of the international and regional security, exchanged assessments of conditions and prospects of military and technical cooperation between two countries.

Both sides confirmed necessity to continue taking coordinated efforts in the interests of strengthening the international security.

Russia publishes book on role of Russian-made weapons in Syrian conflict

It is the first comprehensive assessment and analysis of possible changes to the global arms market caused by the performance of Russian armaments in Syria

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, July 11. /TASS-DEFENSE/. The STATUS Company has published a book titled “Russian Weapons in Syrian Conflict”. The book’s editor, Prof. Valery Polovinkin, PhD, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, told TASS that it the first analysis of the employment of Russian arms in Syria. The book offers information about the latest and upgraded Russian-made materiel proven in combat in the Syrian theater of operations since September 30, 2015.

“The book is the first comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of up-to-date Russian-made weapons in a real war under the harsh climatic conditions and the first analysis of possible changes to the global arms market, caused by the performance of Russian armament in Syria,” the scientist said.

According to him, the latest Russian materiel the military is transitioning to should be fit for use in various climes around the world.

“We realize full well that combat-proven weapons enjoy a higher demand on the international arms market than the ones lacking a combat record do. Everybody wants reliable hardware tested in battle, because they usually pay a lot of money for it,” Valery Polovinkin stressed.

“Previously, Russian arms usually lagged behind US ones in this respect. As is known, the United States fights on all continents and its weapons are always tested in battle. Now, Russia has the same opportunity owing to the friendly policies of Syria’s leadership,” the scientist noted.

“We have tested all of our advanced weapons and demonstrated their capabilities to the whole of the world. This is especially important because many of the current and potential customers for our military gear are situated the same climatic zone or in the ones similar enough,” he emphasized.

The book comprising six chapters provides detailed analysis of the Syrian operation of the Russian Aerospace Force, Navy and Army. Of special interest is the chapter covering Western military experts’ analysis of Russian weapons. The global arms market situation preceding Russia’s joining the Syrian conflict has been analyzed and a market assessment has been made based on the combat record of Russian arms in Syria.

All information in the book is complemented with tables, graphs, charts and 200 color photographs courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry and TASS Russian News Agency.

STATUS Director General Andrei Shansherov told TASS that Russian Weapons in Syrian Conflict has been published both in Russian and in English.


Syria No-Fly Zones May Cause Escalation With Russia – Counter-NATO Summit

Russian servicemen at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.

Enforcing the no-fly zone in Syria that Hillary Clinton advocates would require the destruction of Russia’s anti-aircraft missiles in the Arab republic which could lead to military escalation, speaker at ongoing Counter-NATO Summit in Warsaw Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) organization told Sputnik.

        The counter-NATO summit is taking place in Warsaw at the same time as the July 8-9 alliance’s official summit.

“In addition to the Ukrainian crisis, we now have Washington’s and NATO’s campaign aimed at toppling the [Syrian President Bashar] Assad regime. Russia, in its turn, won’t abandon Assad, and enforcing the ‘no-fly’ zone that Hillary Clinton advocates would require destruction of Russia’s anti-aircraft missiles, risking military escalation,” Gerson, who is Peace and Economic Security Program director at the AFSC, said on the sidelines of the summit.

He said that crises in Ukraine and Syria were reminders of the fact that NATO was a nuclear alliance.

“The danger of a catastrophic nuclear exchange did not disappear. NATO yet again states that it will not leave things at conventional armament,” Gerson said.

According to Clinton, “no-fly” zones that she proposed in 2015 over northern Syria close to the border with Turkey could contribute to more safety for Syrians and their staying in the country rather than fleeing to Europe. US President Barack Obama has said imposing a no-fly zone in Syria to improve humanitarian situation in the region was counterproductive.Washington-led coalition of countries have been conducting airstrikes in Syria against Daesh, outlawed in in many countries, including the United States and Russia, since 2014. The West also largely stands opposed to Assad remaining in power. Moscow has also been targeting terrorists’ position with airstrikes in Syria, while maintaining support for the Syrian president.

The AFSC is a Quaker organization that promotes peace and justice both in the United States and globally. In existence since 1917, the organization won the Nobel Prize in Peace in 1947. Today, AFSC programs are aimed at eliminating violence and resolving conflicts around the world.