Leadership: Russia Plans Military Reform and Rearmament


February14, 2007: Russia plans to spend $200 billion in the next eight years, to rebuild its armed forces. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, Russia has bought little new equipment, and had no real training budget. That's all been changing in the last few years. But this new plan is the first specific plan for rebuilding. The major items on the shopping list include 50 Topol-M ICBMs, 50 jet bombers, and 31 warships. The army will get new armored vehicles, weapons, communications gear and other equipment for 40 tank, 97 infantry and 50 parachute battalions. Russia has been using its parachute divisions and brigades as an elite rapid-reaction force, and these troops will get priority on new equipment. Many of the paratroopers have obtained valuable combat experience in Chechnya, and adjacent areas in the Caucasus. The new tank and infantry battalions will adopt many of the tactical, and equipment, concepts American troops have pioneered in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia will also be buying a lot of its newly developed smart bombs. By 2015, Russia also expects to have an all-volunteer military. New tactics and strategies are being developed for these "21st Century Troops."




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