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Moscow Victory Day Parade Tips Putin's Military Strategy

05/08/2016

MOSCOW --- Russia’s Victory Day military parade on Monday is more a domestic propaganda exercise than an authoritative representation of the nation’s achievements in the military sphere. However, this does not mean we cannot draw some valuable conclusions about the general trend in the Russian military development basing those on the equipment proudly displayed in Moscow. This year especially, with the Russian military engaged in Syria and Ukraine, it is worth paying attention to the new military technology Russia has on show and at its disposal. 

The Kremlin’s New Tech Protects Its Soldiers 

Some seemingly minor details observable during the parade allow an important generalization. Firstly, the tectonic shift in the Russian political-military leadership’s attitudes toward the Russian armed forces is evidently happening over the last few years, mirroring in the new design features of the Russian military hardware. Like any other developed country, Russia is coming to the recognition that these people are trained personnel who represent the most valuable asset of the armed forces.

That recognition makes it impossible to continue postponing the transition from the old design of armored personnel carriers (APC), with infantrymen dismounting via side hatches straight under adversary fire, to the new design philosophy making rear door the must-have design feature. 

The new design allows infantrymen to dismount under protection of the vehicle’s hull, thus radically improving survivability of infantry on a battlefield—and that is the standard feature of all new Russian armored vehicles, ranging from T-15 “Barguzin” heavy infantry fighting vehicle (IFV; this vehicle on “Armata” base will not be shown at the parade this year) to “Kurganets-25” IFV/APC, and relatively light “Bumerang” wheeled APC. 

Armor protection of the new Russian vehicles radically improved too—making them more shelter for personnel on a battlefield rather than a potential mass grave. That was the case with the previous generation of Soviet/Russian APC/IFV, which infantry preferred to ride on the top rather than under the vehicles’ unreliable armor where chances to die collectively as the result of just one successful shot of anti-tank weaponry were prohibitively high. 

Explosive reactive armour (ERA) and even “Afganit” active anti-tank defense systems (physically intercepting incoming anti-tank weapons) are now found on the heavy and medium IFV/APC as standard features. 

This is a radical departure from the previous practice where ERA was installed on tanks only while armored vehicles’ active defense systems were the technology demonstrated mainly for arms shows domestically and abroad, not for actual force protection.

 

 

(Source: Newsweek; posted 08.05.2016)

Date: 
05/08/2016
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