Russian army sums up results of last 5 years
The chief of the Russian Air Defense Forces General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, has spoken about the country's nuclear and naval capabilities, as well the military campaign in Syria, at the the ministry’s board meeting.
He told the board of the Russian Defense Ministry that the country's strategic nuclear forces are currently capable to inflict unacceptable damage to any aggressor, including those possessing anti-missile weapons.
"In total, the share of modern weapons in ground, air and sea strategic nuclear forces has been brought to 74%," Gerasimov added.
According to the chief of the Russian General Staff, the combat capabilities of the aviation strategic nuclear forces have increased by one and a half times in five years.
"The number of aircraft capable of using new cruise missiles has increased more than 11 times, the share of modern strategic missile carriers has increased by 53% compared to 2012 and amounted to 75.7%."
"Practically all the flight personnel of the operational-tactical and army aviation acquired experience of conducting combat operations. Many of them showed themselves to be real air aces."
Four missile brigades of the Eastern Military District are equipped with Iskander-M complexes, according to Valery Gerasimov.
"As part of the Eastern Military District formed the army corps, missile, artillery, anti-aircraft missile brigade, as well as a brigade of army aviation. The missile complexes of Iskander-M were delivered to four missile brigades of the district."
The Iskander-M is considered to be one of the Russian newest weapons, introduced into the Russian military in 2006, with Moscow planning to equip all units of the country's ground forces with the systems by 2020.
Gerasimov has also revealed that Russia is finalizing the development of drones which are able to function at the distance of 3,000 kilometers. "The development of promising systems able to carry out tasks at the distance of up to 3,000 kilometers is nearing completion. The Strategic Missile Forces received more than 80 ballistic missiles. Twelve missile regiments were re-equipped with the new-generation Yars systems in five years," he added.
The Russian Defense Ministry and the country's military-industrial complex are working to increase the combat capabilities of the naval component of Russia's Strategic Nuclear Forces, according to Gerasimov.
"Work has begun on the creation of an atomic cruiser submarine with improved characteristics Borey-B," Gerasimov said.
He underlined that Russia's navy currently expects five Borey-A submarines to be built by 2020.
Valery Gerasimov also said that Russia has fully restored its presence in the strategic areas of the Arctic Ocean by creating a special force in the Arctic. "Creation of the Arctic group has allowed for restoring Russia’s presence in strategically important areas of the Arctic Ocean and guaranteeing the safety of economic activity in the region," TASS cited Gerasimov as saying.
The general recalled that in 2014 Russia created a united strategic command of the Northern fleet, an air force and air defense army within the Fleet’s structure and a special Arctic mechanized infantry brigade for performing combat missions in rigorous climatic conditions.
"Over the past five years the Northern Fleet obtained twenty three ships, including the strategic submarine The Yuri Dolgoruky and the multirole nuclear-powered submarine The Severodvinsk. The guided missile cruiser The Marshal Ustinov has been upgraded and the nuclear-powered missile guided cruiser The Admiral Nakhimov is being upgraded at the moment," he stressed.
The chief of the General Staff said that coastal defense forces received three battalions of the missile systems Bal and Bastion.
In the Arctic region, Gerasimov recalled, military airdromes are being built and upgraded on Franz Josef Land, the Novosibirsk islands, Cape Schmidt and near the city of Anadyr.
Gerasimov said that more than 54,000 militants have been wiped out in Syria over the past two years, including about 4,200 natives of Russia and the former Soviet republics.
"More than 1000 inhabited communities have been liberated, over 54,000 members of illegal armed units killed (including more than 2,800 natives of Russia and 1,400 - of the former Soviet republics," he said.
Gerasimov noted that the Russian military servicemen in Syria encountered a well-trained enemy. Terrorists had about 1,500 tanks and armored vehicles, over 1,200 guns and mortars seized from Syrian and Iraqi government troops. "There was no shortage of ammunition and materiel, which were constantly replenished from abroad," he stressed.
"Their commanders were trained in special camps under the watchful eye of Western instructors and military advisers from some countries of the Middle East, Western Europe and America. In some cases, special forces officers from these countries led illegal armed units," the chief of Russia’s General Staff said.
Gerasimov added that, in terms of the level of cohesion and training, militant units were equal to the Syrian government troops. "Actually, every settlement was a fortified area with a well thought out fire system, concrete structures, a ramified system of artificial obstacles and underground communications," he emphasized.
He recalled that, by the beginning of the operation, terrorist groups controlled more than 70% of Syria’s territory and continued to advance in all directions. "During the two years of our armed forces’ participation in the fighting, it was possible not only to turn the tide of the hostilities in favor of government troops but also rout big militant groups in the most important areas, liberate the key cities and recapture major communication lines," Gerasimov concluded.