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They’re coming “Avangards”: the president has identified five tasks for the Ministry of Defense


Next year, more than 10 Yars and Avangard missile systems are to take up combat duty, the fleet will include two Borei-A nuclear submarines, and the share of new weapons in the Russian nuclear forces will exceed 88%. At the final collegium of the Ministry of Defense, President Vladimir Putin assessed the effectiveness of the department’s work in the difficult conditions of 2020, spoke about the increased military threats and how the rearmament of the army and navy is proceeding.

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Five tasks for the army and navy

Speaking at the collegium of the military department, the head of state noted that in the difficult situation of the outgoing year, the army and navy performed all assigned tasks professionally and efficiently: this concerns combat duty, training, conscription and rearmament of troops.

At the moment, the share of modern weapons and equipment in the Russian troops exceeds 70%, and in the nuclear forces is 86%, the president stated. This is even more than it was in Soviet times. In the coming years, the nuclear forces should already have 88.3% of modern samples, and in general in the Armed Forces – 75.9%.

Separately, Vladimir Putin noted the assistance of the Armed Forces in the fight against coronavirus infection. The Defense Ministry has built 30 medical centers and deployed eight mobile hospitals. Since the beginning of the pandemic, military medical institutions have received about 37 thousand people infected with coronavirus, including 13 thousand civilians.

“Vanguards” are coming

Russian President Vladimir Putin

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin speaks at an expanded meeting of the board of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation at the National Center for Defense Management

Photo: the press service of the President of the Russian Federation

Speaking about modern military threats, the President noted that today there are high risks of an exacerbation of the situation in the Transcaucasus, the Middle East, Africa and other regions of the world.

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– The military activity of the NATO bloc does not stop. Unfortunately, the degradation of the arms control system continues. Under far-fetched pretexts, the United States has already withdrawn from the ABM, INF and Open Skies treaties. There is also no certainty regarding the START Treaty, which, as you know, expires in February 2021. We have repeatedly declared our readiness to extend this agreement, there is no answer, – said the head of state.

The President instructed to focus on solving five key tasks. The first is to maintain a high combat readiness of the nuclear forces and to develop all the components of the nuclear triad. This is necessary to ensure the country’s security and maintain strategic parity in the world.

The second task is to develop non-nuclear deterrent forces, primarily high-precision weapons.

“We do not intend to produce and deploy intermediate and shorter-range missiles in the European part of Russia, as well as in other regions of the country,” the president stressed. – But we must be ready to respond promptly to the deployment of similar weapons by Western countries near our borders. In case of a forced need to carry out all response measures, and as soon as possible. I have no doubt that we will do this, both with regard to the bases of the respective systems that will threaten us and with respect to their command posts.

“Vanguards” are coming

armyPhoto: Izvestia / Kristina Kormilitsyna

Another task that the Ministry of Defense should actively work on concerns the re-equipment of the army and navy and the timely implementation of the state defense order.

The fourth implies the development of military science, the study of the experience of modern armed conflicts, as well as forecasts for the future. In particular, the Russian military should take into account the appearance in foreign armies of weapons based on new physical principles.

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The fifth task set by the president is the active development of weapons and equipment with elements of artificial intelligence, including robotic systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, and automated control systems.

Plans completed

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to the President that the Armed Forces have completed all the tasks set for 2020, and their combat capabilities have increased by 13%. The state defense order was fulfilled for purchases by 99.8%, and for repairs and modernization – by 99.7%. More than 250 thousand units of weapons and ammunition have been delivered to the troops, and the serviceability of equipment is maintained at 95%.

In a pandemic, the incidence rate of coronavirus in the Armed Forces per 100 thousand people was 37% lower than the national average, the minister said. Today, the troops are undergoing mass vaccination.

According to Sergei Shoigu, in 2020 the geography of challenges for Russia has expanded, and the role of military force in solving international problems has increased.

“Vanguards” are coming

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu speaks at an expanded meeting of the Board of the Russian Defense Ministry at the National Defense Management Center

Photo: the press service of the President of the Russian Federation

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“NATO views Russia as the main threat and is building up its military potential at our borders,” the minister said. – The United States began redeploying combat units from Germany to Poland and the Baltic countries. The intensity of reconnaissance and demonstration actions of American aircraft and ships near Russian borders has increased by 15% compared to last year. The forward presence of American ships in the Arctic region is growing. NATO trainings, conducted simultaneously at the western, southern and eastern borders of Russia, have become systemic.

Next year, the Ministry of Defense will have to solve a number of priority tasks for rearmament, the head of the department said. In particular, it is planned to put on alert 13 launchers with intercontinental ballistic missiles “Yars” and “Avangard”. The fleet should accept two nuclear-powered submarines of the Borei-A project – Prince Oleg and Generalissimo Suvorov. They are equipped with Bulava ballistic missiles. Also, the Navy should include four submarines, six surface ships, 22 boats and support vessels. The modernized Tu-160 strategic bomber will be tested for state testing.

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More than 500 modern armored vehicles will be delivered to the Ground Forces, the Airborne Forces and the coastal units of the Navy, Sergei Shoigu said. Over 100 new and modernized aircraft will be delivered to the VKS and naval aviation of the Navy. Also in 2021, the construction of a radar station in Vorkuta should be completed, and construction of the Yakhroma radar station will begin in Sevastopol.

“If many structures in the state sagged during the pandemic, then the army has fulfilled its duty to the country in full,” military expert Vladislav Shurygin told Izvestia. – In difficult conditions, the Ministry of Defense was able to cope with the defense order, and fulfill all the tasks of mastering new equipment and weapons, and conduct peacekeeping operations, primarily in Karabakh. The army has shown itself to be one of the main pillars on which the country can safely rely. The military results of this year are undoubtedly positive.

“Vanguards” are coming

Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh

Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh

Photo: Izvestia / Zurab Javakhadze

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The fact that combat training was going on in the troops without interruption and all the tasks planned for the year were completed was possible because the department had built a stable and effective system, the expert noted.

– It was difficult to fight coronavirus infection and perform tasks in a pandemic, but nevertheless, we did everything without overvoltage. There was a good organization and a well-built personnel system, – concluded Vladislav Shurygin.

New rocket

The President highly appreciated the results of the work of the military department for the year. The head of state also announced plans to transfer the Avangard hypersonic apparatus (GZLA) from the Stilet missile to a new promising complex.

According to Dmitry Kornev, editor-in-chief of the Militaryrussia portal, this complex is likely to be the newest Russian super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) “Sarmat”.

“Vanguards” are coming

Hypersonic missile system Avangard

Hypersonic missile system “Avangard”

Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation /

All “Ash”: submarines will direct “Zircons” to the enemy. The interaction of the nuclear submarine with frigates of the “Admiral Gorshkov” project will be worked out during the maneuvers of the Northern Fleet

– “Stiletto” is the NATO designation for the Russian intercontinental missile UR – 100UNTTH. At present, she is the bearer of Avangard, the expert explained. – It has been a long time since another ICBM will replace the “weaving” as a carrier of the GZLA. In this role, it is the super-heavy “Sarmat” that looks most promising. It will be able to provide high energy during the launch of the GZLA. And most importantly, several hypersonic Avangards can be placed on board this ICBM at once.

The Avangard system with a maneuvering hypersonic unit moving at a speed 27 times higher than the sound speed is one of the unique Russian developments, which has no analogues in the world. For the first time, the president spoke about it in a message to the Federal Assembly in 2018. Last year the first Avangard regiment took up combat duty. In September this year, the main developer of the system, Herbert Efremov, was awarded the main state award – the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called with swords.


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