In the midst of a very turbulent period for world affairs, Russia is acquiring in 2022 modern tanks, aircraft, helicopters, missiles and warships to counter NATO and especially American threats.
Russia has taken significant steps to fill the huge gap in the technological development of the Russian armed forces left by the dark Yeltsin decade, when the Russian Federation was in danger of disintegrating due to the country‘s economic ruin.
According to the head of the General Directorate of Armored Vehicles of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General Aleksandr Sestakov, this year the state tests of several military equipment will be completed and the production process will begin.
First of all, these are vehicles using the new generation Armata armoured combat platform: the T-14 advanced tank, the T-15 heavy infantry fighting vehicle, the T-16 personnel carrier and repair vehicle and the Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled gun.
This equipment is among the most advanced on the planet. The world‘s only third-generation (post-war) T-14 tank is designed for direct contact with the enemy, supporting the attacks of mechanized artillery units, destroying targets located either in bunkers or in open spaces.
The world‘s most powerful battle tank is based on a completely new concept and features an automated turret, while the crew is housed in an armoured capsule at the front of the tank.
A modern dynamic and active defence system, as well as an electronic warfare system, shield the T-14 tank from enemy missiles and rockets.
The technical characteristics of the 125 mm 2A82-1M gun exceed those of the best NATO weapons models.
The T-14 and T-15 tanks have been greatly improved in recent years. That is, experts emphasize the reinforced armor of the upper frontal zone and the new armor of the armored combat vehicle.
Initially, the T-15 was equipped with the Boomerang-BM combat unit and a 2A42 30 mm gun.
Then, in the “Armia” forums, the vehicle was presented with a more powerful 57 mm AU-220M Baikal 57 mm gun. The Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled gun has also undergone several improvements that have significantly increased its combat capabilities.
In addition to the new tanks, Russia‘s ground forces will use familiar modernised equipment such as T-72B3M, T-90M, T-80BVM tanks, BMP-3 and BMP-2M infantry vehicles with the Berezhok combat unit, the BTR-82A armoured personnel carrier and the Msta-SM self-propelled gun.
In addition, the Pantsir-SM-SV air defence missile system, the Derivacia-PVO air defence system and the next-generation Metka mobile air defence system are expected to be ready for deployment soon.
In 2022, Russia‘s aerospace forces will be supplied with over 200 units of basic, military and special equipment.
According to the Deputy Chief of the Aerospace Forces, Lieutenant General Andrey Yudin, the percentage of modern weaponry will reach 89%.
Specifically, the Air Force will be joined by Sukhoi Su-35S and Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter aircraft, Sukhoi Su-34 bombers, as well as S-350 and S-400 air defence systems.
At the same time, the modernised, more powerful strategic bomber Tupolev Tu-160M, built from the ground up at the Kazan plant, is preparing for take-off.
The 5th generation Sukhoi Su-57 fighter aircraft programme will also enter a new phase. This year, the Russian aerospace forces are expected to receive 12 planes.
The general director of the state-owned Rostec company, Sergei Chemezov, said that the tests of the second-stage engine will be completed soon. The first fighter with a new power generation facility will be tested in 2022. In total, the aerospace forces will acquire 76 aircraft of this type.
15 Kamov Ka-52M Alligator helicopters will enter service. The modernisation programme was completed in record time, with the test helicopter flying in the summer of 2020. The Alligator was fitted with a new tracking and navigation system, radar with active-phase antenna array and enhanced landing equipment.
It is armed with Ataka, Vikhr and Vikhr-M missiles. It is important to note that the work was carried out taking into account the use of helicopters in Syria.
The fleet of drones is also growing. In 2022, Kronshtadt will start production of drones in the city of Dubna in the Moscow Region. This means that the army will receive several modern drones, initially the Inohodec reconnaissance and attack drones. It will then be produced by Sirius, Grom and Molnia.
One of the highlights will be the “premiere” of the S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft missile system.
The first 50 systems were put into service in the 15th Army of the Aerospace Forces responsible for covering Moscow from October.
However, officially, the system has not yet passed state tests. The final tests are expected to be completed this year, at which point Prometheus will go into production. The most important feature of the S-500 system is its ability to destroy aircraft, helicopters and drones as well as ballistic missiles in close range.
The main naval innovation is undoubtedly the Zircon supersonic cruise missile. At the end of November, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the system would be sent to the fleet in the coming months.
Zircon is the world‘s first supersonic cruise missile, capable of performing long aerodynamic manoeuvres in dense layers of the atmosphere, using only its own propulsion power.
It can be installed on both surface ships and submarines. The maximum speed of the missile is almost 9 times the speed of sound, while the maximum flight range reaches 1,000 km. The missile is considered to be immune to modern air defence systems.
The fleet will also acquire some new vessels. The shipbuilders are expected to deliver to the Navy the multi-purpose frigate Admiral Golovko, the third master of Project 22350.
In the summer, the media reported that it would be the first ship to receive Zircons as regular armament. The missiles can also be mounted on small Project 22800 Karakurt missile ships.
In 2022, the Navy will have to take delivery of three of this class: the Cyclon, Buria and Askold. In addition, tests are planned for the almost “invisible” Project 20386 Merkuri corvette, which, according to the expert, will be dangerous even for aircraft carriers.
Two nuclear submarines, the strategic nuclear submarine Borei Generalissimus Suvorov, and Project Krasnoyarsk‘s multipurpose attack submarine, Yasen-M, will strengthen the Russian fleet. The Navy will also take delivery of the first two serial diesel-electric Project Lada submarines Kronstadt and Velikie Luki.