Defense commentator Mikhail Barabanov published his annotated list of the top 20 military stories of 2011 in yesterday’s Voyenno-promyshlennyy kuryer.
Some we’ll just note, but Barabanov’s provided interesting details for others.
1. The continuation of military reform. The start of the next phase of reforming the Air Forces and Navy.
Barabanov says Air Forces’ reform included the formation of VVKO and the enlargement of Russian air bases. The reform of the Navy started December 1 and it will soon be restructured into a “new profile.”
2. Establishment of VVKO.
He comments, “The given construct essentially looks fundamentally like a return to Soviet Voyska PVO Strany (National Air Defense Troops) in the form of a separate service [well, branch] of the Armed Forces.”
3. The new pay system effective this year.
4. GPV 2011-2020.
5. The increase in the Gosoboronzakaz.
Barabanov puts GOZ-2011 at 460 billion rubles, 570 if RDT&E is added. This was 20 percent more than GOZ-2010, and allowed for the series production of weapons and equipment.
6. The war between industry and the Defense Ministry.
7. Development of the PAK FA.
8. Large helicopter procurement.
Apparently a post-Soviet record. About 100 new helos, including Mi-28N, Ka-52, Mi-26, and Mi-24 (Mi-35M), were expected to reach the troops.
9. Bulava began to fly.
10. OSK ”megacontracts” for submarines.
About 280 billion rubles for modernized proyekt 885 and 955.
11. Ending serial procurement of many ground systems and equipment.
The Defense Ministry said it didn’t need the T-90, BMP-3, or BMD-4 (!?). Development of an entire spectrum of new armored vehicle platforms began for procurement after 2015.
12. Domestic space sector failures.
They evidenced the decline of the OPK’s production capability in the space sector.
13. “Tsentr-2011″ exercises.
They checked the “new profile,” and the greatly enlarged military districts.
14. Importing arms.
Mistral, Rheinmetall’s training ground in Mulino, foreign sniper rifles, and Israeli UAVs.
15. Continued growth in Russian arms sales.
$11 billion as opposed to 2010′s $10 billion. This despite the revolutions in the Arab world. Rosoboroneksport’s order portfolio is $36 billion.
16. Arab revolutions.
17. NATO intervention in Libya.
18. Military actions in Afghanistan, American troops leave Iraq.
19. Deadend in missile defense negotiations.
20. Start of reduced U.S. military spending.