Just before Christmas, RIA Novosti took a cut at identifying the big military stories of 2014.
A daunting, but intriguing task. Here’s what it came up with:
- Acceptance of proyekt 955 Borey-class SSBN Vladimir Monomakh. That’s unit three. RIAN also puts five pending Bulava SLBM launches, including from Monomakh, on its list.
- Acceptance of the lead unit of proyekt 885 Yasen-class SSN Severodvinsk.
- Construction of a new National Command and Control Center for State Defense.
- Acceptance of the Ratnik future soldier system.
- One-Time Monetary Payments (or YeDV) for servicemen owed permanent apartments. It’s supposed to end the housing line forever.
- Flexible pricing in the State Defense Order. Starting in 2014, some contracts may be for a fixed price while others will be figured on what was actually spent to produce end items.
- Formation of an aerobatic flying group with new Yak-130 trainers.
- State acceptance testing for the T-50 / PAK FA.
- Continued, gradual rearmament to the level of 30 percent modern weapons and equipment in all forces.
- Formation of 16 new medical companies (to expand to 50 over the next 18 months). A special mobile medical (medevac) brigade will be formed in each military district.
- Conscripts from reestablished sports companies slated to compete in the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
By way of context, here’s what RIAN predicted for the big stories of 2013: end of explosive destruction of old munitions, Bulava / Borey / Yasen, Vikramaditya [ex-Gorshkov] handover, Putin’s promise to end the military’s housing problem, Shoygu’s pledge to turn MOD property matters over to Rosimushchestvo, Armata tank and related platforms, T-50 / PAK FA testing, creation of Concern “Kalashnikov” and the new AK-12, the Russian DARPA — Fund for Future Research, Oboronservis criminal cases in court, and Zapad-2013.
Interesting to consider how much (or how little) movement occurred on these issues last year.