The Space Troops have seemed pretty confident about getting control of VKO up to this point, but now a senior Air Forces officer has taken his turn to suggest the VVS may have a leg up.
On Friday, Commander of the Operational-Strategic Command of Aerospace Defense (OSK VKO), General-Lieutenant Valeriy Ivanov described for journalists how his command provides air defense for 140 key facilities in Russia’s capital and central industrial regions.
At a conference in Mozhaysk to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the first Nazi air attack on Moscow, Ivanov said 800 OSK VKO personnel secure Moscow’s airspace on a daily basis, and he claimed his command covers two-thirds of Russian Federation territory, according to RIA Novosti.
The OSK VKO Commander also said he expects to receive the S-500, new radars, and fighter aircraft by 2015. Several news outlets repeated an early 2011 Interfaks report saying that ten S-500 battalions will be acquired under GPV-2020.
Regarding President Medvedev’s late 2010 order to set up a unified VKO command by December 1, 2011, Ivanov told ITAR-TASS that VKO has already been established and is being improved:
“The VKO system is now being integrated, developed, and modernized. We are now taking, uniting Space Troops and our OSK VKO.”
But, according to ITAR-TASS, Ivanov had to admit there’s no clarity yet on the new form of VKO, and “our state’s political leadership will make the final decision on this.”
Krasnaya zvezda also provided a somewhat less categorical-sounding Ivanov quote:
“The Aerospace Defense system which we’re creating is now being integrated and developed. Currently, the process of amalgamating Space Troops and the Operational-Strategic Command is going on.”
Komsomolskaya pravda relayed this Interfaks quote about the fate of aviation:
“Aviation carrying out air defense missions will be immediately subordinated to the VKO commander. The one who directs the battle will also command [aviation].”
RIA Novosti also reported General-Lieutenant Ivanov saying the second S-400 regiment (at Dmitrov) will be on duty by July 31. He said a third regiment will appear at Zvenigorod by the end of this year.