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Russian modernisation priorities leave traditional army programmes in the cold

9th February 2022 - 15:43 GMT | by Alex Orlov in Riga

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Graphic showing improvements to armoured vehicles used by the Russian Ground Forces since 2012. The MoD claims a 50% increase in lethality and a 35% increase in survivability, while manoeuvrability was improved by a factor of 1.5. (Image: Russian MoD)

Recent Russian MoD reports on equipment deliveries in 2021 indicate that Russia continues to lean towards investment in long-range fires, missiles and air defence, at the expense of programmes for traditional conventional land systems.

A series of reports issued by the Russian MoD in December 2021 and January 2022 indicate that the Russian Ground Forces are maintaining a rapid pace of modernisation — but a shift in attention towards new advanced capabilities comes at a cost.

According to the MoD, in 2020 the Ground Forces had four times more new materiel in the inventory compared to 2012. Over the same period, mechanised troops in motorised rifle units saw an eightfold increase in the equipment at their disposal.

Special attention is being paid to equipping the Russian Ground Forces with ‘modern EW, C2, ISR and

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Alex Orlov

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Alex Orlov


Alex Orlov is a freelance journalist based in Helsinki.

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