At his recent meeting with Vladimir Putin, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said that in 2011 about 2 trillion rubles will be allocated for the needs of the Russian army, which, incidentally, is 19 percent of Russia's total budget for this year. A significant part of these funds will be used to modernize the army and purchase new modern types of weapons.
According to the majority of military experts, this money will go, first of all, to re-equip the nuclear deterrent forces, the air force, the air defense forces and the navy. According to some estimates, about 70 percent of the entire military budget will be spent on their maintenance. Thus, a very small amount remains for the maintenance of artillery, ground, and tank units. From this we can conclude that the Ministry of Defense has relied on more modern types of troops and refuses the usual classical ones. Whether the Ministry of Defense is right, and what the current situation is for the troops that are not held in high esteem, we will analyze a little below.
Artillery is in the most difficult, if not distressful, situation. Sheer pittances have been allocated for it from the budget. First of all, this is due to the fact that most of the domestic types of artillery are an order of magnitude inferior to foreign counterparts. So, for example, the firing range of foreign artillery installations reaches 70 km, while ours, even the most modern models, have no more than 30 km. The same goes for shooting accuracy. Therefore, if you start investing in the modernization of Russian artillery, it will be necessary to replace almost all existing howitzers and guns with new ones. Naturally, the state does not have such means, and it simply excluded artillery from the priority types of troops. In principle, the decision is quite sensible, especially considering that in modern realities the use of classical types of artillery is increasingly giving way to precision weapons.
At the moment, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have two separate tank brigades, as well as 20 tank battalions in combined arms brigades. The total number of tanks is about 20 thousand units. Moreover, most of them are obsolete T-72 and T-80, which no longer meet modern requirements for the protection of personnel and have outdated means of firing.
According to experts, it is unlikely that new types of tanks will enter the tank units. So, according to some reports, the Ministry of Defense plans to purchase no more than 10 tanks per year until 2020. If this information is true, then by 2020 the number of tanks in our army
can be reduced by 10 times and will be only 2000.
At first glance, this should have a strong effect on the defense capability of the Russian Federation, but in reality this is not entirely true. If we recall the recent military conflicts, then the role of tanks in them was extremely small. Suffice it to recall the New Year's assault on Grozny in 1994, where the tanks not only did not bring any practical benefit, but, on the contrary, were an excellent target for the enemy (20 of 26 tanks were destroyed). By the way, many foreign countries are also gradually abandoning tank troops. In Germany, the number of tanks has decreased by 5 times and now there are only 500 units.
There are also no serious financial influences on the maintenance of the infantry. Apparently, the Ministry of Defense believes that in the next 10 years, our soldiers will continue to make do with the legendary AK-74. Although now in Russia there are prototypes of small arms of a new type - this is the same modernized Kalashnikov assault rifle with an index of 200, or the Abakan assault rifle with a thermal sight. However, at the moment, these types are supplied only in small batches to the special forces of the internal troops and the army. From this we can conclude that the role of the infantry in modern combat operations is no longer what it used to be. The current task of the infantry is battles with a small enemy, and the large-scale battles of the Second World War have sunk into oblivion.
So the idea of abandoning the classic types of troops and supporting more modern ones is not as bad as it seems at first glance. Naturally, this idea will have many opponents, because there will always be those who do not believe in progress and try to leave everything as it is. This was already in our national history, when in the 30s and 40s they tried to disband the cavalry, then there were also many opponents of this idea, but history put everything in its place.
If you objectively look at things, then it is nuclear weapons, the Air Force, Air Defense and the Navy that are the main guarantors of Russia's security at the moment. Therefore, it is necessary to invest money in them. Only this must be done, gradually and openly, and not as it is now. It is necessary to announce in advance about the reduction of certain types of troops so that the officers are ready for this, and not find out about it at the last moment. It is necessary to explain to society that modern realities are such that our country is not capable of maintaining a large army, and this is not advisable, since by modernizing the named types of troops, we will significantly increase the country's defense capability and reduce the size of the army. And this, in turn, will significantly increase the salaries of officers, and possibly transfer the army to a contract basis.