Russian Airborne Forces expansion plans


31 July 2015

General Shamanov on Airborne Forces expanion plans

By bmpd

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

TASS announced on 29 July that Airborne Forces (VDV) commander Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov told journalists at a Moscow press conference that the VDV may deploy a new assault-landing regiment in Crimea, in the city of Dzhankoy.

“The 7th Division of the VDV which is stationed in Novorossiysk, Stavropol, and Anapa, will have its 97th Assault Landing Regiment reactivated. We are considering the Crimean city of Dzhankoy,” Shamanov said.

In late last year Shamanov said there were no plans to station VDV units in Crimea, but he did not rule it out.

On the forming of third regiments

Shamanov said that VDV will reactivate third regiments within assault landing divisions. “We’re discussing it with the General Staff. As we are increasing the personnel strength of assault landing divisions, it would be logical to form third regiments,” Shamanov said.

Openly available information indicates that the Russian assault landing divisions, the 7th and the 76th, have two regiments each, in addition to one artillery and one air defense regiment.

Shamanov said earlier that the VDV will be the basis for forming Russia’s rapid reaction forces. GenStaff source said it would entail a considerable increase of VDV personnel strength, from 45 thousand to 60 thousand. It could result in the reactivation of the 104th Assault Landing Division that is currently being considered, the formation of a new assault landing brigade, and several other measures.

Ratnik for VDV

“There are still a few technical issues which are being worked out and which we expect will be worked out by year’s end, and the equipment will start arriving in units on a mass scale next year,”

Shamanov said that the VDV will obtain 800 Ratnik equipment sets this year. Reconnaissance units will be the first to receive it. Th

Ratnik is being touted as the “soldier of the future” equipment suite. It includes 40 pieces of equipment, including weapons, aiming, communications, targeting, and navigation systems. The Armed Forces will receive  at least 50 thousand sets a year, and the order may be increased to 70 thousand a year.

On new armor for the Ryazan regiment

Shamanov said that the Ryazan regiment of the VDV (the 137th Guards Parachute Regiment of the 106th Guards Airborne Division)  will receive enough BMD-4M and Rakuskha vehicles to equip a battalion.

Shamanov said earlier that VDV would receive 50 BMD-4Ms and 30 Rakushkas. The total order specifies over 250 BMD-4s and Rakushkas. According to Shamanov, the new vehicle is practically in service. “We’ve completed most of the work, we are at the final stages of acceptance. We expect the Minister of Defense will sign the order in near future.”


UAV units will appear in every division, brigade, and regiment of the VDV. “They are already in the 83rd Brigade in Ussuriysk and the 98th Division in Ivanovo. But they will be in every unit within the next several years,” Shamanov said. They will be at first reconnaissance UAVs, but eventually also attack ones.

J.Hawk’s Comment: Looking at this and other related stories, we’re looking at what the Soviet operational art called the Deep Battle, with no component of it being neglected. Assault sappers supporting motor rifle troops as a break-in force, tank divisions and armies as a break-out force, and finally airborne forces to secure strategic sites in enemy’s strategic depth in order to facilitate own advance and dislocate enemy defensive plans. All of that with an improved ability to operate in a contaminated environment. All in all, a very credible conventional deterrent force, and an equally credible conventional warfighting force.

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