New Ratnik Military Equipment to Transmit Information to Military Medics

4In Russia, the Warrior (Ratnik) military equipment is in the final stages of state testing. The next-generation equipment is outfitted with a system to register the physiological state of soldiers, with special sensors transmitting information to military medics.

1According to Izvestia, the St. Petersburg Military Medical Academy named for Kirov (VMA) over the next two years will undergo an experimental modernization that includes a system to monitor soldiers’ vital functions and “to determine the physiological parameters of the wounded and assessing the severity of their injuries.”

The creators of the Warrior equipment (the Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering, part of the state corporation Rostec) confirmed to Izvestia that a health monitoring system was already being developed. The monitoring system is expected to be included in the next version of the Warrior equipment.

1The upgraded Warrior equipment will include body sensors that every minute will record parameters such as heart rate, respiratory rate, blood-oxygen saturation indicators, and microvascular blood filling. The system will store and analyze these figures, and any deviation from the norm will trigger an alarm in the medical service. This technology draws on the already-developed Sagittarius (Strelets) system of intelligence, control, and communication. All information is automatically saved on a flash drive that stores medical history.

3Soldiers in the medical unit will have access to all indicators on the condition of the wounded. Based on the severity of the injuries, the state of a wounded soldier will be assessed on a scale of 0 to 5. The medical company will use the data to prioritize the evacuation of the wounded and to identify the best possible ways to reach them based on their GPS coordinates.

The Ratnik warrior military equipment includes body armor, GLONASS-GPS navigation, the Sagittarius (Strelets) control system, a communicator, and an automatic weapon with night and thermal vision. The helmet is equipped to withstand a shot from a pistol at a distance of 10 m and has a thermal camera and video module for sniping. The Warrior equipment also includes food, water filters, medical supplies, a tent, and a sleeping bag. In total, the equipment weighs up to 20 kg.

2The Ratnik warrior equipment was first introduced in 2011 and is expected to be formally adopted in the summer of 2014. This year’s state defense order includes the supply of tens of thousands of sets of the combat equipment for ground, airborne, and naval troops.

The Warrior equipment is produced at the Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering (TSNII TochMash), which was founded in 1944 and is now part of Rostec. The enterprise focuses on the development and manufacture of small arms and ammunition, military equipment, artillery systems, optoelectronic devices, sporting and hunting ammunition, sealed containers for transportation and storage, and firearm simulators.

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Rogozin Called Defense Sector to Rely On Itself

3Russia should review the work of its military-industrial complex to scale back dependence on foreign technologies, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Friday during a meeting on defense in the Siberian city Novosibirsk.

2“Currently we are seeking practical measures but I think it would be better to first count on our own technologies and produce what is really necessary and beneficial for our defense industry,” said Rogozin, who oversees the defense industry.

He pointed out that in the wake of recent events Russia should rely only on its own resources and gradually revise previous policies of sourcing foreign systems, RIA Novosti reports.

“The situation is getting more and more complicated over the tensions in Ukraine and Crimea. Countries that have long enjoyed cooperation with Russia are now threatening us with sanctions,” Dmitry Rogozin added.

4Russia has systems that are capable of countering Western missile defense systems, Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Our new missile systems have higher speeds enabling them to pass through dangerous sites faster. Secondly, these systems have the most advanced means of countering missile defense,” he added.

“I can guarantee you that we have no more rusty missiles. If they still exist somewhere, it’s mostly likely in America,” the deputy prime minister said.

5US counter-missiles, nominally aimed against medium-range missiles, can also destroy heavy missiles both at takeoff and on approach to target, he said.

1“Essentially, the US is deploying a global system,” Rogozin said. Overall, the US missile shield is a fast, high-precision weapon which can be used not only against missiles, but also other targets, including the enemy’s military and political administration assets, he added.

Deputy Prime Minister at the meeting on Friday also said that the extra land of defense plants can become a platform for the construction of houses for their employees.

“We have very many plants with large areas of land in the city. As far as is necessary to have such a large territory in an environment where new equipment is supplied – it is compact , and technology allow you to borrow a smaller area . Let’s find you a mechanism to release these areas for housing development in the interests of the employees,” said Rogozin. According to him, one of the mechanisms to attract qualified personnel in the defense industry is providing them accommodation. On also noted that housing cooperatives are created in the Siberian Federal District – in Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk and Tomsk regions. Cost per square meter there will be 30 thousand rubles.

Russia to Start Mass Purchases of Ratnik Gear

3The Russian Army will soon start the mass purchases of the next generation soldier gear “Ratnik”. The gear comprises more than 40 components, including firearms, body armour, and optical, communication and navigation devices, as well as life support and power supply systems, and even knee and elbow pads. The gear will make Russian troops the fully-fledged soldiers of the future, capable of carrying out the personally given orders. It also boosts the effectiveness of the units operating in local conflict areas, for example, against terrorists.

1Although the “Ratnik” gear is made up of dozens of components and weighs a total of 20 kilos, one can take it off in a matter of seconds. Editor-in-Chief of the National Defence magazine, Igor Korotchenko, claims that the gear has been perfectly adapted to meet the Russian Army requirements.

“The Russian Army most battle-worthy units, those of contract soldiers, professionals, will be the first to use the gear. “Ratnik” relies heavily on the use of GLONASS satellite navigation system, on Russian-made transceivers, radio sets. All the gear parts, including firearms, night vision devices etc. are Russian-made”.

Испытания боевой экипировки военнослужащих Сухопутных войск ВС РФ50 Russian production facilities are engaged in producing the “Ratnik” gear, whose framework is a “breathing” synthetic overall that one can wear for two days without taking it off. The fabric of polymeric compounds protects the soldier against open fire and minor splinters, and makes them invisible to infrared cameras. The body armour has been patterned on the Soviet Army prototype, tested in Afghanistan in the 1980s. We have more on that from an officer who witnessed those events of more than 35 years ago.

5“Soviet bulletproof vests consisted of two fabric protective panels (30 layers of aramid fabrics) and 25 protective plates (13 front plates and 12 rear plates). Plates were made of titanium and had a thickness of 6.5 mm. Whenever approaching Kandahar or another dangerous place, truck drivers would normally roll down the windows and hang up the vest, so one half of it would be inside the truck cab, while the other one, outside. The vest was a reliable protection if the truck was fired at from afar, but sub-machinegun bullets easily pierced the vest if the vehicle was fired on from close quarters”.

4The new armour body is made of ceramic plates and Kevlar, rather than titan, so it can effectively resist even a sniper rifle bullet. The “Ratnik” modification for seamen also has the function of a life-jacket.

The expert council of the Military Industrial Commission will have the final say. The council is due to meet in May.

Russia to Focus on Robotic Weaponry

2The Russian army should focus on the acquisition of robotic weaponry and reduce its overall number of different types of military equipment in use.

4In December, addressing lawmakers from Russia’s lower house of parliament, Dmitry Rogozin listed robotic weaponry and automated combat management systems with highly secure and fast communication links as key items to be included in the new state arms procurement program for 2016 to 2025.

Rogozin said robotic technologies should be present in the development of all types of military hardware for use on the ground, in the air and under water.

5Rogozin, who oversees the defense and space industries, stressed the need to reduce the variety of similar types of weaponry manufactured in small batches because of the heavy burden on defense companies and significant production costs.

The development of modular universal combat platforms that could be used as a basis for a variety of military hardware should also be a priority, he said.

Russia is currently implementing an ambitious rearmament program through 2020, with a budget of some 20 trillion rubles ($640 billion).

The program will see the share of modern weaponry in Russia’s armed forces reach 30 percent by 2015 and 70 percent by 2020.

Moreover Russia is planning to deploy mobile security robots in 2014 to protect its strategic missile facilities, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

“In March, the Russian Strategic Missile Forces [RVSN] began testing mobile robotic systems being developed to protect key RVSN installations,” spokesman Maj. Dmitry Andreyev said.

3Andreyev said the security bots will be deployed at five ballistic missile launch sites around Russia as part of an upgrade to the existing automated security systems.

The official said the robots will carry out reconnaissance and patrol missions, detect and destroy stationary or moving targets and provide fire support for security personnel at the guarded facilities.

Mobile robotic platforms play an increasingly important role in military and security applications, helping personnel to meet challenges posed by the growing threat of terrorist attacks or “guerilla warfare.”

1Moreover the Russian Defense Ministry will start mass purchases of domestically designed “future soldier” gear in 2014.

The equipment can be used by regular infantry, rocket launcher operators, machine gunners, drivers and scouts.

“We have practically finished work on the Ratnik gear and will start purchases of series-produced equipment for our army next year,” Shoigu told reporters on Saturday.

The Ratnik gear has been successfully tested by the Russian military but is adoption into service has been delayed due to uncertainty with the choice of small arms component, which is likely to include the new Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle.

Russia to Adopt Ratnik Gear This Summer

4The Russian military will adopt domestically designed “future soldier” gear this summer, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

1The adoption of the Ratnik gear into service has been repeatedly delayed due to uncertainty over the choice of small arms component, which is likely to include the new Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle. The equipment is currently in the final stages of field testing by Russian paratroopers.

5Developed as part of the soldier military equipment (BES) programme, Ratnik nicknamed “future soldier uniforms”comprises about 50 components, including firearms, body armor and optical, communication and navigation devices, as well as life support and power supply systems, and even knee and elbow pads.

Emphasis has been laid on the effective protection of a soldier on the battlefield, says the editor of the “Voyenno-Promyshlenny Kuryer”, or”Military-Industrial”, newspaper, member of the Public Council of the Russian Government’s Military-Industrial Commission, Mikhail Khodarenok. He added that “Ratnik” is better in every way than its predecessor, the battle suit “Barmitsa”, and obviously superior to its French analogue FELIN, which was originally to be considered as the main prototype. “Ratnik” is by far better in protecting servicemen from enemy small arms, as well as artillery shell and mine fragments.

3The multilayer hat can resist the hit of a bullet, fired from a distance of 5 meters to 10 meters. The overalls of the “Alutex” reinforced-fiber composite effectively protects against shell and grenade splinters, while the body armor vest, reinforced by ceramic and hybrid inserts, is effective against small arms, including armor-piercing weapons.

Available in summer and winter variants, the lightweight gear can be used by regular infantry, rocket launcher operators, machine gunners, drivers and scouts, and is claimed to provide protection against environmental threats from weapons of mass destruction and non-lethal weapons.

2The system is expected to feature at least ten modules for adaptability to varied combat environments, the news agency has earlier reported citing Russian Military-Industrial Commission first deputy chair, Yury Borisov.

New combat outfits for the armies of the world are not just updated outfits with elements of protection. These are real navigation systems that allow improving the interaction of the soldiers inside the unit thanks to communication systems and mapping. They also provide direct communication between the field and a tactical and even operational (brigade, division) level of command.

1Many other nations have similar future soldier equipment programs in progress, including the US Land Warrior, Germany’s IdZ, Britain’s FIST, Spain’s COMFUT, Sweden’s IMESS and France’s FELIN.

The Ratnik gear has been successfully tested by the Russian military.

According to Russian military sources, the “Ratnik” is better in every way than its predecessor, the battle suit “Barmitsa”, and obviously superior to its French analogue FELIN, which was originally to be considered as the main prototype.

 “Ratnik” weighs 20 kilograms, or 6 kilos less than its French analogue FELIN, and is fit for action in all conditions any time of the day.

Almost Half of Russians are for Conscript Soldiers

2Russians are divided about the use of conscript soldiers in the army, according to a survey published Tuesday.

1A total of 48 percent of Russians believe the military draft should remain a key source of manpower for the army, while 40 percent think only professional contract soldiers should serve, the poll by the independent Levada Center found.

In November 2013  Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the Russian army would never be fully contract: according to him, the large size of Russian Armed Forces will not allow the country to switch completely to such a system.

3Also according to the survey, more than half of respondents ( 54%) would prefer to see their family member served a year at the call , and 31% were in favor of two years service contract. In addition, almost half of Russians (48 percent) would like their children to serve in the army, while 33 percent would prefer to help their relatives dodge military service.

“Two-thirds of respondents (61 %) did not doubt the ability of the Russian army to protect the population in the event of a real threat ,” said the communiqué. While 24 % believe that the army can not now protect Russia in the case of a military threat, while another 15 % were undecided on this issue.

The poll of 1,603 respondents across 45 Russian regions was conducted on January 24-27 and has a margin of error of less than 3.4 percent.

4Russia is reforming its armed forces by shifting away from a largely inefficient body of conscripted soldiers toward a smaller professional army.

5Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said last year that Russia’s military will have 500,000 soldiers serving on professional contracts within a decade. But he acknowledged that the armed forces will continue to rely on a mix of conscripts and contracted recruits for the foreseeable future.

The country has struggled in recent years to fulfil quotas for conscripts due to widespread draft dodging and a scarcity of eligible young men, following a collapse in the birth rate during the turbulent 1990s.

1The military needs to enroll about 300,000 men during each draft to keep the number of army personnel at the required level of 1 million.

According to official data, the current strength of the Russian Armed Forces is estimated at 774,500 personnel, including 220,000 officers and about 200,000 contracted soldiers.

All Russian men between the ages of 18 and 27 are obliged by law to perform one year of military service. The shortest term of a military service contract is two years.

Russian Army to Expand Training Program for University Students

1The Russian military is set to expand a training program for university students to provide an alternative to the country’s mandatory draft for young men, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said Monday.

2According to Pankov, male students will be able to opt out of the draft by completing 450 classroom hours of military studies over two years during their degree, and by attending a three-month training course before entering the reserves as a soldier or sergeant.

A similar program has been in place at the country’s 72 state universities with military departments since 2008, but the vast majority of male university students attend institutes that do not allow them to fulfill their service obligation during their studies.

University students can delay service while actively enrolled, but after graduating more than 60,000 young men are called up annually to perform their year of mandatory service.

3The reform will allow students to attend military training at other universities or at official Defense Ministry training centers.

Pankov said Tuesday that the program would also be made available to students enrolled at private colleges and universities.

The country has struggled in recent years to fulfill its target quotas for incoming conscripts due to widespread draft dodging and the scarcity of young men coming of age who were born when the birth rate collapsed during the turbulent 1990s.

Russian soldiers dressed in Red Army World War II uniforms prepa“The Ministry of Defense is making a big step to accommodate young men. Most importantly we are creating favorable conditions for fulfilling military service. Though it is more difficult for us than simply tracking down the draft dodgers,” Pankov said Tuesday.

The development of the new form of military training will begin this year, with the first students expected to begin studies by fall 2015.

5Russia has made a concerted effort in recent years to improve the image of and conditions in its armed forces after years of widespread reports of brutal hazing and other abuses among conscripts.

More than 244,000 men eligible for the draft managed to avoid being conscripted last year, according to General Staff statistics.

According to Pankov , work will also be continued to establish scientific squads. Now there are four of them, two of which have been working for almost a year. “By the end of this year there will be about 10 scientific squads, including a medical one,” said Secretary of State, who was quoted by ITAR-TASS. He said that medical scientific squad will be formed this spring. It is also planned to create a scientific squad of liberal arts.

Earlier media reports indicated that whose who want to take part in scientific squads would pass a serious competition because up to 60 people are planned to be chosen. In addition to desire, recruits need to meet certain requirements: be a member of the scientific Olympiads, wright scientific papers and have specific knowledge and skills.

1Nikolai Pankov also touched upon the formation and functioning of sports squads. He noted that dozens of young people from such squads entered the Russian Olympic team and today represent the country at the Olympic Games in Sochi.

The national team includes 33 soldiers, 27 athletes are civilian personnel of the Defense Ministry. 28 soldiers are draftees in sports squads. Among them is the skater Dmitry Solovyov, biathlete Alexander Loginov, snowboarder Nicholai Olyunin and others.

Russian Defense Ministry to Complete Formation of Special Cyber Security Force

1By 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry is planning to complete the formation of a special cyber security force designed to protect the army from computer attacks. The move is part of a federal program to modernize the country’s information security.

4The need for a cyber defense shield has been prompted by the Armed Forces’ transition to new types of weapons with a high share of digital components.

Today we face the lack of the specialists of this type: the number of cyber attacks on computer systems, apps and personal networks has reached a record level for the last 13 years. Some 1,5 million specialists have to be trained in order to overcome this problem.

Cyber securityTwelve people become victims of cyber attacks every minute. The number is continually growing. The data was proclaimed by Alexei Moshkov, head of the special technical actions bureau at the Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation. According to him, last year the employees of the Administration “K” (department at the Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation) prevented the theft of one milliard rubles (30 million dollars) from bank accounts of Russian people.

It should be noted that despite a cyber terrorists’ ideology, their real intensions are the same in 90% of cases. If we exclude hooliganism and so-called “practice” of young hackers, we can definitely say that all attacks are done in order to gain money, Alexander Vlasov, “Groteck” business development director, says.

5“If you look at the photographs of latest exercises in the Russian army, you’ll see dust-resistant and mud-resistant shockproof laptop computers, you’ll see command-and-control systems based on advanced computer technologies. There are so-called smart systems making it possible to coordinate the actions of even individual servicemen on the battlefield. Naturally, attempts will be made to penetrate those systems. There was an incident when the Iranians intercepted an American drone merely by hacking into its controls,” Yevgeny Yushchuk, an expert in competitive intelligence, said.

2All details of the future cyber defense force are top secret, of course. No expert can say what it will look like. Viktor Litovkin, Managing Editor of the Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye (Independent Military Observer) newspaper attempted to envisage its potential structure.

“It will have several levels of technical, cryptographic and radioelectronic security and lots of other systems duplicating each other and protecting strategic defense facilities. What are those facilities? Those are command centers, control centers for various types of weapons, including the Strategic Rocket Forces, aircraft and missile defense systems, army headquarters, and so on,” he said.

Certain cyber security elements have long existed in the Russian army, Litovkin said. Not a single data transmission channel of the Defense Ministry is connected to the Internet, which essentially reduces the cyber attack capabilities of potential enemies.

Russia Creates Broadened Military Police Force

2On January 29 Russia’s upper house of parliament passed a Kremlin-backed bill clarifying the broad role to be played by the fledgling military police, whose ranks will as a result have to swell substantially.

The draft legislation approved by the Federation Council stipulates that the military police are to be part of the armed forces and be tasked with maintaining law and order in the military. Its tasks will involve investigating crimes committed by or against military personnel, ensuring traffic safety in the army, as well as guarding military facilities.

4Military police will be empowered to use force, firearms, and special police and military equipment in line with relevant constitutional provisions, federal laws and military regulations. The police force could also be used in counterterrorism and antiriot operations, according to the bill.

The document designates the powers of the military police as an interrogation body of the Russian Armed Forces, ascertains the provisions of the Russian Criminal Executive Code and determines the police powers to enforce penalties imposed on military servicemen.

The military police is led by the Russian Defense Minister.
5Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law Tuesday to create a greatly broadened military police force to defend the country’s military bases and maintain order on them.

The law, patterned on foreign military practices, will task the force with protecting the rights of servicemen, investigating crimes committed by or against military personnel and with guarding and maintaining law and order at defense facilities.

Previously, the investigation of military crimes was under the jurisdiction of unit commanders.

3Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov announced in July 2011 that creation of a regulatory framework for establishment of the military police was being completed.

Creation of military police units had been mooted for years, mainly in the context of brutal hazing and bullying practices in the military. The draft legislation that has completed its passage through the legislature now, however, will endow the units with wider responsibility and powers.

1A small military police force was introduced in 2012 in an effort to combat the theft of defense property and widespread hazing in the armed forces, which still conscript young men for one year of obligatory service.

The new law will substantially increase the size and powers of the military police, including granting officers the right to use physical force and carry firearms.

Colonel Igor Sidorkevich, the head of the Military Police Directorate at the Defense Ministry, said last year that his force consisted of some 6,500 personnel.

Sidorkevich, who is reportedly a judo sparring partner of Putin, said duties under the draft legislation, especially counterterrorism and the protection of strategically important infrastructure, would require military police to staff more than 50,000 people.

Defence Ministry Proposes to Establish Interuniversity Senior Divisions

5The Russian Defence Ministry proposes to establish interuniversity senior divisions not to separate the students of high schools without senior divisions for service. The head of the Russian General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov told this in an interview to “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”.

What will be changed in the system of military training?

1“It is already decided not to increase the number of senior divisions of universities. Another approach is selected: to create inter-university centers of military training on the basis of existing divisions, they will cover not only basic university, but also the nearby ones ,” he said.

At the same time, Gerasimov said the system of the military day would be retained, however, a particular day of classes would be chosen not for courses but for universities, which should synchronize their own educational program with the military training one.

4According to the head of General Staff, universities , located far from the existing senior divisions, the Defence Ministry will offer other forms of training.

“Interuniversity military training centers will not be different from the existing senior divisions and faculties of military training,” he said.

How long the military training in university will take?

When organizing military training in high schools it is planned to allocate 2-2.5 years on theoretical training, practical training will be carried out in the course of reserve training and will not take less than three months. Currently, the duration of these training does not exceed 30 days.

Gerasimov said that the proposed level of military training in high schools will be comparable with the preparation of the conscripts and provides the necessary quality. Defence Ministry also offers the universities to train not only officers, but also sergeants (foremen) and reserve soldiers (sailors).

“In addition, if it is possible, we need to prepare students for those military occupational specialties that are related to their future civilian professions – continued Gerasimov . – A particular attention should be paid to military training of medical students, as well as aircrew of aviation universities. It seems reasonable to train all of them according to the respective programs of military training.”

6The head of General Staff said that under the new system the student will receive the diploma of graduation only after successful completion of military training and qualification examination for military specialty. Otherwise, the student will not only get a diploma, but also he will not be promoted to the rank of a soldier, a sergeant or a lieutenant of the reserve, and he will serve by conscription.

3Gerasimov also recalled that in Russia those who evaded military service without a legitimate reason are forbidden to hold office at the state and municipal civil service. “The proposed form of military training in high schools allows students without interrupting their study process at the university to fulfill their constitutional duty and in the future to get a job in government agencies and bodies of state administration,” he stressed.