6 Sep 2018 14:46

Advanced hardware raises Russian Armed Forces' training level - General Staff

MOSCOW. Sept 6 (Interfax-AVN) - The share of advanced weapons in the Russian Armed Forces has increased 3.5 times since 2012, Russian General Staff Chief Gen. Valery Gerasimov said.

"The delivery of new hardware has raised the level of training. Compared to 2012, the share of advanced weapons and hardware has increased 3.5 times, from 16% to 60%," Gerasimov told military attaches on Thursday.

Most servicemen of Russian combat units are operating on contract, Gerasimov said. "They are engaged in combat training, they are professionals. There are conscripts too, but they are not so many of them. As a rule, two battalions and some other combat units of a regiment or a brigade are staffed with contract servicemen, while the third battalion is staffed with conscripts. All sergeants are serving on contract," Gerasimov said.

Units staffed with contract servicemen comprise tactical battalion groups. A regiment or a brigade has two to three such groups. These are reinforced battalions of 800 to 900 men each. They are provided with everything they need for combat, including surveillance, navigation, and encrypted communication means, Gerasimov said.

Most units of the kind perform score high in inspections, Gerasimov said. "There are 126 battalion tactical groups staffed with contract servicemen and permanently ready for combat in the Ground and Airborne Forces," he said.

Measures taken since 2013 have brought results, Gerasimov said, adding that the level of individual training of servicemen had improved much. The time spent by ship crews underway has more than doubled to 57 days. The average flight time per pilot has grown 20% to over 100 hours in all types of aviation. The overall driving time of tank and infantry combat vehicle drivers is ranging from 345 to 410 kilometers, compared to the standard requirement of 250 kilometers. Some 200,000 parachute jumps are performed per year, which is nearly twice as many as in 2012, he said.