According to the Belarusian president, the people will not forgive the government if it does not ensure its security. “Therefore, if the last ruble remains in the budget or state pocket, then it should be spent on the safety of our people, on the safe life of the people. This is the main thing. ”
In this context, a reasonable question arises: what are the real combat capabilities of the Belarusian army? And what really needs to be done to bring its combat effectiveness in line with the requirements of the moment?
FROM SOVIET CHILDREN
The Armed Forces of independent Belarus had a very solid base - the Red Banner Belarusian Military District (KBVO), the most powerful in the Soviet Union. He "propped up" the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, stationed in the territory of the then GDR, that is, was on the most important strategic direction at that time.
In addition to a huge armed group, on the territory of the BSSR there was an infrastructure that ensured the vital activity and combat use of these troops if necessary. Namely: warehouses, the densest network of access roads in the USSR, stocks of military equipment intended for deploying the army here in 500 thousands, and according to some information - in a million people.
The date of the creation of the Belarusian army can be considered 20 of March 1992 of the year, when the government decree "On the creation of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus" was adopted. In accordance with it, the former troops of the KBVO began to transform into an army of an independent country.
The reform went in two stages. In the first (1992 year), the troops were reduced by almost 30 thousand people, their operational mission was determined, the main guidance documents were developed. At the second stage (1993-1994 years), the army’s cuts were basically completed, structural transformations were carried out, and the management system was reformed.
In Soviet times, the total number of troops in Belarus was more than 280 thousand troops, workers and employees. The concentration of military units and formations here was the highest in Europe. One military accounted for the 43 human civilian population. (For comparison: in Ukraine - on 98, in Kazakhstan - on 118, in Russia - on 634 people.)
A relatively small European country with a population of ten million, such exorbitantly large Armed Forces were useless: it was too expensive to maintain and equip. In addition, their total strength in accordance with the final act of the Helsinki Agreement of July 10, 1992, should not exceed 100 thousands of servicemen.
In this regard, in 1992-1996 the years ceased to exist or were transformed over 250 military formations that fell under the jurisdiction of Belarus. By 2005, the total strength of the Armed Forces was 62 thousands of people: 48 thousands of military personnel and 13 thousands of civilian personnel. Within these limits, the number of the Belarusian army is still today.
At the same time, the number of military equipment and weapons was seriously reduced. In accordance with the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and documents adopted in its development, Belarus agreed to limit its armaments to 1800 tanks, 2600 armored combat vehicles, 1615 artillery systems, 260 combat aircraft, 80 attack helicopters.
This reduction was made by the start of the 1996 year. At about the same time, the process of nuclear missile disarmament of Belarus was completed in accordance with agreements reached by the USSR and the USA.
HERITAGE - TO WOMAN
At this point, structural reform of the army was basically completed. So, combined-arms and tank armies were transformed into army corps, and then on their basis created operational-tactical commands; motorized rifle and tank divisions - into separate mechanized brigades (or into storage bases for weapons and equipment); the airborne division, a separate airborne brigade, as well as the 5th GRU special forces brigade - to the Mobile Forces (later Special Operations Forces) consisting of three mobile brigades; aviation divisions and regiments to air bases.
At the final stage of the reform, there was a separation of powers between the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff, as is customary in most countries of the world. Since December 2001, the Armed Forces have been transferred to a two-dimensional structure: ground forces and air force and air defense forces.
Now the Armed Forces of Belarus - two operational-tactical commands (Western and North-Western), which include 3 mechanized, 2 mobile (air assault), 1 - special forces, 2 rocket, 5 artillery, 2 anti-aircraft brigade of ground forces, 3 air base, 5 anti-aircraft missile and 2 radio engineering brigade of the Air Force and Air Defense. (We emphasize: based on the experience of the first and second wars in the Persian Gulf and the Balkan war, a powerful air defense system was deployed in Belarus.)
As for the recruitment of the Armed Forces, we stopped on a mixed principle: both at the expense of conscripts and contract soldiers. It persists today. This allows Belarus, if necessary, to put a solid contingent under arms - about half a million people.
The draft age in the country is from 18 to 27 years. A conscript who graduated from an institution of higher education serves the 1 year, and for all others the term in the army is 18 months. In addition, a contract service is provided in Belarus. And from the second half of 2016, an alternative service is introduced. Spring call takes place in May, autumn - in November.
(For more information on the legal acts related to military service, please visit the official website of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus).
A unified system of military education, training and retraining of army personnel has been created, including the training of specialized specialists in the military departments of civilian universities.
And to arm all these military is what: in the arsenals of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus about 1600 tanks, 2500 armored vehicles, 1490 artillery systems. Even after all the reductions in the number of tanks, armored vehicles and cannons per thousand soldiers, Belarus ranks first in Europe.
And Belarus and its closest neighbors - Poland and Ukraine (before the events in the Donbass and related losses) - surpasses Belarus in the absolute amount of heavy weapons of ground forces: in tanks - in 1,8 and 2,1 times, respectively; on armored vehicles - 1,6 and 1,2 times; for heavy artillery systems - 2 and 1,3 times. As for another neighbor, Lithuania, there is nothing to compare here, since this outpost of NATO does not have its own tanks at all, and “the cat wept” armored vehicles and guns.
However, all these comparisons are fairly arbitrary, since the entire military potential of the North Atlantic Alliance is on the side of Poland and Lithuania. On the other hand, Belarus is an ally of a huge nuclear power - Russia. Nevertheless, these calculations fully support the thesis that the Belarusian army is a fairly significant military force across the East European region.
And this concerns not only the quantity weapons. The structure and principle of recruitment of the Armed Forces of Belarus in general correspond to those adopted in Europe. In terms of training and training of soldiers, the Belarusian army, according to experts, is also among the most combat-ready on the continent. The main emphasis in the training of personnel is on actions in a mobile defense.
Among the priority areas for the technical improvement of the Armed Forces of Belarus are the development of air defense, aviation, missile forces, electronic warfare, intelligence and communications.
DO YOU HAVE A SWORD?
However, to speak of the Belarusian army only in excellent colors would be biased. One of its main problems is the aging of armaments and military equipment (military hardware), as well as the infrastructure supporting the activities of the Armed Forces. They are still Soviet, over time the state of military hardware constantly deteriorates, the maintenance of their fleet becomes more and more expensive, more and more funds are needed for repairs and modernization.
At some point, these costs become overwhelming. For this reason, in the 2012 year, all the Su-24 front-line bombers and the Su-27 fighter jets were withdrawn from the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense Forces. But a huge amount of money is necessary in order to purchase new equipment instead of retiring. Today, a combat aircraft costs 30-50 million dollars, one tank - 2,5-3 million dollars. And you need a lot of such combat units.
C-300 ADMS starting complex
Poor Belarusian state can not afford such expenses. As a result, the proportion of modern weapons and military equipment in the Belarusian army tends to decrease. Even high-ranking military officials are forced to admit that the pace of its rearmament is behind the planned ones. The situation has become especially aggravated with the onset of the economic crisis.
Promoting the course of modernization of the Belarusian army could be facilitated by Russia, which has an immeasurably large potential of military science and defense industry. It is known that Minsk has long sent Moscow orders for anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) short-range "Tor-MXNUM" and long-range systems (ZRS) C-2, operational-tactical complexes (OTRK) "Iskander", etc.
In the same list, combat aircraft Su-30, Su-34, combat training Yak-130, modernized IL-76 transporters, attack helicopters Mi-28Н. All these samples were laid down in the State program of re-equipment of the Republic of Belarus for the 2006-2015 years.
But the loss of a number of technologies and the shortage of production capacities at the enterprises of the Russian military industrial complex, along with the high cost of military equipment and weapons, have become a serious obstacle to the implementation of programs to re-equip the Belarusian army at the expense of the Russian military industrial complex. This should also add the economic difficulties that Russia itself has been experiencing lately.
As 21 was told on December 2015 by the Republic’s Defense Minister Andrei Ravkov in an interview with the Arsenal program of the Belarusian television, over the past five years, the Tor-M2 air defense system in the division, link (4 units .) UBS Yak-130, as well as 4 anti-aircraft missile division ZRK C-300PS from the presence of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
In the future, the leadership of the Belarusian Defense Ministry hopes, in spite of the difficulties (its own and partner), to acquire from Russia Su-30 multi-role fighters to continue buying Yak-130 and Tor-М2 air defense systems, as well as equipment and equipment for the needs of radio engineering forces.
According to a recent statement by the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Republic of Belarus, Major General Igor Lotenkov, Belarus and Russia reached a preliminary agreement to supply Su-30 fighters for the needs of the Belarusian air force and air defense forces to replace the MiG-29 fighters that have been around 30 for years. “Having counted on what their content pours out to us, we came to the conclusion that the renewal of the fleet of aircraft, albeit in a somewhat smaller number, would require less significant amounts of funding.”
Meanwhile, given the insignificant amount of funds that Belarus is able to allocate for the re-equipment of its Armed Forces, it is not possible to speak of any significant supply of military innovations from the Russian Federation to the Republic of Belarus. And, apparently, this situation may exist indefinitely.
And do not eat yourself
At least partially, the situation can be corrected by the Belarusian military industrial complex, which, along with the implementation of modernization programs for existing models of AVT, produces navigation instruments, flight systems, satellite and satellite communications, antenna devices, radio stations, onboard and fixed computer systems, automation systems and software, as well as optomechanical, control and assembly equipment for the manufacture of very large integrated circuits.
The weighty results of the domestic defense industry in the development of aerospace optical-electronic equipment for obtaining digital electronic maps of the Earth's surface, navigation support of high-precision weapons. Unique application software systems that provide control of radar and laser-optical missile defense systems, missile attack warning stations. Currently, Belarus produces a number of samples of special and dual-purpose equipment, which has no foreign analogues at all.
According to Sergey Gurulev, Chairman of the State Military Industrial Committee (GVPK), made by him on 29 in January 2016 of the board of the department with the participation of Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko and Defense Minister Andrei Ravkov, in the last five years organizations of the military-industrial complex were created and mastered in production a number of new promising types of weapons and military equipment.
The specialists of OJSC "MZKT" in a short time developed and prepared for release combat light-armored vehicle "Lys"
These are modern communication and information transfer systems (Muscat, P-261 hardware communication booth, Citrus radio relay station, Potok radio relay station (P-429) and Lineia (P-424), portable radio radio stations P- 180 and Р-181, electronic warfare and radar facilities (Vostok, Rosa-RB, Thunderstorm jamming complex, radio navigation system and GPS Navas interference complex). Upgraded, combined with major repairs, of almost all radar stations in service with the Armed Forces of Belarus.
New samples of unmanned aerial vehicles "Bercut-1", "Bercut-2" (adopted), "Grief-100" (delivery scheduled for 2016 year) have appeared. Brought to production readiness and the robotic weapon system "Adunok". The tests of the new Polonona long-range multiple launch rocket launcher (MLRS) in June, the 2015 in China, confirmed the tremendous capabilities of this high-precision weapon.
At the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant, universal means of mobility of armament MZKT-600200, MZKT-500200 Zastava were created and put into production. The specialists of MZKT, JSC, in a short time, developed and prepared for release a light-armored combat vehicle “Lys”, started designing a domestic light-armored V-1 vehicle.
Implementation of programs to extend the life of existing weapons continues. The Su-25 and MiG-29 aircraft have been mastered and are being repaired and modernized, the Grad’s MLRS BM-21 upgraded to Belgrade’s BM-21-M aircraft. As a result, the activities of defense enterprises contributed to the adoption by the Armed Forces of Belarus about 900 units of the newest, modernized and repaired models of weapons and military and special equipment.
But, as in the case of the purchase of Russian weapons, the main constraint on the process of re-equipping the Belarusian army due to the potential of its own military-industrial complex is more than a modest economic potential of the country. According to President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, it would be possible to find the necessary financial resources by actively increasing the export of military and dual-use technologies. Some independent analysts disagree with him, who believe that the problem of military modernization cannot be solved without modernization of the country as a whole.
And yet, as a large number of experts believe, despite the problems described above, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus are still among the most combat-ready in the post-Soviet space. According to the deputy director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis, Alexander Khramchikhin, in the foreseeable future, the Belarusian armed forces can be considered "quite successful and adequate to the geopolitical situation."