Christopher Harress — International Business Times July 29, 2015
The Russian military plans to create two new armies in the west of the country by winter, according to a senior military source cited by the pro-Russian news agency Tass. The moves, which will include the creation of an army designed to support the Kremlin’s new 5th generation Armata tank, is the latest in a long line of changes to Moscow’s military as it looks to reestablish itself as a global military force on par with the U.S.
The establishment of the new military units will again cause concern for NATO, which has its own forces conducting U.S-led exercises on the alliances eastern flank in the former Soviet Republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, as well as in the Balkans. Many will see Moscow’s move as the clearest sign yet that Russia and the West are reinventing Cold War style military postures. “According to a directive of the chief of the General Staff, the 1st Guards Tank Army and 20th Guards Combined Army are to be formed within the western military district by December 1, 2015,” the Tass source said.
There will be very little difference in the compilation of both armies, according to the Tass report. “Each will have one reconnaissance and one air missile brigade, as well as a logistics brigade, missile and artillery units a helicopter regiment and other units, including reconnaissance and attack drone units,” said the source. “The tank army will have more tanks and the combined army, mechanized infantry combat vehicles.”
While it’s not yet known how many Armata tanks will be deployed, it will represent a fierce proposition for NATO forces. The tank, which made a public display at the recent Victory Day parade in May, is reported to be one of the most advanced tanks in any military. However, at the parade in Moscow one of the tanks broke down.