Russian Army Order of Battle - 2015 Developments
The Russian Defense Ministry planned to create a new tank army in the Western Military District by December 2015 and another, combined army, will in fact be formed anew. "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," a senior source at Russia’s General Staff said.
The need to create the 1st Guards Tank Army arose due to the fact that the control of the 20th Guards Army was transferred from Nizhny Novgorod to Voronezh, closer to the Ukrainian border. The command of the 1st Guards Tank Army was formed in the Moscow Region on 13 November 2014. She continues the tradition of the 1st Guards Tank Army, which during the Great Patriotic War was commanded by Marshal of Armored Forces Mikhail Katukov. In the Armed Forces of the USSR and Russia, the 1st Guards Tank Army existed from April 1944 to 1999.
The headquarters of the 1st Guards Tank Army was recreated in the Armed Forces of Russia 23 July 2015. It was reported by Interfax with reference to a source in the military department. The structure of the unit included the Fourth Guards Kantemirov Tank Division, the Second Guards Taman Motor Rifle Division, the Sixth Tank Brigade, the 27th Guards Sevastopol Motor Rifle Brigade. The army headquarters is located in the village of Bakovka.
The 1st Tank Army will incorporate the Tamanskaya Mechanized Infantry Division and the Kantemirovskaya Tank Division, as well as the 27th Sevastopolskaya Mechanized Infantry Brigade and the 6th Tank Brigade. Major-General Alexander Chaiko had been appointed commander of the 1st Tank Army. Before, he was in charge of the 20th Army. The latter’s new commander is Major-General Sergey Kuzovlyov (previously chief of staff of the 58th Combined Army).
The existing 20th army will in fact be formed anew. A large share of its units - notably the Tamanskaya Mechanized Infantry Division and the Kantemirovskaya Tank Division - would be transferred to the yet-to-be formed tank army. New ones will be formed in their place.
There will be no great difference in the make-up of the 1st and 20th armies. 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. The tank army will have more tanks and the combined army, mechanized infantry combat vehicles.
The 1st Guards Tank Army, which Russia is establishing, and the newly-formed 20th Combined Arms Army will be the first to receive the newest Armata tanks and Kurganets infantry fighting vehicles. During 2016-2017, work will begin to rearm the 1st Guards Tank Army and the 20th Guards Combined Arms Army with the newest armor. In particular, the operational tanks will be replaced with Armata tanks. These armies will also be the first to receive the Kurganets IFVs.
As of April 2015 the 1st Guards Tank Division Army and the 20th Western Military District combined arms armies will be composed of six regiments. Already deployed as part of the 1st Panzer Army compound (Taman Motorized Rifle and Kantemirovskaya Panzer Division), and the two formed for the 20th Army infantry division, received six regimental organization [shestipolkovuyu orgshtatnuyu] structure that existed in the Soviet Army, and was liquidated during the period of Anatoly Serdyukov in office Minister of defense. When the division was reduced to brigades, the main combat units which were battalions.
As it was in Soviet times, each tank division will have three tank regiments, a motorized infantry regiment, a self-propelled artillery regiment and an anti-aircraft missile regiment, and each infantry division woudl have three motorized infantry regiments, a tank regiment, a self-propelled artillery regiment and an anti-aircraft missile regiment. In addition, each division will receive intelligence units, communications, logistics, electronic warfare, radiological, chemical and biological protection, and so on.
Two infantry divisions, which will form the basis of the 20th Army, will be created before the end of 2015 in the Smolensk and Voronezh regions. Their headquarters will be located in Yelnya and Boguchar respectively. The number of personnel of each of these units will be about 10 thousand people.
TASS reported on 29 July 2015 that the MOD is planning to deploy a new Tank Army in the Western Military District, and a Combined Arms Army will be formed from scratch. "According to a General Staff directive, the 1st Guards Tank Army and the 20th Combined Arms Army will be activated within the Western Military District by 1 December 2015," said the agency's source. The 1st GTA will be commanded by Major General Aleksandr Chayko who earlier led the 20th where his place will be taken by Major General Sergey Kuzovlev (earlier the Chief of Staff of the 58th Combined Arms Army). "The two armies HQs are fully formed, and they are based in Bakovka and Voronezh, respectively," the source added. The 1st GTA will include the 2nd Guards Tamanskaya Motorized Rifle Division and the 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division. In addition, the army will include the 27th Sevastopol Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 6th Separate Tank Brigade.
The 20th CAA will be rebuilt from scratch -- the majority of its units will be transferred to the 1st GTA and new units will be formed in their place. "The formation of the 20th CAA is more complicated, as it lost the majority of its units. As of right now, it includes the 9th Tank Brigade from Nizhniy Novgorod. Additional tank and motorized rifle brigades are being formed."
The TASS source said that there won't be a big difference between the two armies. Each will have a reconnaissance and air defense missile brigade, artillery and missile units, a helicopter regiments and other units, including reconnaissance and strike drones. The tank army will have more tanks, while the combined arms army more infantry fighting vehicles and infantry. Both armies will be the first to receive new generation armored vehicles, including Armata tanks and Kurganets IFVs.
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