Russia's first priority should be to equip all motorized rifle and tank divisions with adequate numbers of BMP-3s [or even a more modern IFV], the BTR-90, and the T-90 [or better].
Existing armour could do with an upgrade but they are on the verge of introducing four entirely new armoured vehicle families... they are not just replacing the BMP, the BTR, and the T-90... they are replacing the engineer vehicles, the artillery vehicles, the air defence vehicles, the command vehicles, the ambulance vehicles, the scout recon vehicles and every other vehicle within the brigade structure with four basic vehicle types.
Upgrading existing vehicles with new night vision devices so they can train at night, communications systems and battle management systems so they can practise the new tactics the next generation vehicles will allow them to use also makes sense but large scale production of existing types does not make sense right now... not when their replacements are 2-3 years from production at most.
Aircraft carriers are only useful if they intend to begin projecting power across the world or going for some sort of global empire.
Aircraft carriers mean the navy will have freedom of movement and wont have to worry about stretching itself beyond land based aviation support.
Russian allies in the various parts of the world would be much more relaxed if they knew that in times of trouble a Russian carrier group could come and visit for a week or two, plus it makes Russian vessels in international waters much much safer.
I would suggest that first they do something to check NATO's advance which has now come right up to their very borders.
A carrier group or two would be rather more useful than more ground forces in Europe... any NATO belligerence would be met with the threat of tactical nukes rather than large armoured forces. Later conventionally armed cruise missiles will allow Russia to do to NATO what NATO has been doing to other countries.
[qutoe]They should do something to help the Serbs and resolve the situation in Kosovo.
The Serbs need to help themselves by voting in politicians that have a spine.
The issue of Kosovo will not be solved with force of arms... it will most likely be a waiting game.
I think Russia has lost a lot of credibility with its "allies" in the last five or six years, mainly by bailing on Serbia and by basically standing by and doing nothing substantial over what is happening in Syria. They also dropped the ball on Libya. Russia should deployed some submarines and destroyers off the coast of Libya and declared that they were enforcing a "non-intervention neutrality zone" and that outside interference in the civil war would be unacceptable.
On Kosovo, I agree but I also disagree... Kosovo will be solved by force of arms, but only after much waiting. The Serbs will have to wait and bide their time while America weakens from poor domestic policies. Once America is sufficiently weak there will be a great many things happening around the world that were unable to happen when America was still vibrant, the Serbs asserting themselves in Kosovo will be one such thing.[/quote]
Yeap, Russia side stepping here and there in politics has caused issues with its allies. Serbia was kinda understandable because of the piss poor shape Russia was in, as well as...well, guess who was in power at the time? But they still managed to send VDV units.
Libya was Medvedevs go ahead as they promoted the strikes. What was funny in all of that, is not only did Russia lose out $10B in deals, even when they gave the go ahead, Rebels refused to deal with Russian's because they didn't "help". Some major lobbying from the west right there.
Syria, Russia is doing half right. Russia needs to have more ships off of the cost of Syria, which they do (Mediterranean task force), but they need more of them, as well as having a carrier off of the coast so they could provide air support if needed. That is the main reason why Kuznetsov is not undergoing modernization at the moment.
I think, IMO, Russia needs at least 3 or 4 carriers. 1 in each major area. Maybe 5 so that 1 can be used as a backup. As well, they do not need a large aircraft carrier, but something that can hold 30 or so fixed wing jets, and a dozen or so helicopters. So not power projection but at least something to provide air assets if in real need of it. As well, ultimately, Russia should have started R&D on a jump jet (IMO) so that they could turn some shipping vessels into temporary small carriers because with jump jets, you could fit more aircraft on board. Or go back to the Kiev class aircraft carriers with jump jets.
In Russia's best interest right now, is developing more heavily armed frigates and Corvettes, with few "destroyers" here and there in order to not only provide protection for its coast, but modern Frigates have pretty decent endurance. With propulsion systems and automated systems ever so increasing in the Russian military, they could increase endurance easily.