Good summarising Medo:
We could assume, Russia will be oriented in defending their motherland and not in expeditions in foreign countries anywhere in the globe as the West. The other important factor is Russian geography with all its components. They also know, Russia could not have multi million army as in times of Soviet Union, because Russia have only half of that population. They are in process of changing, but I'm not sure if they rich the final structure of their military. Final military structure will be basement for norms, which new vehicles will have to rich.
I agree with all that, but would add that because Russia has a relatively small population for a large country and its military forces will be relatively small in regard to the area it needs to protect, that mobility, both in terms of strategic mobility... in other words putting a couple of light and/or medium brigades in aircraft and flying them across the country at short notice will be a major requirement, and moving around within the theatre of operations will be very important too... so while these forces will be defensive they will actually also be suitable for world deployment and global domination...
(An added perk rather than an initial design consideration.)
To your suggestions:
We could be sure for few norms:
- to operate in harsh climatic conditions.
- to have good cross country capabilities
- at least part of them must have swimming capabilities.
I would add that all vehicles will need to be able to cross water obstacles... those that don't swim will need to be able to snorkel.
All will need to be able to be put in an aircraft and flown 5,000km to a deployment area... at the very least the light brigades should have the option to be para dropped, but being landed at an airfield will suffice for most of them.
Which means they need to greatly expand their air lift capability too.
The 4 zone structure means each region will have enough resources to manage most situations, though being able to fly in extra forces at a moments notice would be very useful, and as a perk should enable Russian forces to intervene beyond her borders when it is in her interests to do so.
Note the heaviest vehicle in the Armata series weighs 65 tons, but if it is the artillery vehicle known as Coalition I don't see how they could get that sized turret in an aircraft...
Light Brigades: Tigr or Volk or something in that line
Medium Brigades: BTR-82 or wheeled replacement of similar size/weight
Heavy Brigades: Replacement of BMP-3 (possibly on Armata platform)
I would be happy to be proven wrong.
The military has been talking about this for a while... the vehicle families started out as theory because it is all theory based. In other words UVZ didn't come up with Armata, they were busy making the T-95 when the Russian military came up and cancelled it and said they want to reform their military structure into brigades that include three different types of brigades each for different uses and based on different chassis families.
The Heavy brigade will be based on the Armata chasis, which will have two forms... engine at the front and engine at the back. Engine at the back is for the Tank and probably 152mm artillery vehicle, while the engine at the front chassis will be used for the Armata APC/IFV and other vehicles that suit rear ramp entry/exit.
The Medium brigades will have two vehicles, one wheeled called Boomerang, and one tracked called Kurganets-25. Both will be 25 ton vehicles with amphibious capability with rear ramps for exit and entry (the wheeled vehicle might also have side doors as well).
The light vehicle is called Typhoon (though I have called it boomerang... actually I think Kangaroo has been called boomerang as well) and it comes in 4 and 6 wheeled versions.
The point is that in each brigade all the vehicles will be based on one chassis so the levels of protection are the same within the unit and the engines and spares and logistics train will be simplified.
The Armata has a new engine that will have power ratings from 1,300hp up to about 2,200hp for different roles on different versions... and they will probably develop other "family" engines for the other two brigades.
They already have electronic suites, so the BMP in the heavy brigade will be based on the Armata chassis, while the wheeled Typhoon BMP will have the same electronics suite. The gun platform vehicle in the Light Brigade might be something like Sprut, but it will have the same electronics suite as the Armata tank version and will be based on the Typhoon chassis... probably one of the 6 wheeled versions.
These new vehicles are from scratch designs that we will likely not see till 2015 when they start entering production and service.
Until then you are quite right that the Volk and Tigr-M will be used in the light brigades, the BTR-82 will be the medium brigade and the BMP-3M will also be in the medium brigade, while the heavy brigade will have a BMP with tank level armour, which at the moment would be the BTR-T but whether they actually buy or convert any T-72 chassis, or just use BMPs till the Armata is ready is another question.
They are certainly buying Volk and Tigr-M and BTR-82, but whether they actually want to spend money on BMP-3Ms and BTR-Ts is another matter... I rather doubt it... just like they will likely not spend a huge amount on T-90AMs when the new T-99 Armata tanks will enter production (hopefully) in 3-4 years time.
Volk and Tigr-M are useful little vehicles that replace unarmoured vehicles, while the BTR-82 is a significant step up from the BTR-80 and older vehicles, while being relatively cheap to buy and operate so they will be built and put in service.
For the other stuff they have plenty of old stuff to upgrade in the mean time and then discard when the new stuff is ready.
However I don't see the small shell (less than 3 kg) being very effective against troops. Greater rate of fire will hardly compensate for lack of punch, making this choice of weapon more limited in scope.
A 3kg shell of HCHE or high capacity high explosive is the equivalent of about 20 40mm grenades and as it is a direct fire weapon it has much better accuracy.
Th ZSU-57-2 was a devastating weapon when used in the ground role.
Let me put it this way... with a new HE shell fired from a modern gun where velocity is not so important (with a digital fire control system you can have a HE shell that is heavy and slow, and an armour piercing shell that is lighter and much faster because the system can aim at a different point for each shot. For an automatic anti aircraft 57mm gun you needed to make both rounds shoot to the same point of aim at different ranges so the AP round couldn't go as fast as you could make it go otherwise it would have a different trajectory to you HE round so you could either aim to hit with the AP round or the HE round but not both.
It means you can make your HE shell much heavier (and more effective) and much slower (which does not reduce performance but reduces recoil), while your APHE can be much faster and more effective, and your HVAPFSDS round can be even faster still.
(one problem with AP kinetic rounds is a lack of lethality... they punch a hole but if it doesn't hit fuel or ammo or bodies it might not stop the target... an APHE ensures max destructive effect, but needs to be rather more powerful to penetrate... ie a 30mm APDS round might penetrate the armour but you need a larger more powerful round (45/57mm) to penetrate the armour with an APHE round.)
A 3kg warhead or even 4kg warhead could be possible... and remember 3kgs is the weight of the standard Russian 82mm mortar shell and that is quite effective against infantry isn't it?
I certainly agree that the 100mm shell of the BMP-3 is certainly more potent with more HE and more metal mass for splinters, but the information I have is projectile weight is 15kgs while the explosive content is 1.7kgs.
Pretty much just a bursting charge for a fragmentation shell.
My info for the naval 57mm shell is a 2.8kg projectile with a 150 gramme bursting charge, but they are updating the ammo design for the new 57mm gun so it will likely have different characteristics.
The current 100mm of a BMP-3 on the other hand can deal with any future IFV now. It is also real world artillery against infantry. Why change it?
Because the 30mm is no longer powerful enough to do its job of penetrating enemy "light" vehicles, and there are two alternatives... going really big in the 90-100mm high velocity guns that make it less of a BMP and more of a light tank with troops, or going with a smaller increase in calibre as a medium between the two existing weapons.
The 57mm rounds are not small compact shells and there would not be enough room on board a BMP like vehicle for a 57mm and a 100mm gun and their ammo.
I would think a combination of a 45/57mm gun with a 14.5mm gun coaxially mounted for one vehicle and the 30/100mm gun combination in another vehicle would be a good solution in the short term.
The 14.5mm gun is very similar to a western 20mm cannon which would be able to engage a wide range of soft targets on the battlefield at low cost, while harder targets or targets further away or aerial targets could be engaged with the 45/57mm weapon.
The 30/100mm combination is already proven to be useful and can continue to be fielded.
The improved communication and control with the new C4IR system I think will lead to them finding that their 120mm mortar equipped vehicles will be used rather more in the future and in many ways might replace the 100mm guns in that role.
With 152mm plus calibre weapons getting Glonass guided shells I would think a few 240mm mortar batteries might become useful too... a 19km range 240mm shell weighing 130kgs within 10m of the target would be quite devastating.