30 July 2015
[Personal Rostov-based blog, well informed on military matters]
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
TASS reported on 29 July 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. He also said that 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 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 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. TASS was informed of this by a highly placed GenStaff source.
“We’ll begin the rearmament of the 1st Guards Tank Army and the 20th Combined Arms Army with the latest armored vehicles in 2016-2017. Their current tanks will be replaced with Armata tanks. These armies will also be the first to receive the Kurganets IFV.”
The GenStaff source also said that the Russian Armed Forces may receive one more tank army, in addition to the 1st GTA.
“The GenStaff was requested to establish whether another tank army is needed. We are in process of studying the issue.” In particular, “we are examining where the army’s HQ and units would be based, and assessing its personnel and equipment strength.”
“Unlike the 1st GTA, so far no official documents on forming a second tank army have been signed.”
p.s. I think the next tank army will be based in Rostov Region, as part of the Southern Military District.