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Chapter I-2




I. Organization of the Combined Arms Army

While the basic organization of all Soviet combined arms armies is identical, the number of some subordinate units varies depending on the mission, enemy forces, number of nuclear weapons allocated to it, and the geographic location of the particular army. The main difference is in the mix of motorized rifle and tank divisions. The full strength combined arms armies are mainly assigned to the fronts in the western part of the Soviet Union and Groups of Forces in Europe.

The Motorized Rifle Division

There are three or four motorized rifle divisions in each combined arms army. Each MRD has three motorized rifle regiments (MRR). Each MRR has three motorized rifle battalions.

Motorized Rifle Battalion Organization

Three motorized rifle companies, each with three motorized rifle platoons; one machine gun platoon with 6 MGs; one SAM section with three SA-7 (Strela 2) launchers and 31 BMP armored personnel carriers. Each battalion also has one mortar battery with nine 120 mm mortars; one antitank platoon with four ATGMS and two SPG-9 grenade launchers; one signal platoon; one medical section; and one headquarters/service platoon.

Other MRR Units

Other typical organic MRR units are: one tank battalion with 31 tanks, one artillery battalion with 18 122 mm howitzers; one ATGM battery, with nine BRDM vehicles, each with six mounted SAGGER launchers.

The basic load per vehicle is 14 ATGMs; six on the launchers, two inside the vehicle, and six in the battery's supply trucks); one antiaircraft artillery battery with four XPU-4 AAMGs and four ZSU-23-4 guns (SHILKA); one engineer company, one signal company, one reconnaissance company, one motor transport company, one maintenance company, one medical company; one chemical defense platoon; one headquarters company which had two SAM sections with six SA-7 launchers; one headquarters support platoon; and regimental rear services.

Other Divisional Units

Other typical organic MRD units are the following: one tank regiment with 94 tanks; one independent tank battalion with 51 tanks; one artillery regiment with two battalions of 36 122mm howitzers, one battalion with 18 152mm howitzers and one battalion with 18 160mm mortars, one independent rocket launcher (FROG) battalion with three, four or six launchers. The number of launchers in the battalion depends on the number of the batteries--two or three, and on the number of launchers in a battery--one or two. The rockets can be armed with nuclear warheads, with yields of 3, 10 or 20 KT; one independent multiple rocket launcher battalion with 18 BM-21, one antitank battalion with 18 100 mm AT guns; one antiaircraft artillery regiment with 24 57mm AAA guns S-60 and 15 SA-7 (Strela-2) launchers; one reconnaissance battalion with one radio technical reconnaissance company, two BRDM reconnaissance companies, and one motorcycle reconnaissance company; one special purpose long-range reconnaissance company with nine airborne-qualified teams; one engineer battalion; one signal battalion, one motor transport battalion; one maintenance battalion; one medical battalion; one independent chemical defense company; one headquarters company one headquarters support (komendantskaya) company; and divisional rear services.

CAA Tank Divisions

There are one or two tank divisions (TD) in a CAA (see Figure 5). TDs consist of the following:
----- - Three tank regiments. Each regiment has 94 tanks.
----- - One motorized rifle regiment with three motorized rifle battalions equipped with BMPs and one tank battalion with 31 tanks.
----- - One artillery regiment with three battalions with 54 122mm self-propelled howitzers and one battalion with 18 152mm self-propelled howitzers.
----- - One independent rocket launcher (FROG) battalion with three or four launchers.
----- - One independent multiple rocket launcher battalion with 18 BM-21 MRLs.
----- - One antitank battalion with known equipment.
----- - One antiaircraft artillery regiment with unknown equipment.
----- - One reconnaissance battalion with one company equipped with BTR-60PBs, one company with BRDMs, one company with PT-76 tanks and one radio technical reconnaissance company.
----- - The organization and equipment of long-range reconnaissance company, engineer, signal, motor transport, maintenance, medical battalions, chemical defense, headquarters, headquarter support companies and divisional rear services are not known, but believed to be similar to those of the motorized rifle division.

The Army Missile Launcher Brigade

The following units are subordinate to the brigade (see Figure 6):
----- - Three SCUD launcher battalions with nine launchers. The SCUD missile range is about 300 km and it is capable of delivering nuclear warheads with yields of 20, 40, or 100 KT.
----- - One fire direction battery.
----- - One transport company.
----- - One meteorological battery.
----- - One engineer company.
----- - Several service and support platoons.

The Air Defense Missile Regiment (One or Two in an Army)

The following units are subordinate to an air defense missile regiment: (see Figure 7)
----- - three SAM launcher battalions with a total of 18 SA-2 missile launchers;
----- - one technical battalion with two technical batteries, one missile transport battery and one signal platoon;
----- - one fire direction battery.

Army Artillery Troops

The artillery element is composed of the following units: (see Figure 8).
----- - One artillery brigade of two gun battalions with 36 130mm guns each, two howitzer battalions with 36 152mm howitzers each and one reconnaissance battalion, consisting of one topographic battery, one sound-ranging battery and one radar battery.
----- - One artillery reconnaissance regiment (see appropriate section for more details).
----- - One antitank regiment with three battalions. Each battalion consists of two gun batteries with 12 100mm antitank guns and one ATGM battery with nine BRDM vehicles, each with six mounted SAGGER antitank missile launchers.

The Army Antiaircraft Artillery

The antiaircraft artillery element is composed of the following units: (see Figure 9)
----- - One or two antiaircraft artillery regiments. A regiment has six firing batteries with 36 57mm AAA guns (S-60) and one fire direction battery.
----- - One independent air defense radio technical battalion. The battalion is equipped with u/i radars and supports both the AAA and SAM regiments.

The Army Reconnaissance Element

This consists of the following units: (see Figure 10). Some reconnaissance units have dual subordination.
----- - One independent special mission (OSNAZ) reconnaissance battalion which has one special reconnaissance helicopter; one intercept/direction finding company with a shortwave intercept platoon; UHF intercept platoon and a relay intercept platoon; and two intercept/direction finding companies, each with a radio intercept platoon and a direction finding platoon. The battalion can operate 23 intercept positions (eight for shortwave, 12 UHF and three for radio relay intercept) and ten direction finding positions.
----- - One independent special mission radio technical reconnaissance battalion has one special reconnaissance helicopter, three radio-technical (radar) companies, and one shortwave radio intercept section. The battalion can operate 24 radar positions, three radio intercept positions and eight radio relay intercept positions.
----- - One independent special purpose (spetsnaz) long-range reconnaissance company with four long-range reconnaissance sections, each consisting of two teams, one signal platoon, and one support section. The company, which is a special forces type unit, has airborne-qualified personnel. A reconnaissance team can reconnoiter a 40 x 50 km area in 24 hours and keep radio contact up to 400-500 km.
----- - One tactical drone reconnaissance squadron, which is subordinate to a front and attached to CAA in wartime. The squadron consists of a control detachment (otryad), an operations detachment with four launchers and 12 TBR-1 drones, and one technical detachment. Characteristics of the drone - flight time is 45 minutes, width and length of a photography mission is 5 x 75 km. Flight radius at an altitude 600 m is 80-100 km; at 3000 m, 150-170 km; and at 7,000 m, 200-250 km.
----- - One radio reconnaissance helicopter flight with four radio-equipped helicopters.
----- - Artillery reconnaissance regiment is also subordinate to the artillery troops and consists of two battalions. One battalion has a sound reconnaissance battery, an artillery radar battery, and an optical reconnaissance battery. The other battalion has a photo reconnaissance battery, a topographic reconnaissance battery and meteorological reconnaissance battery.
----- - One independent air defense radio technical battalion is also subordinate to and supports the air defense elements of the CAA.
----- - One independent artillery reconnaissance battalion is also subordinate to the artillery brigade.
----- - One engineer reconnaissance company is also subordinate to the engineer regiment.
----- - A radiological and chemical reconnaissance company is also subordinate to the chemical troops.

The Army Chemical Troops

This element consists of the following units: (see Figure 11).
----- - One independent special treatment battalion: The battalion provides emergency decontamination treatment for personnel and equipment and has six companies with 18 K-600IS apparatus and one analysis point.
----- - Two independent chemical defense battalions. Each has one hot air blower company with two TMS self-propelled hot air blowers and two chemical defense companies with four DKV decontamination sets for weapons and equipment.
----- - One independent area decontamination battalion.
----- - One independent uniform decontamination battalion.
----- - One radiological and chemical reconnaissance company is also subordinate to the reconnaissance element. The company has four radiological/chemical reconnaissance platoons and one dosimeter control platoon. The company has 21 GAZ-69 trucks or BRDM vehicles, four mobile laboratories and one radiological mobile laboratory.
----- - Computation and analysis station.
----- - Chemical depot is also subordinate to rear services.
----- - Chemical air reconnaissance flight has four Mi-8 helicopters.

The Army Engineer Troops

These consist of the following units: (see Figure 12).
----- - one pontoon bridge regiment;
----- - one road and bridge regiment;
----- - one combat engineer regiment;
----- - one mine-laying battalion;
----- - one assault river crossing battalion equipped with boats of various sizes to ferry personnel and equipment;
----- - one engineer equipment repair and evacuation company;
----- - one command post (CP) construction company;
----- - one rear services point (RSCP) company constructs RSCPs and is also subordinate to the rear services.

The Army Signal Troops

These consist of the following units: (see Figure 13).
----- - One radio communications regiment has two battalions to man communications centers at CAA main CP and one company for the communications center at the army forward command post (FCP). The regiment can organize communications at two locations. It has 1155 personnel, 204 motor vehicles, and R-110, R-102, R-118, R-137, R-122M2, and R-130 radio stations.
----- - One rear services radio communications battalion, which provides communications at rear services control points (RSCP) at two locations. It has 450 personnel, about 100 motor vehicles and similar radio stations as the radio communications regiment.
----- - One radio control center controls radio communications in the CAA sector.
----- - One or two radio relay and cable battalions have one radio relay company with 12 R-405 or R-409 radio relay stations and two line cable companies with 240 km of cable. The battalion can provide radio relay communications up to 600 km.
----- - One independent line communications company provides army headquarters with communications to a SCUD missile launcher brigade up to 200 km and has eight R-405 or R-409 radio relay stations and 60 km of P-272 cable.
----- - One field post office center controls and directs the flow of documents and mail from front to army troop control posts.
----- - One or two field post office stations control and direct the flow of documents and mail from army troop control posts to the subordinate units.
----- - One mixed aircraft courier squadron with 12 aircraft; AN-2 aircraft; Mi-2, and Mi-4 helicopters, and one Mi-4 helicopter equipped with an SR-972 radio station.

The Army Radio-Electronic Warfare Elements

The CAA has no organic radio-electronic warfare element; however, the following units are attached to the CAA from the front in wartime: (see Figure 14).
----- - One special purpose radio battalion has an operations center two UHF and radio relay jamming companies with 24 R-330A radio stations (UHF jamming) and 12 R-405 radio stations (RR jamming); one shortwave jamming company with 12 R-378 radio station; one signal reconnaissance and target in company; and one signal company.
----- - One special purpose radio technical battalion has nine SPB-7 stations for electronic bomb-sight interference, six SPO-8 stations for radio transmission interference, 12 SPO-10 stations for radio transmission interference, 6 R-834P and two R-388 radio stations.
----- - One special purpose radio helicopter squadron has three flights with nine Mi-4P helicopters, equipped with R-949 radio stations.

Army Rear Services

These are described in Chapter I-15.


II. Recapitulation of Major Equipment of the Soviet CAA

The quantities of major equipment and total strength of a typical CAA (4 MRDs, 1TD) are as follows:
----- - total personnel strength: about 50,000;
----- - 1,266 tanks;
----- - 744 artillery guns and mortars;
----- - 156-192 antiaircraft artillery guns;
----- - 9 SCUD launchers;
----- - 12-15 FROG launchers;
----- - 18 SAM launchers;
----- - 80 ZSU-23-4 (Shilka);
----- - 486 ATGM launchers, AT guns and SPG-9 grenade launchers;
----- - 450 SA-7 (Strela 2) launchers.