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
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
----- - One independent rocket launcher (FROG) battalion with three or four
----- - 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
----- - 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
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
----- - three SAM launcher battalions with a total of 18 SA-2 missile
----- - 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
----- - 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
----- - 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
----- - 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
----- - 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
----- - 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
----- - One radio control center controls radio communications in the CAA
----- - 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
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
----- - 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
----- - 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.