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Old 08-11-2012, 09:33 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default The Soviet Motor Rifle Squad

The Soviets field two different types of rifle squads, depending upon if their vehicle is a BTR-series or a BMP-series.

For the BTR-series:

Squad Leader/BTR Commander, armed with a AK-74
BTR Driver/Mechanic, armed with a PM
BTR Gunner, armed with an AK-74
Machine Gunner, armed with a RPK-74
Grenadier, armed with a RPG-16 and a PM
Senior Rifleman/Asst. Squad Leader, armed with a AK-74
Rifleman/Asst. Grenadier, armed with a AK-74
2xRiflemen, each armed with an AK-74

You will note that this gives a 9-man rifle squad, but the BTR-70 has seats for 11 (two empty seats per vehicle), these additional seats are used for the platoon leader, assistant platoon leader and any attached SA-14 gunners from company assets. In addition there are no man-portable radios at the squad level, the BTR has a single medium-power R-123.

The MR Platoon consists of three rifle squads, and a platoon leader and a asst. platoon leader, both armed with PM.

This gives a typical rifle platoon, 1 officer and 28 enlisted men, armed with 7 PM, 19 AK-74, 3 RPK-74, 1 SVD, 3 RPG-16, 3 BTR-70, 3 R-123 vehicle radios and 1 R-126 man-portable radio.

The BTR Company consists of three rifle platoons and adds a Company Headquarters with a Company Commander (PM), a Deputy Commander/Political Officer (PM), a Senior Technician (PM), a First Sergeant (AK-74), A BTR Driver/Mechanic (PM), and a BTR Gunner (AK-74), (the company RTO is detailed from the battalion communications platoon).

There is also a Antiaircraft Missile Squad with 3 enlisted men, all armed with PMs and SA-14s launchers (each with 2-5 missiles). If this squad operates as one, they will ride in the company commander's BTR, normally, one man is detached to each rifle platon.

The last element of the BTR Motor Rifle Company is a Weapons Squad; this is comprised of a Squad Leader (AK-74), 2 Grenadiers (each with a PM and a AGS-17), a Senior Rifleman (AK-74), 2 Rifleman/Asst. Grenadiers (each with an AK-74), and a BTR Driver/Mechanic (PM).

The company equipment totals are 31 PMs, 63 AK-74s, 9 RPK-74s, 3 SVDs, 2 AGS-17s, 9 RPG-16s, 3 SA-14s and 11 BTR-70s. Communications consist of 11 vehicle mounted R-123s, 4 R-126 man-portable radios and a R-107 manpack radio.
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Last edited by dragoon500ly; 08-12-2012 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:06 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default The Motor Rifle Squad, BMP-series

The second type of rifle squad is organic to the BMP regiment. It consists of the Squad Leader/BMP Commander (AK-74), Asst. Squad Leader/BMP Gunner (AK-74), BMP Driver/Mechanic (PM), 2 Machine Gunners (each with a RPK-74), Grenadier (RPG-16, PM), Senior Rifleman (AK-74), Rifleman/Asst. Grenadier (AK-74), and a Rifleman (AK-74). Like the BTR squad, the dismounted section consists of 7 personnel with the driver and gunner remaining on the vehicle to provide fire support. The dismounted squad has no portable radio.

The BMP-motor rifle platoon consists of three rifle squads and a platoon headquarters of 2 men, the platoon leader (PM) and the Asst. Platoon Leader (AK-74). Equipment totals are 7 PMs, 16 AK-74s, 6 RPK-74s, 1 SVD, 3 RPG-16s, 3 BMP-series vehicles. Communications are provided by 3 R-123 vehicle-mounted radios and a R-126 portable radio.

Like the BTRs, each BMP is operating with two empty seats which accomodate the platton leader/asst platoon leader. One rifle squad is equipped with a SVD sniper rifle.

The BMP Motor Rifle Company consists of three rifle platoons and a Company Headquarters made up of a Company Commander (PM), Deputy Commander/Political Officer (PM), Senior Technican (PM), First Sergeant (AK-74), BMP Commander/Gunner (AK-74) and a BMD Driver/Mechanic (PM).

Equipment totals are 25 PMs, 50 AK-74s, 20 RPK-74s, 3 SVDs, 9 RPG-16s and 10 BMP-series vehicles. Radio commo is provided by 10 R-123 vehicle mounted radios, 4 R-126 portable radios and a R-107 manpack radio.

The company commander's RTO is detached from the battalion commo platoon. Two additional RPK-74s are held at the company headquarters, bringing the company total to 20.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:14 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default The Rifle Squad, BMD-series

The BMD Motor Rifle Squad consists of a Squad Leader/BMD Commander (AKS-74), BMD Driver/Mechanic (PM), BMD Gunner (PM), Machine Gunner (RPKS-74), Grenadier (RPG-16D, PM), Senior Rifleman (AKS-74) and a Rifleman/Asst. Grenadier (AKS-74). Total dismount include 5 men.

The BMD Platoon consists of three rifle squads and a platoon headquarters of a Platoon Leader (PM) and a Asst. Platoon Leader (AKS-74).

The BMD Company consists of:

A Company Headquarters with a Commpany Commander (PM), Deputy Commander/Political Officer (PM), Senior Technician (PM), First Sergeant (AKS-74), BMD Gunner (PM), BMD Driver/Mechanic (PM)

3 Rifle Platoons

An Antiaircraft Missile Squad of 3 men, each with a PM and a SA-14 launcher and 2-5 missiles.

A Weapons Squad with a Squad Leader (AKS-74), 2 Grenadiers (each with a PM and a AGS-17), 2 Rifleman/Asst. Grenadiers (AKS-74) and a BMD Driver/Mechanic (PM).

Equipment totals include 41 PMs, 35 AKS-74, 9 RPKS-74, 2 AGS-17s, 9 RPG-16D, 3 SA-14s, 10 BMD and 1 BMD M1979/1 (turretless BMD). Communications include 11 R-123 vehicle mounted radios, 4 R-126 portable radios and a R-107 manpack radio.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:21 AM
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Default Soviet Radios

The Motor Rifle Companies use three radios;

Each vehicle is equipped with the R-123M Transceiver this is a HF/VHF radio operating in the 20 to 51.5 range. It is a voice FM radio with an effective range of 16km (4m whip) to 55km (10m telescopic) depending on the antenna. It operates with four preset frequencies.

Each platoon leader carries a portable R-126 radio. This is a VHF transceiver that operates on the 48.5 to 51.0 bands. It is a voice FM radio with an effective range of 2-4km. It has three preset frequencies.

The company commander's RTO carries a manpack R-107 transceiver. This is a HF/VHF unit that operates on the 20 to 51.5 bands. It is a voice FM radio with an effective range of 6-8kms. It has four preset frequencies.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:43 AM
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Default Grenade Launchers?

Thank you, Dragoon, this was very informative!

Do you know anything about the numbers of underbarrel Grenade Launchers in the Sov. MR units?
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:14 AM
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Thank you, Dragoon, this was very informative!

Do you know anything about the numbers of underbarrel Grenade Launchers in the Sov. MR units?
Accordingly to FM-100; the BTR/BMD rifle squad would normally have one grenade launcher, the BMD squad fields two.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:39 AM
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Default The BTR Motor Rifle Battalion

The Motor Rifle Battalion of a BTR-equipped Regiment consists of a Battalion Headquarters, 3 rilfe companies, a mortar battery, a antitank platoon, a communications platoon, a supply platoon, a repair workshop and a medical aid station. Front line strength is 455 personnel.

The Battalion Headquarters is comprised of 4 officers and 8 enlisted men. It is armed with 4 PMs, and 8 AK-74s. Transport is provided by a BTR-70PU ACV (armored command vehicle), a UAZ-469 jeep and a GAZ-66 truck. Radios include a vehicle mounted R-130, a portable R-126, a manpack R-107 and a vehicle mounted R-123 as well as a R-311 warning receiver (monitors the air warning and NBC nets).

The Mortar Battery consists of 6 officers and 56 enlisted. They are armed with 14 PMs, 47 AK-74s, 6 RPG-16s and 6 120mm mortars. Transport is provided by a UAZ-469 jeep and 7 GAZ-66 trucks. Commo is provided by 4 manpack R-107 radios.

The Antitank Platoon consists of 1 officer and 26 enlisted. They are armed with 1 PM and 26 AK-74s, 4 AT-3/AT-4 manpack consoles, 2 SPG-9 RR and 2 RPG-16s. Transport is provided by 4 BTR-70s and communications is via 4 vehicle mounted R-123 radios.

The Communications Platoon consists of 1 officer and 13 enlisted. They are armed with 1 PM and 13 AK-74s. Transport is provided by 2 BRDM/BTR-series ACV, 1 UAZ-469 and 1 GAZ-66. Radios include a vehicle-mounted R-130, a portable R-126, 3 manpack R-107 and 2 vehicle mounted R-123s. The commo platoon leader also serves as the battalion commo officer.

The Supply Platoon consists of 1 officer and 19 enlisted. They are armed with 1 PM and 19 AK-74s. Vehicles include 4 GAZ-66, 4 ZIL-130/131/151/157 or Ural 375 trucks, 2 POL trucks (4,000 or 5,200L cap), 1 PAC-170/200 Field Kitchen, 1 POL Trailer, 1 Cargo Trailer, 1 Water Trailer and 3 Field Kitchen trailers. Como is provided by 1 manpack R-107 radio. The supply platoon leader also serves on the battalion staff.

The Repair Workshop consists of 7 enlisted men armed with 7 AK-74s. Transport is provided by a ZIL Maintenance van, towing a generator-mounted trailer.

The Medical Aid Station consists of 4 medics, armed with 4 PMs. Transport is provided by a UAZ-450A/452 Ambulance, towing a cargo trailer. A single R-107 manpack radio is provided. The NCO in charge is also part of the battalion staff.

All told, the BTR Motor Rifle Battalion fields 118 PMs, 309 AK-74s, 27 RPK-74s, 6 120mm mortars, 4 AT-3/AT-4 ATGMs, 2 SPG-9 RR, 35 RPG-16s, 9 SA-14s, 6 AGS-17, 37 BTR-70s, 3 BRDM/BTR-series ACV, 3 UAZ-469 jeeps, 13 GAZ-66, 4 ZIL/Ural trucks, 1 Maintenance van, 1 Kitchen Van, 2 POL Trucks, 1 Ambulance, 1 POL trailer, 2 cargo trailers, 1 generator trailer, 1 water trailer, 3 kitchen trailers. Communications is provided by 2 vehicle mounted R-130, 14 portable R-126s, 13 manpakc R-107s, 40 vehicle mounted R-123s and a R-311 receiver.
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
You will note that this gives a 9-man rifle squad, but the BTR-70 has seats for 11 (two empty seats per vehicle), these additional seats are used for the platoon leader, assistant platoon leader and any attached SA-14 gunners from company assets. In addition there are no man-portable radios at the squad level, the BTR has a single medium-power R-123.
I assume the driver and gunner only operate dismounted in the most unusual of circumstances (eg, vehicle disabled), so the squad is effectively 7 men.

Quote:
The MR Platoon consists of three rifle squads, and a platoon leader and a asst. platoon leader, both armed with PM.

This gives a typical rifle platoon, 1 officer and 28 enlisted men, armed with 7 PM, 19 AK-74, 3 RPK-74, 1 SVD, 3 RPG-16, 3 BTR-70, 3 R-123 vehicle radios and 1 R-126 man-portable radio.
Is the SVD stowed on one of the BTRs to be issued by the platoon leader as he sees fit? You don't list a dedicated platoon sniper.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:24 PM
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I assume the driver and gunner only operate dismounted in the most unusual of circumstances (eg, vehicle disabled), so the squad is effectively 7 men.
Yeah. Driver and gunner would stay with the vehicle. Besides mobility, they're rocking a big chunk of the squad's firepower (even on a BTR).

Actual doctrine might have allowed for more innovation (or might not), but all the (staged/propaganda) training photos I've seen of Warsaw Pact troops show the dismounted guys either assaulting in close proximity (tens of meters, not hundreds) to their vehicle, or in prepared fighting positions pretty tight around their vehicle also.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:28 PM
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I assume the driver and gunner only operate dismounted in the most unusual of circumstances (eg, vehicle disabled), so the squad is effectively 7 men.
Correct


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Is the SVD stowed on one of the BTRs to be issued by the platoon leader as he sees fit? You don't list a dedicated platoon sniper.
Sources from the time are mixed, at best; FM 100 states that one rifle squad carries the SVD as a supplemental weapon, its TO&E charts do confirm that all personnel were issued with PM, AKs or RPKs. Isby's "Weapons and Tactis of the Soviet Army" state that one rifleman in each platoon underwent 45-60 days of unit training, followed by specialist sniper school.

My own take is that the SVD is a supplemental weapon, but that one rifleman is a designated shooter with enough training on the SVD to make good use of its capabilities.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:32 PM
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Yeah. Driver and gunner would stay with the vehicle. Besides mobility, they're rocking a big chunk of the squad's firepower (even on a BTR).

Actual doctrine might have allowed for more innovation (or might not), but all the (staged/propaganda) training photos I've seen of Warsaw Pact troops show the dismounted guys either assaulting in close proximity (tens of meters, not hundreds) to their vehicle, or in prepared fighting positions pretty tight around their vehicle also.
Most sources (FM100 and Isby, Sureov)agree that the infantry squad has a defensive front of 50-60m and an assault front of 30-40m. They are dispersed, but no where near the frontage that NATO trained uses.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:46 PM
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Like the BTRs, each BMP is operating with two empty seats which accomodate the platton leader/asst platoon leader.
I assume they don't ride in the same vehicle, as a single hit on one vehicle could wipe out the platoon's HQ section.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:16 AM
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My own take is that the SVD is a supplemental weapon, but that one rifleman is a designated shooter with enough training on the SVD to make good use of its capabilities.
Well, that's the thing I remembering arguing about forever in the Army. The SVD is not a sniper rifle; it's a designated marksman's rifle. The "sniper" with the SVD has nowhere near the training of a Western sniper; he's just a regular soldier who has demonstrated better marksmanship and given a weapon to help him and extra range time.

It wasn't really until Chechnya until the Russians began to train and use real snipers again. Before that, they seemed to have forgotten all the skills and lessons they learned in World War 2 about the value of snipers.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:43 AM
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I assume they don't ride in the same vehicle, as a single hit on one vehicle could wipe out the platoon's HQ section.
FM100-2-3 has the PL riding with 1st Squad and the APL with 2nd Squad, any SA-14 gunner is with 3rd Squad, and attached RTO or medic would ride with the PL/APL, the remaining seat with the SAM gunner holds his reserve missiles.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:20 AM
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Default The Soviet Tank Platoon and Company

There is an old joke from my OPFOR days that goes, "How many tanks are in a Soviet tank platoon?" You had a choice of 3 tanks, 4 tanks, 5 tanks or all of the above. The correct answer being all of the above.

Source is FM 100-2-3 and Isby's "Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army"

In a Motor Rifle Division...
The Tank Platoon consists of 1 officer and 11 enlisted men (T-64/72/80) or 1 officer and 15 enlisted men (T-54/55/62). Personnel weapons are the PM pistol, with the tank commander (NOT the PL), being issued with a AKS-74 in place of the pistol.

Three tank platoons, with a Company Headquarters (1 officer and 2 enlisted men) all armed with PMs and a single MBT form the Tank Company Company totals include 13 T-64/72/80 MBTs, 30 PMs, 9 AKS-74s along with 13 vehicle mounted R-123 radios and one vehicle mounted R-130 radio. For battalions equipped with the T-54/55/62 series tanks, add 13 enlisted men and another 13 PMs.

Each Motor Rifle Regiment has an organic tank battalion, it is comprosed of a battalion headquarters (5 men), a headquarters & service platoon (40 men) and 3 tank companies. Equipment totals include 40 T-64/72/80 MBTs, 2 RPG-16s, 2 BTR-70 ACV, 7 Ural-375/ZIL=157 trucks, 3 POL trucks, 2 ZIL Maintenance Vans, 1 Kitchen Van, 1 Ambulance, 8 2-axle cargo trailers, 1 1-axle cargo trailer, 1 generator trailer and 1 water trailer. Radios include 2 manpack R-104M, 5 vehicle mounted R-130s, 1 manpack R-107, 41 vehicle mounted R-123s and a single R-311 warning receiver.

The Soviets will use this battalion either en masse as an attack force (or counterattack as the case may be) or breaking up the tank companies and attaching them to the motor rifle battalion, in this case, it is doctrine to detach tank platoons to motor rifle companes, especially in offensive operations. On the defensive, the tanks are often consolidated as a reserve force or emplaced in over watch positions to provide antitank fires.

In the Motor Rifle Division's tank regiment as well as in the tank regiments of a Tank Division, the platoons are formed with a strength of 3 MBTs. In this setup, doctrine stresses the use of tanks en masse, they are seldom, if ever, detached from their regiment, ie, when the tank regiment is committed, that's 93+ MBTs advancing on your battalion's position!

The last tank organization is perhaps the oddest. It is found only in the Motor Rifle Division (and even then, not everyone has one). It is the Independent Tank Battalion. It is organized with 3/4/5 tanks in its platoons and fields 4 companies vs the normal 3. Major equipment thus includes 41-65 MBTs, 3 RPG-16s, 1 BTR-70 ACV, 1 BRDM-2 ASC, 2 UAZ-469 jeeps, 1 GAZ-66 truck, 8 ZIL-131/157 trucks, 4 Ural 375 trucks, 1 GAZ Signal Van, 1 ZIL Maintenance Van, 3 POL trucks, 1 Ambulance, 1 Kitchen Truck, 2 armored recovery vehicles, 1 MTU/MT-55 AVLB, 1 BTM/MDK-2 ditching machine, 12 KMT series mine clearers, 1 BAT dozer, 2 2-axle cargo trailers, 1 1-axle cargo trailer, 1 generator trailer, 2 2-axle POL trailers, and one 1 water trailer. Radios include 2 manpack R-104M, 7 vehicle mount R-130s, 1 manpack R-107, 43-67 vehicle mounted R-123s, 1 R-311 warning receiver and 2 R-401/405 radio relay sets.

Over the years, there has been a lot debate over the independent tank battalion, most puzzling was its wide range of organization and that it was not assigned to every MRD. Suroev explaines it this way. The independent tank battalion is usually assigned to Category I divisions. It can also be found in Category II divisions in certain critical regions. It is comprised of the best tanks available in the division (if the MRD has T-54/55, then the ITB has T-62s for example), it is then manned by the finest tank crews in the division, these crews are allowed more than the normal allocation of training ammunition. The ITB is under the personal control of the division commander. It is used to deliver the critical attack of the division or it is used as the final defense against a NATO breakthrough.
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