Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS)

The Aerospace Force is responsible for centralized control over the combat air forces, air defense forces, and anti-missile defense network as well as the launch and control of the spacecraft of Russia’s orbit group and control over aerospace. Following Vladimir Putin's presidential decree, the newly created force commenced combat duty on 01 August 2015. The current Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force, Viktor Bondarev, was put in charge of the new branch.

“Sergey Surovikin, who previously held the position of commander of the Russian group of troops in Syria, was appointed commander-in-chief of the Aerospace Forces by decree [of the president] 02 November 2017, As his successor, the commander of the Airborne Forces Andrei Serdyukov was initially considered, but on September 15 he got into an accident in the Kola district of the Murmansk region, in which he received serious head and spine injuries.

On 01 August 2015 President Putin signed Presidential Decree No. 394 on the appointment of commander of aerospace forces, Colonel-General (Victor) Bondarev, Chief of Staff - First Deputy Commander of Air Space Forces - Lieutenant General (Paul) Kurachenko, Deputy Commander Aerospace Forces - Commander of the Space Forces, Lieutenant-General (Alexander) head .

By December 2014 it appeared that the Russian Armed Forces would have a new service, the Aerospace Forces, an informed source in the Defense Ministry told Interfax-AVN. "All decisions required for the formation of a new service of the Armed Forces have been made. A formal announcement is pending. The Aerospace Forces will incorporate air defense forces and aviation which are currently attached to the Air Force and information and attack means and forces currently belonging to the Aerospace Defense Forces," the source said.

He noted that the Air Force will cease to be a service of the Russian Armed Forces. "Thereby the Armed Forces will have three main commands - the Ground Forces, the Navy and the Aerospace Forces," the source noted.

The composition and the fundamental structure of the prospective Aerospace Forces have been approved, the source said. "The new service will be formed in several stages over a number of years. During this period units and means attached to the Aerospace Forces will unify and standardize their complexes controlling information and attack systems," the source said.

The Aerospace Forces would operate a number of systems, including an aerospace attack reconnoitering and warning system, an aerospace attack deterrence system, a unified control system and a comprehensive support system, he said.

The Russian Aerospace Defense Forces (known as VKO in Russia) was to start operating in June 2015, VKO Commander General-Lieutenant Alexander Golovko said on 06 April 2015. The principally new branch of Russia’s Armed Forces will bring together VKO and the Air Force.

Russia added a new branch to its armed forces – the Aerospace Force in August 2015. The newly created branch merged the country’s air force, air defense, anti-missile and space forces under one command, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. “The creation of the Aerospace Forces by merging the air force and aerospace defense force is the optimal way of improving the system of the nation's aerospace defense," Shoigu said at a teleconference on 03 August 2015.

He added that the creation of the new branch was prompted by a shift in the center of gravity of modern warfare activity into aerospace. The minister also stressed that merging several branches would allow Russia's armed services, first and foremost, to concentrate all the responsibility for the shaping of the military and technical policy on development of the aerospace forces in one hands. Second, it would increase the efficiency of its implementation, and third, it would ensure the incremental development of the country’s aerospace defense system.

The current system of command and control and air defense military districts remained unchanged. The general management of air and space defense is still carried out by the General Staff, and direct - the main command of air and space power. Formation of videoconferencing by joining the Army Air Forces and Aerospace Defense is the best option to improve the system of aerospace defense of the country.

The unified leadership united: aviation, troops and missile defense, space forces and means of the Armed Forces. This allows concentrating in the hands of all responsibility for the formation of the military-technical policy for the development of the troops, the decisive task in the aerospace sector, and secondly, due to tighter integration to increase the effectiveness of their application, and third, ensure the progressive development of the aerospace defense of the country.

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