The latest Barnaul-T reconnaissance/air defense control systems have arrived at Northern Fleet’s 200th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade Base. The Brigade is a specialist arctic warfare formation of the 14th Army Corps, part of the Northern Military District, based at Pechenga in Murmansk Oblast. The new equipment helps raise the efficiency of command and control of air defense forces and capabilities and their coordination, boosts the hardware’s mobility and survivability in a combat environment. TThe personnel of the brigade’s surface-to-air missile battalion has already held the first classes in the Arctic conditions. The motor rifle troops practiced the elements of a march on cross country terrain and the system’s deployment on combat positions.
The Barnaul-T reconnaissance/control module mounted on the MT-LBU tracked chassis features the enhanced cross country capability and employs its integrated air reconnaissance equipment that helps conduct reconnaissance round-the-clock, exercise command, and control of subordinate troops and their armaments in warfare on combat positions and in a march. it is provided with a radar said to be capable of detecting targets at a maximum range of 40 km, and capable of simultaneously tracking up to 100 different targets, with an automatic refresh rate of 1–12 seconds. The motor rifle brigade’s anti-aircraft gunners have undergone four-month re-training at the Eisk training center and will continue learning to operate the new hardware in the new year.
The 200th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade was formed from the 131st Motor Rifle Division in 1997 and is one of the two Russian Arctic warfare brigades. Transition to professional contract status was planned to finish at the end of 2006. At the beginning of April 2006, the brigade had about 700 professional personnel, practically all sergeant positions having been filled by kontraktniks (contracted professional soldiers). More than 180 military men and women have signed contracts for service in communications, medical, and rear services subunits. The brigade has about 10 professional soldiers from other Commonwealth of Independent States members. At the beginning of 2006, during a trip to the Leningrad Military District, the 200th Brigade was visited by the Minister of Defence, Sergei Ivanov. The brigade has association links with the Norwegian 6th Division (Norway) and the Swedish Norrbottens Regiment.