The Russian military may surpass US military capability in Europe by 2025, Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, head of US European Command (EUCOM), said on Thursday, adding that Russia is advancing in key military technology areas and shows no deceleration in efforts to destabilize the West.
"Given their modernization, the pace that it’s on … we have to maintain our modernization that we’ve set out so that we can remain dominant in the areas that we are dominant today," the general said. "If we were not to do that, I think that their pace would put us certainly challenged in a military domain in almost every perspective by, say, 2025."
Gen. Scaparrotti emphasized that keeping up EUCOM’s modernization was key to keeping up and maintaining superiority. Last month, EUCOM requested $6.5 billion for its key program in the region, the European Deterrence Initiative, which bolsters air, sea, and land forces across the continent. That’s $2 billion more than requested in fiscal 2018. EUCOM leaders said it reflected the need to "deter aggression and malign influence in Europe by increasing our air, sea and land force responsiveness, and expanding interoperability with multi-national forces."
According to Defense One, Putin has been eager to show off Russia's new capabilities in hypersonic weapons. Also, Russian prowess in electronic and cyber warfare has been evident in Eastern Ukraine and Syria.
Gen. Scaparrotti’s warning follows a recent report from RAND, which notes a growing "imbalance" of US and European forces in Eastern Europe. "Improvements in Russia’s military forces over the last decade have reduced the once-gaping qualitative and technological gaps between Russia and NATO. These improvements come while Russia is expanding its forces in the West, maintaining more high-readiness forces, and gaining valuable combat experience in Ukraine and Syria," the report says.
The head of EUCOM said there is a need for software and hardware for command and control, as well as more sensors and analysis aids for better intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance. He also said EUCOM’s deterrence depends on precision munitions and integrated air and missile defense, particularly in the short- and mid-range.
[Source: Defense One]