Russian Military Capability in a Ten-Year Perspective - 2019


  • Susanne Oxenstierna
  • Fredrik Westerlund
  • Gudrun Persson
  • Jonas Kjellén
  • Nils Dahlqvist
  • Johan Norberg
  • Martin Goliath
  • Jakob Hedenskog
  • Tomas Malmlöf
  • Johan Engvall

Publish date: 2019-12-03

Report number: FOI-R--4758--SE

Pages: 146

Written in: English


  • Russia
  • military capability
  • security policy
  • foreign policy
  • military expenditure
  • defence industry
  • armament deliveries
  • armed forces
  • operations


Comparing current Russian military power to that of a decade ago, Russia has clearly made substantial progress in transforming its military into an efficient fighting force. Observing this achievement, it is relevant to ask: What military capability will Russia possess in another ten years? This report provides a forecast of Russian military capability towards 2029. It is based on analyses of the Armed Forces and their fighting power, and of political and economic factors that affect the development of military capability. The study's primary focus is on regular warfare capabilities. The report finds that Russia's authoritarian domestic policy and anti-Western foreign policy will continue. Recognition as a great power and establishing a sphere of interest in its neighbourhood will remain main objectives. The impressive pace of improvement of the Armed Forces in the past decade is probably not sustainable. Instead, the next ten years will consolidate previous achievements, notably the ability to launch a regional war. Strategic deterrence, primarily with nuclear forces, will remain the foremost priority. Towards 2029, Russia may only significantly increase its military capability further by sustained political support for determined policy implementation.