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Soviet Union

Naval Infantry

In the early 1960s, Naval Infantry became a combat arm of the Soviet Naval Forces. In 1989 Naval Infantry consisted of 18,000 marine troops organized into one division and three brigades. Naval Infantry had its own amphibious versions of standard armored vehicles and tanks used by the Ground Forces. Its primary wartime missions would be to seize and hold strategic straits or islands and to make seaborne tactical landings behind enemy lines. The Soviet Naval forces had over eighty landing ships as well as two Ivan Rogov-class amphibious assault docks. The latter were assault ships that could transport one infantry battalion with forty armored vehicles and their amphibious landing craft. At seventyfive units, the Soviet Union had the world's largest inventory of air-cushion assault craft. In addition, many of the Soviet merchant fleet's (Morflot) 2,500 ocean-going ships could off-load weapons and supplies in an amphibious landing.

Data as of May 1989