a constituent part of an armed service, including units that have distinctive weapons and combat matériel, employ their own tactics, have specific combat characteristics, and are designated to perform tactical and operationaltactical missions in general combat and in operations.
All armies and navies divide troops into combat arms. From the 16th to 20th centuries the various armies had three combat arms—infantry, cavalry, and artillery. With the development of new weapons and combat matériel in the 20th century and the use of new methods of waging general combat and operations, new combat arms appeared, and arms such as the cavalry completely lost their importance.
The combat arms of the armed forces of the USSR include the rocket forces of the ground forces, motorized rifle troops, tank troops, artillery, airborne troops, antiaircraft rocket forces, bomber aviation, fighter aviation, fighter bomber aviation, reconnaissance aviation, and radio troops. Naval combat arms include submarines, surface ships, and naval infantry. Each combat arm is headed by a commander or is directly subordinate to the commander in chief of the particular armed service. In general combat and in the operation, the units of a combat arm are, as a rule, used in close coordination with one another, which ensures that the fighting characteristics of each one will be employed effectively.