Vladislav Lobaev. Source: YouTube / channel "Weapon TV "
Stop nightmare business
The fact that in Russia it has been very tight lately with technological breakthroughs has been talked about for a long time and, to be honest, there are no special advances in this field.
Our country is slowly eating up Soviet innovations, sliding more and more into the hi-tech abyss. The competencies in which Russian engineers can create at least some kind of competition for foreigners are becoming less and less - nuclear energy and the military-industrial complex.
Once upon a time, of course, the aerospace industry could have been added to the list, but that has long been in the past. You can treat the Soviet legacy in different ways, but the total technological power of the state was an order of magnitude greater than the present one. Wherever you stick, the ears of Soviet technologies stick out everywhere. As soon as we start to build something on our own, then either it does not work out, or serious help from Western "friends" is required.
For example, they decided to create a fundamentally new platform for "Platform-O" strategic missiles - nothing came of it. In the second case, they tried to build a domestic civilian airliner "Sukhoi - Superjet" - as a result, we see an aircraft that no one needs with a considerable share of imported components.
In this case, one does not really have to admire the USSR either. It's all about the command centralized management system, geared towards the concentration of resources on mega- and hyperprojects. Such as BAM, Energia-Buran, or even a fantastic dam project across the Bering Strait. And it worked out - the shuttle "Buran", into which billions of rubles were thrown in, managed to return to the Baikonur runway in a fully automatic mode.
However, the mass market in the Soviet Union was tight. They did not know how to make reliable cars, household appliances, even wristwatches of the proper quality did not work out. One of the reasons is the prohibition of private entrepreneurship, which is aimed not at satisfying the requests of state orders, but at the laws of the free market.
In modern Russia, two factors have developed simultaneously - they have forgotten how to implement megaprojects, and have not learned how to meet the market demand. More precisely, over the past thirty years, the market has been saturated, but exclusively with food, clothing and essential goods. When it comes to smart products with high added value, our country is 99% dependent on the West. The sanctions of recent years have only exacerbated this dependence.
Much of the blame for the situation lies with the very principle of building industry. In Russia now, in strategic areas, state corporations and state-owned companies reign, created by merging several competing offices into one.
For example, Sukhoi and MiG were transformed into one United Aircraft Corporation.
What did this lead to?
First, to the elimination of competition as a phenomenon.
Secondly, to the bureaucratization of the enterprises themselves. Whatever one may say, state managers cannot be as effective as independent ones. Simply because in case of failure, they do not particularly risk anything - the state budget in the form of concessional loans will always help. With such a calico, state corporations do not particularly need technological breakthroughs.
The example of Rusnano, which literally crumbled after the departure of the state official Chubais, is the most obvious confirmation of this. The year 2021 is coming to an end, and we have not yet learned all the delights of the noisy advertised nanotechnology. For the sake of fairness, and abroad they still have not really realized where to effectively attach products with the prefix "nano".
The recipe for solving the problem, oddly enough, is very simple - let small and medium-sized high-tech businesses work. When the head of the enterprise is himself responsible for the balance on the account, he will choose the ways and methods of work. And this is where the notorious innovations that save time and money will be in demand. The work of dozens of specialized research institutes, racking their brains over new inventions (we still know how to do this), will be in demand. And there, you see, the previously impossible will take place - business will start investing in science and technology, thereby increasing the prestige and salaries of scientists.
In the meantime, it is very awkwardly subsidized by the state.
But in all this stories there is one flaw - as a result, a typical representative of the middle class will appear, independent of the budgetary salary, able to think independently, invest in education and choose. And this is probably not included in the plans of the current leadership.
The entire previous story was just a prelude to the event that happened in early December at the Lobaev Arms plant in the Kaluga region.
A typical representative of medium-sized businesses engaged in high-tech production. The brand of Vladislav Lobaev is literally known all over the world, is unique for Russia and, remarkably, is not tied to the budget in any way.
The first bells that it was annoying someone rang in December 2019.
Also, in early December, an inspector of the Russian Guard unexpectedly came to the enterprise and, as Lobaev himself writes, “measuring the armature of the lattice of the weapon storage room with a caliper, he solemnly announces to us that the diameter of the armature is 0,1 mm below the norm”. Of course, this is a good reason to close the room, and therefore the entire enterprise.
The Kaluga Regional Court resolved the situation only by March 2020, that is, Lobaev Arms had been idle for more than three months. This means that the customers did not wait for their rifles, the company received less income, and Lobaev himself incurred reputational costs. The unique production could also lose its specialists.
They learn from mistakes, even from strangers.
Lobaev eliminated the inspector's remarks, canceled by the court, and installed fittings of the required diameter in the weapons room. Specialists of the Russian Guard accepted the changes without any problems, about which the owner of the company has the appropriate acts.
And now a new visit.
Again, without warning. On December 3 of this year, an inspector of the same Rosgvardia comes to Lobaev Arms and finds new violations - this time a welding seam was placed on the door of the weapons room not according to the "charter" and a cassette with barrels was installed in the wrong place. As Lobaev writes in the Telegram channel, on December 9, 2019, the inspectors were completely satisfied with these shortcomings.
The result of the check is logical - the "weapon" is sealed, the enterprise is in a forced outage. And again there are risks of disruption of supplies, loss of highly qualified specialists and financial damage. With a high degree of probability, the Kaluga court will cancel the Rosgvardia's claim in a couple of months, but time, money and nerves will already be spent. Once again.
There are many unknowns in history.
It is not clear for what purpose the guardsmen "nightmare" Lobaev's office?
Do they want bribes? Rollback when concluding a government contract?
Or is the inspector just obediently fulfilling the order?
After all, there are many Lobaev Arms competitors in the country that specialize in precision weapons. Someone did not like the robotic experiments of Lobaev's engineers - after all, the company aims at a new niche where its players are present. In any case, the bitterness is not for Vladislav, but for the inspector of the Russian Guard. A person with shoulder straps, invested with power and responsibility, should not behave in this way.
After all, where is the officer's honor and oath?
Vladislav Lobaev is already advised to give up everything and go back to the UAE or the States. Refuses so far.
After writing the article from Vladislav Lobaev came an encouraging news - Close work is underway with Rosgvardia, and the forecast of the situation is rather positive. However, the armory is still sealed.