Modernization of the Russian economy is a priority strategic task for the country's leadership. An important direction of this activity is the development of the domestic defense industry, the state of which, to put it mildly, leaves much to be desired. The problems that have accumulated over the past decades only cannot be rectified with abundant financing. A systematic approach to assessing the state of affairs and making decisions at all levels is required. The author of the article, removing from the eternal Russian question “Who is to blame?”, Offers his answer to “What is to be done?” Today with the “defense industry”.
2012 is nearing completion, a very important year for modern Russian stories. This is the first year of the office of the elected President of Russia, the second year of the implementation of the not quite new State Armaments Program (SPO) and the Federal Target Program for the Development of the Defense-Industrial Complex of the Russian Federation, aimed at retooling the Armed Forces in 2011 – 2020 and finally change the team of "reformers" in the leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff.
Today, only a lazy person does not throw a stone in the garden of the retired Anatoly Serdyukov and Nikolai Makarov. Pre-warning the readers beforehand: “Where were you before, why were you silent”, I should note that the main goal of this article is not to criticize the military-technical decisions of recent leaders, but to try to answer the question “What should I do?” To be more favorable for the rearmament program conditions.
As is known, the policy of modernizing the Russian economy, defined by the Concept of the Long-Term Socio-Economic Development of the Russian Federation before 2020, requires ensuring its transition from an expert-raw material to an innovative socially oriented type of development. The solution of this strategic task is impossible without the modernization of high-tech industries, the leading place among which is occupied by the military-industrial complex.
The state and level of development of the defense industry depends not only on ensuring the national security of the state and solving the tasks of technical re-equipment of the Russian Armed Forces and other troops (which is much spoken about lately), but also social and political stability in many regions of Russia (which is less , but this problem is no less acute).
We often hear that the complex issues of defense industry are inseparable from the problems of the state and society, and their solutions lie primarily in the economic sphere. They say that defense officials and industrialists only need to take into account a number of objective factors and conditions that have a direct impact on the state of "defense."
I can not agree with this statement. Practice (especially in recent years) has shown: in the field of formation of the state defense order, the use of organizational and technological procedures for the direct creation of weapons and military equipment (IWT) at all stages, from the technical assignment to the acceptance for service of finished products, the creation of an appropriate regulatory and legal framework base promotion weapons to the international markets, the training of highly qualified personnel, and much more — a lot of subjective, artificially applied ones appeared, which, with sufficient political will, must be eliminated literally in the coming days.
This is mainly due to the very “specific” behavior of the main customer in relation to the state defense contractor. Judging by individual decisions, it can be concluded that the Ministry of Defense has ceased to perceive the defense industry as an equal partner in ensuring the country's military security. Certain reasons for this far search is not necessary. But the full and unconditional acceptance of such a position without a differentiated approach to various economic subjects is completely unacceptable.
Of course, the Russian defense industry is far from being “white and fluffy,” and the situation that has developed in relations with the main subjects of military-technical policy is the fruit of the efforts of both sides of the procurement process. However, this does not justify the desire of the military to minimize, sometimes even to absurd values, the cost of government contracts, their unwillingness to finance research, development and technological work (R & D). It is alarming that the Defense Ministry is focused on the preferential implementation of the off-the-shelf procurement policy, that is, those that have already been created and preferably gained experience in the operation of weapons and military equipment. All the more unacceptable is the situation when the developers of technical tasks for a significant number of weapon systems are guided by the ideological postulates developed abroad. Such a policy, of course, deprives the national industry of a long-term perspective.
Who in Russia today does not know that the state plans to fully provide the State Weapon Program in the amount of 20 trillion rubles plus spend almost three trillion on the development of the defense industry? These colossal numbers sound so often from television screens and appear in print that one involuntarily thinks about why it is done in an environment that is not very conducive to openness. I remember the old army saying: did - report, but did not and hide - report twice.
This was confirmed by the recent problem of lack of funds for the technical re-equipment of defense enterprises in the amount of 440 billion rubles for 2013 – 2015 years, in connection with which the Ministry of Finance proposed to attribute these costs to a later period. As you know, the problem was solved by replacing these funds with loans from state banks. Conclusion: there is really a bit of money in the budget (remember, as in the army logistics officers, in the well-known joke: everything is there, but not enough for everyone). This time, the government decided to finance the expenditures on account of the funds that the budget will receive in the future, and today it will only compensate interest rates on state-owned bank loans.
Another rather common policy of the Ministry of Finance on financing the last LG is not encouraging, when the first five-year plan allocates no more than a quarter of the funds declared for the program, and the second five-year plan becomes the first in the new program with all the ensuing consequences. Nobody canceled it yet. And nevertheless, if the state succeeds in finding a specified amount with a large volume of other socio-economic obligations, then it will be money that is simply unprecedented in Russia's recent history.
It is appropriate to recall one of the statements of Russian President Vladimir Putin: “In order to really increase the country's defense capability, we need the most modern and best equipment in the world, and not mastered billions and trillions.” How to achieve this, try to understand the specific problems of modern military-technical policy.
All enterprises involved in the performance of the state defense order must operate in a single financial, economic and regulatory field. At the same time, special attention during its formation should be paid to ensuring close interaction of various structures involved in the implementation of the state defense order - from the customer to the contractor.
According to experts of the Federation Council, 13 laws, 8 decrees of the President of Russia and 11 government decrees, all direct 32 documents are in force in the sphere of the military-technical policy of the state. They literally cover all aspects of the activities of defense enterprises as market participants, mainly restricting their rights, without offering any advantages or compensation measures.
What does this mean? Nothing else but a substantial dispersion of the vertical of responsibility for the fulfillment of the state defense order, as well as the emergence of many private development strategies and interests dictated by the market, and not by the systemic interests of the defense sector as a whole.
Thus, today the industry lives simultaneously on several different systems of rules and verticals of subordination. And the state also regulates it according to several completely different principles.
Hence the proposal - legislative initiatives in the field of "defense" should be aimed at first of all changing the system of its state regulation. Industry enterprises do not have to be torn between the mutually exclusive requirements of various departments, structures and regulatory systems.
Pricing is one of the key instruments of economic regulation
It is noteworthy that if the principles of pricing and contracting in the state order for civilian products are in effect and generally suit all participants in the process, then almost the same system in the state defense order after a number of transformations does not suit anyone.
It must be admitted that in recent years the systematic destruction of the structures responsible for pricing in the country was carried out: the State Committee on Prices was abolished, the Pricing Research Institute was liquidated as a basic scientific center on this issue, the scientific and educational base that provided scientific research and qualification personnel was eliminated economic management.
Prices and pricing in the country actually turned out to be outside the field of state strategic management, deprived of any systemic economic base. And in relation to the MIC, prices turned out to be an obstacle to its normal development. In turn, in developed countries, as a rule, a systematic legislative and legal framework has been formed, ensuring state pricing policy.
Pricing mechanisms for defense products due to the peculiarities of the conditions of production and sales are regulated by the federal law “On State Defense Order”. There is an urgent need to update them. It is necessary to recognize the sharp differences in the formation of prices for civil and military products.
First of all, the very procedure for concluding contracts for the GOZ should be changed, in which it is advisable to provide for its clear parameters, timely advance payment, as well as appropriate penalties for both the customer and the performer.
In order to develop a weighted, equally understood pricing system in the field of state defense, it is necessary to create an interdepartmental working group consisting of scientific forces of industry and the Ministry of Defense, which should prepare for the approval of the country's leadership a pricing concept, as well as an ideology and a plan for developing mutually agreed regulatory documents on state defense pricing. Independent organizations within the framework of the current interdepartmental conflict, which include, for example, the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, which has the necessary scientific potential, can provide substantial assistance in this work.
State support for the defense industry
In order for the defense industry to effectively fulfill its role, to be competitive, it is the state that must create the appropriate conditions. Prospective products require long-term investments. Therefore, in addition to the already existing methods of state support for the technical re-equipment of the defense industry, additional legal acts on innovation activities are needed, which should contain clear mechanisms that allow enterprises to attract long-term financial resources under benign conditions.
The arsenal of means not only of state support, but also of other state influence on the defense industrial complex is very wide. For example, you can exclude from the tax base for income tax that part of it that is used to finance R & D (by the way, this investment benefit was provided for by the regulatory documents in force before the adoption of the Tax Code in 2000). At the same time, defense industry enterprises will have to direct a significant part of their profits to the financing of capital investments and innovative developments.
The current Federal Target Program (FTP) for the development of the defense industry complex, unfortunately, does not fully solve the program for restoring mass production destroyed in 90-s - the beginning of 2000-s. In fact, it was reborn as a means of financing measures to improve the output of only individual enterprises.
Thus, the rules of the Federal Program require mandatory co-financing of such works. However, a number of defense enterprises have an extremely narrow specialization (for example, the production of ammunition), therefore for them the SDO is often the only source of funding. In this regard, attempts to take away bread from such enterprises that are on a starvation ration worsen their already difficult situation. At the same time, the “sacred” market principle of restricting monopolism triumphs over common sense and, most importantly, it is clearly detrimental to the common cause, undermining the country's defense potential.
It also seems expedient to focus the task of the Federal Target Program on supporting the defense industrial complex on the creation of new productions or the deep modernization of existing ones on the basis of technological processes, which step over a generation. The organization of such work should be entrusted to specific people with personal responsibility for finances and results of work. The selection and nomination of such persons is a matter that must be addressed within the framework of the federal contract system.
The incoherence of the State Armaments Program and the Development Program of the Military-Industrial Complex became a talk of the town. The problem has been raised many times in the press, when at the final stage of creating new types of weapons and military equipment, which required significant expenditures, the customer often corrects the tasks and concludes that it is not advisable to adopt the developed models. In essence, this means that taxpayer money was wasted. Such situations arise in conditions of weakening the effectiveness of the military-industrial policy and control instruments of civil society, the underestimation of the professional capabilities of professionals, as well as the lack of continuity in the requirements of the main customer during the personnel change in leadership.
Frequently, the solution of such important tasks encounters the absence of professionally trained personnel in the field of long-term forecasting and strategic planning both among officials and in the management of defense enterprises.
Frames - a separate problem
Only high utilization of production capacities and rhythmic orders can ensure social stability in labor collectives, an increase in prosperity in the regions. In turn, to fulfill the program of industrial modernization, the country needs engineers, designers, technologists, and not managers and graduates of business administration schools. Skilled workers are also required, which you will not find now with fire in the afternoon.
We are talking about highly skilled engineering and working personnel. You can endlessly try to increase the prestige of engineering professions, natural science specialties, but if a young entrant and young man’s parents do not see prospects in his career path, then the defense industry can hardly count on the best applicants and, as a result, on the best specialists.
The key issue for any enterprise is profitability.
Some experts believe that the profitability of the Russian defense industry should be no lower than 15 – 20 percent of the total cost of production, and in order to implement innovative projects in certain areas, it must be no lower than 30 percent. It is clear that without government intervention, such indicators of profitability "defense" can not independently achieve.
For the R & D subsystem as the basis of the DIC, value determination is even more important. In determining the expenditure side, the state customer must participate, which should increase the responsibility of both him and the contractor. Previously, there was a measure in the form of state reimbursement of the cost of prospecting in the amount of 5 – 10 percent of R & D. I see no reason for refusing to restore such practices, and I also consider it appropriate to move away from a fixed fixed price for research and development, which, as a rule, does not reflect the actual costs associated with changes in tariffs of natural monopolies, the introduction of tax innovations and etc.
MIC information environment
It should be noted that the problem of creating a single information space in the defense industry complex is far from being resolved and leads to the duplication of scientific developments, the invention in some cases of what has been done in the neighboring design bureau.
In previous years, as is well known, under the conditions of ensuring high regime requirements, there were various coordination councils, thematic and abstract collections were published, and topical issues were discussed at conferences and methodological gatherings for the exchange of experience. Currently, the closeness has become much more, and this is understandable - your achievements and positive experience can be transformed by competitors into real financial results.
Nevertheless, the creation of end-to-end data registries, the development of uniform standards, the development of deep integration between various defense enterprises, the unification of production capacities are urgent tasks. The problem of protection of copyright and intellectual property acquires particular urgency and relevance.
Another issue is that often private investors, especially those representing small and medium-sized businesses, do not know what their capabilities may be needed by the defense industry and where they can invest their own strength and capital. It is advisable to entrust this task to the network of situational centers used both in government bodies and in business.
One of the main problems of the defense sector is the imperfection of the control system.
It is necessary to establish a clear system of strategic planning, determining priorities and directions of development, and also significantly increase the efficiency of budget spending, which goes towards the modernization of the defense industry.
The scale and specificity of the problem raise the question of creating a specialized body for its management and coordination responsible for the results of the activities of this important sector for the state. In this regard, it seems timely to significantly expand the functions of the Military Industrial Commission (MIC) under the Russian government.
We must pay tribute: such an external activity and the effectiveness of the MIC, as of late, has not been for a long time. The positive developments of the outgoing year related to the creation of a system through which the military, engineers and production workers are trying to coordinate their actions and deal with disagreements that arise are undoubtedly the merit of its chairman Dmitry Rogozin, who has taken up the task of the 20 volunteer Komsomol of the last century .
However, a number of issues remain unresolved. Moreover, the author of these lines at one time had to work in the military-industrial complex, headed by the chairman of the government. And in that period (the beginning of the 2000-ies), the military-technical cart was not moving too fast. I do not exclude that there are some administrative obstacles that prevent the transfer of required legislative powers to the commission. Therefore, I join those who are now proposing to return to the issue of recreating the Ministry of Defense Industry as an administrative body capable of carrying out strategic forecasting and planning, production management of weapons and military equipment, a quality control system, government orders and public procurement in the defense industry. And is 23 a trillion rubles an insufficient budget for the ministry?
Unfortunately, you have to write about it. A case in point is the experience of implementing a decision to create a Russian counterpart to the US Agency for Advanced Defense Research Projects (DARPA - Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). As you know, for the first time, the ex-president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev spoke back on the need to create a structure to finance advanced and risky development as early as September 2010. At the same time, he gave the government two months to work out the status of the new structure.
In purely Russian traditions, it took two years to develop and adopt the federal law “On the Advanced Research Fund” (FPI). I guess not without willpower. According to the plan, already in 2013, FPI should become the locomotive of dual-use scientific developments of domestic origin. His budget, according to some sources, will be three billion rubles. Since there is nothing that simply cannot arise from nowhere, this money will most likely be borrowed from the budget of the Russian defense industry.
The will is needed so that the FPI does not become another bureaucratic superstructure - a structure bound hand and foot by a crowd of leading officials who will make decisions to the best of their incompetence. It should also not serve as a “scarecrow” for the Russian defense industry.
As a conclusion
Of course, in describing defense-technical problems, it was necessary to discuss (besides the noted ones) other issues. These include the state of the material and technical base of the defense industry, the expediency of returning to the state that at different times and for various reasons it was illegally removed from its control (land, buildings, capital structures, and also intellectual property - technical documentation, software security, rights to patents and inventions), a system for conducting tenders (state tenders), the place and role of state corporations in the general system of the defense industry, the creation of directorates for major positions iyam SDO with the personal responsibility of software projects. If necessary, these topics can be discussed later.
Today it is important to learn the most important thing: the development perspective of the defense industry is synonymous with the modernization of the entire national economy. And this must be understood at all levels of the Russian military-technical policy.