At the next conference call, in which Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu took part, the question was discussed on what principle, within the framework of the State Defense Order, contracts will be concluded for the repair and maintenance of military equipment. The topic of the state defense order, or rather its already trivial breakdowns, has acquired a distinctly painful tinge from the moment the substantial financing of the modernization and rearmament of the army was announced. It is this shade that makes it necessary to pay increased attention to all those decisions that are made or negotiated in the field of defense industry as potentially possible.
Sergei Shoigu said that when concluding contracts with defense companies, it is necessary to completely neutralize the risks, for which it is advisable to switch to the following scheme: who makes the equipment, he later repairs it. From the point of view of the minister, such a scheme would lead to the fact that the risks of purchasing low-quality military equipment from enterprises of the military-industrial complex will be minimized and, therefore, the load on the state treasury will decrease. In addition, after such a decision has been made, it will be financially beneficial for the enterprises of the military-industrial complex to carry out a complete modernization of their equipment, as well as a full range of measures to improve the skills of their employees. In other words, the Minister of Defense emphasized that the release of frankly poor-quality equipment will lead to the fact that the producing enterprises themselves will have to incur additional expenses in order to correct their forced or unforced errors.
Such a proposal from the current Minister of Defense found both supporters and opponents. Supporters of the idea of Sergei Shoigu make it clear that the proposal of the head of the military department has a whole range of advantages, the main of which is saving budget funds and improving the quality of products. Budget savings in this case may consist in the absence of a number of intermediaries between the Ministry of Defense and the manufacturing enterprise. And, as you know, the less intermediaries in the form of virtually uncontrolled firms, the less likely there is to lose a certain percentage of funds allocated for the repair of military equipment.
Opponents are not ready to be so optimistic about Sergey Shoigu’s idea. They see at least one flaw in the scheme proposed by the minister. According to their (opponents) opinion, the state in this case will not only not win money, but, on the contrary, will face the need to make new costs. The fact is that defense enterprises supplying this or that equipment to military units are often located thousands of kilometers from these units. And if, for example, tank or a helicopter during operation, one or another block (unit) fails, then transporting the equipment to the manufacturing plant without fail will be too expensive for the treasury.
In addition, critics of the idea of Sergei Shoigu say that under the current conditions of market instability it is absolutely impossible to conclude long-term contracts for the repair of military equipment with manufacturers. The point is that it seems like no one can know in advance about the price of repairs, for example, the T-90A tank for the next 10-15 years.
In principle, such a problem could be solved by concluding contracts that are not designed for 10-15 years of maintenance of a military equipment object, but, for example, for 3-5 years. However, for some reason, this option is not considered by opponents of the idea of the minister.
In order to use Sergei Shoigu’s obvious anti-corruption message, he didn’t bring to the point that, in any convenient and inconvenient case, the failed equipment was sent for repair to the manufacturer’s address, the experts express their suggestions. One of these proposals looks like using the experience of the USSR in the manufacture and repair of military equipment. The essence of the proposal is for the Ministry of Defense to secure a certain amount of repair capacity in various regions of the country. These facilities would carry out repair work without using the services of numerous intermediary offices. This would reduce the time for work and carry out, let's say, the repair segment of the plan for the State Defense Order without delays, which have manifested themselves all lately.
While the Ministry of Defense is deciding on which way to continue the movement so that the state defense authority will not be disrupted once again, Decree No. XXUMX-r of the Government of the Russian Federation announced the new composition of the Military Industrial Commission. The military industrial complex is a special governmental body that organizes the activities of executive authorities in terms of solving military-industrial issues of ensuring the country's security (including the provision of troops with military-technical equipment) and building a law enforcement system.
As expected, Deputy Chairman of the Government of Russia Dmitry Rogozin remained chairman of the military industrial complex. In addition, the military industrial complex includes 22 permanent members, among which are Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Rosoboronzakaz’s director A. Potapov, Industry and Commerce Minister Denis Manturov, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Economic Development Minister A. Belousov, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov. Veronika Skvortsova, a member of the commission, also became a permanent member of the commission.
There is also 37, so to speak, non-permanent members of the military-industrial complex, among which are both the head of Rostekhnadzor N. Kutyin and the Minister of Education and Science D. Livanov. As far as such a commission is workable, and as far as it will allow to solve urgent problems with the modernization of the Russian army, time will show, as always.
Scheme of procurement and repair of military equipment from Sergei Shoigu, and the new composition of the military-industrial complex
- Alexei Volodin