The foundations of our country's military-technical cooperation with other states were laid over a hundred years ago. The beginning of this process was associated with the intensification of the foreign policy activities of the Russian Empire, its participation in a number of wars and the rapid growth of scientific and technological achievements in Europe and America.
Initially, in Russia there was no single state organization responsible for the procurement of weapons abroad and its delivery to foreign countries. Each of the departments - the Military and Marine carried them through military agents (attache), by decision of the emperor, independently. At the same time, imports substantially prevailed over exports. So, in 1843, the Military Department bought the first rifled rifles, which came into service with the Black Sea Cossack Army, in Belgium 3500. The American firm Smith and Wesson produced for Russia about 250 thousands of revolvers. It was purchased abroad and was adopted by a whole series of foreign rifles: the Englishman Carla, the Czech Krnka, and the American Berdan. However, even then the military-technical cooperation of Russia was invariably in the field of vision of the first persons of the state.
"Firstborn" - partners and supplies
Under Alexander II (1855 – 1881), communications in the field of purchases of artillery weapons and their production technologies abroad began to develop actively. Germany and its main supplier Alfred Krupp’s firm became Russia's most important partner. In addition, contacts with Britain, the USA, France and Sweden developed.
In turn, the Russian Empire supplied small weapon abroad, mainly in China. So, before 1862, Beijing received 10 as a gift for thousands of domestic rifles, a battery of field guns and a large amount of ammunition and spare parts.
The active development of military-technical ties between the Russian Maritime Department and foreign companies began with the advent of steam and armored fleets and new types of weapons (mines, torpedoes). In 1861, a floating coastal defense battery was commissioned in England for 19 million rubles. It was called the Firstborn in Russia. Warships in the USA, Germany, and France were ordered for construction — the machines and equipment necessary for the manufacture of steam boilers. From 1878 to 1917 the Russian military fleet 95 ships and ships of only American construction were included.
Russia sought not only to adopt the best shipbuilding experience from leading maritime powers, but also to provide assistance from the Maritime Ministry to foreign countries. Thus, in March 1817, the king of Spain Ferdinand VII appealed to the Russian emperor Alexander I with a request to sell him a squadron of four 74 – 80-gun battleships and seven or eight frigates. July 30 (August 11) of the same year, representatives of the two countries signed in Madrid the Act on the sale of Spanish warships. The amount of the transaction - within 685,8 – 707,2 thousands of pounds. After the end of the Russian-Turkish war (1877 – 1878), the Russian empire helped create the fleets of Romania and Bulgaria.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Russia bought new models of military equipment, weapons, vehicles and other military equipment in England, Germany, France, Italy, and at the same time supplied domestic weapons to Bulgaria, Montenegro, Serbia, and China. Supplies of small arms (rifles) numbered tens of thousands, ammunition - millions of pieces. There were also larger deliveries: in 1912 – 1913, Russia sent 14 aircraft to Bulgaria. Nevertheless, by 1917-th 90 percent of the entire fleet was of foreign origin. French airplanes and flying boats were bought - Voisin-Canar, Moran, Farman, Newpor, Donnay-Leveque, Telle and FBA (in 1914 – 1915-m were produced under license in Russia ), as well as Italian aircraft "Ansaldo" and American "Curtiss".
Formation of the power vertical of the PTS
In April 1917, the system of purchases and sales of weapons and military equipment acquired the highest governing body - the Interdepartmental Committee on foreign supplies. In fact, it was the first separate structure with the right of final decision on all issues of overseas supply. The new committee included representatives of the ministries of the army, navy, communications, industry and agriculture. The General Directorate for Foreign Supply (Glavzagran) was created as the executive body of the committee. 20 May (2 June) 1917, the decision on the establishment of GlavZagran and the provision on it were approved by the Military Council.
In the following decade, a number of different structures were formed that were involved in military technical cooperation to one degree or another. Thus, on June 1, 1918 was formed by the Central Department for the Supply of the Army, which included the Committee for overseas supplies. In March, the 1919-th Committee was transformed into the General Directorate of Foreign Supply.
In 1924, a special department of emergency orders was created to fulfill import orders of the Military Intelligence Agency and other state institutions as part of the Commissariat of Foreign and Domestic Trade (NKVT). All currency settlements for the supplied and purchased military property were carried out through the currency and settlement department of the RKKA Financial Planning Directorate. In November 1927, this department was renamed the Department of External Orders (HVD), which was subordinate to the authorized Commissar of the People's Commissariat for People's Commissariat of Foreign Trade.
The improvement of the structure and quality of work of the Soviet foreign supply agencies proceeded as they gained experience in this difficult area. In order to exercise proper control by the leadership of the young Soviet state, in July 1928, the position of the authorized Commissariat for Military and Maritime Affairs of the USSR was established at the National Commissariat for External and Domestic Trade. Thus, in the sphere of military-technical cooperation, a kind of vertical of power began to take shape.
5 January 1939 of the year according to the decision of the Committee of Defense at the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR OVZ was transferred from the People's Commissariat of Defense to the People's Commissariat of Foreign Trade called the Special Committee of the NKVT with a staff of 40 people. The People's Commissars - K.Ye. Voroshilov (of defense) and A.I. Mikoyan (of foreign trade) on January 17 signed an act of transfer of the department. In this document, he was first named the Engineering Department, and this name was fixed subsequently. In September, 1940-th function and scope of the department's activities expanded even more when they transferred the execution of incomplete operations to export arms and military-technical equipment to China, Turkey, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Iran and the Baltic countries.
At the beginning of World War II, the number of the Engineering Department increased, as a result of which the department was transformed into the Engineering Department of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign and Internal Trade (IU NKVT). All military-technical cargoes received in the framework of Lend-Lease were delivered to the country through PS. To understand the scale of cargo turnover, it’s enough to say that during the war years the Soviet Union received from the USA and England almost 19 thousand aircraft, about 600 ships of various classes and 11 thousand tanks, about 500 thousand cars and six thousand armored vehicles, about 650 self-propelled guns and three thousand field repair shops, 12 thousand guns, bomb mortars and mortars, as well as a large number of small arms. And with such a colossal volume of supplies, the Engineering Department managed.
During the period of 1945 – 1946, the Engineering Directorate provided assistance to armaments, equipment, food and other types of supply to partisan and liberation units in Europe, provided their military units, which were formed on the territory of the USSR, with military equipment. Also, weapons and military equipment were transferred to the creation of national folk armies in Poland, Albania, Romania, Yugoslavia and other countries.
Since 1947, the export of military equipment has increased, which has proved redundant for the declining Armed Forces of the USSR. In addition, IU NKVT was entrusted with the calculation of the lend-lease and participation in ensuring the supply of reparations and the import of captured military equipment. With the participation of specialists from the Engineering Directorate in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, the construction of plants for the production of weapons and military equipment and their components was organized. The amount of work has steadily increased.
By 1953, the number of employees of the IKU NKVT ceased to correspond to the amount of work assigned to them. In addition, the export of weapons was not sufficiently clear, since, along with the Engineering Department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the 9 department of the Military Ministry, the 10 department of the General Staff of the Soviet Army, and the 10 department of the Marine General Staff, which the existence of the Navy Ministry (1950 – 1953) acted quite independently. The absence of a unified parent organization created additional difficulties and delayed the resolution of issues regarding the consideration of requests from foreign countries. The creation of such an organization in April 1953 at the level of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers was initiated by the complaint of Mao Zedong to Stalin on the insufficient promptness of satisfying the requests of the PRC.
8 May 1953 signed an order of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 6749, according to which the Main Engineering Directorate was formed within the USSR Ministry of External and Internal Trade (the State Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers for External Economic Relations was established in 1955), concentrated in itself all the functions of the implementation of military-technical cooperation of the Soviet Union with foreign countries.
Initially, the SMI had just 238 employees, including 160 officers attached to it and 78 employees. With a permanent increase in staff strength as the volumes and tasks of the SMI increased, it operated until the beginning of the 90-s.
Starting cooperation with only twelve countries of people's democracy, by the 1990, the SMI brought this number to 51.
By the end of 60-s, a large amount of military equipment was supplied to foreign countries through the SMI, which needed maintenance and repair. In connection with this, foreign states began to create a number of military facilities - airfields, naval bases, command and control centers, military schools, combat and military-technical training centers, repair bases, and defense production enterprises. Until 1968, this type of foreign economic activity was carried out by the State Municipal Institution of the GKES in cooperation with the special divisions of the all-Union associations Prommashexport and Tekhnoexport. The separation of financial and material capabilities between these three divisions of the GKES, the dispersion of qualified military engineering personnel and the lack of proper coordination of the efforts of the divisions created noticeable difficulties in their work. Therefore, by order of the government from 8, April 1968 was created and the Main Technical Directorate (STU) began to operate from 1 in September of the same year. The basis for creating a gas turbine unit was the 5-e management of the SMI, which had experience in this area. Thus, in addition to the SMI, a second independent administration appeared in the GKES, which dealt with the problems of military-technical cooperation with foreign countries.
Reorganization of the PTS system
The constantly growing volume of exports required further improvement of the military-technical cooperation management system. In January, the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations (MFER) was established on the basis of the liquidated Foreign Trade Ministries and the USSR State Committee for Foreign Economic Relations (1988). The Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations entered the State Municipal Institution and the State Technical Institution, and at the end of the same year, on the basis of an order of the USSR Council of Ministers, a third independent Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, the Main Department for Cooperation and Cooperation (GUSK), was separated from the MIA
The creation of new ministries and administrations resulted from the fulfillment of the resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers “On measures to improve military-technical cooperation with foreign countries” adopted at the end of March 1987. This document emphasized the attention of all responsible ministries and departments to the quality of military products for export and their technical maintenance.
The GUSK MVES of the USSR was entrusted with the task of transferring licenses for the manufacture of armaments and military equipment to the States parties to the Warsaw Pact, organizing and ensuring production in the countries, assisting the USSR ministries and departments in organizing R & D in the area of weapons and military equipment destination for the needs of the Armed Forces of the USSR.
The reorganization of the PTS system yielded fruit: according to SIPRI in 1985 – 1989, the volume of Soviet exports of defense products amounted to 16 – 22 billion dollars and exceeded the exports of similar US products (10 – 13 billion dollars).
However, by the beginning of the 90s, certain destructive changes took place in our country (and in Eastern Europe a little earlier). The Soviet Union collapsed. The disruption of production ties between domestic enterprises and related companies that remained outside Russia created certain difficulties in organizing production and mutual supplies between the CIS countries. The introduction of national currencies has led to a violation of a unified system of financial settlements. There were no quotes of these currencies and payment agreements. The principles of settlements with these countries differed significantly from those used previously in relations with former members of the Warsaw Pact. In the CIS countries, organizations that carried out military-technical cooperation were not identified, and the necessary regulatory framework and skills were lacking. By the end of 90, the need to reform the current system of military-technical cooperation became apparent.