The proposal for the joint production of Russian military equipment at Brazilian enterprises has become a kind of "chip" of the domestic exposure at LAAD-2013.
PECHORA FALLS IN ... PARAN
The rivers, whose name is in the subtitle, even schoolchildren know, they have nothing to do with each other. The Pechora flows through the north of the European part of Russia and flows into the Barents Sea. Paraná (emphasis on the last syllable) is the largest South American river after the Amazon, which was born from the confluence of the Rio Grande and Paranaibo rivers in the Brazilian mountains, flows mostly through the land of this country, then through Argentina and Paraguay and flows into the Gulf of La Fee, near the city of Buenos Aires. What can be common between two continents and two full-flowing river flows? How can one of them flow into the other?
The question, as they say, is interesting.
It becomes even more interesting if you put quotes on the names of rivers. It turns out, for example, "Pechora-2M". This is the name of the Russian highly modernized anti-aircraft missile system, the heir to the Soviet C-125 air defense system “Neva”, which bore the export name “Pechora” or SA-3 Goa (as it appears in Western military reference books). This system is famous. First, it was in service with the 29 armies of the world, including Vietnam, Egypt, Syria and Yugoslavia, and during the American-Vietnamese war, as well as conflicts in the Middle East, shot down several hundred Ji-Ai aircraft and caused damage fighters of Israel. And in Belgrade, they are still proud that the American stealth aircraft F-1999 was shot down by a missile of this complex in 117 year. True, this is all about the Pechora, but so far nothing has been heard about the Parana air defense system.
But for now. And the conversation about the two complexes, “Pechora” and “Parana”, came, as it turned out, at the meetings of the leaders of the Russian delegation and their Brazilian colleagues. True, not only at the LAAD-2013 exhibition. Maybe a little earlier. The reason for this was the future contract, which in the coming weeks plans to conclude our Tula Machine-Building Design Bureau for the supply to Brazil of three batteries (18 combat vehicles) of the Pantsir-C1 anti-aircraft missile and artillery complex. It must be purchased by Brazil to protect stadiums and other public places during the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. An agreement on this has not yet been signed, but it was agreed upon during the bilateral meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Dilma Rousseff.
True, the signing of the contract is slightly complicated by the fact that Brazil did not hold the tender for the purchase of the anti-aircraft missile and artillery complex. But the situation is called force majeure. The tender requires a lot of time and serious financial costs. The South American government now has neither one nor the other. Rather, not enough. Especially the time. And it was decided that a special interdepartmental commission would deal with the justification for the purchase of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems, which would coordinate and remove all issues arising from the new arms contract with Russia. Moreover, according to experts, the Pantsir-C1 is the best anti-aircraft missile and artillery system in its class today. He is able to fight not only with complex aerial targets, such as planes and helicopters, but also with ballistic and cruise missiles, even with unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as with guided aviation bombs and precision weapons. Including light armored vehicles - armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles that terrorists can control, which is never excluded.
“Time is now becoming the determining factor,” Alexander Fomin, the head of the FSMTC, told the press conference of the Russian delegation at LAAD-2013. - Our partners need to hurry. Only a year remained before the World Cup in Brasilia. We will have to accomplish the feat, produce these systems in Russia and have time to deliver them to the customer during this time.
And he added it as a joke, or seriously: “Maybe the press will help us quickly sign the contract”. But, as the NVO has learned, the agreement should be signed no later than the middle of this year even without the help of the press.
Yury Savenkov, the first deputy head of research at KBP, with whom we are familiar from the exhibition in Pretoria, told me that Brasilia’s interest in the development of Tula in the field of air defense is very great. First of all, in connection with the upcoming major sports competitions. According to him, "Pantsir" meets all the requirements imposed by the Brazilian military to such equipment. First, he has excellent means of reconnaissance, detection and identification of the target, which allow the combat crew to quickly understand what or who is approaching the protected object, and, if necessary, make a decision on his defeat. For this purpose, the ZRPK, secondly, has the appropriate fire weapons. And what is also very important, it has an optoelectronic system, which allows not only to carry out thorough reconnaissance, but also to target missiles and artillery weapons.
“The equipment with which the complex is equipped,” Yury Alexandrovich told me, “allows the operator to examine in detail the purpose that it is a drone, a parachutist, a hang-glider or a small-sized aircraft. And accordingly assess the degree of threat. In addition, "Pantsir-С1" can be used not only for air, but also for ground targets. " “We went further,” said Savenkov, “and included in the general circuit a modified anti-tank complex Kornet, which today can also work on aerial targets using target designations from the ZRPK radar. The result was an ideal system from the point of view of solving cover tasks: if Pantsir sees in the thermal imaging range, then Cornet has a thermal imaging channel, and a television and laser range finder. This expands the way weapons are used. It can be used at a distance of up to 4 km (cannon) and up to 15 - 20 km (rocket), in height from 5 meters to 15 km.
That is why, I was told by the representative of the Tula KBP, Pantsir-С1 was chosen by the Russian leadership to cover the Winter Olympics 2014 of the year in Sochi.
The contract for the Shell also has an offset program, which stipulates that Brazilian firms will produce ZRPK service systems. To produce for it under the Russian license and ammunition for 30-mm guns. In particular, ODEBREHT Defensa e Tecnologia, which already cooperates with Russian companies on various projects, can do this. About this company either in jest, it is seriously said in Rio that "she is rich and she has powerful relatives." And exporters of Russian weapons hope that later, when the partnership between Moscow and Brasilia enters the next, higher phase, Russian weapons designers will undertake (and they are already voiced by the Brazilian military leadership) to develop specifically for Brazil together with local specialists The new Parana anti-aircraft missile system, where Brazilian wheeled vehicles will be used, radars manufactured in this Latin American country, other developments Brazilian defense industry.
But what's the “Pechora”? Here are a few explanations. Firstly, following the example of Russia, where once all the short-range and medium-range anti-aircraft defense missile systems were called by the names of the rivers - “Neva”, “Dvina”, “Volkhov”, “Pechora” and so on, it was suggested to call the first Brazilian air defense complex also named for the largest river in the country - "Parana". Secondly, much of the combat architecture of the Parana project resembles the Pechora-2M architecture — the command post, radar stations, launch complexes with different types of missiles, spaced apart. Placing all these complexes on the wheelbase (we have already mentioned that in Brazil) increases their maneuverability, high traffic on various roads and off-road, as well as the ability to get out of the blow (aviation or artillery) of the opposing side. And, thirdly, as well as on the Pechora-2M, in the Parana system it is planned to use different anti-aircraft missiles. Including the Brazilian short-range, "old", already existing, Russian, which are used in the Pechora, and new, created specifically for the "Parana" with a range of up to 35 km.
And Parana is not the only joint project that Moscow is proposing to Brasilia. These include the opening of a service center for helicopters and airplanes in the Latin American country. In Brazil, in the upper reaches of the Amazon, on the border with Bolivia, a squadron (9 machines) of Mi-35М combat helicopters (in the Brazilian version of AH-2 Sable), where local military pilots control the jungle, possible drug smuggling routes, are stationed in Porto Velho illegal emigration, transportation of weapons. One of such helicopters, having covered 5000 kilometers in two days under the control of lieutenants Vitor and William, together with the Russian pilot-instructor Pavel Kulakov, flew to Rio de Janeiro for an arms exhibition and immediately became a LAAD star. Talk about it should be separately. And now I want to emphasize that in the near future three more such rotary-winged cars should be delivered to the country, and in order not to transport spare parts and equipment for “turntables” thousands of kilometers later, Russia invites local authorities to open a joint service center. .
In it, by the way, the Yak-130 combat training aircraft could then be serviced, which Moscow proposes to produce Brasilia together at its plants. In Russia, they consider Brazil to be a technologically developed country with well-trained specialists - engineers, technicians, designers, and would like to develop mutually beneficial high-tech cooperation with it. Not only for the supply of military equipment and its maintenance, but also for its joint production. The proposal also applies here, if a new tender for multifunctional fighters is announced, to jointly produce the 4 ++ fighter generation Su-35 ...
But back to the Mi-35M helicopters. As Lt. Vitor Canus told me, Brazilian pilots call them "Amazon Crocodiles."
“Where does this name come from? - I asked the officer. - You probably know that the so-called "older brother" Mi-35 or its predecessor - the helicopter Mi-24, who fought in Afghanistan? "
It turned out that Vitor does not know anything about this. Just a Russian helicopter really resembles a crocodile with its outlines. In addition, it is very fast, maneuverable and reliable. Both in operation and in battle. It is equipped with an electronic warfare system that can set aside a MANPADS missile, an attacking machine. It is duplicated by other systems, such as the shooting of thermal rockets, which "take" the enemy’s missiles to themselves. The "turntables" - good weapons: twin 23-mm guns, cassettes with unguided missiles, guided missiles. They can be used on the armored vehicles of drug lords and smugglers.
Vitor Kanush told me that he flew a Mi-35M 300 watch and did not know a more reliable machine. Although the American Sea King, Blackhawk and Bell, the Italian Agusta Westland and the French-German Super Puma are in service in the Brazilian army. At the last, he flew to the “crocodile”, but nowhere did he feel safe in the same way as on the Russian “spinner”, the pilot told me. According to him, the "thirty-fifth" car is well adapted for flying at night. All of its systems are configured to take the pilot out of any non-standard situation. According to him, he is very pleased that he flies on this “spinner”, and proudly tells this to his relatives.
“My family,” says Vitor Kanush, “also likes this helicopter, because they know that their son and brother are completely safe.”
By the way, in Latin America, Russian helicopters are now being operated not only in Brazil. They fly in Argentina, but not Mi-35M, but two Mi-171E, and in Antarctica. Buenos Aires wants to buy another batch of such machines, but cannot yet do this - is experiencing a financial crisis. There are our "turntables" in Peru. There are three types of them - Mi-171Sh, Mi-171P (they differ from each other with a gun - for one of them it is 23-mm, for the other - 30-mm) and Mi-35М - all 12 machines. Lima is negotiating an additional batch, but there is no contract yet. Russia delivered most of all military transport, transport and attack helicopters to Venezuela. Caracas has ten Mi-25M, three Mi-26T and forty Mi-171B5. An acquaintance of mine who is involved in the export of military products once said: “We will supply one hundred helicopters to South America - I will assume that I have fulfilled my task of promoting the world's best helicopters to the world market”.
Hundreds are not recruited. So, I think it’s too early for my friend to calm down. Moreover, Russian helicopters are not just in words, but in fact are really rapidly gaining the international market. Even the American senators could not stop their supply to Afghanistan, no matter how hard they tried.
But not only by helicopters are known our shipments to South America. According to Alexander Fomin, the volume of our arms exports to this part of the world was approximately 10 – 15% of the total 15 billion dollars. And this volume tends to increase. The top five importers of Russian weapons include India, Vietnam, Venezuela, Algeria and China. Caracas bought military equipment for us on 11 billion dollars, its ground forces, air force and air defense forces today are almost entirely made up of Russian weapons. According to the FSMTC director, even the death of a great friend of our country, Hugo Chavez, will not be able to interrupt this cooperation - the Venezuelan army will need at least spare parts for military equipment, and its modernization is necessary. All this guarantees us military technical ties for many years.
And besides military equipment, Be-200 aircraft can be delivered to Latin America, according to the head of the Rosoboronexport delegation Sergey Ladigin. “The plane is very good and necessary, especially in the fight against forest fires,” says Sergey Fedorovich, “but, unfortunately, not all Latin American countries can afford it. The solution to the problem could be the organization of a unified rescue aviation pool with the participation of several countries of the continent, which together would operate this aircraft. ”
According to him, Brazil, by virtue of its great potential and status, could become the organizing country of such a “pool”.
There is an application from Argentina for the construction in Russia for her icebreaking vessel to work in the Antarctic. In addition, Buenos Aires and its generals are interested in domestic air defense systems and off-road vehicles. Our "Urals" have already gained great prestige in Uruguay and Mexico. During the last flood, they passed through places where famous western cars were stuck in the roads. According to eyewitnesses, the six-axis "Urals" literally cut the water, half filled with it. Only drivers' heads were sticking out of the cab, which were hidden by the water up to the waist.
THREE MEETINGS - THREE SURPRISES
Happened at the LAAD-2013 exhibition at the author of these lines and several meetings that left not entirely unequivocal impressions. One of them was with the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Pavel Lebedev. He was surrounded by his delegation inspecting the exposition, which the Kievans brought to Rio de Janeiro. The stands of Ukrainian companies were next door to Russian ones, and therefore it was impossible not to notice the minister. As well as not to show a natural journalistic interest for his visit. RIA correspondent News approached him. He patiently waited for him to finish the conversation with the interlocutors, and, having introduced himself, asked permission to ask a couple of questions. One of them concerned the military-technical cooperation of Kiev and Brazil, the other, which is understandable, the prospects for the same cooperation between Ukraine and Russia.
Pavel Lebedev said that Ukraine offers Brazil air defense systems, armored vehicles, anti-tank weapons, but we will be told the details at the Ukroboronprom stand (a little later, the officials from this organization demanded written questions from me, promising that they would also answer later by mail). And regarding the cooperation with Russia, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine said that Kiev had offered Moscow a number of joint military-technical projects, but for two months had not received answers from the Russian Defense Ministry.
“In particular,” he said, “we invited Russia to audit the agreements on the Black Sea the fleet. By landfill, by berths and social aspects. We are ready to resolve all issues. But the impression is that Russia does not need it. ”
The minister added a few more words about the agreement on the An-70 aircraft. “It is not being implemented on the Russian side,” he told reporters.
The words of the head of the military department of Ukraine, transmitted by the news agency, caused a small scandal in Moscow. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov reacted sharply to them. He noted that the Russian Ministry of Defense proceeds from the strategic, partnership nature of relations with Ukrainian colleagues. It was in this vein that Moscow sought to build relations with its neighbors, including on “difficult” issues.
“If the partners, in order to present their point of view, resort to public diplomacy using the media, then this may indicate a failure in our communication,” stated Antonov in a press statement. The Russian Deputy Minister drew attention to the fact that during the deployment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea, certain changes took place in its locations and in the use of specific objects of its vital activity. And we have to remind about the proposal of Russia, made more than two years ago, to take an inventory of all the objects involved, to prepare a draft agreement on the infrastructure of the Black Sea Fleet, which would regulate issues on real estate. “However, we did not receive a reply from Kiev,” said Anatoly Antonov. - In this regard, without solving the main and fundamental issue, it is extremely difficult to make decisions on private projects. This was what the Russian defense minister said to Pavel Lebedev during the February meeting in Sevastopol. ”
However, in detail about this stories we told in the last issue of the NVO. And at the exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, the journalists had another meeting - with the First Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia, Army General Arkady Bakhin.
The General flew to Brazil for talks with the Minister of Defense of this country and, of course, could not come to the International Exhibition of Aviation and Defense Systems. He very carefully examined the expositions of leading world companies, including Russian ones, about his impressions of what he saw, and Arkady Bakhin refused to talk to journalists.
“Understand me correctly,” said the army general. “I cannot publicly evaluate these or other types of weapons so that someone does not regard this as lobbying.”
These words seemed convincing and justified to us. But the conversation with the head of the FSB delegation at the exhibition left an unpleasant aftertaste. The stand of the Federal Security Service of Russia in far Rio de Janeiro could not help but arouse the interest of domestic journalists. Not every day you meet one of the most closed services at international exhibitions.
But the head of the special services delegation categorically refused to give any explanations about the participation of the FSB on LAAD-2013. Either he was not ready for a meeting with compatriots, or he did not receive relevant instructions, but he did not dare to take the initiative and take responsibility for answering simple and obvious questions.
“What products and ideas do you offer to visitors of the exhibition, in which areas are you going to cooperate?” I asked him.
“Guess yourself,” the official replied.
I'm trying to do it.
... And the end of the work of LAAD-2013, the united Russian delegation, as we have already written, noted by visiting one of the countless Brazilian samba schools. The dances and songs of local artists made a very vivid impression. Almost the same as the work of Russian arms exporters at an exhibition in Rio. It is a pity that it happens only once every two years.