The paradox of the current situation with the coverage of the work of the Russian defense industry lies in the fact that with an abundance of specialized media and television programs, it is impossible to have any correct understanding of the situation in the industry without having special knowledge. In matters relating to the development of the defense industry, the Russian media as a whole do not fulfill their function of objectively informing the public, which does not have special knowledge in the military sphere, about the current situation in the most important sector of the national economy. They are not able to give not only the general public, but also representatives of the Russian political class who are not connected with the DIC with any intelligible idea of what is happening. As a result, even seemingly well-informed people participating in the formation of state policy express absurd opinions about the Russian military-technical potential, up to and including statements about its complete absence and the continuing production of exclusively Soviet types of equipment.
Soviet mythology of domestic weapons, "which has no analogues in the world," caused a lot of damage to the domestic economy and national security. But, with a few exceptions, it is already irrevocably gone. It was replaced by even more harmful post-Soviet myths about the total collapse, degradation and almost disappearance of the national defense-industrial complex. These myths live their own lives, they have no connection with real life and do not need this connection.
In part, their spread is facilitated by conflicts related to complex institutional contradictions between the DIC and the Ministry of Defense. Another important factor in shaping the information background around the industry is the media wars between its member enterprises, which are fighting for assets or contracts. Examples of deadly information wars between enterprises of the Russian defense industry, which in the past have led to the discrediting of entire industries, are well known. In this situation, against the background of real growth in arms exports by 12% - to 15.2 billion dollars in 2012 - we have repeated allegations in the media about the “collapse” of the industry, its transformation into a “black hole”, its complete inability to release weapons according to modern requirements and so on. Against the background of the repeated increase in revenues to the troops of new types of equipment and weapons, the media continue to repeat the mantra about the absence of a significant increase in purchases of new weapons compared to 1990-mi - the beginning of 2000-s.
The presence of numerous technical, personnel, and institutional problems in the Russian defense industry is obvious. The increasingly widespread opinions among the Russian political class about its “collapse” and “inability to develop” have no connection with these problems and contradict well-known and easily verifiable facts.
The spread of myths about the low potential of the Russian industry, often taking place through the efforts of industrial enterprises that struggle with each other, and until recently with the direct participation of some representatives of the Ministry of Defense, can have serious political consequences. The “inability” of the industry to fulfill its tasks was one of the main arguments put forward by former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin against the large-scale rearmament program currently being implemented.
HPV-2020 is generally a popular target of criticism in the Russian media. In very many cases, this criticism of specific programs is well founded, but the very need to significantly increase military spending is often disputed. This approach is the result of ignorance, lack of understanding of the technical aspects of military affairs and ignoring the fact that Russia is now paying for the 15 years of lack of any funding for the development of its Armed Forces and a break in the procurement of conventional weapons.
VIEW THROUGH LENS
The Russian Arms program, created with the participation of the Military-Industrial Commission, is, therefore, one of the first attempts by the industry leadership to give a balanced view of its state. Beyond Blocks NewsThe program consists of plots dedicated to specific enterprises and rearmament programs, which are currently "on hearing". These include, for example, the new BTR-82A armored personnel carriers arriving in significant numbers in the Russian army, who for the first time took part in the Victory Parade.
New armored vehicles were devoted to a detailed story in a recent release of the program. The plot included interviews with representatives of the manufacturer, production engineers, testers, as well as a demonstration of the machine in action. The viewer could get an idea of why the Russian army in general buys these machines, how they differ from their predecessors and how they relate to modern counterparts. The technical aspects of the project are fully clarified, but without the magic formula of “unparalleled”, which is able to discredit any material on the go. It is important that, in addition to the description of the technical innovations of the new BTR, such as the two-plane stabilizer for the 30-mm gun, attention is also paid to the technical modernization of the enterprise producing these machines.
Some materials of the program, for example, a detailed report from the Central Research Institute for Radio and Nuclear Research in the testing of small arms, give the Russian public an idea of the complexity and high technology of the development and production of modern weapons, even if it is a relatively simple class of such weapons. Our people love small arms and are interested in them. Detailed, detailed technical description of the process of its production without journalistic stamps can strengthen the interest and positive attitude towards the industry.
The program also provides insights into the current discussions around major military-technical projects. For example, in the May issue of 9, there was a discussion on the current discussions with the leadership of the Ministry of Defense, industry representatives and the relevant committee of the State Duma about the feasibility of further upgrading the heavy MiG-31 interceptor. It is important to note that the discussion question is objectively illuminated, without howls about the "unparalleled complex" or, conversely, about the "Soviet grain".
From the program, it was possible to learn interesting details about the circumstances of the birth of a new, localized in Russia modification of a heavy Il-76 military transport aircraft — Il-76MD-90A, and for the first time interviews were shown with young development engineers directly involved in the project. Again, with a fairly complete description of the technical differences between the aircraft modification from its predecessors and unique shots from inside the pilot cabin, there was no unnecessary generalizations.
A useful feature of the program is also an interview with business leaders, for example, with the general director of Tactical Missiles Corporation Boris Obnosov in the story about the new modification of the X-31 missile. The mass audience in Russia has few opportunities to get access to first-hand information coming directly from the leadership of the Russian defense industry.
An important achievement of the program is to demonstrate the real results of growing public investment in the industry. In “Russian Arms” you can see new production lines put into operation at industrial enterprises, test stands, hear interviews of young workers who in recent years have again come to defense industry enterprises.
The program does not go deep into the financial and organizational-political problems of the defense industry, and, based on the tasks it faces, this is correct. A feature of the presentation of materials in many Russian media is the abundance of global assessments and polemical attacks with an acute lack of factual information. The Russian Weapon explains to the viewer what is being made and how it allows them to make their own choices, rather than brainwashing him about the advancing of the entire planet or, on the contrary, about the fact that "we were betrayed at the very top."
THERE IS A RESERVE FOR DEVELOPMENT
Perhaps in the future it would make sense to cover more widely the news on the development of military equipment abroad, especially since the development of domestic industry is increasingly determined by global trends, and the industry itself is becoming increasingly involved in international cooperation. The Russian defense industry needs to realize the community of its interests, which is quite naturally combined with intense market competition. For its survival and development, the defense industry must develop a single line and uniform rules for communication with society, which should be carried out even in conditions of intense internal competition.
The defense industry, along with its related industries, such as nuclear and space, is the only large, truly high-tech segment of the Russian economy. This is the main component of the non-primary part of Russian exports, the most important source of creating high-quality jobs in our country.
Ultimately, the development of the defense industry, space and nuclear industry is the only real hope for the modernization of Russia. In most “non-military” industries, the existing innovation potential is completely insignificant and needs to be built from scratch, which will take years. The most prestigious universities in the capital in recent years have produced mainly office plankton, which is hardly capable — altogether — to make at least a nut suitable for export to competitive markets. The Russian defense industry should have its voice in discussing the future of Russian economic policy, and with the arrival of Dmitry Rogozin in the government, there has been obvious progress in this direction. It is equally important that industry be able to inform society about the state of the most important programs that are subject to public attention, including due to the rapid growth of their funding.