The first arrests in the case of embezzling billions of GLONASS took place immediately after the holidays, in mid-May, 2013. The Moscow State Ministry of Internal Affairs for the city of Moscow stated that the managers of a certain LLC were accused of embezzling "at least 85 million rubles allocated within the framework of the Federal Target Program GLONASS for allegedly completed research work." The very same operational-search event was held in the framework of the “investigation of the criminal case initiated against a number of managers of the Russian Space Systems OJSC on the fact of abuse of authority ...”
The authorities have been investigating them at least since last year, when, for a start, they suddenly discovered "the facts of the unreasonable use of more than 565 million rubles allocated from the state budget for the development of the space system." Then the rates increased, and, according to representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it was confirmed that the leadership of the Russian Space Systems (RKS) stole at least 6,5 billion rubles allocated for the creation of GLONASS.
After that, the head of the presidential administration, Sergei Ivanov, who oversaw GLONASS when he was his deputy prime minister, revealed a terrible secret: “... Somewhere in 2009 – 2010, at the level of sensations, I began to suspect that something was wrong. After that, I met in the closed completely mode with the investigators, operas, police officers ... Well, I suffered. I didn’t show it, because I understood that if I gave a look, it would lead to alertness and an attempt to cover the tracks. ” While Sergey Borisovich suffered, others stole - on a cosmic scale. And apparently, not only there.
On the state procurement website, you can find an order recently placed by Rosoboronpostavka for the needs of the Ministry of Defense on 424 of the Breeze-KM-I 14Ц853 product.
Briz-KM-I, produced by ZAO Design Bureau of Navigation Systems, is a navigator. In the military version, of course, able to work both in GLONASS and in GPS, with seemingly good technical characteristics - if you believe the passport.
But the contract amount is staggering:
113 626 229,36 rubles, almost 268 thousand rubles for one navigator! He, probably, from pure gold, with rhinestones? Navigators for military use - not even with similar, but with superior performance, produced in the United States and Europe, are cheaper. And many times: it is possible to meet, if not in 500 dollars, then in 2 thousands - for sure.
Navigators of the “Perunit” family for the Defense Ministry Rosoboronpostavka buys at a “softer” price: 548 products 14Ц875 “Perunit-V” are charged for
86 003 120 rubles - 156 940 rubles per piece, a little more than 5200 dollars.
And 200 products of a simpler modification, 14Ц874 "Perunit-B", purchased for 150 473 rubles per unit.
Also expensive. And this is the most common, in fact, navigator, the red price to which, probably, from the power of 200 dollars. And even less. At one of the technical forums, the engineers even calculated in detail the cost of such a device: an extra large integrated circuit (VLSI) radio receiver - 15 dollars, VLSI navigation processor - 15 dollars, inertial measurement unit - 100 dollars, display and case - 20 dollars, the output - 150 dollars.
By the way, at the end of 2010, the same “Perunits” the Ministry of Defense ordered an average of thousands of rubles for 120 — in just over two years the same device, which did not change anything, jumped in price by as much as 30% - Surely encrusted with pearls?
10 units of portable (for motor vehicles and armored vehicles) 14T821 “Grot-V” receiver indicators are taken by 234 587 rubles per piece.
I do not for the "armor-piercing" mark? No more for that: the product is clearly outdated - the development of at least 13-year-old, and judging by the passport, it’s not very good. For example, all 12 channels, although much cheaper civilian models of GPS receivers can be up to 42. The error in determining the coordinates - 10 – 15 meters. This is too large a magnitude; even “civilian” GPS navigators provide coordinates with an accuracy of up to 5 – 6 meters. However, it is possible to rejoice for the military, if only because this product is still cheaper from 2008, then these “Grottoes-B” went to the army almost for 270 thousand rubles. Progress is evident.
But 1713 pieces of the so-called small-sized consumer navigation equipment GLONASS / GPS 14Ц822 (“Grot-M”) KNS at the same time, in 2008, the army team bought almost 236 thousand rubles per unit. Today, the Grot-M fell in price - 2818 units of such navigators were purchased for 478 485 804 rubles - almost 170 thousand rubles for the navigator. Also progress - drop by 28%.
But still almost gold - used in a number of Western DAGR armies,
in all respects our superior “Grot-M” is now no more than 1600 – 1700 dollars. It works on a single battery for more than 14 hours (against our 8 clock), gives the positioning accuracy of the 2,3 – 4,8 meter, and can use electronic cards. Unfortunately, we don’t download electronic maps into our first “Grotto”. And the difference between DAGR and “Grotto” in limiting operating temperatures is very piquant: a gentle “foreigner” from -32 to + 70 ° С, “hare” - only from -20 to + 55 ° C. As then with the “golden navigator” work with quite frequent (and not only for Siberia) 30-degree frosts in our country ?! More to our navigators, almost all, roll out big complaints about the not too high protection from the effects of electronic warfare. Moreover, it is clumsy and massive: “Grot-M”, produced until recently in a metal case, weighs 800 grams. Probably, it’s good to go hand-to-hand in a fight with him ... However, his modification appeared not so long ago - in a plastic case, 320 grams already weighs. But otherwise, everything is the same: it is afraid of frost and “lies” on 10 – 15 meters, although there are more independent channels - 32.
But many will say, all of them, from the first to the last screw, are ours, relatives. Oh, if you would. Russian in this brick - two screws and an aluminum case. Because the chips are Chinese, and the batteries are French. Displays are also imported. But the saddest thing is that to this day in our armed forces there are virtually no electronic navigation charts. And because going into the field with a domestic device looks just as archaic as it was decades ago: officers still work with paper maps, using a regular navigator only to determine the latitude and longitude, which they put on paper.
But perhaps all this does not have the slightest value - neither the price nor the quality of the devices themselves. Because they can work only in one single case: if the GLONASS orbital grouping is combat-capable, in a sense, it is capable. That is, if this group is complete, if the GLONASS satellites are intact, if each of them occupies exactly the position (point, orbit) that is necessary to accomplish the tasks, if all of them together really cover the vital military space, if they are in sight and availability (for army navigators), and, finally, if they really provide the definition of the exact coordinates.
So is GLONASS capable?
First, take a look at the American GPS constellation. There are 30 satellites, the “youngest” of which are in orbit for 8 months. But there is no more such “young” in the grouping, the rest are satellites in the juice and veterans, three of which — 10% of the group — are in orbit over 20 years, the most “veteran” of them flying from 1990 of the year. All work fully. It remains only to be amazed (and envy) of the phenomenal reliability and quality of this technique (and its assembly) of the last century, which still allows us to perform regular tasks in the regular mode, without failures - regardless of age.
Another thirteen satellites (43,33% of the grouping) are from 10 to 20 years - with the standard life expectancy of the American satellite 10 years. But it is these veterans, who are far beyond 10, the basis of the GPS grouping, over half of them. And, as it is easy to guess, it’s not at all because the Americans have nothing to replace them with or, say, they cannot afford to launch more modern ones - the margin of safety built into them is such that it allows them to work even after exceeding the standard terms. Nine satellites - almost a third of the grouping - are in orbit from 5 to 10 years, another five satellites are less than 5 years. In fact, all 30 GPS satellites and none - "temporarily withdrawn for maintenance", in the "orbital reserve" or "at the stage of flight tests." With such a space component, you can debate about the advantages or disadvantages of navigators, their technical parameters and cost.
But with another grouping ... A quick glance at the age of GLONASS devices is enough to make it clear: their viability, durability, which means that their reliability is several times lower than that of GPS satellites. Formally, in the GLONASS constellation there are now 29 satellites, the two most long-playing of them, No. 712 and No. 714, are 8,5 and 7,5 years, respectively. Their resource, according to our standards, is developed without a trace, and both of them no longer work - one over half a year, the second - about one and a half years. In fact, they failed, but officially appear in the sly column "orbital reserve". In the same "reserve" two more satellites dangle without working:
No. 722, which will soon be hit by the “pension” 5,5 years, although it went out of operation in October 2011, having worked for 2 of the year 3 for a month, and
No. 747, launched on April 26 of this year and not yet entered into the system. Another device, the Glonass-K1, the first 3 generation satellite launched on February 26 on the 2011 of the year, was not entered into the system, is listed in the column “during the flight test phase”, although it was reported that it “functions properly in orbit”, but it was launched, they say, only for flight design tests of the platform and equipment. In the current 24 constellation, seven of which are older than 5 for years, nine in orbit from 3 to 5 for years and eight vehicles work less than 3 for years. Such is the “young” in composition, if compared with the American, navigation group. But if 59 is still in orbit from 1978 GPS satellites launched by the USA from 30 of the year, then we have different arithmetic from GLONASS 118 satellites that we launched from 1982, 24 is in operation. This is all about the same topic of reliability and durability. Best of all in which, however, the General Prosecutor’s Office figured out that the GLONASS satellites are buggy and fail due to the fact that they are assembled using cheap Taiwanese chips that are not intended for use in space technology. But the satellite manufacturer, Zheleznogorsk OAO
“Information satellite systems named after academician M.F. Reshetnev ”, it turns out, it was comfortable to buy smuggled parts from one-day firms ...
At the same time, there are still more complaints about the accuracy of determining the coordinates by the GLONASS system than GPS accuracy. This is apart from the fact that "until recently, GLONASS devices could not withstand any criticism from the point of view of power consumption, being 10 times more voracious than GPS analogs," a representative of Russian Navigation Technologies told The Moscow Post. Also admitting that “participants in the navigation and telematics market complain about the frankly poor quality of software for GLONASS, be it electronic maps for navigators or“ firmware ”.
Is it any wonder that civilians clearly prefer GPS by voting with a ruble? The military does not have the luxury of freedom of choice: what is on the virtual staff list, so in the field and go - if given. However, in an abnormal reality - in exercises or in combat exits - preferences are often given to inexpensive Chinese GPS navigators purchased at their own expense. This is also a question of the accuracy, reliability and price of domestic "boxes".
Speaking of the military. Until the end of 2012, the Ministry of Defense was supposed to commission the GLONASS system. Taking upon themselves the entire responsibility for its functioning and transferring it to the administration of the aerospace defense forces. But instead, at the end of December 2012, a sensational message passed: the Ministry of Defense categorically refused to accept the GLONASS system and put it on combat duty. The group, according to the military, is in a fever, there are no guarantees of maintaining its optimal composition, since not all devices work stably and normally.
According to the military, the system does not develop, but rather degrades.
For a very long time, commissioning of new devices takes place - up to 12 months after being put into orbit. And during this time, those satellites whose resources have been exhausted can order long to live — everything must be done anew. And so - indefinitely, no stability. Since in the new conditions the cost of maintaining the group would fall entirely on the military, they rebelled. So that exactly in a month, in January 2013, suddenly change the position, agreeing to take GLONASS into operation. Although for that month not only some dramatic changes did not happen - nothing happened at all, absolutely! And the group in the same composition, with the same satellites. What has changed if everything in space remains the same?
Only one thing: comrades military and effective managers from the Cosmoprom agreed. Or - they did not agree, but the military ordered to assume that everything is in order: once this tin is already in orbit, it means that it is combat-ready - and that’s it! And the servicemen, as usual, took a visor. For some reason it seems to me that this second option is the most realistic. Because if the first, then here somehow it smacks too openly with the name “corruption component”. But we have this strictly, is not it?
In May 2011, the Court of Accounts reported that it had reviewed the results of an audit of the use of financial resources allocated for the implementation of the federal target program Global Navigation System. The Accounts Chamber noted that the program was amended three times, “as a result of which the total planned amounts of funding increased 5,9 times”, and 2002 billion rubles were allocated from the federal budget for its implementation in 2010 – 98,7 due to extra-budgetary sources. “As follows from the verification materials,” the statement of the Accounts Chamber said in a statement, “a significant increase in the volume of financing of expenses is largely due to the costly mechanism for setting prices for spacecraft and their launch vehicles.” And, despite all the injections, “the required values were achieved by 3,3 from 18 indicators”, and the level of equipping “transport infrastructure facilities” with GLONASS “within the state segment of air transport” with the 28% plan was only 75%. “Insufficient attention is paid to the issues of commercial use of the GLONASS system”, the accountants carefully note. But with this conclusion Stepashin's subordinates got a finger in the sky: with commerce around GLONASS, there is a full openwork. Doesn't the case of the disappearance of at least 22,6 billion rubles of GLONASS testify to this?
The pumping out of billions, according to the investigation, is trivial to genius: the management of Russian Space Systems (RKS) distributed government orders to numerous one-day firms controlled by them, having “mastered” billions of “Glonass” rubles through them. These contractors did not perform any work in practice. But the money went to the offshore. Then the satellites began to fall, then the investigators came, and then Yuri Urlichich, who was the GLONASS project supervisor, the general director and chief designer of RKS OJSC, resigned “due to illness”, who was inclined to bind 6,5 billion rubles into evaporation. But he didn’t make it to Narlich, but for a while he returned to the “Glonass orbit” - as an advisor to the first deputy general director and general designer of the RCC. Everything is as usual: billions disappeared - no one is guilty, no one is punished; GLONASS is almost invisible and there is no money either. The systems approach, however.
Or maybe, well, them, all these “golden navigators” with diamond GLONASS? After all, we also have a fully functional national equipment - 1Т12 or 1Т12-2М-2 topper, 1Т12М1… topper ... Though you have a wheel, even on a track. To this day, these bulky machines, designed in the 40 of the last century, are part of the main missile-artillery and anti-aircraft missile systems. And what is their equipment, just a dream: a panoramic-oriented visor, a periscopic artillery bassol, a typical sapper rangefinder, a gyrocompass - again artillery, a plotter ... Another thing to learn from the museum depositories are astrolabes, quadrants, sextants and order.