The replacement of the Minister of Defense from Anatoly Serdyukov to Sergei Shoigu led to a revision of the weapons procurement system. If the first one spoke about the inability of the domestic defense industry to create products that meet the requirements of the military, then the second one, without denying the existing problems, nevertheless decided to rely on the Russian industry. A blank check was issued to manufacturers of military equipment and weapons for the ground forces, one of which was the Uralvagonzavod corporation with the Armata heavy armored platform project.
Create a new primary tank over the past decade was perhaps one of the most pressing issues for the army. The Ministry of Defense supported the existing tank fleet, which, according to various estimates, was about 10 thousand units, waiting for new offers from Russian industry and looking closely at foreign-made products. Back in 2003, the military assured that Russian designers had developed the look of a new generation tank. What kind of constructive changes he will have, it was not reported, nor was it reported on the date of its adoption.
As of today, it is planned to allocate 2020 trillion rubles for the rearmament of the ground forces under the state armaments program up to 2,6. This money will be spent on the purchase of brigade anti-aircraft missile systems C-300В4, about 2 thousand self-propelled artillery systems and guns, as well as more 30 thousand units of automotive vehicles. In addition, the Russian army should get 2,3 thousand tanks over seven years. Including tanks on the Armata platform. On its basis, Uralvagonzavod creates the main tank to replace the existing T-72, T-80 and T-90 fleets in the armed forces.
The show "Armaty" was held in September at the exhibition Russian Arms Expo 2013 in Nizhny Tagil. It was closed to the public, since all the tactical and technical characteristics of the new tank are still classified. “Of course, we don’t want to show it to everyone, because we need to bring the equipment to mind, but there are already prototypes. And this is a big victory for the Russian defense industry,” said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, adding that it is planned to be adopted at the turn 2014-2015's.
However, even on the basis of the information available to date, it’s quite realistic to get a general idea of what the new tank will be like and how it differs from its predecessors. In an interview with BG, Oleg Bochkarev, deputy chairman of the military-industrial commission, confirmed that part of the decisions used in the development of "Armata" were taken from the T-95 project. This decision was partly forced, since in a few years it was impossible to create a really new product, either technically or technologically.
T-95 (aka "Object 195"), contrary to its abbreviation, should not just continue the linear series, but become an independent model of armored vehicles. The exact date of the start of work on the creation of T-95 was not called, but it is known that they started shortly before the collapse of the USSR. After examining the shortcomings of the previous models, the designers were given the task of increasing the degree of protection of the crew, as well as enhancing the firepower of the tank. By 2007, the specialists of the Ural Transport Engineering Design Bureau completed the creation of a prototype, hoping that the technical specifications of the military would be fine.
Initially, the bases for this were - in particular, the then head of armaments, General Nikolai Makarov, said that in 2009, the tank would be accepted for service. However, two years later, his words were disavowed by his replacement, General Vladimir Popovkin, who announced the cessation of funding for the development work on the project. The most likely reason was the high final price of the product. The open military preferred not to talk about the incompatibility of the perspective tank with the required products.
One way or another, the military didn’t give up the idea of creating a new combat vehicle. Some time later, the Ministry of Defense reported on the start of work on the Armata project, which was to become the main tank of the armed forces. It all happened against the backdrop of harsh criticism from the military department, who believed that American tanks such as Abrams, German Leopard or Israeli Merkava were superior to Russian developments in their characteristics. "Those samples of weapons and military equipment that we receive from the nomenclature of ground forces, including armored vehicles, rocket artillery weapons, do not quite correspond to Western models. The vaunted T-90 is the 17-I modification of the T-72 tank," the commander-in-chief stated Army Alexander Postnikov. General Makarov also joined him, sincerely believing that the Russian defense industry was not able to accomplish the tasks set in practice. And already the ex-head of the Ministry of Defense, Anatoly Serdyukov, announced that the department did not plan to purchase domestic tanks until they met modern requirements.
The situation changed a year ago, when, together with Sergei Shoigu, Yury Borisov came to the military department to the post of deputy defense minister for armaments. He came from industry to implement the state armaments program as the first deputy chairman of the military-industrial commission under the government. Already in the autumn of this year, he declared that for the Russian army the first experimental batch of Armata tanks would be acquired by the military for testing in the 2014 year. According to official data, funds were spent on the development of the project in accordance with the LG.
During the exhibition Russian Arms Expo 2013, the deputy general director of Rosoboronexport Igor Sevastiyanov outlined the main features of the future combat vehicle. According to him, in the "Armat" the crew will be in the armored capsule, and the ammunition will be located outside the area where people are located. These innovations should primarily provide increased crew protection in combat conditions. The car will be implemented inline location of all people in it - this will allow them to make decisions more quickly. In addition, the tower "Almaty" will be uninhabited. In tanks, this is one of the most vulnerable places: a direct hit by an artillery or anti-tank projectile guaranteed to lead to the death of a crew member. In the "Armata" process control tower and firing will be automated. Oleg Sienko, general director of Uralvagonzavod, specified at the same time that completely different protection technologies would be used for the crew at Armata: special steels, individual elements of ceramic protection, multi-layer armor. According to the idea of the developers, a new principle of automatic supply of ammunition and their removal will also be implemented. In addition, the Ammata ammunition will contain 32 projectiles for various purposes (on the same T-90, the ammunition of the gun consists of 42 shots: the 22 are in the automatic loader, another 20 is in the tank and tank turret) aimed fire from a 125 caliber mm gun in motion.
At the same time, it cannot be said that the Armata is a simplified version of the T-95. The uniqueness lies in the fact that it is not just a tank, but a single combat platform, which in theory can carry about 30 types of weapons. The level of unification declared by the developer has no world analogues: on the basis of the Armata platform, not only combat vehicles will be assembled in the future, but also combat control vehicles, artillery and rocket armament vehicles, military air defense vehicles and rear support vehicles. It is known that the Armata will shoot both traditional projectiles of various types (high-explosive fragmentation, armor-piercing, cumulative) and missiles.
Unlike the tank, it provides for both the front and rear engines - in fact, Uralvagonzavod now creates a kind of designer, on the basis of which promising samples of military equipment will be laid for many years to come. Possessing a single diesel engine A-85-3А 1,2 thousand l. with. and the lifespan of at least 2 thousand hours, the platform has all chances to become in the future the basis for all heavy equipment of the ground forces.
Such an approach fully fits into the existing concept of the Ministry of Defense, according to which the military profess the principle of introducing advanced weapons systems into ground forces, enhancing the combat and operational and technical characteristics of the models being created. "Implementing this principle, we must ensure that the range of purchased weapons and military equipment by 2025% is reduced by 25 and increase their serial production," the deputy minister said at one of the meetings.
Apparently, the desires of the Ministry of Defense and Uralvagonzavod to launch “Armatu” in the series as soon as possible coincide. As the deputy general director of the corporation, Vyacheslav Khalitov, stated at a press conference, the parties reached an agreement on the priority financing of the development work on the project. "It was decided before the completion of the development work to begin putting the Armata product into mass production," he said, stressing that such an approach would make it possible to complete the task under the state armament program before the 2020 year. It is logical to assume that purchases of military equipment based on the Armata armored platform will be continued during the implementation of the state armaments program until 2025 of the year.
Production and combat mission
Alexey Kharnas, editor of Business Guide "Military Industrial Complex"
The new main tank is one of the fetishes of the modern Russian army. How small weapon, which should replace the various modifications of the AK or Makarov pistol, as the fifth-generation fighter. The colossal achievements of the Soviet period seem to create a feeling that we still have to tense up, clothe them in new forms and materials - and now it is ready, a modern innovative weapon. But in practice, everything is not so simple. And the fighter seems to have already flown, and various versions of the new machine guns were demonstrated, but it never came to real rearmament. Tank "Armata" of all types of modern Russian "weapons of the future", perhaps more than others closer to real life. Firstly, there are people who saw him live (they were not shown to the general public because of secrecy), secondly, there is a plan for purchasing this equipment. Finally, the date of the public demonstration of the new tank has been announced - and such that it is simply impossible to disrupt this premiere. NPK "Uralvagonzavod", I must say, a great example of how to dispose of the legacy of the military-industrial complex, inherited from a country that no longer exists. You can have different attitudes towards manifestations of the political will of the country's leadership in relation to individual industries, but the UVZ honestly won the competition for increased attention of the authorities to their problems and tasks. After all, strictly speaking, tanks and armored vehicles were produced not only by this enterprise, and obtaining the actual carte blanche for the monopolization of armored production can be considered the most significant management victory for the current management of the company.
Who will we arm?
Vladimir Gutenev, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Industry, First Vice-President of the Russian Engineering Union:
- Do not sell weapons in small batches. For example, China has recently expressed its desire to acquire piece copies of modern technology, which in recent years has increasingly appeared on the Russian market. Given the danger of compiling, borrowing the results of intellectual activity, it is necessary to exercise some caution. You also need to take into account the interests of our armed forces. Their rearmament is a priority, and only then it is necessary to supply weapons to strategic partners, the immediate environment, the SCO countries. It is necessary to develop new markets, which Rosoboronexport is now successfully demonstrating. This is Venezuela, and Brazil, and Panama. The supply of Russian weapons to the Middle East is indeed a big problem. A big problem for competitors, defense industry enterprises of Western countries. As a rule, where we succumb to exhortations and agree with certain sanctions, after a while the sanctions are lifted, and the countries of advanced democracy begin to supply arms.
Anatoly Aksakov, President of the Association of Regional Banks of Russia:
- Indonesia, India, Vietnam, these countries are traditional buyers of our weapons. Once I was on the government delegation in India, where a military parade was held in our honor. So there I saw only our equipment and our weapons. So we have strong old ties with India, and they need only be strengthened. We have the same ties with Iran. As soon as all restrictions on deliveries with this country are finally lifted and, most likely, they will get the right to buy weapons, we will also have to return to this market again. And taking into account not only economic, but also political and geopolitical interests, it is extremely necessary for us.
Mark Zakharov, member of the presidium of the independent organization Civil Society and the national fund Public Recognition, member of the Board of Trustees of the Moscow English Club:
- The world has long been the concept of "civilized countries" and "uncivilized countries." To uncivilized countries, whose policies are very difficult to predict, and sometimes not at all clear or unknown, I would not sell weapons. Of course, now Russian weapons are no longer so popular as they were in Soviet times, but nevertheless, we have sales markets, and we just need to maintain them. And for this we need competitive types of military equipment and reasonable prices. After all, the arms market operates on the same conditions as any other market — price and quality matching. I am sure that our gunsmiths have not yet lost their skills and may well produce modern products that meet all international standards.
Vladimir Rubanov, vice president of the Association for the Advancement of Defense Enterprises Association:
- The sale of weapons is regulated by international documents, and we are not entitled to violate them, even if there is a huge benefit to our budget. Who can sell weapons, who can not - it is in these documents listed. In addition, despite some benefit to the budget from the sale of weapons, we must clearly realize that under no circumstances can chemical, bacteriological and nuclear weapons be sold: such transactions are dangerous for the entire world community.
Hovhannes Ohanyan, First Deputy Head of the Fair Russia faction:
- Arms export strategy should include two aspects. The first is political, connected with international sanctions, with international legislation, with decisions of international organizations on those who are prohibited from supplying weapons. Including various gangs, terrorist organizations, etc. There is a special list that is regularly updated. And all this, of course, Russia must adhere to. In addition, we must evaluate the countries that want to buy weapons from us in terms of security for our state. The second aspect is economic. Everything is simple here: if it is profitable for us, we must supply weapons. There can be no other restrictions. Our main competitor in the arms market is the USA. And we have a ruthless struggle for this market. And sometimes this fight reaches such a heat, compared to which all detectives and adventure films look faded. In particular, harsh criticism of Russia for arms supplies to the Middle East is an echo of this competitive struggle.
Nikolai Ryzhkov, a member of the Federation Council, in 1985-1991 the chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers:
- Back in 1989, while I was still Prime Minister, I made a report at the 2nd Congress of People's Deputies on the economic situation and on the prospects for economic development. I then famous people, and some of them are still alive, said that I was the culprit of all conflicts, because I sell weapons abroad. And I have always defended the point of view that since everyone is selling arms, we must trade. For this we get money to solve our internal problems. And at that time we owned 50-60% of the total world arms market. And the Americans then occupied on the strength of 20% of the market. The rest of the market was divided between France, Germany, Belgium. And then new competitors, such as Israel and China, appeared on the market, and we very much lost our positions, and now our share of the world arms market is about 15-20%. Conflicts, however, did not disappear anywhere without our weapons, and the vacated niche was occupied by the United States, tremendously increasing its share. So, of course, I advocate returning our positions on the world arms market or at least try to increase our share.