The main feature of the leading enterprise of the radio-electronic complex of Russia, Concern Vega OJSC, is the creation of large radio-electronic complexes and radar facilities, as well as intelligence and control systems. Speaking as an integrator and a link of great cooperation, the multi-profile concern develops several system products at once, on which, by virtue of their specificity, they have been going on for five to seven years.
By the tenth anniversary of the integrated structure, which Vega celebrated in late April, several works were completed at once. The most well-known is the modernization of the long-range radar detection and control aircraft (DRLO and U) A-50 and its transfer to service in the Russian Air Force.
2014 was a jubilee year for the concern: April 28 is the decade of the integrated structure, 70 will be the head company of the concern in October, and 16 may celebrate its 60th anniversary by the general director and general designer of Concern Vega, Ph.D. General Designer of the Russian Federation on the systems and complexes of reconnaissance, patrol and control of airborne and complexes with unmanned aerial vehicles Vladimir Verba. On the eve of the anniversary, we talked with Vladimir Stepanovich about the most significant achievements of the concern, the tasks that confront its team after joining Rostec, and further work plans, including the most ambitious ones.
"MIC": Vladimir Stepanovich, please tell us how one of the most important tasks of the concern is being fulfilled - the modernization of DRLO and U A-50 aircraft.
- Our specialists have successfully completed its deep modernization to the A-50U level. The Russian Air Force has already delivered three A-50Us, significantly superior to their predecessors in combat capabilities, flight technical and operational characteristics. Today it is the most modern and complex aviation means. After its modernization, we transferred most of the processes from analog to digital. Digitization of all the information coming on board allowed, on the one hand, to reduce the weight of the equipment by seven tons, which increased the aircraft's characteristics in terms of range and duration of flight, and on the other hand, to increase its functionality.
"MIC": What other events, from your point of view, are significant in this anniversary year for the concern?
- In connection with the anniversary, we appealed to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, his deputy Yuri Borisov, Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force Lieutenant-General Viktor Bondarev with a petition for assigning one of the A-50U aircraft (airborne number 33) named "Vladimir Ivanov". This is my predecessor, the general director and the general designer, who for more than 20 years headed the enterprise, created the entire onboard DRLO and U complex in the 80s. The request was received positively. For the first time the aircraft was given the name of the general designer. This is extremely true, because the main thing in А-50 is the stuffing, which provides the solution of reconnaissance and control tasks.
"MIC": A great gift to the team for the anniversary. Vladimir Stepanovich, I understand that the topic is closed, but maybe you will say a few words about the future А-100 plane, which you are working on now? How do you see its appearance and filling?
- Experimental design work is proceeding successfully, we have begun testing individual systems. It will be a reconnaissance, patrol and control aircraft of the fifth generation based on the Il-476 Ulyanovsk aircraft plant. A new radar with AFAR and digital signal processing is being developed for it, a number of other innovations are being introduced, which will significantly expand the functionality and allow you to track objects on land, on water and in the air.
"MIC": Recently, a lot of talk and write about the "open sky". What is the contribution of “Vega” to the work on this international treaty?
- As the lead developer in cooperation with UAC enterprises, we carried out development work on the creation of the Open Sky Aviation Observation System based on the Tu-214ОН aircraft. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation received a unique tool for conducting legal aerial reconnaissance in the framework of the International Treaty on Open Skies, which includes the 34 states of Europe and North America. Currently, for the Ministry of Defense of Russia, two fully equipped aircraft have been built with surveillance equipment and the entire ground infrastructure of the emergency control system. No country in the world has such a complex of air surveillance for flights within the framework of the treaty.
"MIC": Some Western analysts argue that Russia, having created the most modern Tu-XNUMHON aircraft that can legally receive intelligence, is causing serious concern to the West.
- We really have developed a unique onboard aircraft surveillance system. There is nothing forbidden in its composition - only what is allowed by an international treaty. We just used the full scope of this document. Installed on the new media all permitted means of monitoring: infrared and video camera, digital cameras, side-looking radar. Created modern means of recording and processing information on digital media.
As a result, we received a full-fledged aircraft that meets the most stringent requirements of the International Treaty, which can inspect all the participating countries, including the United States. At the presentation of the ASN ON in Vienna, Western experts said that Russia had succeeded in creating the best open-air plane for today.
"MIC": The scope of the concern concerns near-earth space?
“Together with the NPO Mashinostroenie, we created the spacecraft of the Earth remote sensing system Condor, which is currently in orbit. The satellite is equipped with a synthesized aperture radar antenna and digital signal processing "Stryzh". The first results of the radar monitoring of the earth and sea surface fully satisfy the operators of the system and its developers in terms of the quality and informativeness of the received images.
The uniqueness of the work is that it was performed by Russia for the first time after the collapse of the USSR. Even before today's sanctions, some Western countries have banned us from purchasing certain technologies and components, but we were ready to independently produce equipment capable of conducting remote sensing of the Earth in a radar way.
"MIC": Waiting for orders in this area?
- I think yes. We have developed unique space technologies, we are ready to fulfill all government orders. There will be no special need to turn to the West soon. Another thing is that international cooperation and cooperation is always interesting.
"MIC": Just recently, the Presidential Decree issued on awarding the Marshal of the Soviet Union GK Zhukov State Prize of the Russian Federation in 2014. You have become a laureate. Congratulations! Tell us about the work marked by the state award.
- Concern "Vega" became the leading organization of the industry for the development of a special technical system for the Russian security agencies. The working group of employees of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation and a number of industrial enterprises carried out large-scale work to equip the operational headquarters in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. Special hardware and software systems were developed and delivered to control the allocated forces and assets during the counter-terrorist operation. The introduction of such complexes to a large extent contributes to the effective solution of the national security problems of the state. The group of specialists of power structures and enterprises, who took an active part in this work, was awarded the state prize.
By the way, this is not the only work done by Vega in the interests of the state security agencies. For the Frontier Service of the Federal Security Service of Russia, the company has developed a unique ground-based radar that can detect a person at a distance of 20 kilometers. It has a number of other features. There are no analogues in the world!
Now the tests are being completed and we hope that the border guards will soon be able to get a highly effective means of protecting the borders of the Motherland.
"MIC": In connection with the economic sanctions against Russia, the problem of import substitution is extremely relevant. How does she decide on "Vega"?
- Today the concern includes 20 enterprises. As a matrix structure, we are implementing several important projects, some of which are being leased this year. One of them is mastering the technology of development and production of 3D microsystems, which will largely solve the problem of import substitution.
"MIC": How was this idea born?
“Together with the company Mikran, we decided to create an enterprise in the free economic zone of Tomsk to produce multi-function miniature radio modules of the next generation - 3D-microsystems. It immediately became obvious that using the results of previously carried out scientific and technological works and the known processes of microtechnologies, it is possible to improve the basic characteristics of the products being produced several times. Their main difference from existing solutions is miniature with high functionality. Such production today are created in the world, but in Russia there are not yet. The Ministry of Economic Development approved the project, and we immediately began to implement it at our own expense. Budget funding begins only this year. Since the recipient of budget funds concern "Vega", "Mikran" acts as an intellectual partner.
"MIC": What are the stages of this project?
- There are three stages of implementation. The first stage - we create an experimental pilot production in Moscow, at the site of one of the enterprises of the concern. The second stage - the creation of pilot production in Tomsk with the involvement of budgetary funds. Construction and installation work has already been launched, and we will begin to receive the first products through 2,5 – 3 of the year. At the third stage for the expansion of production, we envisage attracting investors from among the largest holdings of the domestic industry.
Concerns Almaz-Antey, Tactical Missile Weapons, RTI, Automatics, and Constellation have already shown interest in the project.
"MIC": And what about the creation of domestic UAVs? Why were we forced to buy UAVs in Israel?
- Because nobody has seriously dealt with unmanned topics for a long time. Today, together with key interested departments, we have developed a concept for the development of this area.
One of the most important tasks today is to reduce costs when developing drones, primarily due to their unification. The problem is a large number of manufacturers, especially small UAVs. And the customer, first of all, the Ministry of Defense, is interested in unification, reduction of the nomenclature series and provision of troops with corresponding universal training complexes. We, in particular, have already performed OCD and created a UAV operators simulator, which operates in the interspecific UAV center. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu approved his deliveries to the Armed Forces.
"MIC": What is being done to solve the problem of creating domestic UAVs across the country?
- The Federal Center for Unmanned Aviation and the General Staff were established. The Ministry of Defense has ordered a number of new OCDs for the development of drones for various purposes, which are personally supervised by the Minister of Defense and his deputy for armaments. We report quarterly on progress. Everything is going according to schedule, and in some places and ahead. The required resources have been allocated, everything is being done to launch the serial products. I hope that in the near future at our enterprise OJSC Luch, in the city of Rybinsk, we will complete the construction of a workshop for the mass production of modern drones.
"MIC": But by itself, the aircraft is not needed by anyone - it must issue information.
- Yes, and this requires the appropriate interfaces that need to be created. Thus, the Ural Civil Aviation Plant, which produces the Forpost and Zastava UAVs under an Israeli license, entered into an agreement with the Vega concern on cooperation in creating information systems for these devices. We plan to tackle their integration with domestic control and data collection systems.
As for short-range drones, specialists of one of the concern’s enterprises are already creating such complexes that are not inferior to the best Western models. They were ordered by the Ministry of Defense.
Medium and long-range devices, shock complexes in the next two or three years will also come into service and will correspond to the world level. The economic sanctions of the West are only pushing us towards more productive work. For officials who believed that the West would help us, now is the time of parting with illusions. We must produce the technology and weapons that ensure the strategic security of the state.
"MIC": The concern "Vega" is the only company in the country that creates the means of aeronautics: balloons and airships. How relevant is this topic today?
- This is a very promising direction. The United States covers the entire border with Mexico by aerostats. They are placed payload, with which you can track the columns of drug couriers, conduct radar reconnaissance, etc. They are set at a height of several kilometers and get them there is not so easy. We work in this direction of JSC DKBA in Dolgoprudny. Now we are completely modernizing production there, creating a new test bench. The concern has major achievements in the creation of mobile aerostat complexes in the interests of the Ministry of Defense of Russia.
MIC: In January 2014, a presidential decree was signed on the inclusion of four concerns in the Rostec group of companies: Constellation, Vega, Automation, and Control Systems, as well as a separate enterprise of the Central Research Institute EISU. What are your expectations from such major structural changes?
–28 February in the “Vega” Concern a meeting was held, in which Vladimir Artyakov, First Deputy Director General of Rostec, took part. A large holding of radio-electronic enterprises with the symbolic name of OPK (United Instrument-Making Corporation) was created. Its CEO was approved by Alexander Yakunin. For the past three years, he has headed the Department of Radio Electronics Industry of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Excellent specialist, knows the industry well.
Now we are studying the regulatory documents of the state corporation. We hope the merger will give a synergistic effect, will accelerate the innovative development of the concern.
"MIC": Corporate plans of the concern "Vega" provide for further improvement of its management and production structure?
The concern includes several enterprises that are located on Varshavskoye Highway in Moscow: SKB Topaz, scientific research institute Argon, NICEVT, Moscow Radio Engineering Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. On the basis of their concern, the board of the concern decided to form a production and technology cluster in the south of the capital.
The parent company is located on Kutuzov Avenue, where production is already expensive. There was a whole building with pilot production - 10 thousand square meters. After its modernization, the experimental site for the urgent needs of the chief designers will have enough 1,3 thousand square meters, and concentrate the main production resources in the new Moscow territorial cluster.
"MIC": Innovative developments of "Vega" are aimed at the production of not only weapons and military equipment, but also civilian products, in particular medical equipment. How justified is this?
- We were one of the founders of the Association of manufacturers of medical devices of defense enterprises. And now we find support in the face of the state. Since we were the first in the industry to create a Medical Competence Center, we have been given the status of the leading enterprise for the organization of the production of medical equipment in the industry. Naturally, we ourselves produce such civilian products, although ten years ago we did not have them at all.
Traditionally, Vega specializes in hematology, blood collection and preservation systems. For example, we made a mobile complex for blood preparation, separation and storage on the basis of a specialized bus. This is our innovative development, protected by patents and awarded the gold medal of the exhibition IENA 2008 in the city of Nuremberg. The complex is already in use in the Moscow region, by the end of the year we are waiting for an order for such buses on 20. Earlier, Russia bought similar systems abroad.
"MIC": All this can not correlate with the work of scientific schools. How did you manage to keep them in the "Vega"?
- We have marble boards with the names of prominent scientists at the entrance to the enterprise - A. A. Pistolkors, creator of the national antenna school, academician A. L. Mikaelyan, corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences L. D. Bakhrakh, A. P. Reutov and others . At some point, their schools began to fade. But over the past ten years we have managed to restore them. A science and education center has been established at Vega, where basic departments of leading technical universities work (MIPT, Bauman Moscow State Technical University, MAI, MIREA). There are constantly trained more than a hundred students who are also employees of our enterprises. Over the past decade, graduate students of Concern Vega have graduated from 78 people. The dissertation council of the concern made positive decisions on the results of the defense of eight doctoral and 18 candidate dissertations. And the list of annually published works published in leading peer-reviewed publications increased from 60 in 2004 to 293 in 2013. Compliance of scientific results with world standards is confirmed by the presence of more than 50 patents.
The restoration of scientific schools is one of the most important achievements of the last ten years. Without this, we simply could not create modern technology, especially since the Soviet backlog has long been over.
In the anniversary year for the concern, our scientists made a gift to the entire scientific community, radio specialists, graduate students and students by publishing two fundamental works: the monograph “Aircraft Systems of the Radar Watch and Guidance” and the new version of the translation from the English classic “Reference Book on Radiolocation” edited by M. I . Both books are published in May, without false modesty, I note that I became the author of the first monograph.
"MIC": Probably, without the adoption of certain social programs to conduct this work, especially with young people, it would be impossible.
- Today, the concern includes 20 enterprises, which employ around 12 thousands of employees. The average monthly salary is about 32 thousand rubles. Introduced a differentiated wage system, regular promotion of young professionals. There is also a special surcharge of the CEO. The prizes were instituted after the leaders of our scientific schools. A special commission has been created that selects and evaluates the work. Contests, scientific and technical conferences, trips and internships are held at leading enterprises in the industry in Russia and abroad.
One of the most difficult issues is housing, and it’s impossible to keep a standing employee in Moscow alone without his decision. We purchased 50 apartments in the Moscow region, some of them were given to leading young specialists and scientists who defended their dissertations, headed departments, major areas of work.
"MIC": Do you have free time and how do you spend it?
- It is not very fashionable and not very correct to answer that my hobby is work. But it really is. If you want to achieve the goal, then you need to completely surrender to it. You give yourself to science - you get a scientific result. You dedicate yourself to the organization of production - in the concern grow production performance.
Of course, there are other hobbies. Since childhood, doing photography. Even after the transition to the figure there is a place for creativity.
My parents are Kuban Cossacks, so the land is very close to me and everything connected with it. I am happy to do gardening, floriculture, children and grandchildren help. At the cottage planted apples, pears, plums, has already taken off the first harvest. This year should give the first fruits of a young cherry orchard.
And my mother instilled in me a love for culinary business. On Sundays as an elder of the clan, I gather all my relatives and relatives and cook Kuban borsch. Not without pride I will say that I can do it better than my children, daughters-in-law, friends.
"MIC": What do you dream on the eve of your anniversary?
- Early to sum up. So in my life it turned out that all the main classes had a cycle of ten years. He worked at the university for ten years as a lecturer and devoted 10 years to business. Then, after being transferred to Moscow, I was assigned to create a concern and I took on this overwhelming task. Ten years of working in the concern is serving the Fatherland. In the next ten years I do not plan to change the profile. I want to do what I love. A cherished dream is to fly an ARLO and A-100 aircraft into the air with an ultra-modern on-board complex.
All my life I have been actively working with young people. I want the new generation of Vegovets to continue the work of the luminaries, who have created uniquely complex intelligence and control systems, worthily. May God give them the best of our play!
Today "Vega" has its own face, it is a brand known to the world. I hope that in the future we will be on top!
The editorial office of the newspaper "VPC" joins the already heard congratulations on the tenth anniversary of the whole group of the radio engineering group "Vega", and also heartily congratulates Vladimir Stepanovich Verba on his sixtieth birthday, wishes him many years, health, peace in the family and strength in his amazing and so important for country work.