Defense industry in the post-Soviet space. Part I
It should be noted that Russia has the most powerful defense-industrial complex (MIC) among the countries formed after the collapse of the USSR. According to some sources, about three-quarters of all former Soviet defense plants, factories, research and design organizations remained on the territory of the Russian Federation. Other 14 countries formed on the ruins of the Soviet Union received a smaller number of enterprises and organizations. For example, independent Ukraine "got" about 15% of the Soviet defense industry, while the share of other countries does not exceed a few percent.
Not all former Soviet enterprises were able to survive the difficult nineties and two thousand years and numerous financial difficulties. Nevertheless, some states in the post-Soviet space are trying to revive their defense industry. Consider the state of defense of countries formed after the collapse of the USSR.
Like other states that appeared on the map after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan had serious economic problems for a long time. The share of Azerbaijani enterprises in the Soviet defense complex was not too large, which is why a little more than two dozen factories and institutions remained in an independent state, some of which began work relatively recently - in the sixties and seventies. The main task of the enterprises of the Azerbaijan SSR was the production of various equipment and spare parts for equipment.
In the first half of the two thousandths, official Baku set a course to strengthen its army, including by updating the military-industrial complex. Thus, in the period from 2004 to 2012, the size of the country's military budget increased almost 20 times. In addition, at the end of 2005, the Ministry of Defense Industry was established to manage various enterprises and organizations. This ministry is responsible for the development and manufacture of new weapons and military equipment, the repair and modernization of the equipment being used, and the implementation of joint projects with foreign organizations.
In recent years, the Azerbaijani defense industry has regularly demonstrated its new developments in various fields. For obvious reasons, Azerbaijan cannot independently develop Tanks or infantry fighting vehicles, which is why I am forced to modernize existing equipment. There are projects to upgrade armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles and Soviet-made tanks. In addition, over the past few years, Azerbaijani enterprises have shown several versions of the modernized BRDM-2 machines. At the same time, Azerbaijan is building machinery under a foreign license. The troops have a number of armored vehicles Marauder and Matador, developed by the South African company Paramount Group and built in Azerbaijan.
Large investments in the defense industry have allowed Azerbaijan to significantly increase the production of ammunition for small arms and artillery, reducing the dependence on foreign products. In addition, the production of small arms of its own design and developed in collaboration with foreign colleagues (the Khazri machine gun, the Istigal sniper rifle, etc.) is deployed. Azerbaijani enterprises have also developed their own projects of multiple rocket launchers.
The defense industry of Azerbaijan can hardly be called powerful and developed, but its development in recent years clearly shows what small, poor countries that need to upgrade their armed forces can be capable of. Apparently, in the future, Baku will continue to develop its defense industry, thanks to which new armament and military equipment projects will appear, including those created jointly with foreign companies from Russia, Turkey, Israel, etc.
After the collapse of the USSR, independent defense enterprises remained in independent Armenia. As in the case of Azerbaijan, most of the Armenian defense organizations did not directly manufacture military products. The tasks of the Armenian specialists were to conduct various research and manufacture the element base for other Soviet enterprises. This feature of the Armenian defense industry strongly affected the capabilities of the army during the Karabakh conflict, when enterprises urgently had to establish production of ammunition and weapons, and learn to repair damaged equipment.
In the future, several attempts were made to expand the production of weapons and military equipment, but almost all of them did not produce the expected results. As a result, the work of a large number of defense enterprises almost completely stopped, and some of them ceased to exist. However, some organizations tried to create and produce weapons. Thus, the Razdanmash plant (the city of Hrazdan) developed and tried to offer military mortars and grenades to the military, and Aspar’s small arms are being tested in the military.
It should be remembered that Armenia has strained relations with Azerbaijan, and the latter is actively developing its defense industry. For the development of its own enterprises, official Yerevan creates new laws, as well as initiates the commencement of new projects, including joint ones, with the participation of foreign organizations. For example, last year it was reported that Armenia and Poland are preparing to start overhaul and modernization of Armenian T-72 tanks, during which the machines will receive new equipment and protection systems.
Independently and with the help of foreign partners, Armenia is modernizing weapons and military equipment left over from the collapse of the USSR. Not so long ago, the modernization project of outdated P-18M radar stations was presented. The main idea of this project is to replace obsolete hardware components with modern ones, assembled using new components. Since 2006 year in the Military Aviation Institute. A. Hanferyants developed their own projects of light unmanned aerial vehicles "Baze", "Krunk", X-55 and others.
Gradual development of promising projects contributes to the gradual development of the Armenian defense industry. According to reports, in 2010, about 2,45 million was allocated to advanced research and development of new weapons and equipment. In 2014, the cost of new projects is estimated at $ 3,6 million.
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were about 120 defense enterprises on the territory of the Byelorussian SSR, including a half dozen institutes and design bureaus. Belarusian enterprises were an important component of the defense industry of the USSR, but the proximity of the republic to Europe and potential adversaries did not allow for the placement of factories producing military final products. With few exceptions, all Belarusian enterprises were suppliers of spare parts and components for related organizations.
It should be noted that the leadership of the independent Republic of Belarus competently reacted to defense enterprises and tried to support them as much as possible. So far, all former Soviet research institutes and design bureaus have survived. Most of the other defense enterprises were reorganized, as a result of which the Belarusian military-industrial complex currently consists of fifty institutions, design bureaus, factories, etc. It should also be remembered that Belarus has maintained good relations with Russia, due to which, in particular, numerous production ties between enterprises of the two countries have not been severed.
The development of the Belarusian defense industry after the country gained independence proceeded along the lines of preserving existing industries and mastering new technologies. Research institutes and design bureaus began to pay great attention to instrument making, radio electronic equipment, etc. On the basis of these developments, "applied" projects began to be created, implying the modernization of existing equipment using the latest developments. For some time most of the Belarusian products went to Russia, but after 2000, the official Minsk had financial opportunities to support the domestic producer with the help of orders.
From 1991 to 2003, almost all Belarusian defense enterprises were managed by the Ministry of Industry. The only exception was repair plants belonging to the Ministry of Defense. At the end of 2003, the State Military-Industrial Committee of the Republic of Belarus (GVPK RB) was created, which took over the management of all factories, research institutes and design bureaus of the defense sector. Initially, all defense enterprises had the status of republican unitary enterprises. In 2009, all these organizations became open joint-stock companies, 100% owned by the state.
One of the main components of the Belarusian defense industry is repair plants, carrying out repair and modernization of various military equipment. For example, the 140-th armored repair plant (Borisov) carries out not only the restoration of equipment, but also is the leading enterprise for the modernization of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other armored vehicles. 558-th aircraft repair plant (Baranavichy) is the main company that provides repair of combat aircraft and helicopters, as well as working on the development of aircraft modernization projects, including with the help of foreign partners.
An appreciable share of products manufactured by Belarusian enterprises is exported to Russia. One of the main exporters of finished machinery is the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MZKT). Various wheeled chassis of this enterprise are actively used as the basis for several types of Russian military equipment, including mobile missile systems. In addition to the MZKT, the Minsk Tractor Works is engaged in manufacturing chassis for the Russian machinery, offering customers tracked chassis of the GM-352 family.
The leading enterprise of the defense industry complex of the Republic of Belarus, Peleng OJSC (Minsk), is developing optical and optical-electronic systems. In Soviet times, it developed sights and other systems for armored vehicles. It should be noted, "Peleng" actively cooperates with foreign enterprises. Thus, the matrix for thermal imagers are purchased from the French company Thales, and the tank thermal imaging sights “Plisa” and “Essa” are produced in cooperation with the Vologda optical-mechanical plant.
Despite the absence of a large number of enterprises capable of independently producing ready-made weapons or military equipment, the Belarusian defense industry is a fairly powerful complex capable of performing the tasks assigned to it. These tasks are to maintain the necessary state of technology through the timely repair, modernization of equipment, as well as the development, production and supply of various components to foreign partners. Even in the presence of numerous problems, including serious ones, the defense industry of the Republic of Belarus looks good against the background of the industry of other countries that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Like other Soviet republics, located near the borders of the USSR, Georgia did not inherit a serious military-industrial complex from a decaying country. On the territory of independent Georgia there were several factories and institutes that were previously involved in the construction and development of equipment. In addition, Georgian enterprises were engaged in the production of components for other plants. Due to the country's problems, the state of the Georgian defense industry has been constantly deteriorating. The situation began to change only at the beginning of the XNUMXs, when a large number of defense enterprises actually stopped work. For example, Tbilisi aviation the plant (plant No. 32) stopped the construction of Su-25 attack aircraft shortly after the collapse of the USSR, and production ties with other enterprises of the former Soviet industry were broken.
Significant changes in the life of the Georgian defense industry began after the so-called. The revolution of roses. Over several years, the new authorities increased the country's military budget by about 30 times: in 2003, only 30 million dollars were allocated for defense, in 2007 - 940 million dollars (0,7% and 8% of GDP, respectively). The increased budget was used to “reanimate” existing plants and organizations. For example, the Tbilisi Aviation Plant (“Tbilaviamsheni”), taking advantage of the groundwork left from Soviet times, completed several Su-25 airplanes. Due to the lack of ties with Russian enterprises, Georgian aircraft manufacturers ordered avionics from Israeli specialists. This version of the Georgian-Israeli aircraft received the designation Su-25 Scorpion.
In 2007, the Tbilisi Tank Repair Plant (Plant No.142) and the Israeli company Elbit Systems signed a contract, in accordance with which they intended to repair and upgrade old T-72 tanks in accordance with the joint project T-72 SIM-1. The essence of the modernization was to install a new electronic equipment that enhances the characteristics of machines. According to some reports, together with foreign partners, Georgia planned to modernize other equipment, but after the War in South Ossetia, the plans had to be adjusted.
Over the past few years, Georgia has presented a number of new military equipment projects developed by the Delta Research and Technical Center, which included several defense enterprises. In particular, the assembly of some samples of new technology was carried out at the Tbilisi aircraft plant. For several years, the Delta Center has developed and built the Didgori armored car, the Lazika infantry fighting vehicle and the ZCRS-122 MLRS (aka GG-122). A characteristic feature of all these projects was the active use of foreign developments. For example, the Lazika BMP is built on the basis of a modified Soviet corps BMP-1 and BMP-2, and the promising MLRS ZCRS-122 is a slightly modified launcher of the Soviet BM-21 installed on the KrAZ-6322 Ukrainian chassis.
A few years ago, the Delta Center presented a wide range of infantry weapons produced at the enterprises of the Georgian military-industrial complex. Various types of small arms, grenade launchers and rocket launchers, mortars, ammunition and special equipment were shown. It should be noted that the majority of the samples represented were refined alien developments, primarily Soviet ones. For example, a Georgian-made rocket launcher looked like an RPG-7, on which plastic was installed instead of wooden parts. Nevertheless, the Mkudro silent mortar or the AG-40 grenade launcher were actually developed by Georgian specialists, even if taking into account foreign developments.
High hopes were pinned on the new armament and military equipment of Georgian production, but the revival of the Georgian armed forces did not happen. According to some reports, no later than the start of 2013, the production of promising armored vehicles and new MLRS stopped. Last summer, the former President of Georgia M. Saakashvili criticized the approach of the current authorities to support the domestic defense industry. He noted that the 31 plant in Tbilisi stands idle without large orders, and the production of the latest technology has been stopped. At the same time, Georgian and foreign experts said that the defense enterprises of Georgia did not even begin the serial construction of new machines, limiting themselves to several prototypes.
Similar news suggest that the Georgian defense industry is once again experiencing not the best of times, because of which it will take time to rebuild and sometimes build enterprises. It is not known what actions Tbilisi will take to modernize the defense industry.
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