Recently, Dmitry Medvedev held a working meeting on the implementation of state orders in the defense industry. Next to him were Serdyukov, the Minister of Defense, who acted as the buyer, and also Ivanov, the vice-premier, who can be considered the seller. Medvedev, according to different versions, conducted a mediation session or confrontation in order to settle the dispute. The president took the position of Serdyukov, who refuses to buy low-quality equipment for public money.
Understanding Medvedev is difficult in another way. A statement appeared on its official website, where quite logical things are noted. The economy is no longer Soviet, and therefore the Ministry of Defense needs to carefully examine each contract in order to check how profitable it is. Since the modern army does not have gigantic support, you should not buy all sorts of garbage for these modest resources. According to Medvedev, if the price is not satisfactory, you must either place the contracts in other national companies or buy them abroad. This will be useful not only in terms of savings. Sensing the market, manufacturers will have to work on the quality of the product, and not justify the high prices with exclusivity and unique developments, which is not true.
The departments are indeed closed, but the information still leaked out through the barriers because of the General Designer and Director of the RK Bulava, Yuri Solomonov. He complained that due to certain officials, the state order was being sabotaged. But in order to understand the conflict of the Ministry of Defense, there is little public data, it is necessary to take into account a number of details related to this topic. Weapon paid from the budget of the country, which is formed including at the expense of money of ordinary citizens.
Firstly, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, our defense industry was able to survive only through the export of its products. It has long been "addicted" to export prices. The cost of production, among which are submarines, rockets, Tanks, planes unknown: departments sacredly keep this secret. Serdyukov must have only a superficial idea of these amounts. And Russia simply cannot buy tanks at the same price at which they are sold to a potential enemy.
Secondly, the Russian defense industry, unlike the foreign one, relies on the scientific base of the Soviet Union, releasing the modernized weapons of that era. And for that time it was great, but now, alas, outdated. Unfortunately, many developments were not implemented due to poor preparation. But to produce equipment without electronic systems, without modern equipment is irrational, because it will not be able to win in the technological battle. Yes, and cost such a “filling” may be more expensive than the iron “bun”. This is what makes Serdyukov outraged: a huge price with poor quality.
Third, we also inherited from the Soviet Union an outdated military doctrine, in accordance with which it was necessary to prepare for a global war. It is under her adapted most of the development, produced today. Army theorists of those years believed that if a nuclear war began, tanks, aircraft, and motorized infantry would not survive for long. And because they have a very low engine life, and the comfort of movement is minimal. Of course, such developments were significantly cheaper than imported counterparts. But if you look at the costs for the future, the maintenance of such equipment is more expensive than buying weapons abroad. Given that the price is almost caught up with Western appetites, buying low-quality equipment, at least, is irrational.
To verify these theses, you can consider a simple example. The T-90 tank costs almost as much as its import equivalent Leopard-2. That's just its technical characteristics are not comparable with Western competitors. Modern German tanks pass thousands of kilometers without breaking 4.5. As for the T-90, less than half of the models are able to overcome a thousand kilometers without repairs. Leopard-2 has a diesel engine from Mercedes and uses 100 liters for 240 kilometers, weighing tons in 62.
The T-90 weighs 46,5 tons, but consumes 350 liters of fuel per hundred kilometers. With long-term storage, in two years, only half of Russian tanks can “start”. As for the comfort of movement, it is a completely different planet. Changing the engine in the field, the Germans will take 20 minutes, and they can diagnose on the spot. To fix the T-90, you have to spend a few hours in the repair battalion. Find the cause of failure can only be using the factory stand.
For comparison, the cost of the T-90C (export version of the T-90A) is on average 2-2,5 million dollars apiece. Only Chinese derivatives from T-72 are cheaper. According to various sources, Chinese VT1A stands on the foreign market 1,4-1,8 million dollars. In turn, the Polish PT-91M can be bought for 2,7-3 million dollars, and the Ukrainian T-84U, according to various sources, for 2,5-4 million dollars (the cost of one tank for Thailand, according to preliminary data, will be 1,2 million dollars). True, speaking of the prices of military products, one should not forget about the principle of "discounts for regular and wholesale customers."
16.04.2011 "Solid Contradictions
On export sales of Russian tanks "
On export sales of Russian tanks "
A vivid example only underlines the general trend. The BMP-3, which is released to the stream, has excellent technical characteristics, but in reality it will hardly reach St. Petersburg from Moscow on its own. If the machine serves the entire due time, then no more than 4 people can master control on the resource of a single piece of equipment.
The words of the president, who actually authorized the purchase of military equipment in foreign firms, are unprecedented for the industry. They are exactly the opposite show the situation that was with the domestic auto industry. Instead of releasing a competitive product, officials raised import duties on cars, banned right-hand drive Japanese cars, and spent huge amounts of money on maintaining life in a dying factory. Now negotiations are underway to give AvtoVAZ at a reasonable price concern Renault-Nissan.
It was this sobering calculation that caused the conflict between the defense industry and the authorities. After all, an unsuccessful technique needs not only to learn, overpaying big money. It can be used in case of military conflicts. However, we are not ready to sell defense industry enterprises: this will be negatively perceived by society. The Mistral, the landing craft, was purchased mainly for propaganda purposes, in order to show our competitors to our monopolists. However, the “domestic manufacturer” in a number of positions has no real rivals: there is nowhere else to buy the same strategic missiles.
It should be understood that the restructuring of the mentality goes on for a long time, even if we consider it on the example of the automotive industry. First, statements followed, then new legislation, and only after that concrete steps by ministers.
Unfortunately, the words Medvedev can sink into oblivion. However, the interests of the army overlap here. Our military-industrial complex is morally obsolete, and only certain steps of power can move the situation from a dead center. They propose, for example, to open a military budget, which did not find understanding among the military. But this is a normal practice for Western countries, including the United States.
After this, it is necessary to adopt laws that would help to bring the defense industry to the market plane, to make sure that there is healthy competition. This is a very difficult task, next to which the transformation of the police into the police seems like a child's play. But if you do not do this, then the cost of purchasing weapons will in no way match the quality of the supplied solutions. And this is a very expensive task that can require huge money. Moreover, the reform of the defense industry does not always find mutual understanding in society.
By itself, the fact that, at our defense enterprises, even theoretically, “junk” can be produced, should become the object of not just research, but the work-around and alarms throughout the chain. And we must not punish the ruble of negligent suppliers, but delve into the problems and ensure that our plants can supply quality at a reasonable price.
Instead, it is suggested that in the supermarket it is possible to go around all the shelves and choose what you like. The killer logic.
Procurement of foreign weapons is a reasonable measure, when it replaces for a while what we do not yet have. But at the same time - if the need arose - you need to build your own and begin production of your equipment. Not because we have special pride, but because it is so reasonable.