A curtain of secrecy over the acquisition of a French helicopter carrier and the release of Russian UAVs is ajar
“Military Industrial Courier” has already talked about some products of the domestic defense industry, presented at the first international forum “Technologies in mechanical engineering-2010”. However, beyond the article published in the 26 of the newspaper for the 2010 year, there are a number of significant points directly related to the development of the Russian defense industry, in particular the topics discussed by high-ranking officials in Zhukovsky near Moscow.
But first, let me remind you that the forum "Technologies in Mechanical Engineering" is expected to be held at the airfield of the Gromov Flight Research Institute in even years. In odd years, there is an international aerospace salon.
At the event, everyone was shown basically a standard set of weapons for military exhibitions - from tanks T-90A and T-80U to the Buk-M2 self-propelled anti-aircraft missile system and the Msta-S self-propelled artillery mount. Tanks, army trucks and tractors at the training ground competed in overcoming various obstacles, and all this happened in a single rhythm to the music. That is why the forum, one of the tasks of which is to load the exhibition space of the Russian Technologies State Corporation, received the second unofficial name “Tank Max.”
By the way, 314 companies took part in the exhibition program, and more than 1500 delegates from 18 countries participated in the “round tables” and meetings. No new products, though. So, PVO "Almaz-Antey" Concern showed small-sized radar 1L122E, SPC "NIIDAR" - radar "Vitim" Yaroslavl Radio - a radio station R-168-1KE, software "Quantum" - mobile radio monitoring "Impact-1" NPF Mikran is a mobile communication complex of the MIK-MKS.
In addition, Zhukovsky demonstrated the Acacia-E automated command and control system manufactured by Sistemp concern. It is designed to provide communication between the General Staff and the headquarters of associations and formations, as well as to process information obtained from intelligence. The system has already been used during the Kavkaz-2009 exercises and is recognized to be quite reliable in operation.
In addition, the exhibition also featured models of promising unmanned aerial vehicles Korshun and Ka-135, which were created by the holding Russian Helicopters with independent funding. This is a dual-purpose UAV, suitable for use by both military and civilian structures. According to preliminary data, the Ka-135 will be able to reach speeds up to 180 km / h, its radius of action will be about 100 km, and its carrying capacity - up to 50 kg.
The Kite is more developed than the Ka-135 apparatus. It is planned to release it in several versions, including reconnaissance, shock and transport modifications. The drone can be used for electronic warfare, as well as chemical, biological and radiation reconnaissance. He will be able to reach speeds of up to 170 km / h and carry loads weighing up to 150 kg. The duration of the UAV patrol will be about three hours.
Another interesting novelty presented at the forum near Moscow was a towed rifled semi-automatic mortar “Nona-М2”, developed by the Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering. This 120-mm artillery gun is capable of using all the rifles of the appropriate caliber existing in the world for firing.
But the most interesting and significant events of the forum were the announcement of the creation of a special commission to deal with the purchase of the French Mistral helicopter carrier, as well as the decision of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation to purchase Russian drones for the Russian army.
NEWS ABOUT MISTRAL
The creation of a special commission for the purchase of a helicopter landing ship-dock of the Mistral class 1 was announced on July by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov. According to him, the commission will be headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) Igor Sechin. He is considered one of the most ardent opponents of this deal. According to Sechin, USC can independently build a similar ship.
"Mistral" is designed to transport troops and cargo and for landing. The helicopter carrier can reach speeds up to the 18,8 node, travel 19,8 thousands of miles, carry 16 heavy or 35 light rotary-winged vehicles, six of which can simultaneously be on the upper deck. In addition, the Mistral is ready to take on board four light assault boats or two hovercrafts, up to 470 paratroopers or, for a short time, up to 900.
It should be noted that Russia has no experience in the construction of such ships, although anti-submarine helicopter carriers or dock ships in the Soviet Union were nevertheless created. For example, in 1967 the composition of the Naval fleet The USSR included the cruiser-helicopter carrier "Moscow", and in 1969 - "Leningrad". Thanks to the presence of 14 rotorcraft, missile, torpedo and cannon weapons, they were able to effectively solve the problems of anti-submarine defense. But in the 90s, both ships were decommissioned.
The appointment of Igor Sechin as head of the commission may actually mean that the deal with Paris in the form insisted by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation will be in question. The military department intends to buy from the French one ready-made Mistral and three licenses for its construction in Russia. France plans to sell us two fully prepared helicopter carriers and two licenses. Sechin, on the other hand, believes that purchasing a ship in finished form is not necessary, as it is, however, to shell out for licenses.
At present, USC is presumably negotiating with the South Korean company STX, which created Mistral, on the transfer of its production technology to our country. This company owns the shipyard STX France, which can become an exporter of "Mistral" in the Russian Federation with the purchase of a ready-made ship. In the case of technology transfer to Russia, Koreans will be able to qualify for contracts for the construction of vessels to work on the Russian shelf. Formally, in negotiations with STX, the company's participation in the development of a new shipyard in Kronstadt is being discussed, where the facilities of the Admiralty Shipyards will be transferred.
The word Sechin in the commission, apparently, will be decisive. In any case, representatives of the military department will be included in its composition as ordinary participants. At the same time, Rosoboronexport, which was previously considered to be responsible for conducting the negotiations, will be entrusted only with the technical side of the matter - signing an agreement, transferring funds and so on. Thus, USC has a chance to get a major contract of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
The construction of one Mistral class helicopter carrier in France costs 400-500 million euros, depending on the configuration. The construction of such ships in Russia can be both cheaper and more expensive. The second option is most likely, since there is no technological basis for serial production of the Mistral in the Russian Federation. It should also be borne in mind that in addition to manufacturing the ships themselves, our country will have to create the coastal infrastructure necessary for helicopter carriers.
For the first time, Russia expressed interest in purchasing the Mistral in 2009, but official negotiations on this issue began in March of 2010. If the contract for the purchase of the ship is signed, France will supply the helicopter carrier without radar, armament and the SENIT9 information and control system, which allows coordination of disparate NATO forces. The rest of the electronic stuffing needed to control the ship, on the "Mistral" will be present.
It should be emphasized that the purchase decision was made at the government level. Russia plans to make a deal before the end of 2010, while, according to France, this may happen as early as September.
According to the plans of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, new helicopter carriers (as expected, the Northern and Pacific fleets will be the first to receive them) should be used to ensure the security of the Kuril Islands and the Kaliningrad exclave. In case of emergency, the ships will serve for large-scale transfer of troops there.
DOMESTIC DRONES - BE!
At the same forum in Zhukovsky, Vladimir Popovkin, the first deputy minister of defense of Russia, announced that in the summer of 2010, the military department would select a company that would supply the Armed Forces of reconnaissance and target models. This message would not be surprising if it were not for the Defense Ministry’s intention to choose a Russian manufacturer of drones. Thus, it decided to support the domestic industry and eliminate the split that has emerged within the department.
Formerly, the military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation did not favor our UAVs. For example, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, Colonel General Alexander Zelin, argued that the Russian UAVs would not be adopted in their current form, since they do not satisfy any of the military’s requirements for altitude, flight duration or functionality. And in the spring of this year, Vladimir Popovkin reported that the Defense Ministry had spent billion rubles on the creation of 5 drones without achieving any result.
True, the commander of the Airborne Forces, Lieutenant-General Vladimir Shamanov, spoke positively about domestic drones, especially those produced by Vega and Irkut. Vladimir Pronichev, head of the Border Guard Service of the FSB, also spoke in their favor. Judging by his words, the guards of the Russian frontiers exploit the Zala-421-05, Irkut-10 and Orlan UAVs, which are not inferior in their characteristics to their Western counterparts.
Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, also belongs to the camp of supporters of unmanned vehicles of the Russian Federation. He believes that the domestic industry is able to independently create and produce UAVs that fully meet the requirements of the Ministry of Defense.
The Russian industry can offer our military drones that are comparable in characteristics with world standards. Especially when it comes to tactical drones. These include the Xala-series Xala vehicles, as well as the KOAX X-421 unmanned helicopter, the Lokon, A-240, Ka-03, Crow-137 or Kolibri-L UAVs. We should not forget about the Tipchak reconnaissance and strike complex, which has already been put into service in minimal quantities.
In addition to these, more serious drone drones are under development. For example, the St. Petersburg company Transas created the Dozor-600 UAV, which is analogous to the American MQ-1 Predator drone, widely used by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dozor-600 is a heavy medium-height aircraft with a long duration of flight. Designed to detect and identify enemy objects in real time.
The single-engine Dozor-600 is capable of carrying a payload of 120-220 kg and performing autonomous flights for 30 hours. Tests are scheduled for 2010 year. The maximum speed of its flight will be up to 210 km / h, and the range of action - 3,7 thousand. Km. The device will be able to rise to a height of up to 7,5 thousand meters. According to these characteristics, it is comparable to the Predator and is inferior to it only in terms of carrying capacity (for an “American” this figure is about 500 kg).
Among other promising domestic drones, it should be noted "Dan-Baruk" CB "Sokol" and "Skat" company "MiG". The latter will be a reactive strike complex created using stealth technology. In the future, Russia may receive a Tu-300 - a medium-range reactive reconnaissance and shock complex. The Sukhoi Design Bureau is also creating its own version of the drone. And all this without taking into account the “Kite” and Ka-135 presented at the forum in Zhukovsky.
This summer, the Russian military department will work out the requirements for unmanned aviation complexes on the basis of which drones will be procured for the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. It is also planned to create a special center for the use of UAVs and complete the training of operators of unmanned systems purchased from Israel.
In June, 2009, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation acquired Israeli drone 12 for 53 million dollars. Bird-Eye 400, I-View MK150 and Searcher Mk II are among the devices supplied. Later, negotiations began on the purchase of a batch of UAVs in the amount of 100 million dollars. The devices were needed to study their characteristics, as well as to get an idea of the structure of drones, to subsequently use this knowledge to develop similar UAVs in our country.
In the spring of this year, the general director of the state corporation Russian Technologies, Sergey Chemezov, announced that a joint venture construction company with Israel could be formed in Israel. The Israeli side in the joint venture will represent the state-owned company Israel Aerospace Industries. The final decision on its creation will be made after the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation tests the purchased devices. The opening of the joint venture implies the transfer to Russia of UAV production technologies
The forum “Technologies in mechanical engineering-2010”, although it showed a good exhibition part and turned out to be rich in various events and discussions, Russia did not bring contracts, as is usually the case at such events. However, it is possible that in the future an agreement will be concluded with Yemen on the supply of air defense systems and tanks: talks with representatives of this country were held in Zhukovsky.
In the meantime, during the forum it became known about the completion of deliveries of Turkey’s anti-tank Kornet-E missile systems, about the imminent start of construction of a Hashim grenade launcher complex in Jordan and about Russia's intention to acquire French fire control systems. This is Sagem's Sigma-30 devices. They are planned to be used for the modernization of Smerch and Grad rocket launchers.
Sigma-30, created in 1995, allows the missile system to be guided within five minutes against 15 in non-upgraded samples. In addition, its time to failure is 20 thousand hours versus five thousand in the old system. Currently, Sigma vehicles (including Sigma-9) are being installed on export samples of Russian weapons, including the Sukhoi design bureau aircraft.
According to Chemezov, the purchase of foreign military products is now inevitable, since the share of domestic companies developing technological innovations does not exceed 10%, while the share of finished innovation products is 5,5%. And we are talking not only about the acquisition of technology, but also about the transfer of technology, which will allow Russia in some areas to partially eliminate the lag observed in the 90-s after the collapse of the USSR.
The international forum held in Zhukovsky was debut and, perhaps, for this reason, failed to attract as many participants as other similar international events. It is possible that in the 2012 year, “Technologies in Mechanical Engineering” will be able to gain the same popularity as, for example, MAKS, and bring Russia many military contracts. In the conditions of downtime and the financial and economic crisis, this is more important than ever.