Boris Obnosov, Director General of the Tactical Missile Armament Corporation (KTRV): “We tactfully diversify our activities. We should be called "Corporation tactical missile weapons"
By decree of the President of the Russian Federation from 27 on October 2012, integration into the KTRV of the Military Industrial Corporation NPO Mashinostroyenia took place. What is the effect of this expansion? How efficient is the integration of this and other new enterprises?
- At first, the management of NPO Mashinostroyenia perceived the prospect of integration into the corporation without much enthusiasm. This is understandable and explicable: in Reutov, its own, very strong rocket science school was created. However, over the past few years, all doubts, including that of the head of the NGO, and the directors of enterprises, have disappeared. People saw that we are not going to press them or to survive at their expense. Our main task is to concentrate resources and use them more efficiently. At the same time, we strive to reduce the burden on the state budget and get a synergistic effect. Over the past three years, quite obvious results have been obtained in this area. We have a lot of experience in corporate construction and the integration of new enterprises into a corporation. We have expanded to this three times.
In which specific areas is synergy achieved?
- First of all, we are talking about the synergistic effect achieved in the process of integration of design schools. On the one hand, both participants in the integration process complement each other, on the other - we have a lot in common. We study and mutually enrich with constructive solutions. This time.
Secondly, it is a test base. Opportunities for testing very well complement each other. Including in the field of testing for thermal and shock loads. We have a whole laboratory and design building that can be used by other enterprises.
And the third. Now the whole country is implementing a federal targeted program for the development of the defense-industrial complex, which in some cases provides for the creation of new production facilities and the modernization of old ones. As a result of the analysis, it turned out that the production facilities of NPO Mashinostroyenia did not work under full load. For example, a huge enterprise like Strela, where the number of employees is close to 7 thousand people, was loaded on average by 30%. Perm plant Mashinostroitel, where also thousands of workers are under 5, is about the same situation. Over the past three years, we have rather seriously loaded free production facilities of NPO Mashinostroenia. In particular, Orenburg is seriously involved in the work on the subject “Rainbows”, on our experimental topics. They have such reserves that we do not have, and without this association we would be forced to create them.
The corporation has expanded not only due to the integration of NPO Mashinostroeniya, but also entered a completely new segment for itself ...
- Yes, indeed, 31 of March of this year issued a decree on the inclusion of the concern “Marine Underwater weapon - Gidropribor. We didn’t have many centers that dealt specifically with marine underwater weapons, and very strong scientific schools were established at both our Region enterprise and Gidropribor. Nevertheless, due to the aging of people, due to the insufficient supply of new personnel over the past two decades, of course, these schools need to be strengthened. In my opinion, this was the main goal of merging our two holdings into one. At the same time, Gidropribor is retained as a subholding.
In general, in terms of the creation of underwater marine weapons, there are many problems of a financial and economic nature. One of the problems is Dagdizel. I am in favor of not destroying Dagdiesel, but of doing everything possible to restore this enterprise. In our country, there is only one serial torpedo weapon factory. All the others, in essence, are not serial plants. Today at Dagdiesel 2100 people work. And that's quite a lot. The people who stayed there want to and know how to work. Today we are planning to conclude a long-term five-year contract with the Ministry of Defense, opening a clear perspective in accordance with which a clear plan of financial recovery of the enterprise could be developed.
I hope I can correct the mentality of the Gidropribor’s management as well, because this is their “daughter” and it is necessary to treat this enterprise accordingly. It is no coincidence that such a name appeared - “daughter”. It requires attention and care. By the way, we have accumulated quite a lot of experience in financial recovery of enterprises. For example, we raised the "Red Hydraulic Press." The Azov Optical and Mechanical Plant, which entered our corporation with huge debts and an unclear prospect, in essence, we also raised.
In general, I am optimistic about the direction of naval underwater weapons. Moreover, there is support from the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Defense. In addition, the leadership of the Republic of Dagestan is also interested that they have not a regular commercial center, but a normal factory and reliable jobs.
Do these changes in the structure of the corporation mean an increase in the share of strategic weapons in the manufacture of KTRV? How does the current name of the corporation with the word "tactical" correspond to the new structure?
- In general, in my opinion, it would be more correct to give neutral names to enterprises and defense companies - such as “Dawn” or “Rainbow”. But historically, the word “tactical” is present in the name of our corporation. Changing something here with each transformation of the corporation is not worth it. We will not, with the entry of each new enterprise into the company, add to its name a comma “tactical, strategic, mine”. I myself joke that we should be called the "Corporation of tactical missile weapons." Because we tactfully diversify our activities. We have nothing superfluous.
In general, physics is one for all - and for aviation, and for hydrology. The Navier-Stokes equation describes the basic laws of motion for both aviation weapons and underwater weapons. Yes, different densities. But it is still not clear where it is more difficult. The mechanics of underwater weapons and missiles are similar, even the calibers are close. We use the same machine fleet for both the production of aviation weapons of destruction (TSA) and for underwater weapons. Homing heads in some cases coincide. Inertial systems also have a lot in common. Materials, and even engines, are similar. In fact, there are many more similarities than differences. So here you can find the synergy of aviation and the sea.
What are the main results of KTRV activities in 2014 and in the first half of 2015, and in general, the outlook for activities in 2015? What are the most promising areas of work?
- The first half of the year is traditionally not very revealing. The main volume of products delivered always falls at the end of the year, because our production cycle is 9 – 10 months. At the moment, according to the results of the first half of the year, revenue, roughly speaking, approached 50 billion rubles, which is 1,6 times more compared to the same period last year. Last year, our revenue amounted to 112 billion rubles, net consolidated profit - 12,5 billion rubles. This year, profits will remain at about the same level, and sales will increase 1,5 – 1,6 times. In this case, the main growth accounted for the state defense order. This does not mean that exports are declining. He persists and even present a small increase. But still, the main generator of growth is the state defense order, and the share of exports in absolute volume is decreasing.
How have Western sanctions affected the activities of KTRV? Both financial and equipment supplies?
There are certain difficulties in the supply of high-tech equipment. In a number of cases, I will not name the countries, we received a refusal to supply this or that machine park. But there are also replacement options. We live in a world where you can always find an alternative. We began to treat Taiwanese machines more attentively, and they justify themselves in a number of cases. We are very pleased with the stand equipment from China, it is one of the best in the world. In a number of cases, we also look at Russian equipment, but import substitution does not need to be understood in such a way that we completely shut down and go to autarky.
Did the suspension of supplies from Ukraine affect you?
- In general, two positions are critical for us - engines and homing heads. Fortunately, we have long been preparing an alternative to Ukrainian components. We started this work five or six years ago. We have, for example, laid a new Russian-made engine for the X-35UE rocket. Previously, there was an engine manufactured by Motor Sich, now it is the engine of NPO Saturn. It was a long-term job. Generally, when they say today that we will replace all imported products, including Western countries, in a year and a half, this is hats. This requires long-term and very hard work. But the task is not to become self-sufficient on 100%. It is necessary to have reliable suppliers while mastering key elements.
What is the situation with the supply of modern guided missile weapons under well-known complex contracts signed at MAKS-2009 for the Russian Air Force?
That contract we have long fulfilled and forgotten. It was only the first step. Over the period 2012 – 2014. the number of products we supplied to the Ministry of Defense increased eightfold. But this is not the main thing. We do not just increase production volumes, but also launch products into the series, the state tests of which are only being completed. And mastering a series is a completely different task. She even in peace and quiet time goes with great difficulty. And when, relatively speaking, the task is set to go on a series of lightning immediately after the completion of state tests, this is a daunting task. We do not have a tablecloth. Besides, not everything depends on us. For the same X-35U "Saturn" we do not have time to supply engines, because now the product is just coming to the series. But if it were not for the previous work on this engine, this topic in general could now be closed. And so the backlog will be eliminated in the near future.
Or NPP "Source", which supplies us with microwave modules. Their production facilities are simply not ready for deliveries to both the Almaz-Antey concern, and the aviation industry, and to us at the same time. Last year, KTRV even provided Istok a practically interest-free loan to expand production. They created several additional jobs, and although they tightened up a bit in the interests of KTRV, they eventually caught up with the lag.
And so on each stage - the increase in the scale of work is extremely intensive. We, for example, this year must complete 16 OCD, including 9 on naval weapons and 7 on aviation weapons. Previously, such rates were not even close.
How effective is the development of the armament complex for the fifth generation fighter, especially in connection with the well-known decision of the Ministry of Defense to reduce the number of purchased PAK FA at the first stage, up to the 2020 year? How will this affect the production activities of the corporation?
Reducing the number of purchased PAK FA does not affect us. Our TSA are universal. If we create an intra-body weapon for the PAK FA, this does not mean that it cannot be used on the external sling on the Su-34, Su-35 or Yak-130.
Work on the creation of the TSA for the PAK FA, we are conducting a systematic and full-scale. We regularly meet with Igor Yakovlevich Ozar and his team - about once every two weeks. We regularly travel to Akhtubinsk, meet with the military. To date, for all products that are set for the first stage of the PAK FA, protocols of information interaction have been agreed. In some cases, full-scale samples have already been delivered, such as, for example, the anti-radar missile X-58USHKE. For all other products, we have prepared in the required amount of dimensional mass models, electrical products, etc. - Over 140 products in total. Somewhere already started flying. In general, although delays occur, we hope to complete all work on time.
Do you have any concerns about a possible sequestration of defense spending (or, if you will, a possible budgetary maneuver) and, accordingly, a possible reduction in the GOK?
Of course, we are very worried about this prospect. But now, high-precision weapons of destruction are given priority. Everyone remembers the situation when we had beautiful carriers flying, and there were no new weapons in the warehouses. All recent conflicts have shown the decisive role of precisely high-precision weapons. So I want to believe that there will be no reductions in the GOZ on our topics.
This is not because of my well-being, but the fate of almost 50 thousand people who work in a corporation. Here we are now overclocked, some enterprises operate in two or even three shifts. And then halfway all stop suddenly? This is a huge additional cost for the country. If we interrupt any series for at least a year, to resume it, we will have to invest again, again request a certain number of products for periodic tests and confirmation of all characteristics. To put it mildly, this would not be the best way to use the funds.
What is the share of exports in the corporation's activities now and in the future? Which countries are the main customers for your products?
On average for a corporation, the share of exports is about 30%, government orders - 70%. The main customers are India (I can’t once again fail to mention the very large-scale project Brahmos), Vietnam, and Algeria. There are projects with China and Egypt. In general, wherever there are Russian aviation and offshore platforms, there is also a place for our products.
The Uran-E and Bastion complexes are supplied to Vietnam. I suppose now the demand for torpedo weapons will increase dramatically. Saudi Arabia was actively interested in all of our products at the latest International Naval Show. The contracts are probably far away, but it is felt that the vector of interests of such large importers as Saudi Arabia is changing.
As before, the issue of equipping aircraft of the Russian Air Force with air-to-surface guided armament with satellite guidance systems remains unclear. In the West, for more than a decade, have such munitions become the main aviation means of destruction? In our country, however, the arrival of such weapons into the troops is not superficially visible.
In fact, many of our products are satellite navigation system. On the development of "Rainbow", on the X-35U is GPS / GLONASS. Satellite navigation systems are provided on the KN caliber 1500, 500 kg. Now we are finishing state tests X-38МТЭ. Where appropriate, we put a satellite navigation system. But you can not consider satellite navigation as a panacea. It should always be duplicated by other means of navigation.
If China sets the task of linking the Su-35 armament to their Beidou satellite system, is this a solvable task?
Of course solvable. There are no unsolvable problems. All question in resources, necessary for the decision of these tasks.
Does the corporation have plans to further expand the scope of activities? For example, in the high-precision ground weapon segments? Or air defense based on air-to-air missiles. Moreover, such opportunities have been demonstrated at several salons.
You know that with “Almaz - Antey” we successfully adapted the air-to-air missile for the “Thor” air defense system of the new modification. She showed a wonderful result. But we have no other specific plans in the areas you listed, only in the case of a request. We already have a very busy schedule of OCD on our topics. “Spraying”, in my opinion, is inexpedient and irrational.