It must be admitted that the exhibition has become a landmark event, a kind of indicator of the change that occurs not only in the Russian defense industry, but in general on the international arms market.
In Nizhny Tagil, something happened that not only experts and specialists, but also ordinary citizens had been waiting for two years, more precisely, from the last RAE, which took place in September of the 2013 year.
In the Uralvagonzavod exposition, everyone could finally see with their own eyes the Armata T-14 tank, the T-15 heavy infantry fighting vehicle (also called Armata) created on its base and the Coalition self-propelled artillery. In September, 2013, all of these machines were also presented in Nizhny Tagil, but only in the closed part of the exhibition, which was then personally visited by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Of course, it can be argued that Armata, T-15 and Coalition are no longer new, since in fact their presentation took place during the May Victory Parade on Red Square on May 9. Later, the same cars, according to some data, were exhibited in the closed part of the exposition in Kubinka near Moscow during the June exhibition-forum "Army-2015".
But only now in Nizhny Tagil the newest machines, developed and manufactured by Uralvagonzavod, are presented to everyone. A little disappointing is the fact that the site "Almaty", T-15 and "Coalition" was surrounded by a small fence and was under the scrutiny of the guards - look, but at a distance.
Moreover, almost the rest of the static exposition was open, and anyone could climb on Tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers and even anti-aircraft missile systems.
Despite the restrictions, both "Armata" and "Coalition" attracted keen interest, and the visitors not only took photographs of the tank news, but also viewed them from various angles for a long time.
The first impression of the T-14, T-15 and the newest ACS is no longer experienced machines with characteristic signs that many technical solutions are still temporary and there is a possibility of replacing them with more successful ones. There are no so-called caps covering the places where equipment or some elements of the structure have not yet been installed. In appearance, these are serial vehicles, ready for real combat and have everything they need to do - from commander panoramic sights to protective tracks painted in a protective color for tracks.
He emphasizes the “seriality” of new cars and the monochromatic dark green paint applied on them, which in recent years has become the hallmark of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces. Against the background of “Armat” and “Coalition”, the rest of the UVZ products standing next to them with a characteristic broken pattern of yellow, brown and beige colors seemed to be something unreal, almost a toy.
At first glance it seems that the sheet of frontal armor of the T-14 tank is made of poorly laid tin, and, moreover, of rather poor quality. But if you look closely, it becomes clear - this is a special casing covering the built-in elements of dynamic protection that are well viewed.
The “Coalition” artwork amazes with its turret, which has become more angular in comparison with the turret of the “Msta” self-propelled guns and has received the characteristic “Shed” for this. And in terms of the dimensions among the three newest machines, the “Coalition” looks visually much larger than its neighbors around the site.
The heavy infantry fighting vehicle T-15, also called “Armata”, attracted the attention of most visitors. Due to the protection units installed in the nose and covering the engine and transmission from enemy rocket-propelled grenades and ATGM, as well as various electronic-optical sights and observation devices, the T-15 looks like a car from the future - even against the background of a rather futuristic then the computer game T-14 TBMP.
Examining the T-15, one of the experts could not stand it and called it "Imperial armored approach", as if emphasizing the full power of this machine. At the same time, it is precisely against the background of the T-14 and the Coalition that the extent to which the new heavy infantry fighting vehicle is poorly armed is striking - only the 30-mm automatic cannon and launchers of guided anti-tank missiles. Although literally ten meters from the T-15 were new items presented by Kurganmashzavod, in particular, the first-ever version of the BMP-3 “Derivation”, armed with an 57-mm gun.
In addition to “Derivation”, Kurgan manufacturers presented another model of the BMP-3, but already under the name “Dragoon” with the engine-transmission compartment transferred to the front of the case, as well as the uninhabited weaponry module with twin guns - 100-mm and automatic 30-mm.
True, in contrast to the UVZ, the Kurgan Machine-Building Plant, although it showed two new variants of the modernization of the BMP-3, still didn’t put up the main thing - infantry combat vehicles and armored personnel carriers of the Kurganets family, confining itself to the plastic models of these machines installed on the stands.
Uralvagonzavod over the past two years has significantly expanded the range of equipment designed to fight in human settlements. In particular, in addition to the so-called T-72 city tank already set up at the last Russian arms exhibition with an installed dozer blade, a special turret for the commander, additional anti-cumulative screens and dynamic protection units at the current exhibition there was a bulldozer, where from a fire weapons and fragments protected not only the driver-operator, but also important components and assemblies.
In addition, the static display of the UVZ was without any restrictions presented the newest combat vehicle support tanks BMPT-72, a closed presentation of which was also held during the RAE 2013. Everyone could compare the newest BMPT with the already well-known BMPT Terminator, which in recent years has become one of the visiting cards of the Russian tank-building corporation.
No less interesting were the expositions of automakers, in particular Miass "Ural", which presented the family of new trucks with the characteristic name "Ural-Next", as well as the armored "Typhoon" and "Ural-VV", and the Military-Industrial Company, which exhibited modernized armored vehicles "Tiger".
And if at Kurganmashzavod at the stands at least plastic models of infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers of the Kurganets family were shown, then the Boomerang wheeled armored personnel carrier developed and presented this year at the Victory Parade was ignored - there were not even photographs and diagrams, not to mention plastic models and live samples on the static part of the exhibition.
Next to the Russian automotive companies were placed two-, three- and four-axle trucks of the company MZKT from Minsk. The two-axle model, designed to replace the GAZ-66 off-road trucks in the fleets of Belarusian security forces, attracted close attention not only from the Russian military, but also from the Emergencies Ministry representatives, and even civilian buyers.
Of great interest among military delegations from different countries of the world, as well as among specialists and experts, was the mobile headquarters consisting of three containers, as shown by Project Technika Corporation. Deployed in just 30 minutes, the mobile operational headquarters allows you to comfortably accommodate the workplaces of the officers of the combined arms brigade. As the developers themselves emphasize, only one or two people are enough to deploy an ESS.
Due to the installed hydraulic stops, the containers are removed from the trucks themselves, if it can be so called, and then all that is required is to connect the communications and start the life support system.
But the holding “High-precision complexes” in its exposition presented not only a combat robot armed with a machine gun, but also a “Crossbow” combat module installed on an armored Tiger and a light tracked carrier MTLB capable of hitting the enemy day and night in any weather.
Over the past ten years, RAE has become a hallmark of demonstration performances and demonstrations of the capabilities of weapons and military equipment presented at the exhibition. Tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers shoot at various targets, overcome obstacles, including water ones, proving to their potential buyers that they made the right choice.
The prospector test site used for the exhibition, where various types and types of ammunition are tested, makes it possible to fire not only from small arms, but also from tank guns and even launch heavy flamethrower systems and volley fire rocket systems, in particular Tornado".
It should be noted that at the Russian Arms Exhibition in the 2013 year, the demonstration part was somewhat richer. More equipment, she fired more often and for more targets. This year, they bet on the dynamic display. Despite the fact that many visitors to the exhibition hoped to participate in the demonstration of both the Armat and the Coalition, the new cars, alas, did not move from their exposition.
As an introduction to the direct start of the show, the audience was shown a specially made film about how the base camp of a well-prepared and armed cell of terrorists was discovered on the territory of Russia. Found, of course, right on the ground. After the management of the operation decided to defeat the enemy, the actions from the screens were transferred directly to the “Prospector” spaces.
"Terrorists" were first destroyed by fire tanks, BMPT, BMP-3, airborne combat vehicles BMD-4 and armored personnel carriers BTR-MD "Shell". A bit later, the Msta howitzers that showed firing by volleys, as well as heavy flamethrower systems, contributed to the mite. Completed the defeat of the enemy, who occupied the house, the special purpose detachment of the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, advanced to the object on the Typhoon, Ural-VV and Tigr-SpN armored vehicles under the cover of the Kornet ATGM on the automobile chassis.
Against the background of what is happening, a tank bridge-laying vehicle that made the crossing over the moat, the BMR-3 combat demining machine, which removed the minefields, and the IMR-3 engineering demarcation machine, cleared the rubble, showed their work. Not without the traditional flight of the T-90 - the crew of the tank, flying between obstacles, even managed to make a shot from a regular gun. But BMD-4М and BMP-3 fired afloat at the enemy, overcoming a special pool that imitated a body of water.
In the second part of the demonstration performances, automotive equipment has already demonstrated its capabilities. Trucks and armored cars drove along special steps, overcame a ford, dirt. And the four-axle Minsk tractor surprised everyone by demonstrating how its suspension allows you to change the ground clearance: at first it almost lay down on the “belly” and immediately stretched out to the maximum height that its device only allows.
Export without import of components
Against the background of demonstration performances and shooting, demonstrations of T-14, T-15 and Coalition, several roundtables were held within the framework of the RAE on the current issues of the Russian defense industry, as well as the Military-Industrial Conference.
All speakers recognized one thing: it’s not worth waiting for the economic sanctions imposed against Russia to be lifted in the near future. We must learn to live in modern realities and at the same time maintain Russia's position on the international arms market.
In his speech, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Industry, Vladimir Gutenev, admitted that the previously existing principle, when elements and even entire foreign-made systems were integrated into it to increase the attractiveness of Russian weapons, turned out to be largely erroneous. The current task is to switch to fully Russian components as quickly as possible.
Anyway, despite the announced policy of import substitution, Russia still lags behind in the field of development, and most importantly, the production of microelectronics and the element base on its basis. There are big problems with the development and production of high-tech machines and industrial equipment, as well as with materials.
The economic sanctions imposed on our country largely play into the hands of foreign competitors of Russian defense industry companies that are making every effort to dislodge Russia from its position in the international arms market. The answer to this behavior can be only one - to increase the competitiveness of domestic products. But how to do that? So far there are more questions on this issue than answers.
However, in the opinion of the majority of the speakers, despite the current situation, the Russian “defense industry” adequately holds the blow and does not lose its position.
Interest in Russian weapons in the world remains, and the current RAE has become a good confirmation of this. Representatives of the Ministries of Defense of Latin America, the countries of the Persian Gulf, Southeast Asia and Africa worked in Nizhny Tagil. The delegations carefully studied the entire range of armaments and equipment presented, conducted negotiations and did not hide their interest in new Russian defense products.
It can be argued that a completely new image of the Russian defense industry is now being born. However, after listening to all the speeches and talking to many officials, you know - not all of them represent what this new look should be.