The international military-technical forum "Army-2023" will be held in Kubinka near Moscow from August 14 to 20. Traditionally, most of the exposition will be occupied by the stands of the holdings and enterprises belonging to the Rostec State Corporation. They will present about a thousand samples of weapons and equipment. On the eve of the exhibition, Vladimir Artyakov, First Deputy General Director of Rostec, told Dmitry Reshetnikov, deputy head of the military editorial office of RIA Novosti, about the study by enterprises of the experience of using weapons in the zone of their own, the expansion of the range of guided missiles for MLRS, the creation of long-range artillery for parrying NATO howitzers, the launch of new remote mining systems, the supply of new bulletproof vests by enterprises of the corporation in the area of the SVO, stopping Western sniper bullets, as well as about increasing the pace of production of Su-57 fighters and the timing of their deliveries with the engine of the second stage, modernization of Su-25 attack aircraft and much more.
– What does Rostec plan to present at the forum this year?
– For us, this is one of the most important platforms for interaction with partners and customers. The plan of business events is rich, a number of signings and meetings are planned. And, of course, almost the entire range of weapons and equipment of our production will be presented – only about one thousand samples. These are aviation, armored vehicles, small arms and equipment, artillery and air defense and electronic warfare, communications equipment and systems, the widest range of ammunition.
I would like to note that almost all of these products are involved in the SVO zone today. You will be able to see with your own eyes the weapons and combat vehicles that are currently fighting on the front line. Many samples have been significantly modified based on the results of combat use, taking into account the recommendations of military personnel. So, viewers will be able to see Su-57, Su-35S, MiG-35 and Su-30SM fighters. Mi-28NE, Ka-52M and Ka-52E combat helicopters. Heavy flamethrower systems TOS-1A "Solntsepek" and TOS-2 "Tosochka". Undoubtedly, the engineering system of remote mining "Agriculture" will be of particular interest. Modern tanks will be presented, as well as lightly armored vehicles – BMP-3M, BMD-4M, BTR-MDM and BT-3F. I am sure that much attention will be paid to equipment and equipment for combating drones. After all, drone-related threats are growing rapidly. It's not just about fighting, but also the use of UAVs for sabotage, espionage, and so on. We will present the anti-UAV complex "Sickle-VS5", the portable complex "Dome-PRO". As well as a number of other developments in the field of electronic suppression, which are able to "land" a drone. And, of course, we will demonstrate air defense means for the physical destruction of drones. These are "Shells", portable anti-aircraft missile systems "Willow", "Igla-S" and others.
Special attention this year is paid to the means of protecting military personnel and equipment. In particular, we will show new bulletproof vests "Amulet" produced by Tula "Octave" and new smoke grenades RDG-U from TSNIITOCHMASH to protect against high-precision weapons.
I will also note the means of protecting armored vehicles from reconnaissance and attack drones, high-precision projectiles. For example, active protection complexes for tanks and lightly armored vehicles, including Arena-E, various types of smoke ammunition and heat traps.
– You mentioned the "Amulet" bulletproof vests. What is their advantage over analogues?
– We wanted to create a bulletproof vest that would protect the health and lives of servicemen at a qualitatively new level. At the same time, it would remain easy and convenient, since nothing should interfere with the fighter during the task. And we did it.
The weight of the "Amulet" is only about 11.7 kilograms. The novelty was tested not only with standard 7.62 x 54 mm bullets for the Br-5 class, but also with bullets of a more powerful caliber – 8.6 mm. The ceramic plate withstood such a hit. We also carried out shootings of American and Chinese classmates. Tests have shown that foreign vests are powerless against such a check and give up.
The servicemen on the frontline have already received an experienced batch of our bulletproof vests and were satisfied. However, we continue to improve the "Amulet". In the modified version of the ammunition, we have achieved very high characteristics – it is lighter by almost two kilograms, while protecting the fighter just as reliably.
– Tell us about the special coating "Cape", which is designed to protect tanks on the battlefield. How does it work, what are the prospects for development?
– This is a real antidote to satellite and aviation intelligence. It was created by the Kalashnikov enterprise – the Research Institute of Steel. Let me remind you that this company is also developing dynamic protection for armored vehicles. The masking material reduces the visibility of tanks and other military equipment in a wide range of wavelengths. Protects against detection by radar and thermal imaging devices, and its deforming color provides optical camouflage. Manufacturers of armored vehicles have already received the first samples of the "Cape". I am sure that tanks and infantry fighting vehicles will definitely be equipped with this protective material in the future.
– How does the on-board defense complex of helicopters "Vitebsk" show itself in the zone of its own? Are there plans to further improve it taking into account the experience of the SVO? Are there any other projects of complexes for the protection of army aviation? On other principles?
– This development demonstrates high efficiency in the SVO zone. Reliably protects helicopters from MANPADS, including Western production. According to the pilots, thanks to this equipment, it was possible to reflect several launches of anti-aircraft missiles of various modifications at once and safely return to the airfield. In recent years, Vitebsk has undergone several stages of modernization, taking into account the recommendations of the military.
In general, the evolution of on–board protection systems is a constant process. After all, the guidance systems of anti-aircraft and aviation missiles are constantly improving, their noise immunity is growing. In these conditions, of course, work is underway to create promising airborne defense systems using both traditional and other principles of construction. They will ensure the protection of aircraft from guided weapons, including those with combined guidance systems.
– What can we oppose today in the field of high-precision weapons of destruction?
– Modern warfare is becoming more and more "sniper". We are working to ensure that the Russian army shoots further and more accurately. The production of high-precision systems is increasing, and at the same time work is underway to improve their tactical and technical characteristics, create new models. As an example, we can cite the well-known "Krasnopol". Work is underway to improve this munition, its capabilities will increase. By the way, in the zone of its own, this projectile has proven itself in the best way. It effectively hits targets, including single ones. Allows pinpoint fire to disable control points and other important enemy objects.
It can be predicted that in the future the value of high-precision ammunition and the frequency of use will only grow. Their effectiveness will increase, including due to modern fire control and reconnaissance systems, including unmanned ones. Here I would like to mention a novelty from "High-precision complexes", which can be seen at the forum. This is an updated version of the Tablet-A complex on a new chassis. Let me remind you that the complex is designed to automate artillery fire control. He is able to control all types of artillery weapons and interact with intelligence means. Provides the commander with information about the situation on the battlefield in real time. Such developments take artillery to a new level, especially in conjunction with high-precision ammunition.
– Is the combat experience gained in the course of ITS modernization and creation of new MLRS applied?
– We certainly apply the experience. We keep in constant contact with the Ministry of Defense. We promptly receive proposals for the improvement and modernization of multiple launch rocket systems. Based on information from the front line, we are forming a scientific and technical reserve not only for the modernization of existing models, but also for the creation of promising weapons. In addition, work is currently underway to expand the range of guided missiles for various purposes.
– When is the delivery of self-propelled wheeled howitzers "Malva" expected to the troops? In general, how are things with the "flower" series of howitzers – "Magnolia", "Drok", "Phlox". Which of them joined the army?
– "Malva" has already passed state tests. Now its serial production has been launched. The first samples will be delivered to the troops in the coming months. The distinctive features of this howitzer is high mobility due to the wheeled chassis. It includes an automated calculation of firing parameters for all types of ammunition. A simultaneous fire raid mode is provided – that is, several shells fired one after another will come to the target at the same time. Meanwhile, our developers are not standing still. Now an upgraded version of the Mallow is being created with an increased firing range. Believe me, we will have something to counter the long-range Western howitzers that are now being supplied for the AFU.
As for the "Phlox" and "Gorse" – they are at the final stage of testing. Serial samples of "Phlox" will begin to arrive to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the coming months. In turn, the first experimental batch of self-propelled mortars 2C41 "Drok" has already been sent to the troops. The complex was created on the basis of the Typhoon armored car and allows you to fire without leaving the car. As for the promising self-propelled gun "Magnolia", it has passed the first stage of testing. It is being finalized and prepared for testing by the Ministry of Defense.
– At what stage are the works on the promising self-propelled artillery installation "Coalition-SV"? At what stage is the development of the Tosochka heavy flamethrower system?
– Tests of the 2C35 self-propelled artillery gun from the Coalition-SV complex are planned to be completed this year. At the same time, its serial production, as well as the production of a transport-loading machine, has already been deployed. We have completed the work on Tosochka, they have been completed in full. This heavy flamethrower system confirmed the high tactical and technical characteristics set by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
– For the Smerch MLRS, the possibility of creating a UAV that is "sewn" into a rocket was being worked out. Today it is more relevant than ever, do you plan to continue working on this topic?
– We have not stopped the work, they are being carried out on an initiative basis in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense. The use of reconnaissance and strike drones as part of multiple launch rocket systems is a promising direction. We have all the competencies, including drone production technologies, to make this idea a reality.
– Is Rostec creating new ammunition production facilities to meet the needs of a special military operation? To what extent have the enterprises of the state corporation managed to increase the production of shells for multiple launch artillery systems since the start of their own?
– Since the beginning of the special military operation, the production of ammunition for barrel artillery and MLRS has increased many times. If we compare 2021 and 2023, the enterprises increased their volumes by 20 times. Deliveries occur without failures and in the required quantities. To solve this problem, we have expanded production facilities, created new production lines, and introduced new equipment. Rostec enterprises have launched previously mothballed capacities for individual calibers. We have also connected enterprises of related industries, including civil ones, to the production of individual components of ammunition. The composition of the cooperation for the production of serial products has been significantly expanded. This allows us, on the one hand, to diversify production, on the other – to evenly distribute the load on enterprises.
– Has it been possible to increase the production of armored vehicles?
– Uralvagonzavod and High-Precision Complexes are selflessly working on this. Since the beginning of its production volumes of armored vehicles have increased fourfold. Shipments are often made ahead of schedule. I would like to note that the vehicles that we send to the front are constantly being refined taking into account combat experience. Their security increases, and so on.
– Not so long ago, a video appeared on the network showing the use of the remote mining engineering system "Agriculture" in the zone of its own. How did this technique perform in real combat conditions?
– This is without exaggeration a unique car, it has outstanding tactical and technical characteristics. In the SVO zone, the system has confirmed its capabilities and received extremely positive feedback. It allows you to quickly set a minefield of the required configuration, as well as assign parameters for self-destruction of mines at a given time. This facilitates the process of mine clearance after the end of hostilities. Due to its high efficiency and demand, its serial production and deliveries began even before the completion of the ROC.
– Earlier it was stated that the tests of the Hermes missile system are continuing. When can they be completed? Is there any interest in this complex from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation?
– Initially, it was an initiative development of "High-precision complexes", we first showed it at the Army Forum in 2020. Today we have made significant progress in this work. I assure you that Hermes will become a new word in the field of precision guided weapons. It will have an over-the-horizon firing range of up to 100 kilometers and operate on the principle of "shot and forgot".
– At what stage of work on the project of a robotic BMP-3 with a combat module "Tit"? Has the Prometheus complex, designed for the robotization of technology, already been tested?
– BMP-3 with a combat module "Tit" is a successful example of robotization of armored vehicles. But we're moving on. Specialists of the Signal Research Institute have created the Prometheus hardware and software complex, which allows you to robotize any armored vehicles and control them from a remote control. Currently, preparations are underway for a large test cycle of this complex in various conditions. Based on their results, a decision will be made on its further application and development.
– Earlier it was reported that the Signal Research Institute has developed a new orientation system "Filin" for military equipment. Has the new orientation system been tested in action on combat samples? How significant improvements will it require when installed on existing samples?
– "Filin" will provide military personnel with a completely new functionality when working with electronic cards. At the same time, due to the modular principle, the orientation system allows you to quickly adapt it to almost any combat vehicles on various chassis. Large improvements will not be required for this.
– Have the deliveries of the new Chukavin sniper rifle to the troops begun? When will it be adopted?
– In the autumn of last year, Russian special forces operating in the SVO zone received a batch of these rifles for experimental combat operation. The feedback is positive. First of all, they say that weapons have become more convenient, easier to maintain. Kalashnikov, in turn, continues to hone the rifle, making improvements to the design. As for adoption, we are waiting for the decision of the state.
– What changes did the AK-12 receive taking into account its own?
– Since 2018, when the machine gun was adopted, its design has changed significantly. Of course, the experience of using it in real combat and the feedback of the fighters were studied very carefully. In particular, the diopter sight was modified. It has become more versatile and all-weather. The fuse control system has become two-sided, which is especially convenient for left-handed shooters. The muzzle device on the new model is non–removable, that is, the device for low-noise shooting is now conveniently mounted on top of the flame extinguisher. Finally, the model received a structurally new, more advanced forearm. In addition, a number of technological improvements have been made to the machine, which are invisible to the naked eye.
– How are the work on increasing the serial production of Su-57 fighters progressing? When is it planned to install the so-called second stage engine on this aircraft?
– We fully fulfill our obligations to the Ministry of Defense. Now the aircraft is undergoing pilot operation in the Russian Aerospace Forces. This year, our cooperation led by the UAC plans to significantly increase the pace of production of these aircraft in accordance with the state contract. At the same time, the Su-57 platform is evolving. Its combat capabilities are increasing, the most modern technologies are being introduced into the car. That is, its effectiveness continues to grow. As for the power plants, the Su-57 aircraft is adapted to the use of both the first and second stage engines. Even with the first-stage engine, the fighter meets the basic requirements for a fifth-generation aircraft. Aircraft with the second stage engine are currently undergoing flight tests. Already within the framework of the current serial contract, it is planned to supply the Su-57 with a new engine – UEC and UAC are working on this.
– Su-25 attack aircraft have proven themselves well in the area of their own. Is the possibility of upgrading them based on combat experience being considered? What can this modernization consist of?
– According to the results of combat use, the Su-25SM3 variant shows itself to be the most effective. To date, such modernization is being carried out at one of the aircraft repair plants. During the modernization, new sighting and navigation equipment, a new optical-laser thermal-television sighting system, a new satellite navigation system, as well as an electronic warfare complex and other systems are being installed on the aircraft.
– How are the work on launching the Tu-160M missile carriers into mass production progressing? Has it been possible to fully establish the technological chain of production of all components for them?
– Let me remind you that the serial production of the Tu-160 was discontinued in the 90s. Now we are resuming the construction of these missile carriers in a new guise – the Tu-160M. Yes, we managed to completely restore the technological chain of production of all components. The corresponding cooperation of enterprises has been formed anew. As a result, in 2022 we witnessed the first flight of the Tu-160M, built "from scratch". The combat capabilities of the upgraded aircraft have been significantly increased. The range of weapons has been expanded, onboard equipment has been upgraded. The aircraft received new engines – NK-32 of the second series, thanks to which the range of its combat use has been significantly increased.
– When are the tests of the upgraded Tu-22M3M long-range bombers scheduled to be completed? How many samples are currently connected to the tests? Have weapons been tested on them? The existing prototypes of the Tu-22M3M were tested by the use of weapons on military facilities of Ukraine within the framework of its?
– The tests of the upgraded Tu-22M3M long-range bombers will be completed in accordance with the plan of the Russian Defense Ministry. Testing of new weapons within the framework of its own is the prerogative of the military department. We are ready for this.
– Is the PAK DA project suspended due to sanctions and its or is it continuing in a gentle mode? When can the first flight model of the newest bomber be created?
– Work on the PAK DA project is carried out in the mode established by the approved schedule.
– How are the work on increasing the production of IL-76MD-90A military transport aircraft progressing? When will the Ulyanovsk plant be able to produce 10 such machines a year?
– The production of heavy military transport IL-76MD-90A is growing. The UAC enterprise in Ulyanovsk has a comprehensive program for a phased increase in the production and supply of aircraft. Last year, the output reached five cars per year. This year, two aircraft have already been delivered to the customer. I would like to note that the production of new aircraft is carried out on a production assembly line, which reduces labor intensity. The assembly line is equipped with a laser positioning system of aggregates, which ensures high accuracy of docking of all elements of the aircraft.
Starting from 2025, it will be possible to produce at least 10 IL-76MD-90A aircraft annually.
– What are the conceptual conclusions made by Rostec based on its experience? What new approaches will be applied in the development and modernization of weapons?
– The operation of products in real combat conditions has given us invaluable experience and continues to give a lot of food for the mind. Firstly, ITS confirmed the main trends in the further development of weapons, for example, the growing role of drones and precision weapons. Secondly, she showed ways to improve the products already supplied. Even a seemingly insignificant change in the design of the same machine gun can significantly ease the position of a fighter at the front, help him in battle. Here we clearly understand that we are working for victory and doing everything so that our weapons contribute to the fulfillment of combat tasks as much as possible.
It can be said that according to the results of ITS improvement, most of the types of weapons that we produce have been improved to one degree or another – armored vehicles, aviation, artillery and MLRS, electronic warfare, small arms and equipment. We are attentive to feedback coming from the front line and maintain close feedback.