The Minister of Defense drove through the Siberian factories


Shoigu paid attention to the Sarmat missile, the Su-34 bomber and the Hunter unmanned vehicle

Speaking at the plenary session of the Valdai Discussion Club on October 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin touched upon the topic of "modern types of strategic weapons", among which he referred to the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). This "superheavy rocket" has been tested, it remains "just to finish some procedures purely administratively and bureaucratically, go to their mass production and put on combat duty." According to Putin, this will happen "in the near future."

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu found out how things are going with the launch of a new type of strategic weapon. During the days when members of the Valdai Club met in Sochi, the head of the military department was in Krasnoyarsk. According to the press service of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the purpose of the visit was "to inspect the work of defense sector enterprises." The Krasnoyarsk Machine-Building Plant (Krasmash) turned out to be the most important among them, in the workshops of which work is underway to organize the production of the Sarmat fifth-generation strategic missile system.

Shoigu himself explained the need to visit Krasmash in the following words: "In pursuance of the decision of the President of the Russian Federation, the Sarmat advanced strategic missile system is being put on combat duty. Currently, the company is producing products of the first series, which will be put on combat duty in the very near future.

As can be understood from the press service, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation plans to place serial "Sarmatians" on the territory of the military unit of the Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) located in the Krasnoyarsk Territory. Construction, installation and commissioning works on the units and systems of mine launchers and the command post are currently in the final stage there.

Recall that Krasmash has been specializing in the production of liquid-fueled ballistic missiles for a long time. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to a significant decrease in orders for military products, which caused the company to experience difficulties for a long time.

As they say in such cases, "there would be no happiness, but misfortune would help" – after a series of failures of domestic sailors with launches of sea-based ballistic missiles (BRMB) from Project 667BDRM submarines. Obvious failures occurred in full view of the highest officials of the state, after which those at the level of the president and the government of the Russian Federation made decisions on the release of improved BRMB "Sineva" and their development "Liner" on Krasmash. Then the company was tasked with mastering the next generation of products.

"Currently, the Makeev Center is solving the task of equipping the first missile regiment with the Sarmat complex at the main facility of the Strategic Missile Forces," the Defense Minister said. Inspecting the production line of the Sarmat ICBM at Krasmash, he noted that the re-equipment of the Strategic Missile Forces for this complex "is a priority" in ensuring the country's defense capability.

The general director of the enterprise Alexander Gavrilov told the head of the defense Department about the expansion of production facilities and equipping them with modern high-tech equipment. Soon, a new production building with an area of 18 thousand square meters for 300 jobs will be put into operation.

During his working trip to Siberia, the head of the military department also visited enterprises from the United Aircraft Corporation. Novosibirsk Aviation Plant named after Valery Chkalov traditionally specializes in the production of front-line bombers developed by the Pavel Sukhoi Experimental Design Bureau. Currently, the Su-34 aircraft is being assembled here.

The director of the aircraft factory, Alexander Panasenko, reported that the company not only produces serial products, but also overhauls aircraft. "We have learned to do everything. We have experience in replacing the head part, we have practical experience in repairing the tail part, we have experience in repairing the bugles, this is the most difficult repair in terms of assembly here," he said.

For his part, Shoigu called the Su-34 "the main workhorse" ("they have four or five sorties every day") The Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation (VKS RF) and set the task to increase the pace of production and repair. At the final meeting, it was announced that the delivery of aircraft and the completion of the operational ones "is on schedule", and "the contract for 2024 is completed".

At a meeting in Novosibirsk, the minister said that the issues of equipping the Russian Aerospace Forces with promising models of aviation equipment "are constantly in the spotlight." This year, thanks to the joint efforts of industry and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, "the supply of new Su-34 aircraft and the completion of those already in use in the troops is carried out in accordance with the schedule, and the program of the year will certainly be fulfilled." The minister called on Novosibirsk residents to "tighten up, hurry up ... organize the work" so as to fulfill the state defense order for the production of the Su-34 ahead of schedule. According to him, the contract for the next year has been completed, and "it has been considered how development work is being carried out to create complexes with long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)." Shoigu did not name a specific type of UAV, presumably it was about the S-70 "Hunter", which has already "lit up" in the area of its own.

Meanwhile, the arsenal of front-line bomber aviation is being intensively replenished with 250 and 500 kg caliber bombs with universal planning and correction modules (UMPC). UMPC production was established at one of the enterprises of the Tactical Missile Armament Corporation ( "Rocket builders reported to the Minister of Defense", "HBO" dated 05.10.23), which Shoigu visited on September 27. Similar products have been used by Israel and the United States for decades, turning free-falling aerial bombs into high-precision weapons with the possibility of dropping tens of kilometers from the target, which reduces the likelihood of hitting the carrier aircraft with enemy air defenses when performing bombing missions.

Among the outdoor posters placed on the territory of the exhibition center in Kubinka near Moscow in preparation for the international military-technical forum "Army-2023", there was one with information about the Honored military pilot of the Russian Federation Maxim Stefanov. In particular, it says the following: "The crew of the Su-34 aircraft under the command of Colonel M.A. Stefanov successfully used the Kinzhal hypersonic aviation complex for the first time in combat conditions during a special military operation. During the fighting, the crew destroyed 120 enemy facilities (command posts, armament depots, aviation equipment storage sites, personnel and equipment collection points, railway stations and bridges) and more than 180 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Colonel Stefanov was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation for exemplary performance of combat missions and bravery shown at the same time."

It should be noted that previously the Dagger complex was used only from heavy interceptors that had undergone special refinement into the MiG-31I hypersonic weapon carrier aircraft. And at the end of September, on the tapes of leading Russian news agencies, there were reports with reference to sources in the military-industrial complex about the retrofitting of the Su-34 with another "not new" missile, which had not previously been included in the arsenal of a front-line bomber. Experts disagree on which specific product is in question. Perhaps about the X-58MK (modification of the basic X-58ME with the replacement of an electro-optical homing head with a radar one), developed for the multi-purpose Su-30MK2 fighters delivered to the naval aviation of the PLA Navy. This missile was once demonstrated to the general public at the airfield in Akhtubinsk under the pylon of the Su-24M front-line bomber involved in the tests.

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