I dont se no flaws in his thinking.
First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin revealed plans to re-equip the army
"Rossiyskaya Gazeta" - federal issue № 5230 (151) on July 12, 2010
Vladimir Popovkin: In many parts of the share of modern technology catastrophically low.
The Minister of Defence has its first deputy, who will take care of all matters relating to the rearmament of the army and navy, and will oversee the civilian component of the military. Presidential decree to this post appointed Vladimir Popovkin. His first interview in his new position, he gave the "Rossiyskaya Gazeta".
Rossiyskaya Gazeta: Vladimir, as will now be delivered to the army and navy of the new arsenal?
Vladimir Popovkin: The decision to separate the administrative and operational functions of the Ministry of Defence. It creates a civil barrel, which will provide troops. A second barrel - to engage them in combat training, carrying all military activities related to the operation, the use of armaments and military equipment. Decided to withdraw from all procurement responsibilities of the Chief of Logistics and chief of weapons and to appoint a person responsible for this trend.
RG: That is, in fact, you will be responsible for implementing the new state armaments program from 2011 to 2020. What tasks in the Defence Ministry placed at its formation?
Popovkin: First of all, this is an attempt to correct in the army and navy situation with weapons and military equipment. For a variety of reasons it does not suit us. For a long time armed forces underfunded, and lack of funds primarily affects our defense arsenal. Modern armaments and military equipment now too little. If we have some time to live on the mobilization stocks unchanged, yet the Soviet Army, today, this potential is almost exhausted.
RG: Can you name the percentage in our army, the new and old technology?
Popovkin: This is - floating characteristics in different species and genera of troops it different. For example, the RVSN all weapons actually meets today's needs. Or take the Space Forces. There, the unit-of-life in the cosmos worked, it is necessary to run next. Launch vehicle has completed the task and brought the satellite into orbit - the next purchase. So naturally there is a process of renovation.
But as for the Navy, Air Force, Army, the share of modern weapons, there really is catastrophically low. Take, for example, the Air Force. Until 2007, the Defense Department has acquired no more than a dozen planes and helicopters. In 2008, began to break to pieces the situation in 2009 conducted the first mass purchases. This year, shipments reached just fifty aircraft and helicopters. But that's not enough.
RG: retool the entire army with new weapons is unrealistic even for two five-year period. The program of 2020 laid down some priorities? Let's say the first thing modernize its fleet, or land arsenal?
Popovkin: The first priority - the strategic deterrent force. They have two components: the strategic nuclear forces, as well as a system of missile warning, missile defense and aerospace defense.
The second priority - a long list of high-precision weapons, whose use is based on information support from space. Third - automated command and control. In the next two or three years to link all species of ACS in a single management system. Modernize it so it was with an open architecture and allows you to build the capacity in any direction.
Another priority is associated with the armed forces. When million-man army, we can not keep the factions of equal strength in all strategic directions. It is therefore important to have means transferring personnel and equipment. In the first place - a modern military transport aircraft.
RG: With the types of aircraft have already decided?
Popovkin: This AN-124, whose production should resume in Ulyanovsk. In addition, the continued development of Russian-Ukrainian An-70 aircraft. It is also about a series of transport helicopters. In particular, we start to purchase new Mi-26. For a long time we just repaired the old ones.
RG: But that - providing the Air Force fleet. And what about the fighting?
Popovkin: Above updating it too hard. Long-term contracts for 80 Su-34 and Su-35s. To speed up work on emerging complex tactical aviation - PAK FA - have provided additional funding of tests.
Another problem - re marine general purpose forces. This is very long to implement and very capacious funding problem. It can not run for a year or two or even five years. Too many in the navy should be restored. Therefore, a new program for the fleet lay up to five times more funds than, say, the cosmos.
RG: You mentioned a promising system for tactical aircraft. Purchase of the five new program provides?
Popovkin: With this machine, such a sequence. While experiencing a machine. By the end of this year should see another aircraft. During the 2011-2012 plan to complete all trials airframe PAK FA. And in 2013 signed a contract for the initial batch of ten aircraft to test the whole range of weapons the aircraft. To confirm its performance characteristics, run about 3 thousand flights. If the work was done with only two machines, it would take ten years.
RG: Pilots can not expect so much?
Popovkin: None. Therefore, the first stage of tests hope to complete by the end of 2013. And in 2016 the first serial start buying now fully tested cars with air attack and ground technological equipment.
RG: How many planes are thinking to buy?
Popovkin: While the Air Force assess the needs of 50-100 cars. How many will buy, now hard to say. Everything will depend on funding. But in any case, such orders are registered in the new program.
Fighter at a reasonable price
RG: When a document is discussed in the Duma, your Deputy General Frolov said that all previous weapons program underfunded. There is a danger of the repetition of this problem?
Popovkin: The problem is that the weapons program in spite of their importance, are non-binding. Relatively speaking, this is - strategy of development of arms, prepared by the Defense Ministry and approved by the President. But it does not cost obligations, what is the state defense order. Further, unfortunately, it did not come beyond our control processes. As practice shows, based on the financial capacity of the state, each year the amount allocated for armaments and military equipment, less than the state program of armaments. Not the best way to implement it affects and pledged Ministry of Economic Development for fiscal year forecast deflators. Typically, they are not supported by actual inflation rates. In the end, after 5 years of the program is so unbalanced that the level of underfunding is 30 percent.
RG: What do you do?
Popovkin: We offer the absolute majority of armament to conclude on the basis of the state program long-term contracts - for the entire period of its validity. Then the document will be a hard commitment to the state before executing.
RG: The need for state defense order for this not disappear?
Popovkin: State Defense Order will detail the program, change prices, perhaps refine the quantitative parameters of the order. And not from the wishes of the financial and economic bloc, but from the global changes of a defensive nature. Say, from the perspective of new views on warfare.
RG: In this approach, probably, and the defense industry is interested?
Popovkin: The so-called co-operation of the first level - major defense holdings and concerns - already have a long-term contracts. But under holding companies "sitting" second co-operatives, private enterprises. And when it comes to the annual order, for example, ten blocks, a large interest from private owners to make them not visible. Under the order to reconfigure the manufacturing base. To get involved in this process, when there is no warranty on new contracts, small producers unprofitable. Suddenly, with the order to him for the last time approached.
RG: The military, I think that here there is also self-interest?
Popovkin: When the Defense Department worked through contracts with Cy 35 and Su-34 c by Sukhoi, managed to reduce the initial price of the aircraft by 25 percent. Due to the fact that this is a long contract, it became easier to negotiate with its subcontractors, including - with the engine and various aviation equipment.
Moreover, we were told: 80 percent of the work will be advanced. This means that producers do not have to take loans from banks. Moreover, with the first real advance purchase accessories for the entire game. Of course, this is a profitable venture. There are in fact beginning to see tomorrow, to understand how to develop, when and what to upgrade.
How much is a military threat
RG: This scheme works well for full funding. And what will happen if, instead of the amount you are requesting under the program in 2020, will allocate less money?
Popovkin: Let me first explain where did the needful version of the appropriations. When we calculate a new program, we appreciate all the forces that oppose Russia in various military and strategic directions. There is a forecast of the General Staff to develop military-political situation in the world. There are real threats, the potential conflicts that could affect us until 2020. To oppose them, Russia should be in strategic deterrence forces 100 percent of modern weapons and conventional forces in the stores - 70 percent. These are the criteria on which the said president and chairman of the government.
RG: Why do economists in the government insist on a lesser amount? Think of a scheme?
Popovkin: They operate their assessments: how many will collect taxes, a percentage of GDP should be spent on defense - 2,6 or 3? Incidentally, the Americans the figure is much higher. Although I do not think there is more threat than we do. When we brought the amount of appropriation, then we have done a version of the program. But it had to purchase some weapons dropped.
RG: If no secret of what?
Popovkin: Mainly it concerns the range of procurement of arms for the general purpose forces. But not all. For example, the priority in the delivery of tactical Iskander-M does not change. If we talk about aviation, the worst thing in the military situation with the helicopters. Therefore, their purchases, no matter what, we will implement to the maximum. The same applies to the new air defense systems, including S-400 and C-500. But we are forced to slow down the development of advanced platforms for armored vehicles, tanks and vehicles.
RG: From research on prospective weapons will not refuse?
Popovkin: The new program is a list of works on the basic military technologies. All of them remain.
An armored car following the example of Toyota
RG: So far, such operations are conducted, some patterns we'll have to buy in the West?
Popovkin: We in the Soviet times, something bought abroad. For example, all survey vessels for the Navy did in Poland or in Germany. Our cadets flew training aircraft L-39 and L-410 Czech-made.
Must emphasize the following. The new program does not say what weapons will fly abroad, as may be necessary to produce in Russia. There is only listed nomenclature and characteristics required of our military armaments and military equipment. Not in the program and addresses specific performers orders.
RG: But what do you say what you prefer - domestic or foreign?
Popovkin: Of course, the Defense Department for having to buy all of Russia. But be guided solely by patriotism in this matter is impossible. There are requirements, the criteria that should satisfy the weapons. If satisfied, buy. If not - speak Russian producers: create, we are ready to finance your work.
Worst of all, when the company takes the money, but nothing good is creating. I have often cited an example where several billion rubles for the development of unmanned aerial vehicles have been wasted. I repeat: I am not a supporter of arms purchases abroad. Preferable to get there technologies and use them to create something from us. Incidentally, when we bought a batch of UAVs in Israel, our government has taken numerous decisions on the development of similar technologies in Russia.
RG: Do not rejecting the use of strangers?
Popovkin: When we, for example, are interested in a particular class of equipment - light armored vehicles that are not produced in Russia, we said: willing to purchase them abroad in the same way for what today we buy cars BMW or Toyota. Transferring production to Russia, with a term of localization up to 80 percent for 4 years and we are ready to start purchasing. It is important that the country has a modern defense technologies. Then to our CB to the new technology-based start your upgrade. And after a while - to develop the next generation of weapons.
RG: Find, buy, put into production. After this chain of production of gold will not? Do you already eternal problem - pricing for military production.
Popovkin: It's really a sore point. Trying to put it in order. This is done in two ways. The first - the company structure prescribed prices explain some of the costs it is formed. Defense considers these calculations using the military representatives and their department pricing. Then define: in our view, the price must be less than stated on such and such a sum. After this record prices with our conclusion will send to the Federal Service for Tariffs. Their experts estimate the cost based on their predictions and issue the final figures for the price.
The second option - to force all businesses to conduct business accounting is not part of the overall balance, and separately - for the cost of military products. That is, consider how much money went for materials expended in the manufacture of our order electricity and so on. To the military through the state defense order does not contain factory hockey team, farms, resorts, motels, etc. We are already doing. But the process is, frankly, is painful.
RG: In your opinion, actually increase in a decade the share of modern weapons in the Army to 70 percent?
Popovkin: In order to arrive at this figure, it is necessary to maintain the pace of renovation weapons within 7-10 percent per year. Why in such a framework? Unfortunately, there are some samples of the life cycle is small. This spacecraft and rockets. Something does not become obsolete in duration, and the characteristics. This is especially typical for ACS, navigation systems. Knowing that soon will be a new model of the device, it is easier and cheaper to buy it in plastic, not metal casing. We are no longer interested in long-term - 15 years - a guarantee of its operation.
Let me give a concrete example. If you put in the GLONASS navigation equipment all the requirements for durability, interface, etc., then it will pull on 5,5 thousands of dollars. But after a couple of years now would be worthless. Today the main issue discussed - without any weapons, we will survive, but without there? The Ministry of Defence has to determine at what can be saved, where - poduzhatsya.
RG: And what will not survive without?
Popovkin: Without all. Because a lot of things have already been abandoned. For example, from general industrial equipment, from research on means of support. Say, did not develop the army kitchens and baths. Industrialists say: you need this. Who will do after the test will buy one thousand sets. The same approach to the automotive industry. Create the necessary military machine - will gain around 50 thousand. It is now a worldwide practice.
Missile shield around Moscow
RG: When they say "new plane" and "a modern aircraft," refers to multiple machines?
Popovkin: If its capabilities meet the requirements of modern warfare, if it can withstand the same of the enemy, it is a modern aircraft. Even when he was fifty years old. Take a strategic Tu-160. All of them in Soviet times had been made, but so far it advanced weapons. And he has no analogues. Why do we have something new to buy? A new - is what has not created a 30 per cent of resources. New we are not trying to buy. Try to take art.
RG: You were talking about modernizing technology resource. He, too, has its limits.
Popovkin: why in the aviation industry began to make forward-looking complex. While the PAK FA bring to mind, should slightly pull the current fleet. Modernizing that can be upgraded in parallel to create a new aircraft. Perfecting the Su-27 that it reached in 2020. Entered into a contract to supply up to 2015 forty-eight Su-35. More of the same contract was concluded - for the next five years. Because, unfortunately, the rate of departure of the old fleet is higher than the rate of its re-art technology.
RG: The fifth-generation aircraft could potentially replace the entire fleet of tactical aircraft?
Popovkin: Theoretically can. But it makes no sense to fire a cannon at sparrows. We must consider not only the fighting capabilities, but also the economic viability of the aircraft. Therefore, it was purchased MiG-29 SMT, we are planning to buy MiG-35.
RG: And what other vehicles - land, sea and air?
Popovkin: We have a lot of weapons that are better than anyone in the world. The same set of American Patriot "with our C-400 even in the comparison is not. This year, planned to buy five more battalions of S-400. First of all they will cover the Moscow air defense zone. Maybe one or two divisions will be delivered to the Far East. But this is the prerogative of the General Staff.
RG: In space, too, would be nice to have such a barrier. He will provide the S-500?
Popovkin: In this most important weapons - missiles. Because ninety percent of the pledged in the C-400 there will be - on technology, command centers, all other things. It is still, in my opinion, 25-30 years will be modern. But a new, more "vigorous" rocket do need to be able to contend not only with the tactical, operational and tactical, strategic missiles, but also hit warheads flying at a speed of 7 kilometers per second.
RG: In addition to its orders, the Defense Ministry is able to somehow speed up the modernization of our defense?
Popovkin: We do not just provide its orders, but also strongly lobbying for the interests of the MIC. For example, a high-tech product as the C-400, is in great demand in the market of weapons. Defense Minister first made a proposal to build another two plants for their production.
We do not just say what the army needed weapons, but also reduce our producers with those who actually buy art technologies to develop their application in Russia. In addition, we leave to petition the government to allocate funds for the initial phase of critical research and development activities.
But for everyday activities, productivity and diversification of production must still meet the leaders of industrial holdings. To sit only on the defense order they will not work. Needed to produce and peacetime production, actively seek civilian markets. Some plants, such as the Rybinsk aviadvigatelnogo, the company's "dry" in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, this is a very pretty well.
Kalashnikov still shoot
RG: And what about new weapons, communications and intelligence for an ordinary soldier. Here some progress occur?
Popovkin: We are now together into a single system of governance "at the top and at the tactical level. Done a lot for that by the middle of next year, everyone felt the result of this work. Remains one problem - the small arms. It must be modern and meet the functional requirements.
RG: That is the usual Kalashnikov you already do not like?
Popovkin: We should make sure that he was not inferior in range, accuracy and precision shooting any similar weapons in the world. In general, a Kalashnikov is much easier to upgrade than to invent a new one.
I say this: Mass Firearms in the Russian Army will be domestic. But for special tasks become party to acquire the limited best Western models.
Get regular snipers who are in each room. Buy for them a foreign supervintovku no sense. Let rifle Dragunov first study. But there are elite snipers who perform specific functions. A specialist in the Army weight in gold. Why it does not get an elite weapon? Here we go the same way as the Russian security services. And for the price of such weapons do not stand.