And when it comes to develop new stuff. Most of the time you are right Garry you need to look what others have and start from there. But it is know that Russia nad China often does have innovative approach to certain things and this approach often needs to reinvent the "wheel" totally from scratch. Remember the coaxial rotor system? Remember the legendary K36 ejection seat? The guys here had to throw away the conservative thinking and start from beginning. Scramjet is a perfect example of this. People want to have faster planes? Ok. But instead of making the current jet engines more powerfull how about focusing on developing a completely new engine working on new physical principles. But i have no doubt you know this
This is so very true... the west does not always do things the "Right" way.
From WWII the west had an enormous heavy four engined bomber fleet... the Germans looked at cruise missiles and ballistic missiles as an alternative and one would have to say that with modern technology applied it was the German solution that ended up being the best.
Rocket powered torpedos.
Having a semi automatic sniper rifle in every unit (SVD).
The whole idea of an IFV.
Tank gun fired precision guided missiles.
The use of submachineguns to allow a firepower advantage over an enemy with bolt action rifles.
The idea of the assault rifle... though the invention of the term is German.
The replacement of the submachine gun with the assault rifle as a standard firearm for an entire army.
The first ship operational with vertical launch systems was the Kirov and currently many Russian SAMs are vertical launch systems.
The first to combine guns and missiles in air defence systems.
Now what i am about to tell you migh sound completely shocking but: Japanese industrial robots are not actually that good.
I am a little behind the times in robots, the Japanese mainly dominating the potential commercial robot as a sort of live in slave to care for an aging population.
Which is... you need state of the art electronics industry. You need to have a processor capable of raw computing power ideally equal or even better than best foreign counterpart. Very large portion of your economys destiny lies in this single fact.
You understand. So many high tech stuff relies on critical electronics... and not even 22nm super high tech stuff. Even just decent digital controller chips from Texas Instruments can make a critical difference in how hardware can be made to work.
A case in point is the difference between the RVV-AE (R-77) and the RVV-SD (R-77).
The latter is much more capable and can be updated via a software patch or software upgrade. The former you need to rip out the electronics and replace it to upgrade.
I remember that starting arround 2000 there was a huge story that some moscow computer scientific institutedeveloped microprocessor more powerfull that Intel Itanium.
I remember that too. All they needed was a few hundred million dollars funding.
However im not sure to what degree this will be a successfull strategy. However what i am saying here that if they will be carefull enough, they can catch up with the rest very quickly and take over the lead in High technology sectors like the military one is.
Indeed, with the military able to subsidise the process by offering a guaranteed market this shouldn't be that hard. One of the largest users in the world of high speed computers is the NSA of the USA. It is not just about fast chips, it is about grouping processors in a way to maximise their performance by making super computers.
New chips don't seem to be getting faster, but the current trend is multicore CPUs but that demands programming and motherboard layouts that support such a growth.
GPUs or Graphics processing Units are much much cheaper than CPUs and also offer another way to improve processing power of a computer with physics processors and huge bandwidth connections to the north bridge controller chips they can operate very fast and move enormous amounts of data quickly.
Also super-computers were also smuggled into Russia & China; why because they were not capable in those days to manufacture something similar domestically.
The Russians certainly do make supercomputers, they are not near the top of the worlds fastest computer list but they do have supercomputers and are making and distributing them to various companies like Sukhoi etc so they are less reliant on wind tunnel time to test shapes or RCS ranges to test aircraft and weapons.
An analogy is like cars... you want your biggest and most important companies to have fast powerful cars, but compared to the worlds fastest land vehicles the cars you actually mass produce and put into service are no where near the top of the list for the worlds fastest... the worlds fastest computers often have extreme methods of making them so very fast that is no practical for mass production and widespread commercial use.
That would be wishfull thinking, but no... As said previusly... most sophisticated Russian CPUs are manufactured in Taiwan.
The Russians also have a close relationship with South Korea, and that includes electronics. The South Koreans are building a shipyard in Russia based on their method of shipbuilding which is state of the art at the moment.
I have not read anything about it but I would suspect that Russia would be interested in getting South Korean electronics companies interested in their new silicon valley program which will be a driving force behind pushing Russia to the next level.
Russia has the intellect and the talent, but lacks the infrastructure to take business ideas from the prototype through the testing and into the tooling and preproduction phase into the mass production phase. Hopefully their new program with be the piece of the puzzle that has been missing... and that includes in electronics.