The International Military-Technical Forum "Army-2020" has once again become a platform for the demonstration of various samples of various weapons, military equipment and special equipment. As in previous times, a significant part of the exposition is occupied by completely new samples, presented for the first time this year. All major organizations of the defense complex presented their new products, and these developments affect all major areas.
The main novelty in the field of small arms can be considered a promising RPL-20 light machine gun from the Kalashnikov concern. This product combines high combat characteristics and low weight - no more than 5.5 kg without ammunition. Now the machine gun is undergoing factory tests.
Several new designs from Kalashnikov represent the development of existing designs. First of all, this is a modified AK-12 assault rifle with a new set of accessories and improved ergonomics. On its basis, the AK-19 product was created for the 5, 56x45 mm NATO cartridge. The existing Vityaz-SN submachine gun was developed, resulting in a new PPK-20, which has certain advantages over its predecessor.
Curious novelties from the field of pistols are demonstrated. So, TsNII Tochmash for the first time showed a compact pistol "Poloz" chambered for 9x21 mm. For special forces, a silent PSS-2 pistol is offered, using the SP-16 ammunition. It is noted that this weapon has already gone into production.
Armored new items
Fundamentally new samples in the field of armored vehicles were not exhibited this year. However, the forum presents options for the development and modernization of already known samples, incl. the most modern. Thus, in the open exhibition, armored vehicles of the Armata and Boomerang families are demonstrated in their current configuration.
The project of modernization of the BMP-3 under the name "Manul" from the holding "High-precision complexes" is of great interest. It proposes the use of a rearranged front-engine chassis similar to the already well-known Dragoon product, equipped with the Boomerang combat module. Such a sample meets the current requirements for BMP and may be of interest to foreign customers.
For the first time, the "Military-Industrial Company" showed to the general public a promising armored car "Strela", announced earlier. Together with the basic version, an amphibious modification got to the exhibition. It differs in contours and hull layout, and also has a propeller for propelling on water.
Interesting modifications of the well-known armored car "Tiger" are presented. So, the proposed version of such a machine in the performance of "buggy". The structure lost its armor, roof and doors, but received more points for installing weapons. A new modification of the already well-known medical machine based on the "Tiger" is presented. The export version of the "Athlete" armored car is shown for the first time. It differs from the basic one in the composition of units and capabilities.
The "Army" forum has already demonstrated a modernized armored personnel carrier BTR-82AT. An updated version of it was shown this year. She retained the new instruments, lattice screens and other features, but underwent rearmament. Instead of the standard tower installation, the BTR-BM combat module was used with machine gun and cannon and rocket armament, as well as more advanced optics. This led to a significant increase in combat effectiveness indicators.
Aviation equipment of different classes and different purposes is widely presented at the exhibition. At the same time, the main part of the new products relates to unmanned aircraft, and there are no loud manned premieres this year.
The Kronstadt group first showed the layout of the Thunder UAV under development. It will be a drone capable of operating in conjunction with manned aircraft and taking on reconnaissance missions and engaging ground targets. It is assumed that the "Thunder" will be able to carry guided missiles and bombs of various types - a possible range of ammunition is displayed next to the model.
For the first time, a mock-up of a reconnaissance and strike UAV "Sirius" is being demonstrated. This twin-engined vehicle must be capable of long range and flight duration with a payload of special equipment and / or weapons. The latest project "Helios" has similar goals, but the layout of this drone looks different.
The main premiere in the field of missile weapons was the Hermes long-range complex. Its development was seriously delayed, but now the Instrument Design Bureau was able to present ready-made samples. A batch launcher suitable for placement on an automobile chassis, as well as a guided missile, are being demonstrated. The ammunition of the complex is capable of hitting various targets at ranges up to 100 km.
A new rocket for the "Tornado-S" MLRS is presented. The 300-mm product is equipped with a seeker with satellite navigation and shows a range of at least 120 km. In comparison with existing shells, the firing accuracy has been increased 15-20 times. In fact, the defeat of single targets is ensured over the entire range of ranges.
This year, several samples of weapons and equipment from the air defense sphere are presented at once, from individual components to full-fledged complexes. It is noteworthy that not only enterprises with extensive experience are presenting their developments in this area.
Not so long ago it became known about the development of new versions of existing air defense systems on a promising floating wheeled chassis. At Army-2020, the Mytishchensky Machine-Building Plant (part of the Kalashnikov concern) first showed the finished SKKSH-586 machine - so far without a payload. This is an armored vehicle with the ability to install a wide range of products for various purposes.
For the first time, the Almaz-Antey VKO Concern showed the 51P6E2 product - a launcher from the Abakan non-strategic anti-missile defense system. It is made on a multi-axle chassis, equipped with its own radar and carries two containers with anti-missiles. The Abakan's mission is to defeat tactical missiles at ranges up to 30 km and altitudes up to 25 km in order to protect troops and important facilities.
New to the fleet
New developments for military and civilian fleets are presented at Army-2020. For example, Rybinsk Shipyards from Kalashnikov demonstrated the Haska-10 cargo-passenger ferry, made on the basis of an air cushion with flexible skegs. The vessel with a displacement of up to 45 tons is capable of taking on board up to 10 cargo. It is intended for use in civilian transport in remote areas.
NPO Elektromashina (part of NPK UVZ), on the basis of existing samples, has developed a new combat module "Narwhal" for equipping boats with a displacement of less than 20 tons. The product is a remote-controlled turret with a place for a machine gun. Issues of equipping the module with armor and a radar sight are being worked out. The project is in preparation for preliminary tests, but has already attracted the attention of the foreign fleet.
This year, more than 1,500 organizations and enterprises, mostly Russian, are participating in the Army military-technical forum. They submitted approx. 28 thousand exhibits of various kinds, and several hundred items for the first time got into the open exhibition. Thus, the forum "keeps its brand" and retains the status of the largest national and one of the main world exhibitions of weapons and equipment.
This time the forum did without high-profile and long-awaited novelties, as it was in the recent past with promising armored platforms, promising aviation technology, etc. However, even in this case, the number of new developments is impressive. Once again, attention is paid to all areas in the context of the armed forces, and civilian products are not forgotten either. All this clearly shows that the Russian defense industry maintains and increases its capabilities to create modern models.
It should be expected that most of the current new products will reappear at the exhibition next year, and then some of them will go into series and go into service. Which of the new samples have real prospects, and which will remain exhibition samples - it will become clear in the future. And this future is being created right now.