Is the defense industry able to become the engine of the Russian economy?

Is the defense industry able to become the engine of the Russian economy?
Is the defense industry able to become the engine of the Russian economy?

At one of the first meetings, which was organized by Vladimir Putin, upon assuming the presidency, the issue of the implementation of the 2012 State Defense Order was discussed, among other things. The President recalled that 5, 5 months of this year are already behind, and the implementation of the state defense order is going with a big slip. Putin announced the figure associated with the signing of contracts in the field of the military-industrial complex - 70%. At the same time, some experts argue that even this unimpressive percentage is somewhat overestimated, since it was unexpectedly decided to revise some of the already signed contracts and send the agreements for revision.

Is the defense industry able to become the engine of the Russian economy?

Assembly and delivery production of JSC "Kurganmashzavod"

Among others, the meeting was attended by Acting Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, as well as Acting Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Russian Federation in charge of the implementation of the State Defense Order, Dmitry Rogozin. Vladimir Putin gave a very harsh assessment of the ministry's work in terms of preparing contracts for conclusion and demanded to report as soon as possible that GOZ-2012 had reached 100% signing of contracts between customers and manufacturers of new military equipment.

However, before that, all the tough demands from the Russian President (at that time - Dmitry Medvedev) on the need to comply with the deadlines for concluding all contracts under the state defense order, to put it mildly, were ignored. No intelligible explanation has been received as to why the military department cannot find a common language with the manufacturers of new weapons. The only thing that both sides have always used as attempts to justify themselves is “they did not agree on the price”. Whether such an interpretation of Vladimir Putin in the office of President will calm down - the likelihood of this is extremely small. Perhaps in the near future the new Russian Government will have to work with a constant focus on the defense industry. After all, the amounts allocated for the development of the defense industry complex are simply unprecedented for our country today. No other industry receives such generous budgetary funding. That is why it can be expected that the new Russian Prime Minister will be puzzled to link the modernization of the economy directly with the financing of the military-industrial sphere.

As many experts are sure, if the defense industry system is to a certain extent open, then every ruble invested in it can turn into 8-10 rubles. This is due not only to the ability to export samples of competitive Russian military equipment abroad, but also to the fact that as a result of the development of funds allocated for the defense industry, hundreds of thousands of jobs may appear in civilian spheres. For example, the need to create a new model of armored vehicles "Armata" mobilizes not only design engineers, fitters, programmers, but also those involved in the extraction of iron ore, its processing, smelting, transportation. With the implementation of the State Defense Order in Russia, a unique production cluster may appear, which will represent a close integration of military and civilian specialists. In modern conditions, any isolation in this area will not be able to lead to positive results, no matter how dedication the specialists of the enterprises demonstrate.

In addition, the integral principle of the implementation of the State Defense Order is a serious step towards solving the problem of reducing unemployment. Let's not forget that the ambitions of the Russian authorities in this regard are very high - 25 million new jobs over the next 10-12 years. This figure looks somewhat utopian if we separate the military and civilian economies from each other. But only at one junction of them, up to a million new vacancies can arise. The main thing is that all these new vacancies should be aimed exclusively at the production of the final product in the form of the latest weapons, and not in another bureaucratic army feeding on financing the modernization of the Russian Armed Forces.

It is worth recalling that from the federal budget for the implementation of the State Defense Order for 2012, it is planned to allocate an amount of 1 trillion 769 billion rubles, for 2013 and 2014 - 2 trillion 236 billion and 2 trillion 625 billion rubles, respectively. As you can see, there is room for maneuver for corrupt officials, especially since it is financial injections into the defense industry that have recently been quite actively suffering from corruption schemes. That is why the new Russian Government, which has not yet been formed, will have to tackle the overarching task of finding ways out of the protracted impasse in the modernization of the Russian army.

However, some military experts are confident that such allocated funds are not enough to increase the competitiveness of Russian equipment. The arguments of experts with the aforementioned views on the level of funding are cited as follows: over the past 20 years, Russia has managed to lose too many sales markets for its military equipment, and in order to return these markets again, it is necessary to produce weapons of really high quality. And more money is needed to develop it again. In addition to this, another problem looms: many manufacturing enterprises have lost the backbone of qualified specialists, and those who remain continue to operate the production equipment of the "sixty-bearded" years, on which generations of Soviet aircraft and sea vessels, armored vehicles were still created. For natural reasons, in order to update only one machine tool park at the factories of the military-industrial complex, additional funds will be needed. And to increase the incentive for workers and engineers in the creation of new military equipment, you will also have to fork out and fork out by no means stingy …

And this opinion of experts is difficult to ignore. With all due respect to the Russian military industry, many markets for military equipment have indeed been lost. And the losses occurred not only due to the fault of the countries that reoriented their areas of cooperation to the North Atlantic Alliance (Poland, Romania, Czech Republic and other countries of Eastern Europe), but also due to the multiple increase in bureaucratic barriers to close cooperation. It is a series of bureaucratic delays and price disagreements that scare off even those customers of Russian military equipment who have always been considered Russia-oriented (China, India, Vietnam and a number of other countries).

It is really getting harder for Russian manufacturers to sell their weapons. Today, even concluded contracts cannot protect the manufacturer from the fact that the customer will suddenly refuse to purchase. There are always a lot of reasons to terminate the contract: this is an unexpectedly unsuitable price, and the quality of the manufactured products, and claims to difficulties in operation.

If we talk about the percentage ratio in terms of sales of military equipment of the Russian company Rosoboronexport, the first place is occupied by Asia and the Pacific region. About 43% of all foreign sales are accounted for by such countries as Malaysia, Indonesia, India, China, Vietnam and a number of others.After a series of coups and riots in the Middle East and North Africa, Russian arms exports in this direction have seriously declined. In fact, Libya, which seemed to be a "regular customer" in terms of purchases of Russian weapons, was lost. The situation in Syria remains difficult. Where the orange revolutions did not have time to do their job, there are sanctions that impede the implementation of even previously signed contracts. One of the examples of sanctions is Iran, where Russia has not been able to supply the S-300 systems.

Europe and North America account for only about 2% of exports, with the bulk of exports to Belarus. But the West has more than once expressed proposals to impose sanctions on arms supplies to this country as well. Sometimes one gets the impression that Western sanctions are a very effective tool to remove Russia from the defense market of a country.

True, some experts believe that nothing terrible is happening for Russian exports. In particular, the correspondents of "Komsomolskaya Pravda" published data that sales of Russian weapons over the past 12 years have increased more than 3 times. In 2012, sales could range from $ 12 billion to $ 13 billion. On the one hand, these numbers are inspiring, but on the other, they give cause for thought. Firstly, it was recently that more and more customers began to make claims to Russian weapons, and secondly, the indicated sales rates are based on contracts that were concluded in advance. Will 2011 not be a peak year, or will sales decline?..

In addition, we can cite figures comparing the volume of sales of military equipment of the USSR in 1990 and the volume of arms sales to Russia now. The USSR sold weapons for the official amount of $ 16 billion. But the USSR did not allow itself to disclose all of its supplies, so real incomes could be many times larger than those that were published, let's say, for mass consumption.

So, the dynamics of sales of Russian weapons abroad is there, but there is something to strive for. In recent years, the Russian defense industry has steadily settled in second place after the United States in terms of arms sales in the world.

But it is one thing to export weapons abroad, and quite another to equip your own army with high-quality military equipment. Here we are still very far from the level of the Soviet Union. The main thing is that the solution of the problem of real modernization of the Russian army through the allocation of solid budget funds does not turn into a black hole for the Russian economy. The new Russian Cabinet of Ministers will have to seriously break their heads over this too.

Popular by topic