Announcing partial mobilization, the Russian president also set new tasks for the domestic defense industry. He placed the directors of enterprises personally responsible for increasing the production of weapons and ammunition. What is the most urgent need for the Russian army now, and what kind of weapons production should be accelerated by the domestic defense industry?
Speaking on Wednesday with an appeal on partial mobilization, President Vladimir Putin emphasized the importance of the domestic defense industry for solving the problems of the Ukrainian special operation. “The heads of enterprises of the military-industrial complex (DIC) are directly responsible for solving the tasks of increasing the production of weapons and military equipment, and deploying additional production capacities,” the head of state said.
He instructed the government to immediately resolve issues of material, financial and resource support for such enterprises. At the same time, Russians working in the defense industry will receive a deferment from the mobilization call.
After that, the state corporation Rostec reported that “many enterprises have already introduced a special mode of operation: employees work overtime, often on weekends,” nevertheless, the corporation promises to increase the production of equipment for the army. “We work closely with the Ministry of Defense and resolve all emerging issues, which is especially important in a special military operation, when the success of military operations and the lives of military personnel depend on our equipment,” the corporation stressed.
As TASS recalls, the enterprises of the corporation produce combat aircraft, helicopters, armored vehicles, artillery systems, high-precision weapons, electronic warfare equipment, communications, intelligence systems, and much more. Rostec accounts for up to 40% of the total defense order.
“After the announcement of mobilization, our defense industry should focus primarily on the production of equipment for the ground forces. These are artillery systems, howitzers and, accordingly, their ammunition. Also, our fighters in the special operation zone additionally need multiple launch rocket systems, drones loitering ammunition, ”recalls Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine. “Of course, the fighters must be fully equipped – from and to. And this is not only, for example, body armor, modern helmets, night optics. We need, among other things, warm, all-weather, waterproof sleeping bags, so that there is a sleep and rest regime, so that the military can sleep in positions, ”the expert says.
According to Korotchenko, in order to multiply the production of weapons, in particular, a 100% advance payment of defense orders should be introduced, and the functions of controlling cash flows should be transferred to the FSB Economic Security Service. “For this period, it is necessary to get away from all kinds of control schemes using the so-called colored money. Now is not up to it. Let the FSB control that funding for the front is targeted,” the military analyst suggests.
On Tuesday, the State Duma submitted amendments to the Criminal Code, which directly relate to the work of directors of defense industry enterprises. As noted by RIA Novosti, the amendments provide for punishment for violation of the terms of the state contract. According to the document, if an official violated the terms of a defense order contract, causing damage to the state by at least 5% of the contract price, but not less than five million rubles, this is punishable by imprisonment for a term of five to 10 years.
Also on Tuesday, Putin held a meeting in the Kremlin with heads of defense industry enterprises. “Labor teams quickly solve non-standard tasks, restructure production, improve products, based on the experience of real combat operations. Your representatives themselves go literally to the front line,” the President noted.
Nevertheless, the head of state demanded to increase production volumes as soon as possible – to load equipment to the maximum, optimize technological cycles and, without compromising quality, reduce production time. Putin specifically noted that Russian technology “effectively resists Western weapons.” However, he urged to study NATO trophies in Ukraine and, “based on the experience gained, to improve, where necessary, our equipment.”
“Of course, our defense industry now urgently needs to increase the production of aviation. There are all possibilities for this. The two main enterprises, located in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Irkutsk, are by no means operating at full capacity. All the competence and machines are there, all the shops are working. But now we need to mobilize the economy – this is a transition to not three, but four shifts of work, as well as appropriate funding. This will likely increase aviation production from 500 to 1,000 units per year,” says Alexander Artamonov, a military expert and graduate of the Higher Diplomatic Academy of France.
“For military aviation, Russia has absolutely all its own components, including liquid crystal displays and matrices for them, which is very important, for example, for fighters. At the same time, in order to increase efficiency, it is necessary to simultaneously introduce innovative models of equipment. For example, thermal imagers. There is a whole program for these devices in our country, which, however, was slowed down for some time,” the expert complained.
According to him, it is also required to increase the number of combat helicopters. “First of all, these are the Mi-28NM Night Hunter helicopters. The best helicopter ever. They enter the army from 2020, but so far in limited quantities. As far as we know, we have 98 “hunters”. For a country that enters into an open confrontation with NATO, this is virtually nothing,” adds Artamonov. As has been noted more than once, our military needs more drones, the expert recalls. “We need drums – of the Lancet class. Also “Hyacinth-2”, which has just appeared at the front. This is a drone with an impressive warhead, a high strike range and an intelligent guidance system,” the source said.
“The process of military production in Russia has been established, however, after the statement of our supreme commander, work will apparently be launched to intensify, that is, to increase the number of weapons produced – both ammunition and direct means of destruction. This will require both an increase in the number of shifts at enterprises and an increase in financial costs. Of course, intellectual resources also need to be additionally involved, since, for example, in Russia there are certain difficulties with import substitution of control and testing equipment, ”says Sergey Khatylev, former head of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Air Force special forces command.
“First of all, now the task has been set to increase the production of complex high-precision types and means of destruction – for example, the production of missiles for the Kinzhal aviation systems and the Iskander operational-tactical complexes. These are very complex products that require a lot of time both for assembly and for the production of components,” the expert specified.
In addition, the interlocutor adds, work on the repair of armored vehicles and weapons should be improved in accordance with the degree of importance. “All military units have mobile and stationary workshops. But it is not always possible to repair equipment at this level. More complex repairs, replacement of some spare parts are carried out at the same enterprises where this type of equipment is produced,” the expert explained.
As for more complex types of military equipment, including aviation, it will not be possible to quickly increase their production for objective reasons, recalls Khatylev. “The production of aircraft, helicopters, ships and so on takes not months, but years. Therefore, it is impossible to increase their number in a short time,” the interlocutor complains.