RAE-2015: Import and Export

The 10th Anniversary Russia Arms Expo (RAE) 2015 was held in Nizhny Tagil. This year 250 Russian and foreign arms makers demonstrated their products at the exhibition. Over 25,000 guests including delegations from 65 countries (including the USA and Western Europe countries) visited exhibition pavilions with arms prototypes and military products.

Most of the event guests were interested in the most advanced types of Russian arms, first and foremost, in the T-14 Armata battle tank and the combat vehicle based on the Armata platform. The first public demonstration of this tank took place after the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade on Red Square. At the exhibition, “Uralvagonzavod”, the Armata tank manufacturer, unveiled some newest technologies used for the development of the tank. One of the most unique features of the T-14 tank is its unmanned turret (so-called external installation of the tank main armament) that allows to give the crew a better chance to survive in the modern warfare. Moreover, at RAE-2015 visitors and would-be customers saw other advanced developments, including the “Dragun” and the “Derivatsiya” infantry fighting vehicles produced by the Concern “Tractor Plants”. Scientific and Production Association “High-precision Complexes” demonstrated different modifications of the “Kornet” anti-tank missile system.

Concern “Almaz-Antey” showed the Buk-M2E and the Tor-M2E antiaircraft missile systems. A considerable part of the military equipment types demonstrated their performance on the armament training ground near exhibition pavilions.

Top Russian government official and politicians, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his deputy Dmitry Rogozin, visited the exhibition.

The problem related to import substitution in the Russian defence industry became the key issue discussed by RAE-2015 exhibition promoters and visitors.

Oleg Sienko, the CEO of “Uralvagonzavod” (Nizhny Tagil), stated that in the nearest future Russia would not be able to substitute foreign equipment when developing new weapon systems. “The question is how to replace old machinery equipment made in the XX century with machines developed in the XXI century. By the way, these new machines are also import products. Even news reporters do not use old Russian cameras such as “Zenith” or “Smena”, and they are unlikely to agree to use such equipment. Thank God, now Minpromtorg (the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation) is trying to tackle this problem. But there’s no quick solution here,” Mr. Sienko pointed out. Other officials taking part in this discussion, including Irina Yarovaya, the head of the State Duma’s Security and Corruption Fighting Committee, Viktor Ozerov, the head of the Federal Council's Security Committee, Sergey Goreslavsky, the Deputy Director General of “Rosoboronexport”, and Sergey Ryabkov, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, agreed with this statement at large but pointed out that the Russian government is trying to solve the specified problems.