Armor for the upper class. (Interview with CEO MIC)

Developed by the designers of the Military-Industrial new platform "Boomerang" and created on the basis of its cars should provide Russia the world leader in the production of wheeled armored vehicles

 

  • Director general of the Military-Industrial Company Dmitry Galkin sure: thanks to the new developments of the holding company will be secured orders for the next 20 years Photo: Alex Maishev
  • Director general of the Military-Industrial Company Dmitry Galkin sure: thanks to the new developments of the holding company will be secured orders for the next 20 years Photo: Alex Maishev

  

Army of the leading countries of the world, including Russia, in recent years, reducing its tank fleet. Bet now is on light armored vehicles, primarily for armored vehicles. More recently, it seemed that in this segment of the market is nothing worthy of our manufacturers will not be able to oppose foreigners. Let us recall the Russian Ministry of Defense contract for the purchase of nearly 1.7 thousand armored vehicles Iveco, which won the tender of our tacit Russian Defense Ministry "Tigers". But in fact it turns out that things are domestic manufacturers of wheeled armored vehicles are not too bad. Over the past two years, engineers and designers Military Industrial companies have created three new wheeled armored car. On new developments enterprises, their export potential and competition with leading manufacturers we spoke with the CEO of the Military-Industrial Company Dmitry Galkin.  


— Recently, the Ministry of Defense decided to organize the facilities of the Voronezh plant repair joint venture to produce the license of Italian light armored vehicles Iveco LMV M65, which in our country will be called "Lynx". This company has a total release of more than 1,700 of these machines. Why, in your opinion, the military opted for Iveco, instead of our "Tiger"?

 

 — I can not be responsible for management decisions Defense. This question is better to ask yourself the military. But if you objectively compare the performance of two cars, then it seems to us that the "Tiger" Iveco wins in almost all respects except for security. We Iveco she really stronger. But we must understand that we have made this machine in strict accordance with the task of the Ministry of Defense, and just came to him and said, guys, we have a car — take it! No, they were clear requirements for tactical and technical characteristics, which were bequeathed to all parameters, including bulletproof and mine protection. According to him, we did "Tiger". And by the way, comparative tests, which conducted the military themselves, have shown that using criteria such as mobility and cross-country, "Tiger" has no equal. The results of these tests at the beginning even tried to keep secret, but the exhibition in Nizhny Tagil over all became clear. Where the "Tiger" took place, "Lynx" pass did not even try.

 

— Of course, the cross — an important criterion, but not decisive. More important is security. You can do the armored vehicle, which in full compliance with the strictest standards Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, MRAP, in terms of protection against mines? How much do your company’s great potential in this area? 

 

— Today we are perhaps the only company in Russia, which has a full set of competencies in the field of legkobronnoy wheeled vehicles. This does not mean that we are complacent. We see the growing competition at home and abroad. But we see ourselves as leaders in their field and are ready to produce cars that meet the current requirements. We have been working in this direction, and work, I think, successfully. Our company has cooperated with so many KB, including abroad. I have no right to call them, because with all of these entities have signed a confidentiality agreement. But I can say that it is mostly European and Israeli companies. With some of them we have already signed contracts for the joint development of components, systems and subsystems, armored vehicles, and with some already signed supply contracts. That is, we use in our cars — and we intend to use in the future — all the most advanced international technologies. We believe that this position is more in the interests of the state than the present position of the Defense Ministry.

 

— Why?

— We understand that the military needs the most modern world-class technology. This is a normal desire. But just as in the West ready to buy cars in any case impossible. This is a mistake. So we will not raise the defense of the country and will not allow the development of its military-industrial complex. So we say, let’s work together with the foreigners to buy their technology, to acquire engineering expertise, develop production, to pay royalties. This, in our opinion, is more effective. This position is not only mine, but of all the defense industry. This position, by the way, recently finding more and more understanding in the government. Anyway, we were given to understand that the purchase of "Mistral" and Iveco — this is the first and the last contracts of this kind. 

 

— Let’s go back to the "Tiger". In what direction will the development of this car go? Will there be based on the current platform some other model?

— We first introduced "Tiger" our security forces in 2000. The car turned out, I think, very successful. Nevertheless, we constantly communicate with those who exploit cars, both under normal conditions and in combat, and it has allowed us to significantly improve the design of the machine, its specifications. I think that a mere 70 percent of all modifications to the "Tiger" was made at the request of the advice and operators. For example, the new "Tigers" is equipped with modern means of communication, control systems installed on them various weapons. It turns out a whole family of cars. At the last exhibition "Engineering Technologies 2012" in Zhukovsky, we stood just six "Tigers" in the various models. And one of them was equipped with anti-tank missile system "Kornet-EM", which makes the Tula Instrument Design Bureau. And this is nothing less than 16 missiles — deployed eight and eight more in stock. If such a machine will come to a good position, consider that half a tank battalion at once there. Nothing like that now no one in the world. Once we show this car, as there is one Latin American country has applied for the purchase of 36 "Tigers". 

 

— That is, the further modernization will go towards increasing the combat capabilities?

— Rather, in the direction of extending the functionality of the entire line. In addition to "Tiger" with "Cornet" we, for example, showed a car equipped with a control point and drone. This year, about 20 of these machines have already bought our company, making the state defense order and command and control communications.

— What about security?

— You know, all that could be improved in the design of "Tiger", we did. Speaking of production machines, the people there are protected by the third or fifth grade. Third class — 7.62-mm machine-gun bullet with a steel core, the fifth — 7.62-mm machine-gun bullet with heat-treated core. In the first case we make cars for the Ministry of Defense, and the sec
ond — for the Interior Ministry. We have ensured that the "Tiger" is now able to withstand an explosion underneath the wheel or the capacity of 0.6-0.7 kilograms of TNT, although the original terms of reference, the figure was only 0.3 pounds, the equivalent power of a hand grenade. The market is assessed. Now we are a year selling about 500 "Tigers". And if earlier, 80 percent of machines we have supplied the state defense order, but now most of the output is exported.

But we did not stop on its own initiative and made a new model — the "Tiger 6A." It has already been successfully tested on mobility in Kubinka will soon be tested on bulletproof and mine protection. Here is the "Tiger 6A" protected by the third level in STANAG NATO classification. In fact, it’s the same protection as that of Iveco. Mathematical calculations suggest that the "Tiger 6A" will be able to withstand a blast of up to five kilograms of TNT under the wheel. If such an explosion engine, of course, is immobilized, but the crew thus survives. 

And to what level you can increase the maximum protection of the whole?

— The protection can be done at any level, even tank armor to hang, but you get the vehicle must carry out its functions. Unfortunately, many people using the term "security" does not fully understand its meaning. For example, some of our military security — it’s thick armor. But to say so is wrong. Security — is a whole range of activities. Sure, it includes and armor protection, but in addition it has a number of other important things such as mobility, low profile, means of fighting, including the military, and so on. Or take the car and book a 4×4 tank is impossible, it just will not budge. 

 

 

— It is clear that to protect the machine as the tank is unrealistic, but there is a western standard MRAP, which fit just need to …

— We have created such a machine — a "bear." She is the only one in Russia, peers at it yet. We made it to order the Interior Ministry Internal Troops. "Bear" can withstand an explosion of power eight pounds and under the bottom, and under the wheel. That is, it actually holds anti-tank mine. In addition, has a bulletproof protection against bullets B-32 SVD, in the future we can raise the level of protection of the machine against armor piercing bullets 12.7-millimeter machine guns and other small-caliber weapons. This is achieved by installing spaced armor and sub-screen. Here is the machine is fully consistent with MRAP. But the "Bear" — the car of another category, it is heavier than "Tiger". Inside it has 11 cubic meters of space. That is, there is placed a full-fledged office, any command post, communications and so on. Here, in contrast, for example, BTR "Bear" is a full participant in the road. This was one of the main requirements MIA, and we executed it.

— Why is it so important requirement?

— When those tasks that solve internal forces is probably not entirely correct to call in a village or the village on the APC. This immediately raises the population if not aggression, fear. In addition, under our laws in the APC can not drive on public roads without an escort. And in "The Bear" can be, it is generally more like a car.

— At what stage is this development?

— We have already passed the state tests, have yet to finish this year. And in the next plan to put the internal troops pilot batch of five cars. In parallel, are preparing for mass production, so in 2014 the first to start a full-fledged mass production.

— How do you assess the market for this machine?

— It’s huge. I think that 500 of these cars in a year we will be able to sell freely. But we must understand that we must first put the car launch customer, get away from it a positive conclusion. It was only after the "Bear" will be put into service, we will be able to begin exporting.

— What is the export potential of the "Bear"?

— I think the value of sales in the domestic and foreign market will be around 50 to 50.

— Who will be the main customer abroad?

— Those who do, and we have: the army, the police, the secret services. If we talk about the countries, it is primarily Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan. They have money and they have already purchased our equipment almost more than the Russian forces. Undoubtedly, there will buyers from Africa, the Middle East. Oh, and Latin America in recent years makes a good demand.

— How to invest in the deployment of mass production of "Bear"?

— Preparation for mass production — it is a headache for any manufacturer. All of our factories, especially defense, require total rearmament. And our factory in Arzamas machine is no exception. We have a product line that provides enterprise boot for the next twenty years. But the money required is very serious. We estimate that for the release of all the products the company will have to spend on upgrading the plant about six billion rubles. Now we are investing in the modernization of 400 to 700 million rubles a year. Of course, if we get a new large orders, the volume of investment has increased dramatically. Time, however, we do not have much. Before the company a task designated by the President by 2015, the opportunity to enter the serial production of new combat platforms. So we have, in fact, only two years. But, I think we can handle. 

— And what is this new platform?

— The big secret is no longer a. We are now doing commissioned by the Ministry of Defence development work on the project "Boomerang". On the characteristics I can not speak, except to say that it’s the platform on the basis of which will be created entirely new combat and support vehicles. When compared with the old APC, then they would only equal wheel formula — 8×8.

— It will be a unified platform for the army and internal forces?

— No, just for the army. Although for some purposes the internal forces may well buy the machine on a platform of "Boomerang". But the main buyer, of course, the Ministry of Defense. Look, there’s fighting machines that infantry carries out its tasks, the machine is providing such fire support. There are machines logistics, intelligence, armored recovery, logistics and so on. The point is that this whole line must be created on a single database. That is to be unified. Moreover, the platform itself "Boomerang", too, must be unified with other platforms, such as the "Kurgan", which is used by our colleagues from the Kurgan.

— What percentage unification must be achieved?

— We have set ourselves the task to achieve unification of not less than 70 percent. As it will turn into reality, will further work. But we and our colleagues are committed to the maximum.

— What is the main advantage of the "Boomerang" compared with previous-generation platforms?

— Without going into details, I can say without exaggeration that this machine will be the twenty-first century. It will replace all existing armored vehicles and all vehicles based on them, including the BTR-80 and BTR-82.

— When can we expect the prototype?

— The first two cars we have to do in 2013, and a year to complete the work.

— Will have time?

— We just have to make it. Although weight problems, including pu
rely technical. Unfortunately, a number of competencies in the field of engineering solutions in our country has already been lost, and some of competence is not acquired. And this creates some difficulties.

— How will you overcome them.

— We are creating joint ventures, cooperative production, engineering companies, including foreigners working in this area. 

  • If the "Tiger" - it's still a small armored personnel carrier, then going to replace him "The Wolf" - is a complete car with independent hydropneumatic suspension
  • If the "Tiger" — it’s still a small armored personnel carrier, then going to replace him "The Wolf" — is a complete car with independent hydropneumatic suspension

 

 — As far as foreign companies are willing to transfer technology?

— Despite the fact that the legislation of almost all countries, including our own, very seriously truncate the opportunities to work together in the field of defense, communication is becoming more open. In recent years, both our own and foreign partners have started to open the door to each other, to share experiences. And today we see that they are willing to transfer technology to build a joint venture. That is, do localization in Russia. My explanation is simple: they are the main thing — to make money, especially since the global crisis is far from over. A Russian in this respect gives a great chance. Our market is huge, the demand is high.

— What are some new developments in addition to "Bear" and "Boomerang"?

— In the interest of the Ministry of Defence we perform another OCD. Within this framework, we have created a new machine "Wolf." It will not be more than a replacement "Tiger" but with the most modern technology. Speaking frankly, the "Tiger" — it’s still a little APC. And the chassis it like APC, and some units and units of the BTR-80. And by the way he conducts himself exactly as APCs. A "Wolf" — this is a full-fledged car, with independent hydropneumatic suspension with a modern electronic board, with improved ergonomics inside and with a more serious protection. In this machine the new material will be applied — ceramic armor, and the like. "Wolf" is now also being tested. Already there are preliminary observations, we now eliminate the disadvantages. Until the end of the year we will do it, and start the production of three prototypes already for state tests.

— And that relate to comments?

— Listen, were forty-eight. But it’s not much. When we carried out a deep modernization of BTR-80 BTR-82 variant, the comments were one hundred seventy! In general remarks concern some minor deviations from the specification.

— When you plan to run the "Wolf" in production?

— If we strictly follow the schedule and make prototypes of this year, then in the next send them to the state tests. They will last about a year, respectively, in the 2014 release of pilot batches.

— How do you assess the export potential of this machine?

— It is very serious. In Rosoboronexport has already received applications. But we have to explain to people that do not yet have the right not to advertise the fact that, even show that car. Defense has allowed us to show the "Wolf" only twice — at the show in Zhukovsky in 2010 and Bronnitsi.

— Who are your main competitors in the global market?

— Major producers of armored personnel carriers — is a French Nexter Systems with APC VBCI, Finnish Patria APCs with Patria AMV, the American General Dynamics with APC Stryker, Italian Iveco and Oto Melara with BTR Freccia, with the Austrian Steyr Pandur armored personnel carriers and the British BAE Systems. But the cost of these machines allows us to consider them as competitors: the price for them comes up to six million euros, this is almost an order of magnitude more expensive than ours.

If we talk about the future models of the "Boomerang", they will surpass Western counterparts, but the price for this will still be lower. Therefore, we believe that our only competitor — the Chinese. They make cars in the same price range as we are, but behave very aggressively in the market.

— But the Chinese, as far as I understand it, in its purest form involved cloning of Soviet and Russian models …

— It used to be so. I have visited almost all the factories Norinco, and I can tell you that the blunt cloning stage they are long gone. They have a lot of their good ideas from them, there is clearly a lack of principle in respect of borrowing other people’s designs, but their rate of development and the environment that they provide to customers, suggest that they may become a serious contender.

There was a tender for the supply of armored personnel carriers in one of the countries that we considered their own. The Chinese put on him a complete analog BTR-80, but said: guys, we can pay all at once five percent, and the rest to pay for five years. That is, they look at our pricing and do everything that their offer was more favorable. Although the tender that we still won, I see that the ambitions of the Chinese are very serious, sooner or later they will achieve their.

— In addition to China in the same price range that you are playing Ukraine, and this time it incredibly lucky. Ukrainians have won contracts to supply more than 200 BTR-3E in Thailand and more than 400 BTR-4 in Iraq. And if an Iraqi contract can be regarded as pay Ukraine for participation in the anti-Saddam coalition, the Thai contracts were obtained in a fair fight …

— BTR-4 — this is not a new car, and just upgrade the BTR-80, though very deep. In principle, the Ukrainians have interesting ideas. They’re on their new machines made out of stern landing, established new military branch of the "Squall", "Thunder", "Sail", which themselves have developed. Historically, in the Ukraine were the best CB of the Soviet Union and plants, including the name of CB Morozov and one of the best tank factories — Malyshev Plant. We intend to work closely with them. It is possible that we will soon be able to sign a contract with them and start joint production.

— What is it?

— For example, we can help them with the BTR-4, which they simply can not produce. Iraqi contract they showered. The need for such cooperation is obvious. We can not shut down, we need to cooperate with our competitors and possibly turn them into partners, to share markets.

— How strong can assume the position of your company in the global market?

— The main criterion — the number of cars supplied to export markets. In terms of sales the last few years we confidently hold the second or third spot in the world rankings. In fact, we give only the Americans and the Canadians. Well, one year ahead of us jumped Patria. They had a big contract, but he is finished, and they slid down again.

— How many cars do you sell each year?

— Hundreds of armored personnel carriers and hundreds of "Tigers". If I call a more precise figure, you can easily figure out what’s the volume of the state defense order. I can say that we have come close to the volume of production, which was in Soviet times. Arzamas plant was designed to produce three thousand armored vehicles a year. But this amount of products he never issued. At the height of the Afghan war, he did little more than 2,300
cars a year. This is his limit.

— What are the key global trends in the field of wheeled armored vehicles?

— Improving safety and mobility, the use of modern technology, including materials. Remember, what was wheeled armored twenty years ago. In the same "Hummer", which was delivered to the armed forces, you will see the iron switches, wires sticking out, and so on. Today, manufacturers are paying much more attention to the aesthetics and the inside of the machine is now just a pleasure to be.

— It’s all thanks to the demands of Arab customers?

— No, it is mainly due to the use of new technologies. For example, there is now an opportunity to Interior Ballistic protection such that it was not only effective in the fight, but looked nice inside. The same can be said of the transparent armor. All these new technologies we are trying to use it and the West in this respect is certainly not lagging behind. The only area where things are in our industry are not very — it’s automotive components.

— What should be done to this problem has been solved?

— There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Definitely need to create joint ventures with foreign partners, they go at it. For example, Magna Corporation has built several plants in Russia jointly with domestic structures for the production of automotive components. But such examples are, unfortunately, not very much.

— But Magna produces components for cars, not for armored vehicles …

— Yes, but it’s just a good example. In our situation it is necessary to do the same. That’s why I’m talking about the need to acquire engineering skills and localization of components and systems on the territory of Russia, including those used in our machines.

— What is it?

— Let’s say the engine. We have a good example of cooperation with the Austrians. In Yaroslavl, we have jointly built a new plant for the production of modern diesel engines, which are installed on our machines. For example, "Tiger" and "bear" are engines of 534-th and 536-series. Let me tell you a big secret on "Boomerang" We will put the exact same engine.

— What are the strategic goals you set for the company?

— The goal has always been one — to become a world leader in the production of military and special equipment wheel. Actually, for this we are creating a new model, the re-equipping our factory, acquire new competencies, including the expansion of the product line. We have a more ambitious goal — to create legkobronny holding company, which would become a monopoly in the production and design of the entire light armored vehicles, both wheeled and tracked. We even negotiated with the "Russian tractor" and Uralvagonzavod about merging, but unfortunately, it did not work out.

So now we are going to more actively develop cooperation with colleagues. We have very similar products, similar customers — and must be unified platform. We, of course, it would be logical to unite in holding, as this would simplify the creation of new products and save a ton of money. But to talk about such a merger at this stage at least premature. 

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