THE STATE OF THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX OF RUSSIA
Due to rising oil prices and the weakening of the national currency, the Russian budget additionally received 4 trillion RUB in the first nine months of 2018. In this regard, the Russian government in 2018 twice initiated amendments to the Federal Law "On the federal budget for 2018 and for the planning period of 2019 and 2020".
The first amendments to the Federal Law “On the Federal Budget for 2018 and for the Planning Period of 2019 and 2020” were made in June 2018. According to them, the main part of the additional income received by the federal budget in January-May 2018 is 38 % of budget expenditures, or 2.4 trillion RUB, was used to increase defence financing (63 billion RUB in the open part of the budget, by 97.4 billion RUB in the closed), national security (45 billion RUB, including for the financing of the internal affairs bodies - 15 billion RUB, the ROSGUARDS - 6 billion RUB, the FSB - 8 billion RUB) and the state budget that (65 billion RUB), while social spending has been reduced by 350 billion RUB on pensions - by 393 billion RUB.
The second amendments to the Federal Law “On the Federal Budget for 2018 and for the Planning Period of 2019 and 2020” further increased spending on national defense (by 9.5 billion RUB), national security (by 9.9 billion RUB, including for the financing of internal affairs bodies - by 1.8 billion RUB, the ROSGUARDS - by 1.7 billion RUB). There were also increased "infusion" in the budgets of the subjects of Russia - by 114.5 billion RUB. At the same time, social expenditures again decreased - by another 34.9 billion RUB. (including on pensions - by 1.6 billion RUB, for social support of citizens - by 7.9 billion RUB, for support of servicemen who received injuries - by 2 billion RUB, for payments to the unemployed - by 7, 7 billion RUB), Medical expenses - by 3.3 billion RUB. and implementation of the state program "Healthcare Development" - by 2.7 billion RUB.
As a result, the financing of the security forces is planned to increase from 5.147 trillion RUB. in 2018 to 6.64 trillion RUB. in 2020 in the open part of the budget. Another 3 trillion RUB. in 2018 to 4,117 trillion RUB. in 2020, the financing of structures for items in the closed part of the budget should increase.
Those spending on law enforcement, defense and security in 2019 will amount to at least 30% of the state budget, which is 1.7 times more than to support the pension fund (3.2 trillion RUB), and almost 7 times more than on the development of the education system (0.8 trillion RUB).
In addition, another 84 billion RUB are planned to allocate to the increase in the monetary allowance of military personnel and paramilitary forces, as well as for additional recruitment of employees, whose number in 2019 is planned to increase by 10 thousand people.
All in all, “increasing the combat capabilities of troops and forces in the context of growing arms race,” said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu at a selector meeting on December 4, 2018, will cost the Russian budget 22 trillion RUB, which would be enough for almost four years pay pensions, benefits, pay for education and health care.
Of this amount, more than 1.44 trillion RUB is planned to be spent in 2019 on the implementation of the state defense order in terms of equipping the Russian Armed Forces. Thus, the leadership of Russia continues to cut spending on social welfare of its citizens, directing additional resources to finance the army, the police and the state apparatus, as well as enterprises of the defense-industrial complex (MIC) - arms manufacturers. Moreover, the increase in funding for law enforcement agencies and defense enterprises in 2018-2020 it is planned to ensure not only through oil and gas revenues, but also through a significant reduction in social program spending and by increasing VAT from 18% to 20%, which will certainly lead to an increase in the cost of goods and services, and, therefore, to increase public spending.
Indeed, according to the “Main directions of budget and tax policy for 2019 and for the planned period of 2020 and 2021,” developed by the Russian Ministry of Finance, the increase in the VAT rate from 18% to 20% will increase revenues to the federal budget in 2019 by 633.5 billion RUB (349.7 billion RUB from goods and services related to domestic production, and 283.7 billion RUB from imports), in 2020 by 678.2 billion RUB. (374.3 and 303.9 billion RUB, respectively), and in 2021 - by 728.3 billion RUB. (404.9 and 323.4 billion RUB, respectively).
1. Plans in MIC (military industrial complex) and real results
Despite the significant funds allocated for the financing of national defense, including and the development and production of armaments, the situation in many enterprises of Russia's defense industry is far from rosy, which is due to the deterioration of the industrial enterprises of the military-industrial complex due to the general stagnation of the Russian economy and the sanctions of western countries, resulting in the absence of a number of high-tech components for many in Russia types of weapons. In this regard, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Yuri Borisov, issued by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, the former Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia, compared the situation in the defense industry with an exercise bike - you twist the pedals and not drive.
In addition, the demand for armaments of the Russian army has been decreasing recently, despite repeated statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the state program for the production of weapons will not be minimized. In particular, he stated this on January 24, 2018 at a meeting with the workers of the Ufa Engine-Building Production Association in response to the words of one of the workers that the share of the defense-industrial complex in the state defense order is decreasing. V. Putin explained this situation by the fact that in previous years the defense enterprises were financed through the Ministry of Defense and this “financing, as always, was not enough”, therefore the debt accumulated over several years, which was repaid last year, therefore “the figure in the general structure defense spending rose to more than four percent of GDP."
“And now we have just returned to stable, rhythmic financing, as it was supposed earlier. That is, in general, there is no reduction, just as there was no sharp increase last year,” V. Putin explained the situation.
Of course, this was a question that was allowed to ask the president "by the mouth of the people", but it is obvious that the workers and the management of the enterprise would like to ask about something else - how to work in the current environment. After all, Public Joint-Stock Company "ODK-Ufa Engine-Building Production Association" (PJSC "UMPO") is the largest engine manufacturing company in Russia. It employs more than 20 thousand workers, specialists and employees who develop, manufacture, service and repair turbojet aircraft engines for Su fighters and attack aircraft (AL-41F-1C, AL-31F, AL-31FP), manufacture and repair of the helicopter units, as well as the production and repair of equipment for the gas and energy industries. In 2011, PJSC UMPO became the head office of the Engines for Combat Aviation division of the United Engine-Building Corporation (ODK), established to unite the scientific and production potential of the developers and manufacturers of military aviation engines.
In 2013, PJSC UMPO also became the leading developer and manufacturer of engines for Su-35 type fighters and a promising engine for the fifth generation fighter. PJSC UMPO also participates in the development of the advanced PD-14 engine for the MS-21 civilian aircraft and the organization of production of VK-2500 helicopter engines.
However, in August 2017, it became known that the Irkut Corporation formed a plan for the supply of engines for mass production of the MS-21 civil aircraft, and these engines were not the PD-14 produced by PJSC UMPO, but the PW1400G of the American Pratt & Whitney Corporation, which only later gradually had to be replaced by engines PD-14, the production of which was to establish JSC "UEC".
Moreover, the PD-14 “Irkut” engines “without additional coordination” with Pratt & Whitney can equip only 315 of 630 MS-21 airplanes, while Aeroflot, the main customer of MS-21, should receive all aircraft with American engines, and from 16 MS-21s acquired by Red Wings airline, PD-14 engines can be only in four aircraft.
But this is not a fact, because PD-14 engines can only be certified in 2019, and MS-21 aircraft with these engines - not earlier than 2022–2023, while there are no problems with the supply of PW1400G engines yet, since US sanctions did not affect them.
Obviously, the lack of orders for the production of PD-14, which is also not yet certified, became one of the reasons for the “voice of the people” to reduce the share of the defense-industrial complex in the state defense order, i.e. about underutilization of production facilities, during the stay of the President of Russia in PJSC "UMPO". And at a meeting in Ufa, which also took place on January 24, 2018, the leadership of PJSC UMPO and other enterprises of the military-industrial complex of Russia, V. Putin set the task to maximally occupy the capacities of defense enterprises, especially after 2020, when the peak of deliveries under the state defense order would be completed.
In this regard, the share of civilian and dual-use products produced at the enterprises of the military-industrial complex should be up to 30% by 2025, and up to 50% by 2030.
Thus, the president of Russia actually confirmed the analysts' assumptions that the state program for the production of weapons, which started in 2007 and extended in 2011, is now completed on a number of positions, and on the rest is in the completion stage, therefore, the MIC enterprises should not be expected the repetition of the defense order, which was taken in the "fat" past years, it can no longer be repeated in 2018-2021 even at the expense of funds received from "oil and gas" revenues, cuts in social programs and an increase in VAT.
In addition, the global arms market is gradually becoming saturated and is no longer able to consume the products of the Russian military-industrial complex, many types of which, not least because of the sanctions of Western countries, can no longer compete in this market and even lose their traditional customers. In this situation, due to a decrease in the volume of production, many industrial enterprises of the military-industrial complex announce changes in working hours, possible reductions in workers and delays in salary payments. For example, managers of Perm region enterprises postpone the payment of wages to their employees “until better times.”
Thus, according to the data of Permstat and Rosstat, the total wage arrears as of May 1, 2017 in the region amounted to 8.7 million RUB, and as of June 1, 2017 - already 9.8 million RUB. In addition, there is a tendency to increase the number of employees working part-time and / or part-time. In the first quarter of 2018, they were 7.5% more than in the first quarter of 2017.
For example, almost 30% of the employees of Privod Electric Heavy Engineering Plant LLC transferred to the 32-hour work week, in April LLC Kungur Machine-Building Plant sent all 409 workers to a standstill. A part of the workers and PJSC Motovilikhinskiye Zavody were sent to idle time, although the company has existing contracts and continues to fulfil the state defense order, but at the same time it owes the Ministry of Defense of Belarus 20.8 million RUB.
The total number of workers working in part-time employment increased by 37.1% in the period from May 5 to June 13 and amounted to 6061 people. In addition, at these enterprises is the reduction of workers. So, in mid-June, employment centres of municipalities of the Perm Territory received notifications from 855 organizations about the release of 8,319 workers in 2018, of which 2,251, i.e. 27.1% are “personnel of state-owned organizations”. Among these enterprises and enterprises of the military industrial complex, for example, in June-July 2018, the Perm Powder Plant factory planned to cut 64 employees, Proton-PM JSC - 25, Lysva Heavy Electrical Machinery Plant LLC - 59.
The situation is similar at the enterprises of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC). Thus, in 2017, only four ships were delivered against eight in 2016, only one ship was repaired against five in 2016, 698 ships passed service and warranty service, which is one hundred less than in 2016., and the total tonnage of ships and vessels built in 2017 in accordance with the government assignment amounted to only 11,820 tons, which is 19% less than in 2016.
According to the USC annual report, due to the reduction in the state defense order, the shipyards carry enormous ) losses, because for the execution of the state defense order, it was necessary to attract significant amounts of borrowed funds, for the service of which a significant part of the profit was spent, which resulted in a decrease in the amount of net profit to be distributed.
So, if in 2016 it amounted to 584 million RUB, then in 2017 only 207.2 million RUB. with a plan of 437 million RUB. Of the regional structures of USC, only Petersburg (PJSC NW Severnaya Verf, PJSC Proletarsky Plant, Admiralty Shipyards JSC, Kronstadt Marine Plant JSC, Sredne-Nevsky Shipbuilding Plant JSC, Vyborg Shipbuilding Plant, PJSC Baltiysky Zavod, LLC Baltiysky Zavod-Sudostroenie, PJSC Nevskoye PKB, JSC TsMKB Almaz, JSC TsKB MT Rubin, JSC SPMBM Malakhit, JSC Severnoye PKB “USC-Iceberg”, JSC “WZC”) and Arkhangelsk (“Sevmash” and “Zvezdochka”) cluster of USC enterprises completed 2017 with positive results: St. Petersburg's revenues amounted to 148 billion RUB (in 2016 - 139.7 billion RUB), and net profit - 5.3 billion RUB (in 2016 - 7.5 billion RUB), Archangelsk’s revenue - 145.3 billion RUB, net profit - 10.6 billion RUB. The regional shipyards ended 2017 with serious losses, for example, the Khabarovsk Territory shipyard - minus 1.8 billion RUB, the Kaliningrad region - minus 302 million RUB, Murmansk - minus 154 million RUB, Astrakhan - minus 152 million RUB, Tatarstan - minus 106 million RUB, Crimea and Sevastopol - minus 16 million RUB.
The situation at other shipbuilding enterprises is no better. For example, the Zvezda shipyard, in which the head of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, invested 200 billion RUB, does not have the resources to independently fulfil the contract for 12 Aframax class ships and to somehow “keep afloat” will carry out “screwdriver assembly” of South Korean tankers.
Thus, Russian shipbuilding is going through hard times, again due to the reduction of the budget of the Russian Ministry of Defense - the main customer of military shipbuilding and ship repair - to modernize the fleet, as well as to the sanctions of Western Europe and the USA, which limited exports and required replacement of foreign equipment by Russian. Similar problems for the same reasons are experienced by aircraft factories of the military industrial complex of Russia. For example, the Russian Ministry of Defense in 2012 concluded two contracts for the supply of 30 Su-30SM for the Air Force until 2016 with Irkut Corporation PJSC (part of the United Aircraft Building Corporation JSC).
In December 2015, the second contract for the supply of up to 2020 in the VKS another 50 Su-30SM. In December 2013, contracts were also signed for the supply of Su-30SM for Russian Navy aviation.
09/07/2015 The Russian Ministry of Defense and Irkut signed another supply contract for naval aviation in 2016-2017 eight Su-30SM. As a result, it was planned for the Russian Navy to acquire 50 Su-30SM. Thus, according to the plans of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, by 2020 the total number of Su-30SM airplanes in the Air Force (now - VKS) and Navy aviation should be 160 units. In addition, according to the plans of the Russian Ministry of Defense as part of the Air Force and Navy aviation, by 2020, besides the Su-30SM, 60 T-50 and 120 Su-35S should have been added. But because of the crisis caused by the sharp fall in energy prices and the economic sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia, funding for the Russian Ministry of Defense has been reduced. In this regard, the Russian Ministry of Defense significantly cut down its plans - only 12 T-50 and 50 Su-35 (that is, cheaper aircraft compared to Su-30SM). It also appeared that, in the opinion of some leaders of the Russian Defense Ministry, the combat readiness and combat effectiveness of the Russian Aerospace Forces under conditions of limited financial resources can be improved by upgrading the existing fleet.
In particular, it was proposed to make refinements of the avionics of the Su-30 and Su-27UB aircraft, as a result of which they would acquire new functions and would be as unified as possible with the front-line MiG-29SMT fighters. This would allow the VKS to have heavy Su and light MiG´s in front-line fighter aviation groups, which is optimal from the point of view of accomplishing the combat missions and acceptable for maintenance costs in peacetime.
However, not all of these proposals were accepted, as evidenced by the generalized data on the number of combat and combat training aircraft that entered service with the VKS and aviation of the Russian Navy, based on open sources of information and photographs of spotters on Instagram:
In 2017, new aircraft received:
Su-30SM (manufacturer - "Irkut"):12 airplanes with red side numbers 71-82 - the 14th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (14 GvIAP) of the 105th Mixed Aviation Division (105 SAD) of the 6th Leningrad Red Banner Army of the Air Force and Air Defense of the Western Military District, stationed at the Khalino airfield near Kursk; 5 aircraft with blue tail numbers 71-75 in May and August 2017 - the 72nd naval aviation base of the Baltic Fleet, stationed at the airfield Chernyakhovsk in the Kaliningrad region;
Su-34 (manufacturer - NAZ them. VP Chkalov):10th - 277th Bomber Aviation Regiment, stationed at the airfield Khurba near Komsomolsk-on-Amur;6 with red hull numbers 01-06 - the 2nd Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment (6 GVBAP) stationed at the Shagol airfield near Chelyabinsk;
Su-35S (producer - Aviation Plant named after Yuri Gagarin, Komsomolsk-on-Amur (KnAAZ named after Yuri Gagarin):10 with red side numbers 21-24, 61-64, 67 and 68 in October and November 2017 - the 159th Guards Fighter Regiment stationed at the Besovets airfield near Petrozavodsk;
Su-57 (manufacturer - KnAAZ Yuri Gagarin): April 24, August 6 and December 23, 2017 - the first flight of the 8th, 9th and 10th prototypes of the fifth-generation fighter Su-57 (PAK FA);
Yak-130 (manufacturer - "Irkut"):In May and July 2017, six aircraft with red side numbers 50, 100, 01, 02, 03 and 04 - the 200th Aviation Training Base of the Krasnodar Military Aviation Institute. A.K. Serov (Armavir).
At the end of 2017, 2 GvBAP became the fourth BVC bomber regiment rearming on the Su-34, and 14 GvIAP became the third fighter brigade of the VKS rearming on heavy double-seat fighters Su-30SM instead of light MiG-29SMT. At the same time, the aircraft with the tail number 82 became the 100th Su-30SM fighter jet transferred to the Russian Ministry of Defense.
In 2018, new aircraft received:
Su-30CM: On April 26-27, 2018, four Su-30CMs with red hull numbers 51-54 (estimated serial numbers 10МК5 1509 - 10МК5 1512) were flown from Irkutsk to the airfield of Khalino (Kursk) (allegedly serial numbers 10МК5 1509 - 10МК5 1512), which were transferred to the 2nd squadron. On March 1, 2018, the party (apparently two, manufactured according to the plan for 2017) of the Su-30SM fighters was transferred to the naval aviation, and one of the aircraft was named after the city where it was produced - Irkutsk.
Apparently, this aircraft received the 43rd separate naval assault aviation regiment of the Black Sea Fleet, stationed at the airfield Novofedorovka near the town of Saki (Crimea).At the beginning of July 2018, two Su-30SMs received the 72nd Guards Aviation Base of the Baltic Fleet's naval aviation, the next blue side numbers 76 and 77 were affixed to them, and besides, the aircraft received their own names, Chernyakhovsk and Kaliningrad.
On December 20-22, 2018, another Su-30SM with a red tail number 62 flew from Irkutsk to the Khalino (Kursk) airfield. Thus, the Irkutsk Aviation Plant fulfilled the state defense order in full in 2018 - a total of 14 Su-30SM airplanes were transferred to the Russian Ministry of Defense, of which 10 were for the Russian Aerospace Forces and four for the naval aviation of the Russian Navy. A total of 116 Su-30SM aircraft were contracted under the 2012 contract for the Russian Ministry of Defense, of which 92 were received by the VCS and 22 by naval aviation as of January 1, 2019.
Su-34: At the end of December 2018, four Su-34s were transferred to the VKS. With their delivery, the total number of Su-34s as part of the VKS under the 2012 contract reached 84 of the 92 stipulated by the contract. The total number of Su-34 on January 1, 2019 is 127 units, incl. seven experimental and pre-production samples.
Su-35: VKS received 10 Su-35S fighters on a five-year contract for the supply of 50 fighters concluded in December 2015. Taking into account the contract concluded in 2009 for the supply of 48 Su-35S fighters, the Russian VKS as of January 1, 2019 received 78 serial Su-35S. All in all, KnAAZ during this time has produced 102 Su-35S serial fighters, incl. 24 export fighter jets, delivered in 2016-2018. to China under contract 2015In January 2019, two more Su-35s manufactured at KnAAZ flew to the airfield of an aviation regiment of the Western Military District located in the Tver Region. Currently, the regiment is armed with Su-27 fighters.
Yak-130: Training airbase of the Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School of them. A.K. Serov in Kushchevsky district of Kuban transferred 10 Yak-130.In total, in 2018, 56 new airplanes and 30 helicopters, incl. 14 Su-30SM fighters, 14 Su-34 front-line bombers, 10 Yak-130 combat trainers.
Also in the plans of the Ministry of Defense of Russia was the conclusion of a large contract for the production of Su-30SM and its modernization both in terms of import substitution, and in terms of adaptation of new aviation weapons (source), because several foreign and joint manufacturers were equipment suppliers of Su aircraft. For example, on the Su-30MKI installed: indicator on the background of the windshield Thales Avionics HUD3022, multifunction displays Thales Avionics MD55S, inertial and satellite navigation complex INS / GPS Totem - the French company Thales, inertial system RS Alliance, and its components are from the French company Sagem, the EL / M-8222 electronic warfare station by the Israeli company Elta, the Ritael container optical-electronic sighting and navigation system Litening from the source. Even in the Russian multipurpose radar control system "Bars" of Su-30MKI / МКА / МКМ / СМ fighter jets, Indian-made Vetrivel (DRDO) processors are used.
Therefore, due to the lack of a number of high-tech components for the aircraft produced, due to the sanctions imposed by Western countries, the contracts for the supply of aircraft abroad were not threatened. For example, the contract concluded in 2015 for the supply of KnAAZ 24 Su-35 fighter jets of export modification to China. Negotiations to supply 12 Su-35 to Indonesia ended in vain.
Obviously, Su-30SM aircraft were decided to be sold to Russia's allies in the CSTO, in particular, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Belarus, which were manufactured under foreign contracts using import-substituting equipment, as well as unclaimed by the Russian Ministry of Defense, due to the reduction of the military budget. Moreover, the assumption about the sale of Su-30SM to Kazakhstan, produced under the state defense order program, is confirmed by the fact that at the airfield Taldy-Kurgan, which is based 604th Air Base of the Air Defense Forces of Kazakhstan, airplanes with red numbers "01" and " 02 ”(04/07/2015),“ 03 ”(04/14/2015) and“ 04 ”(04/17/2015), with factory numbers 10MK5 1118 (first flight in Irkutsk 01/31/2015), 10MK5 1119 (02.19.2015), 10MK5 1120 (08.02.2015), 10MK5 1201 (02.27.2015), which is consistent with the serial numbers of the aircraft, produced by order of the Ministry of Defense Ross and.
The second reason for the decision to sell the allies on the Su-30SM aircraft was the need to load the Irkutsk aircraft building plant until 2022, when production of the Su-30SM is planned to be stopped by switching to production of the Su-35, which is currently mass-produced by KnAAZ. Yu. A. Gagarin, as well as on the production of the Yak-130 assault modification under development.
A contract for the purchase of four Su-30SMs was concluded with Kazakhstan in 2014. Moreover, retraining of the flight and technical staff of the Air Defense Forces of Kazakhstan at the Irkutsk Aviation Enterprise was included in its “package”. Then information appeared that in 2015 a contract was signed with Kazakhstan for the supply of seven Su-30SM for a total amount of more than 10 billion RUB, which is 65 RUB for the course. for dollars amounted to 150.5 million dollars.
According to the Centre for Analysis of the World Trade in Arms, Kazakhstan planned in 2016-2020. purchase another 32 Su-30SMs - 8 per year and replace with them all Su-27 fighters and MiG-27 fighter-bombers that are in the air base. By the way, the Russian Ministry of Defense signed a contract for the acquisition of 50 Su-35s in the same period, the cost of which is almost 1.5 times less than the Su-30SM, i.e. The total cost of 50 Su-35 is approximately equal to the total cost of 32 Su-30SM.
In total in 2015-2017 Kazakhstan has concluded three contracts for the purchase of 23 Su-30SM fighter jets. In August 2017, Russia and Kazakhstan signed a three-year framework contract for the supply of another 12 Su-30SM airplanes, and on May 24, 2018, a contract was signed in Astana for the delivery of Russia to Kazakhstan in 2018-2019 eight Su-30SM fighters, but so far unknown - in addition to the previous one and or within its framework, since there is information about the intention of Kazakhstan to acquire by 2020 only 36 Su-30SM, which will be equipped with three squadrons of the 604th air base of the Air Defense Forces of Kazakhstan. Currently, there are eight Su-30SM fighters in the air base: under the 2014 contract, four were received in April 2015; under the contract concluded in December 2015 - four (red side numbers 05 and 06 (serial numbers 10МК5 1315 and 10МК5 1316) in December 2016 red side numbers 07 and 08 (serial numbers 10МК5 1507 and 10 МК5 1508) - in December 2017) and the delivery of three more is expected to be 2018.
According to some information, negotiations on the acquisition of the Su-30 between Russia and Armenia began in 2010 and in 2012 a contract was signed for the supply of the Armenian Air Force over the course of several years to 12 Su-30SM fighters, and on domestic Russian, rather than export, prices. However, the contract was not implemented due to the financial problems of the customer, although the parties periodically returned to discuss the prospects for the practical implementation of the contract, but without success. Then, in 2016, the Armenian media repeatedly reported that the Armenian leadership was ready to purchase the Su-30SM, but in 2018 the Armenian Ministry of Defense postponed the issue until 2024, and soon a change of government occurred in the country.
But on June 17, 2018, after his visit to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan posted on his Facebook page a photo of him in the cockpit of the Russian Su-30SM fighter - “one of the best fighters in the world”, as follows from the signature. In addition, the signature states “I am already in Yerevan,” that is, obviously, at the Erebuni airbase, where the 3624th aviation base of the Russian Air Force is stationed. But in service with this airbase are MiG-29 fighters. Therefore, it was not clear: is the 3624th air base retrained on the Su-30SM, has it been acquired by Armenia or has Russia overtaken the plane here for more detailed acquaintance with the leadership and the military of Armenia? In this regard, an assumption was made that the new leadership of Armenia, in response to the acquisition by Azerbaijan of new types of weapons, is negotiating with Russia to acquire the Su-30SM fighter jets.
Moreover, if the Su-30SM really flew to the Erebuni airbase, and perhaps not only the Su-30SM, to demonstrate its capabilities to the leadership and the military of Armenia, the negotiations are in a rather active phase and the signing of the contract for the supply of Su-30SM later than 2019. For the time being, Armenia actually has no fighter jets, only 15 Su-25 attack aircraft and 18 MiG-29 aircraft deployed at the Russian Erebuni airbase near Yerevan are virtually no fighter planes in service, both morally and physically. However, if Armenia acquires the Su-30SM, it will have to build infrastructure for them and deal with service issues, again only with the help of Russia, which contradicts the statements of Armenian politicians and the military about reducing the Russian military presence in Armenia and even refusing Russian military assistance including the border guard.
This assumption was confirmed on January 31, 2019, when it became known that Russia and Armenia signed a contract for the delivery of four Su-30SM to Armenia in 2020. Moreover, Russia allocated a loan of $ 100 million for the purchase of these fighters, which will be sold at the same price as for its own armed forces, rather than export, and also pledged to train Armenian pilots in their military schools. By the way, earlier, Armenia also acquired a division of operational-tactical missiles "Iskander-M" and other weapons from Russia with a $ 300 million loan.
Given that the Su-30SM multi-purpose fighter, which has great potential for detecting and destroying airborne and ground targets, including those using Kh-58E and Kh-59MK2 anti-radar missiles with a range of damage over 200 km, will pose a serious threat to air defense Azerbaijan, as well as for its infrastructure, it is highly likely that Azerbaijan, which has only about 40 Su-25s and a MiG-29 squadron, as well as Israeli reconnaissance UAVs in its air force, will decide to acquire similar aircraft Prayers. And Russia, in order to prevent Azerbaijan from acquiring aircraft from other manufacturers, can offer its fighter jets, the same Su-30SM or Su-35. So to say, warm your hands in someone else's fire.
With regard to Belarus, Russia has also repeatedly initiated the possibility of concluding a contract for the supply of Su-30SM. However, proceeding from the defensive doctrine of Belarus, its air force and the country's air defense forces, it would be advisable to arm them with MiG-35 or Su-35 light fighters, rather than heavy and multifunctional Su-30SMs, since Belarus has no plans to win supremacy in another country's airspace. and therefore there is no need to have long-range fighter jets. In addition, the maintenance of the MiG-35, which is a modification of the MiG-29, is much cheaper than the Su-30SM, the price of the MiG-35 flight hour is almost 2.5 times lower than that of the Su-30SM, the service life of the MiG-35 is at least 40 years, and the flight resource is over 6 thousand hours, which is significantly more than that of the Su-30SM.
However, in the summer of 2017 it became known that a contract was concluded between Belarus and Russia for the purchase of 12 Su-30SM. Then, on January 30, 2019, during a visit by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu to the Irkutsk aircraft factory, where the Su-30SM multi-role fighter aircraft is being manufactured and modernized, he was informed about the readiness of the aircraft factory in 2019 to deliver the first fighter aircraft to Belarus. Soon this information was confirmed by the Ministry of Defense of Belarus, specifying that according to the contract in 2019, four first Su-30SMs would arrive in Belarus. However, the cost of fighters is still unknown.
However, the production of the Su-30SM in Russia is actually curtailed and ceased altogether from 2022, but the production of the Su-35 will continue. During this time, the VKS and aviation of the Russian Navy will be able to purchase a maximum of 50 Su-30SM, after which all funds will be used to purchase the Su-35 and Su-57. In addition, by that time, the Su-35 will no longer be a small-scale, but a mass fighter and its number in the composition of the VKS and aviation of the Russian Navy will be no less than the Su-30SM. It is possible that there will be large orders for the Su-35 from some traditional Russian buyers, for example, Algeria, obviously will acquire another squadron. However, large orders, as were the Indian, is unlikely to be.
© Leonid Spatkai