The Russian Ministry of Defense announced the signing of 41 contracts with enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex at the Army-2020 forum. The total amount of orders is 1.16 trillion rubles.

“Today, 17 government contracts have been awarded and 24 have been signed with 30 enterprises of the military-industrial complex worth over 1.16 trillion rubles,” Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said at the official signing ceremony.

For these funds, the military expects to receive a significant amount of modern ammunition and a certain amount of new equipment. In addition, the contracts involve the modernization of existing weapons and the development of new ones.

In particular, according to Krivoruchko, the military ordered 80 thousand missiles and modern ammunition, 500 new types of equipment.

First of all – helicopters

The current forum did not become a breakthrough for the helicopter pilots as last year when the military issued an order for 98 Mi-28NM Night Hunter attack aircraft. However, this time the Milians did not leave empty-handed either. The Ministry of Defense decided to buy a batch of Mi-38 transport helicopters, ordered the development of a specialized naval helicopter “Minoga”, which in the future should replace the rather outdated and relatively weak Ka-27. In addition, the military signed a contract for the supply of heavy wide-body Mi-26T2V helicopters.

Observers noted that the contracts are clearly related to the recent combat experience gained by the Russian military in Syria. Transport helicopters Mi-26T are a unique machine: with their own weight of 28 tons, they can take up to 20 tons of cargo and carry it over a distance of up to two thousand kilometers. In the Mi-26T2V version, the helicopters are equipped with the NPK90-2V avionics system, which provides the possibility of “blind” flights at any time of the day or night and in any weather, but more importantly, the helicopter is protected from missiles with thermal and radar guidance heads. The supply of these vehicles to the troops will significantly increase the operational capabilities of the Russian ground forces.

The Mi-38 helicopters are also not attacking helicopters, but transport helicopters; in addition to delivering troops and cargo, they can be used as flying hospitals.

There are never too many frigates

The Russian fleet, although slowly and with a creak, continues to replenish with serial ships of the “corvette” and “frigate” classes. According to Krivoruchko, the military department signed a contract for the construction of Project 22350 frigates and Project 20380 corvettes.

At present, the fleet already has two frigates of this class: the lead ship of the Admiral Gorshkov series and the first serial frigate Admiral Kasatonov. The second serial frigate “Admiral Golovko” is undergoing state testing. Each of the ships is armed with 16 universal launchers that can be loaded with Caliber cruise missiles, Onyx anti-ship missiles, and Zircon hypersonic missiles. In addition, there are five more ships of this project on the stocks of Severnaya Verf in St. Petersburg. In total, the fleet intends to receive eight frigates. In comparison with the series of other countries, this, of course, is not much, but for the Russian fleet, it is quite a decent batch.

Corvettes of projects 20380 and 20385 are multipurpose ships of the near sea zone with missile and cannon armament. Their purpose is to patrol coastal waters, patrol service, and in the event of a conflict, to cover the deployment of larger ships and the exit of submarines from their bases. The Russian fleet especially needs such ships in the Baltic and the Far East.

In addition, the fleet decided to spend money on minesweepers of Project 12700. The Sredne-Nevsky Shipbuilding Plant will have to build these unpretentious, but indisputably necessary and useful ships.

Arctic tanks

Also, journalists became aware of the conclusion of a contract for the overhaul and modernization of T-80BV tanks. Within the framework of this project, it is planned to install multi-channel sights “Sosna-U” and additional protection systems on tanks.

Earlier it was reported that the Ministry of Defense decided to return the “eighties” to service and turn them into specialized Arctic tanks. This decision had both supporters and opponents. The former argued that the T-80 is better than others for polar operating conditions since it has not a diesel engine, but a turbine, which is much more reliable in extreme cold. Skeptics noted that with the return to service of the T-80, in addition to the T-72 and T-15 “Armata” – Russia will receive three main battle tanks at once, similar in characteristics, but very different in design. Consequently, it will incur significantly higher maintenance costs for the tank fleet.

Be that as it may, it is now obvious that the intentions of the Ministry of Defense were not limited to promises, but moved into the field of practical solutions.

In addition, the military ordered a batch of light BMP-3 and the BREM-L repair and recovery vehicles created on their basis, which demonstrated a good systematic approach to equipping the troops. Unlike ARVs, created on the basis of tanks, the light amphibious BREM-L can climb in the same place as the usual “beha”, which means that motorized rifles will receive help wherever they get stuck.

Work for the future

In addition to the development of a specialized naval helicopter “Lamprey”, the military department signed an agreement on the development of the optical-laser system “Trainee-3”. The previous system, “Trainee-2”, was ordered in 2013 and was intended to detect foreign satellites at a distance of up to 36 thousand km from the Earth.

In addition, the military decided that they needed an ultralight and fast buggy-type vehicle, similar to those used by the British and American Special Forces. For this purpose, a contract was signed for the creation of a light armored vehicle “Strela”. It is reported that the military wants to have at its disposal a highly mobile platform with armor, capable of protecting the crew from small arms fire and detonation on explosive devices equivalent to two kg of TNT. In this case, the speed of the car on the highway should be 155 kilometers per hour.

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Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
Editor in chief of The Eastern Herald. Studied Information Technology and Management. An OSINT Partisan & Political Analyst, Human Rights activist, and Social Activist.