During this operation, Russian troops are making sure to avoid civilian casualties. That’s their priority. Our fight is not with the civilian population. Our fight is to ensure a future for the Russian-speaking civilian population.
I would like to say that high-precision weapons, used by the Russian forces, ensure that we achieve our military goals with the desired level of efficiency.
Now, back to your question. From as early as 2011, all our defense procurement programs have focused on the production and deployment of high-precision weapons. All this time, we have also been building up our manufacturing capacities. As a result, today, we can fully meet the demand of Russia’s armed forces for precision weapons.
Since you mentioned the seaborne Kalibr cruise missile, the fact is that almost all Russian ships and Project 636.6 diesel submarines carry Kalibr missiles. Deployed in the Black Sea, they can strike military targets anywhere in Ukraine. The same is true for other types of missiles, including the Kh-101 airborne missile carried by the Sukhoi Su-30 and Su-35 fighter-bombers. We have a wide range of air-to-surface munitions with a different effective range and power to hit different types of targets. Because of that, Russia dominates the sky in Ukraine. Russia’s Air Force ensures this with its efficient air-launched weapons.
Russia’s major defense manufacturers have contracts for high-precision weapon production until 2030 or, in some cases, 2033. Those enterprises are doing well. They can plan for the long term and adjust their capacities accordingly. They also keep developing upgrades for these weapon systems. It’s a well-built, sustainable operation, with great future potential. That’s what’s going on in Russia in terms of modern weapons production.
Yury Borisov: As you know, we’ve acquired a lot of experience during the Syrian conflict, where we’ve already put our key weapons to the test. Yury Borisov: Yes. We piloted the key weapons systems in that conflict. And I don’t mind saying that we made corrections as we went on, adjusting the specifications based on our experience. It is the result of cooperation between our military and the defense industry.
Representatives of the military-industrial complex were present on the ground in Syria, supporting all the combat operations, collecting statistics on the performance of various kinds of weapons against their specifications. So this close cooperation yielded very good results, which has already been apparent during the special military operation in Ukraine.
Yury Borisov: As for military shipbuilding, Russia has very solid positions as far as its strategic nuclear-powered submarine fleet is concerned. I mean strategic Borei and Borei-A class submarines and also Yasen class multi-purpose nuclear-powered submarines. We have enough of those. Our needs are fully met in this respect, both in terms of quantity and quality. The composition of our strategic nuclear forces is very advanced, state of the art.
In the past, there was a pronounced lack of open ocean vessels in Russia, which mainly focused on small corvette class warships and guided missile ships. As a result, these types of vessels are very modern and upgraded. Over the past three to four years, we have employed a system of loans to finance open ocean vessels, primarily frigates and corvettes.
As for aircraft carriers, such questions are often discussed at defense meetings in Sochi. In general, the development of high-precision and hypersonic weapons sometimes renders aircraft carrier groups useless, overshadowing their potential.
And besides, the US may need a powerful aircraft carrier group, since they are far away and need to cross the ocean before they reach any theater of operation on this continent. Russia, on the contrary, has always pursued a defense strategy, so the need for these types of vessels is debatable. But I think that you can’t just stop using this type of naval equipment altogether, you must think about it all the time. But this costs a lot of money.
At the same time, it’s possible to achieve the goals set for the Russian Navy in a more economical way – by opting for cheaper models, if we are talking of open ocean vessels, for example, and achieve a similar effect. So, it’s up to the military to determine what they really need. Even when I worked at the defense ministry, I never deemed it possible for myself to teach military professionals which types of weapons are best for them. They will decide on their own.
Yury Borisov: It’s a target, yes. But, of course, it’s protected. It is equipped with anti-aircraft and missile defense systems. Now, let’s talk about commercial ships.
Since Soviet times, all our ships had been manufactured in countries like Finland, or in former COMECON countries, such as Poland. Only recently have we started developing our own key shipbuilding assets, such as the United Shipbuilding Corporation.
In the Far East, we have the Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex, which specializes in large-capacity vessels, because those are used for the Northern Sea Route and because that region is a source of hydrocarbons.
Hydrocarbons are mostly transported by sea, using various kinds of ships, such as Aframax vessels, bulk carriers, coal carriers and tankers for liquid hydrocarbons.
This is evidently a new territory for Russian shipbuilders. And, of course, we have established and are developing partnerships with leading shipbuilding countries, starting with South Korea, which is a well-recognized leader in the construction of large-capacity ships. China, which is also a potential partner of ours, is now approaching their level of expertise.
So, we’ll continue manufacturing all these types of ships in the Far East, at the Zvezda shipyard. But we admit that we’ll have to restructure the whole supply chain here as well and look for new partners because two major ship engine makers, MAN and Wartsila, have refused to work with us. We’ll have to find other solutions, including by leveraging our own resources. Sinara and Transmashholding have made some advances in diesel shipbuilding. So we will develop our own expertise, maybe work together with a new R&D alliance.
We will also need fishing and crabbing vessels. It’s a matter of food security. All the recent policies, such as handing out fishing quotas to companies that invest in fleets, have been helpful and spurred demand for such vessels.
paradox. All rights reserved.