23 july 2012

Dmitry Medvedev holds a meeting in Kolomna on the implementation of the federal targeted programme for the development of the defence sector in 2011-2020

“The Iskander-M is clearly among the most effective weapons in its class, and we consider it to be much better than its foreign analogues.”

Dmitry Medvedev’s opening remarks:

Good afternoon, colleagues. Today we will talk about the implementation of the federal targeted programme for the development of the defence sector in 2011-2020. In other words, we will address the modernisation programme of the Russian defence industry during this period. I would like to say that this is the first meeting on this subject and that we will hold more such meetings, and not only in or near Moscow but in other parts of Russia as well, because the retooling of the defence sector is no less important than the production of weapons.

This meeting is being held in a mechanical engineering design bureau, the key company responsible for the production of the Iskander-M missile. I have recently  visited the assembly lines and the testing range. This is a unique plant and it's clear that it has been in its business for a long time. But on the other hand, one can see that it has recently been retooled; this is obvious. The missile system itself, which was put on combat duty in 2006, is being improved, new types of missiles are being built for it, and the system’s combat and performance characteristics are being expanded. In short, the Iskander-M is clearly among the most effective weapons in its class and we consider it to be much better than its foreign analogues. It should form the core of the Land Forces’ missile group.

In general, a wide range of military equipment is produced in the Moscow Region. Over 70 organisations located in 32 cities of the region are working to implement the state defence order, so Mr Shoigu (Sergei Shoigu, Governor of the Moscow Region) will have to make many visits to see how our defence industry works.

The region’s defence establishments have a staff of 130,000 people, which is a powerful force. But the situation at many of these places is by far not as good as at this mechanical engineering design bureau. They therefore need funds for retooling and modernisation, which is the essence of the modernisation programme approved for the defence sector.

Under the targeted programme for the development of the defence sector, 17 defence enterprises [in the region] have been allocated more than 24 billion roubles for modernisation and construction of new facilities for serial production of the Iskander-M missile systems. In addition, they will invest 16 billion roubles of their own funds. In fact, the main mechanism of such programmes, the main approach to defence sector modernisation provides for the joint use of state allocations and the companies’ own funds, aimed at creating a mechanism of continuous renewal based on partnership.

It should be said that until recently the elements of the missile system were provided separately under individual contracts with different producers. Of course, we should speed up the process of rearmament, which is also important in view of the need for creating common approaches to pricing. This is why the decision on package deliveries to the armed forces appears to be absolutely correct. The only supplier of this missile system with which the Defence Ministry has signed a long-term state contract is this Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau. The contract outlines all the main elements. Today we will discuss the modernisation of its production facilities and hear reports by the company’s director general and other colleagues. We will also talk about the general provisions for implementing the programme.

I have talked with Mr Kashin (Valery Kashin, Director General of the Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau) about personnel, which is a major issue that is no less important than creating fundamentally new production and converting to digital systems in the production of new items. The issue concerns personnel and the company’s obligation to provide jobs to those who have been sent to receive professional education. We should consider this issue and make more binding provisions to prevent the loss of personnel and, frankly, of money, in cases when training is stipulated within contracts. Let’s discuss this issue.