Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Alexander Bobryshev, president of the Tupolev Joint Stock Company (JSC)
23 december 2009
Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.
First of all I would like to wish you a happy Long-Range Aviation Day. This is a special date for the Tupolev Design Bureau; the first bomber squadron was formed 95 years ago. Since that time the aircraft produced by your bureau have played a direct and effective part in all global conflicts, including World War I and the Great Patriotic War. They performed very well.
Today Tupolev aircraft, including our latest TU-160 strategic missile carrier [NATO reporting name Blackjack], continue to form the backbone of our long-range aviation.
It goes without saying that we should not stop at that. We are now holding a series of meetings on different branches of the defence industry. A meeting on aviation is scheduled for January.
However, I wanted to meet with you and discuss how you are doing. As you know, we are trying to consolidate the required assets. Today I signed another executive order, this time allocating 6.5 billion roubles to increase Oboronprom's charter capital so that it can acquire controlling interests in the assets of our leading companies, which in this case means companies in the helicopter and motor industries.
Another 2.5 billion roubles have been allocated for them for the same purpose next year. I am referring to the companies in Ufa, Lyubertsy and St Petersburg.
This year you have started designing a new aircraft. I would like to discuss this with you in the run-up to the meeting in January.
Alexander Bobryshev: Mr Putin, thank you for your happy Long-Range Aviation Day wishes. This is a real holiday for us, and today's events at our long-range aviation headquarters are devoted to this anniversary. Recently we held a meeting there - not to celebrate but to fulfil your instructions of extensively modernising existing aircraft and developing new models.
We know that you have signed an executive order and a resolution
concerning government defence contracts for next year. All of us in the
defence industry see this as a sign of stability. You put support for
the defence contracts and defence companies on a systemic basis long
Vladimir Putin: Compared to this year, we have increased these funds by 8% - 1.170 trillion roubles.
Alexander Bobryshev: This is a big increase. This is a handsome sum. We must use it not only for the designated purpose, as financial experts say, but to make technological progress.
We are now working on carriers, such as the TU-22 [NATO reporting name Backfire], the TU-195 and the TU-160. Especially the TU-160. This aircraft meets modern requirements, of course, but already it needs to be upgraded. We will have not only to modernize it extensively but, considering how many of them there are, also think about what we will replace them with in a dozen years. This is what we are working on.
In 2009 we began research and development on a new advanced long-range aviation system. And in 2009 we finished the first stage of analysing our current system and considering options for the future from all points of view. I am referring to the combination of missions that are now carried out by three aircraft.
We have chosen four out of the 47 options for further discussion, and are planning to complete the R&D stage in 2012.
We are planning to finish R&D in early 2012, if not in 2011, in order to make a smooth transition to E&D (evaluation and development). Needless to say, E&D should end in preparations for commercial production.
Vladimir Putin: By 2017?
Alexander Bobryshev: Yes, by 2017. In this context we are now
discussing cooperation between efficient design bureaus and companies
with the State Aviation Systems Research Institute, which will allow us
to guarantee progress at the modern level.
In fact, by 2017 we must develop a carrier with the functionality of 2020-2025 aircraft. This is a very serious and difficult objective, but I believe that our scientists and engineers will rise to the occasion.
Vladimir Putin: You should also work on the Tu-160. Its radioelectronic warfare system and equipment should be upgraded.
Alexander Bobryshev: At a meeting on the Tu-160 in Kazan on July 17, the MIC [Military-Industrial Commission] instructed us to prepared a programme to modernise strategic aviation extensively. We have finished preparing the programme.
A week ago we submitted a draft of the programme to the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Defence Ministry. I think we will begin discussing it in full in early January and will be able to fundamentally modernize our current carriers on its basis.
Vladimir Putin: Let's talk about it in more detail.