http://tinyurl.com/pg7ppvp

http://tinyurl.com/pg7ppvp

Almost 90 % “of equipment and materials used by Russia’s largest arms manufacturer, Machine Engineering Technologies, is domestically produced, the company’s CEO Sergei Rusakov said”, RIA Novosti reports on September 30. Rusakov told the reporters: “Our localization is 90 percent. We are able to produce everything within Russia”. He also said that in spite of being almost self-sufficient, “Russian arms manufacturers are still interested in cooperating with foreign colleagues”, RIA Novosti also reports. This piece of news indicates that a large share of the Russian military industry is largely immune to international sanctions. The open source we are quoting here says that “OJSC Machine Engineering Technologies is a major Russian holding company. Its product range includes precision-guided munitions and artillery rounds, multiple rocket launchers and small-caliber ammunition”[1].

Even more menacing strategic programs

But the West is seriously worried not because of the Russian capabilities in the area of conventional ammunition production. Some of the strategic programs developed by Russia are more menacing at global level. On September 10, for example, RIA Novosti mentioned that “Russia has successfully test-fired a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from its Borey-class Vladimir Monomakh nuclear-powered submarine.”[2] General Major Igor Konashenkov said that “the launch was made from underwater position in the White Sea on Wednesday morning. The parameters of the missile trajectory were normal and the warheads successfully arrived at the Kura test site on Kamchatka.”[3] This test-fire gave the Russian Federation at least some confidence in future perspectives, since “the Borey class, the Russian Navy’s first post-Soviet ballistic missile submarine design, will form the backbone of the fleet’s strategic nuclear deterrent force after older boats are retired by 2018. Russia expects eight of the boats to enter service by 2020.”[4] The same Russian news agency said “Russia plans to test-fire two more Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) later this year.”[5]

ITAR-TASS also reported on September 9 that “the nuclear-powered submarine Vladimir Monomakh left Severodvinsk to test-fire a Bulava ballistic missile on September 10.”[6] The range of the intercontinental ballistic Bulava (SS-NX-32) missile is impressive –8,000 kilometers[7] and “it is even capable of withstanding nuclear attack.”[8] The deliberately symbolic importance of this test is quite consistent because “the missile was fired in the presence of Russian Navy Commander in Chief Viktor Chirkov who was on board the submarine.”[9] The decision to conduct ballistic-nuclear tests at this very moment, when the crisis in Ukraine is not yet solved, might be a clear indicator of the fact that the Russian Federation is moving further into a Cold War ‘strategic philosophy’. If this is the case, we might only expect that relations between the West and Russia will further deteriorate.

 

[1] “Russia’s Largest Arms Manufacturer Relies Primarily on Domestic Technology: CEO”, RIA Novosti, September 30, at the Internet address http://en.ria.ru/military_news/20140930/193474937/Russias-Largest-Arms-Manufacturer-Relies-Primarily-on-Domestic.html

[2] For all elements reported by RIA Novosti see “Russia Successfully Test-Fires Bulava SLBM”, September 10, 2014, at the Internet address http://en.ria.ru/military_news/20140910/192794646/Russia-Successfully-Test-Fires-Bulava-SLBM.html

[3] Trude PETTERSEN, “Successful Bulava missile launch from the White Sea”, Barents Observator, September 10, 2014, at the Internet address  http://barentsobserver.com/en/security/2014/09/successful-bulava-missile-launch-white-sea-10-09

[4] For all elements reported by RIA Novosti see http://en.ria.ru/military_news/20140910/192794646/Russia-Successfully-Test-Fires-Bulava-SLBM.html

[5] For all elements reported by RIA Novosti see http://en.ria.ru/military_news/20140910/192801132/Two-More-Bulava-SLBM-Launches-Scheduled-This-Year-Russian.html

[6]“Bulava missile test”, ITAR-TASS, September 9, 2014, at the Internet address  http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/748694

[7] At the Internet address http://www.russianspaceweb.com/bulava.html

[8] For all elements reported by RIA Novosti see http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140909/192761908/Russian-Nuclear-Submarine-to-Test-Launch-Bulava-ICBM-Within-Two.html

[9]“Bulava missile test”, ITAR-TASS, September 9, 2014, at the Internet address  http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/748694

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