Archive for May, 2009

Ukraine’s new corvette to be built in Ukraine

May 29th, 2009 Comments off

The little blurb from Interfax yesterday was a bit misleading. The full article in the original Russian says the decision has been taken to build the boat in Ukraine, but they are looking at foreign subsystems. We should see a final design and keel laying later in 2009. The article talks about the usual budget problems and delays. I will only translate the whole thing if I get a request. Ukraine wants to build 10 ships of this type by 2025. The cost of each boat is estimated to be between 250 and 300 million euros. Given the current economic troubles in Ukraine these plans are more than a little optimistic.

Categories: Naval, Ukraine Tags:

Russian tank production hits high not seen since 1993

May 29th, 2009 Comments off


The Uralvagonzavod production enterprise manufactured 175 tanks last year, a record number of tanks made in Russia since 1993, according to the last issue of the Weapons Export journal, which is published by the Center for Analysis, Strategies and Technologies.

“Uralvagonzavod produced 62 T-90 tanks under the 2008 state defense order program. Another 60 T-90S tanks were manufactured for India, and 53 T-90SA tanks for Algeria,” the journal said.

It is a record number of tanks ever produced by Uralvagonzavod and in Russia in general since 1993, when the enterprise and the Omsk Transport Engineering Plant manufactured a total of 100 tanks for the Russian Defense Ministry, it said. Uralvagonzavod also made 100 T-72S tanks for Iran.

The volume of Uralvagonzavod’s tank output last year “is comparable to that of major tank makers in all the other countries together, excluding China and North Korea,” the journal said.

Some 200 tanks were manufactured in the world in 2008, excluding Russia, China and North Korea.

Source: Interfax-AVN

Categories: Army, Defense Exports Tags:

Russia to launch 6 more GLONASS satellites in 2009

May 29th, 2009 Comments off

This is basically an update to an early report you can find here.

Since the last report 2 more satellites have been put “in maintenance.”


Four of the 20 satellites belonging to the Global Navigation Satellite System, or GLONASS, are currently undergoing maintenance, said the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos.

Although the system’s 16 Glonass-M satellites continue functioning, this is not enough to provide undisrupted services to Russia’s entire territory, Roscosmos said. Eighteen satellites should be used for these purposes, Roscosmos said on its website on Friday.

Twenty-four satellites are required in orbit to ensure complete global coverage of the Earth.

Two Proton-M launch vehicles are expected to take off this year to place six more Glonass-M satellites into orbit.

The services offered by a global navigation and positioning system enjoy demand in a wide variety of industrial and agricultural sectors, including companies specializing in automobile, aircraft, rail and ship deliveries, as well as the construction industry and companies responsible for land use. GLONASS is now developing to be able to cater to the needs of individual users, Roscosmos said.

Space navigation is crucial to the use of high-precision weapons.

That is why every country that has such arms is interested in developing its own global satellite system. The United States uses the Global Positioning System (GPS), and Europe is engaged in developing the Galileo system. Similar development efforts are underway in China and India as well, Roscosmos said.

Source: Interfax-AVN

Categories: Space Tags:

Russia breaks missile smuggling ring

May 28th, 2009 Comments off

May 28 (Bloomberg) — Russian officials arrested more than 10 people for trying to smuggle 20 tons of missile parts, including classified components for the S-300 air-defense system, the Federal Customs Service said.

The smuggling ring, comprising former and active Russian servicemen, was attempting to export the parts to countries including Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, the service said on its Web site today.

The unidentified smugglers operated under the cover of top officers at the Sixth Air Force and Air Defense Army, according to the statement. Their detention is the latest in a series of similar cases uncovered by North-Western customs and involving weapons components bound for Latvia and an unspecified Asian country.

Russian law enforcers are beefing up the fight against corruption, which President Dmitry Medvedev has called a threat to national security. The head of the Federal Customs Service, Andrei Belyaninov, is former chief executive officer of Rosoboronexport, the state-owned arms selling agency.

The long-range S-300s are among the biggest-selling Russian missile complexes that have been delivered to China, Vietnam and Greece and contracted by Algeria, said Konstantin Makiyenko, deputy head of the Center for the Analysis of Strategies & Technologies, a Moscow-based research company. A number of Middle East countries, including Iran, are also interested in the system.

The seized parts included components for the S-75, S-125 and S-200 surface-to-air missile systems, the customs service said. In early 2007, officials seized 200 kilograms of parts including components for Sukhoi Su-27 fighter planes and KA-27 helicopters, in an attempt to smuggle them through Russia’s border with Latvia. The same year, customs officials detained 864 wheels for Su-27 fighters bound for an Asian country.

By Lyubov Pronina

Categories: Army, Aviation Tags:

The death of Ukrainian naval shipbuilding?

May 28th, 2009 Comments off


The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has selected France and Italy as the suppliers of weaponry for a new Ukrainian corvette that is to be fully equipped for the Ukrainian navy by 2025.

“Marketing work on selecting partners in cooperation [on the project] has now been completed. We hope that French and Italian enterprises will participate in the construction of the corvette by supplying certain types of armaments not produced in Ukraine,” the head of the ministry’s department for the development and purchase of armament, Volodymyr Hrek, said during the second international conference, the Defense and Industrial Forum 2009.

He said that the ministry had considered eight options for cooperation with its foreign partners, including Russian manufacturers, regarding the construction of the corvette.

Asked who would be the main builder of the warship, Hrek said a great deal of work had been done by the Defense Ministry to study the possible placement of orders in France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany.

Source: Interfax-AVN

Not exactly surprising news, but somewhat sad all the same.

Categories: Naval, Ukraine Tags:

Economic problems impacting state defense order?

May 27th, 2009 Comments off

Despite assertions to the contrary coming out of the Kremlin it looks like the the recession is impacting the 2009 state defense order. This story out of Taganrog may be an isolated case, but I doubt it.


Enterprises involved in implementing state defense orders are experiencing significant problems because tenders on quite a lot of programs have still not been conducted and therefore the financing of these programs has still not been started said Viktor Kobzev, the general director of Taganrog Aviation (Tavia)

and the general director and chief designer of the Taganrog-based Beriyev aircraft design and manufacturing company.

“Virtually 98% of operations of the Taganrog-based Tavia aircraft manufacturing company deal with the state defense order, but not a single contract has still been signed under the 2009 state defense order. Thus, we have not received financing since January 1 and have had to live off our own financial resources and loans for five months,” Kobzev told Interfax on Wednesday.

Defense enterprises have found themselves in extremely difficult economic conditions because of red tape, their employees are not paid regularly or in full, and the enterprises are being cut off from power and heating supplies, he said.

Source: Interfax-AVN

Categories: Army, Aviation Tags:

Ukraine pushes back 2010 deadline for fully professional army

May 27th, 2009 Comments off


Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has ordered the Cabinet to prepare and submit for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada a bill, changing the charters of the Armed Forces due to a delay in the introduction of a professional army, before November 1, 2009.

A decree to that effect was signed by the president on Tuesday, Yushchenko’s press office said.

Initially it was planned to complete the manning of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with professional soldiers before the end of 2010.

In February 2009, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov said that the Defense Ministry was preparing proposals to the relevant program and planned to switch to the professional army before the end of 2015.

Last April, President Yushchenko said, “If we form our Ukrainian professional troops at this pace, it will take us 30 years.”

Source: Interfax-AVN

Categories: Ukraine Tags:

A good summary of the Kremlins new online activities

May 27th, 2009 Comments off

I was going to do a similar piece on this, but Evgeny Morozov at the Open Society Institute (those Soros people) beat me to it. Really, this stuff is no different than say Obama’s own youtube adventures, but with a bit of that less than pleasant “managed democracy” taste all things out of the Kremlin tend to have these days.

One of the Kremlin’s pet new media projects has been a site called It’s been set up under the auspices of the Fund for Effective Politics, a think-tank headed by Gleb Pavlovsky, who has been instrumental in shaping the Russian ideology of the last decade. The official objective of — as articulated by Pavlovsky — has been to tap into the immense creativity of the Russian internet users and involve them in producing ideas that could make Kremlin’s increasingly unappealing ideological package relevant to the younger generations. was meant to become something like Russia’s DailyKos or Talking Points Memo.

As far as I can judge, they are still quite far from achieving this ambitious objective (much like many other Kremlin-affiliated new media projects). However, they may have become useful on another front. As I was surfing the Russian web today, I stumbled upon a fascinating post on (in Russian). It was an announcement of an inagural event for a series of public lectures of…”Kremlin’s School of Bloggers”. And who was chosen the kick off this series? Alexey Chadayev, who is the younger version of Pavlovsky — a very young (but already very seasoned) political technologist with a very good knowledge of the Internet. His lecture (which took place on May 14th) is pompously entitled “the information activities in the blogosphere: goals and objectives. View from 2009″.

Apparently, more public lectures — probably from other Kremlin insiders — are to follow. Extensive “googling” for “Kremlin’s school of bloggers” reveals at least one interesting project — — a series of ideological YouTube videos, all branded with a funny Kremlin-shaped logo, which aim to rally up support for Kremlin’s recent public campaigns

Categories: Politics Tags:

Zvezdochka completes scrapping of 3rd Typhoon class SSBN

May 27th, 2009 Comments off

В Северодвинске в Центре судостроения “Звездочка” завершились работы по утилизации стратегической атомной подводной лодки проекта 941 “Тайфун” (“Акула”).

Как сообщил руководитель пресс-службы “Звездочки” Евгений Гладышев, в настоящее время демонтаж АПЛ, начатый в июле 2008 года, полностью завершен, сформированный одноотсечный блок, в состав которого вошел атомный реактор, будет отбуксирован на Кольский полуостров в Сайда Губу.

Утилизация корабля, который относится к серии самых крупных субмарин советской постройки, выведенного из боевого состава Северного флота, поводилась за счет финансовой помощи США и Канады в рамках двух международных программ: “Глобальное партнерство” и “Совместное уменьшение угрозы”. Эта АПЛ стала третьей субмариной проекта 941, утилизированной на верфях Северодвинска.

Источник новости:

Work on scrapping this boat began in July of 2008 and was financed by the United States and Canada. The title says it all so I’m not going to translate the whole thing.

3 Typhoon hulls remain (6 sub of this class were built). One is being used as a test platform for Bulava SLBM’s the other 2 are rusting in port awaiting a decision on their fate. There have been some reports that they would be overhauled and upgraded into SSGN’s, but so far no decision has been taken.

Categories: Naval Tags:

Ukraine delivers first of three ordered An-74tk-300′s to Libya

May 27th, 2009 Comments off

КИЕВ, 27 мая. (ИТАР-ТАСС). Украина поставила Ливии первый самолет Ан-74 из трех заказанных, сообщила премьер Юлия Тимошенко на заседании правительства, комментируя итоги своего визита в Ливию 25-26 мая.

Речь идет о бизнес-варианте самолета Ан-74ТК-300, переданном ливийской стороне за несколько дней до визита главы украинского правительства. Лайнер предназначен для перевозки первых лиц государства.

Премьер добавила, что второй Ан-74 Ливия получит в конце 2009 года, третий – в первом квартале 2010 года.

Премьер признала, что выполнение контракта затянулось по вине прежнего правительства и руководства авиапредприятий, хотя Ливия и сделала необходимую предоплату. “Деньги были разворованы”, – сказала глава правительства. По ее словам, для выполнения обязательств перед Ливией по самолетам правительству предстоит принять отдельное решение.

“Наши “Аны” чрезвычайно необходимы для Ливии и Африки”, – подчеркнула Тимошенко. Она отметила, что из-за невыполнения ливийского контракта африканский рынок для украинской авиатехники был практически закрыт.

During her official visit to Libya on the 25th and 26th of May the Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko revealed in a meeting of the two countries leadership that just day prior to her arrival Ukraine had delivered to Libya the first of 3 An-74′s ordered by that country. The plane in question is an An-74tk-300 in VIP configuration. The plane is meant to be used to transport the country’s leadership. Tymoshenko disclosed that Libya will receive the second An-74 it ordered by the end of 2009 and the third such plane will be delivered in the 1st quarter of 2010. (It is not clear from this story if the 2nd and 3rd planes will also be delivered in VIP configurations).

Tymoshenko admitted that fulfillment of the Libyan order had been delayed and blamed the current leadership of the country and in the aviation sector for failing to fulfill the Libyan order on time, even as payment from Libya was received in a timely fashion. “The money was stolen,” said the PM. According to her, in order to fulfill Ukraine’s obligation to Libya with regards to these planes, the Ukrainian government will have to intervene and take additional measures.

“Our An’s are badly needed in Libya and Africa,” said Tymoshenko. According to her, delays in fulfilling the Libyan contract practically closed the entire African market to Ukrainian aerospace.

Tymoshenko hopes to expand military-technical cooperation with Libya. During her visit a protocol concerning military-technical cooperation was signed by the two countries.

Comment: That was a great sales pitch. Buy Antonovs because we are honest about stealing your money! It’s even money who does more harm to Ukrainian business Tymoshenko or Yushchenko in their quest to constantly undermine the other. The Ukrainian tax payer is the one who is really being undermined by stunts like this.

Categories: Aviation, Defense Exports, Ukraine Tags: