We will co-develop a fifth-generation light fighter aircraft with the United Arab Emirates
By Nikolaï Novichkov
Russia has displayed at IDEX-2017 the weapons that earned raving reports in the Middle East, including counterterrorism operations there. “Russia has always regarded the Middle East as a key region in terms of military-technical cooperation. Rosoboronexport offers both the latest combat gear and the upgrade of the current Soviet- and Russian-made material on this market. Russian weaponry has proven itself in the Middle East, including counterterrorist operations in recent years,” Rosoboronexport Deputy Director General Igor Sevastyanov told EDR.
Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will co-develop a fifth-generation light fighter aircraft, according to Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov. “Today, we have signed an agreement on industrial cooperation in military hardware production. The agreement enables us to pursue a fifth-generation light fighter development program with the Emirates participating,” Manturov said at the IDEX 2017.
United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) President Yuri Slyusar has told EDR that the aircraft’s development is at the initial stage. “The co-development of the fifth-generation light fighter together with the UAE is at the initial stage. At present, we are preparing our proposals for the Emirates. We believe the aircraft will be a success. We are willing to unveil our developments to our [Emirati] colleagues,” he said.
According to Slyusar, the Russian participation in the program will be in the form of UAC as prime contractor, Sukhoi Company with its fifth-generation fighter expertise and the MiG Corporation with its expertise in single-engine planes.
Yuri Slyusar stressed that the concept of the new aircraft was subject to working out. “We have not crafted a concept of the fifth-generation light fighter yet, have not chosen whether it will be single-engine or two-engine. However, the agreement allows starting the work on that,” the UAC president added.
The Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) scientific-production corporation is ready to extend the serial production of the cutting-edge T-90MS main battle tank (MBT), the special representative of UVZ for military-technical cooperation, General of the Army Alexei Maslov told EDR at the IDEX 2017.
“We have established the low-rate initial production of these vehicles [T-90MS tanks]. It has been almost mastered, and we are ready to conduct export deliveries. Therefore, the serial production is set up in the interests of both Russia`s Ministry of Defense and foreign customers. The technological processes that allow increasing of the serial production volumes have been fine-tuned,” Maslov said.
According to the General of the Army, the T-90MS tank is an innovative combat vehicle that is based on a digital platform and features open architecture. The MBT has passed all trials and demonstrated excellent results. “T-90MS has passed trials in the regions of the Near East and Latin America. We have confirmed the characteristics of these vehicles in harsh climatic conditions, including the regions with very high temperatures,” he emphasised.
“The MBT features a high level of processes automation; it can conduct self-testing and self-diagnostics, as well as preparing of exploitation recommendations and providing of them to both crew members and maintenance engineers. The vehicle can be fitted with foreign-originated components, such as communication systems, air-cooling units, and other pieces of equipment upon request,” Maslov added.
The General of the Army paid specific attention to the after-sale support and crew training system that is being offered with T-90MS. “We offer a full system of technical maintenance for the whole life cycle of the vehicle. The technical solutions can be implemented in both stationary service centres and field environment. We are planning to deliver mobile maintenance facilities, for instance, mobile monitoring-and-checkout vehicles that allow conducting of diagnostics and maintenance of gun and fire control system to full extent. The training simulators that are being continuously enhanced are included in the delivery set,” Maslov said.
The T-90MS tank features a high modernization potential, the General of the Army pointed out. He added that the latest achievements of Russia`s tank-building had been integrated onto its structure, including a new high-effective air burst round intended to engage manpower. “We have developed a new air burst round that provides elimination of, primarily, manpower. The system is comprised of the round and the hardware in a tank. We offer to our customers the integration of this equipment with T-90MS, as well as with previously delivered vehicles, namely, T-72 and T-90S,” Maslov said.
The MBTs designed and produced by the UVZ corporation can be upgraded with the application of the latest achievements of Russia`s tank-building integrated onto the newest T-90MS tank. According to Maslov, previously manufactured vehicles can be fitted with various components of T-90MS such as diesel power generating unit, automatic gear shifting system, and others.
UVZ continues serial production of brand-new vehicles, unlike the world`s biggest companies that have focused on the modernization of previously delivered platforms. “At present, Russia is among few countries that produce brand-new tanks,” Maslov said. “It should be noted that the UVZ production is the best in the world in the context of effectiveness, in other words, in terms of cost-quality ratio,” Maslov added.
According to him, the manufacturing of brand-new tanks allows the corporation to integrate the latest scientific-technical achievements in their construction and to consider the results of the usage of armoured vehicles in local conflicts during the development of tanks. “UVZ is continuously analysing the experience of combat vehicles usage in various conflicts and the world`s tank-building tendencies, introducing changes in the construction of its own platforms on a regular basis”, Maslov said.
The Russian-originated tanks feature very high upgrade potential, Maslov pointed out. “We are retaining the continuity of Russia`s tank-building that ensures high upgrade potential. It allows using a vehicle for decades and increasing its combat capabilities on a regular basis,” he emphasised.