Tuesday, April 10, 2012

10 Years of Designing & Manufacturing Precision Guided Weapons

Created in January 2002, the "Tactical Missiles Corporation" in a short time brought together 18 leading Russian defense industrial complex enterprises. The strategic goal of an integrated structure was not only to develop Russian missile educational institution, but also to establish a strong, steadily growing company that can compete successfully in the global arms markets.

Yesterday and today

The main result of decades of this corporation is seen by the emergence of a new union structure, which was able to preserve the existing technology in every enterprise, but also develop upon them to address the global challenges.

The process of unification took place in three stages and was not easy. In particular, the second stage, when the corporation became eighteen companies, including "Vympel" "Raduga" and "Region", which had a long tradition, of establishing their own engineering and design school. Each of them had a specialty: "Vympel" - on guided air-to-air missiles, "Raduga" - on surface-to-air missiles and sea defense systems, "Region" created unique species of underwater weapons and guided bombs. These companies have substantially broadened the product range of the corporation. At the same time they strive to protect their individual independence.

Today, these companies, together with the head of the corporation act as a backbone to ensure delivery of the main final products.

In the first years there was a problem with the fact that a number of former suppliers of components for corporate enterprises, being a monopoly in its field, supplying their products at inflated prices. At the same time in connection with the collapse of the Soviet Union, some of them were in other states. The question arose of establishing new production units and parts.

Some companies are in difficult economic conditions and required conversion due to the decline in demand for primary products. The issue of restructuring of production was the major factor.

The main result of organizational and economic activities of the corporation became the consistent & increasing supply of military products as per state & export demand.

Today, "Tactical Missiles Corporation" supply customers wide range of guided air-to-air, air-to-surface missiles. Plus ship-to-ship, coast-to-ship missiles & other marine offensive and defensive weapon systems.

Demand in the domestic and foreign markets of products has provided a steady growth in sales. In 2004, revenues of the holding was 6.76 billion rubles (then 70% of export receipts provided), then in 2010 the turnover has already reached 34 billion, an increase of five times, and despite the crisis, an annual increment of eight percent was observed.

During the ten years of its existence, the corporation has become a major global company.

According to the results of studies of the world arms market, annually published by the authoritative magazine "Defense News", the corporation was consistently placed within the top one hundred world leaders in defense companies. In 2010, it got 62nd position.

Forecast for 2011 envisages an increase in revenue to 41 billion rubles, including the parent company - up to nine billion rubles. Net profit corporation expects to reach a level of about 3.1 billion rubles.

An innovative direction

The strategic for further development of the corporation is based upon:

  • an effective tactical guided missile weapons for the needs of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation;
  • preserve and strengthen the competitive position on the arms markets, win new segments;
  • ensure high profitability;
  • improve working conditions and quality of life of personnel of the corporation.

Innovation activity requires concentration of intellectual and financial resources for R&D stages, the progressive introduction of new techniques and methods of construction, ground and flight tests. Important objectives are relevant technical upgrading production facilities, modern production lines to ensure the implementation of advanced design solutions, to reduce production costs and improve product quality.

Today, the corporation includes tens of technological innovation projects. Among them are:

  • the creation of a system design center, the development and introduction of new critical technologies - microwave photonics, ultra-wideband digital RF receiver modules, circuit boards and modules manufacturer of microelectronic devices;
  • the creation of new types of electronic systems and products that have fundamentally new functional properties compared with traditional techniques of radio electronics;
  • the introduction of new technologies of welding high-alloy steels, titanium, stainless steel, manufacturing of seamless steel cylinders progressive rolling method, etc. Virtually every business corporation has the opportunity to demonstrate new production lines.

The development of systems for ground and flight tests

Today's challenges require a fundamental restructuring of systems, ground and flight tests. Regarding the reconstruction and re-equipment of laboratories "Vympel" and "Raduga" stand apart and have completed the development and integration of the new corporate design laboratory complex (DLC), equipped with modern ground testing units. The central element of this complex is complex seminatural modeling, which will evaluate future products with different types of guidance systems and a wide range of frequency characteristics. A number of sub-laboratories are included in this complex, including:

  • testing inertial systems;
  • testing automation systems;
  • Aero-servo-elastic modeling (taking into account the stability of vibrations), etc.

Note that the DLC is equipped with domestic equipment, its characteristics do not yield to Western standards; but nonetheless aren't inferior. Three-stage test stands (total-freedom tilt rig) have a high level of dynamic and positional accuracy. The control signals used are accurate to the arcminute. Radio-frequency anechoic chamber uses modern absorbent materials that provide high performance.


Three stand Total-freedom tilt rig

The commissioning of such key facilities as DLC and the flight test center, will hasten engineering and design capability of the corporation.

In essence it is about creating a distributed enterprise engineering design and technological center of a new type. The basis of this will be the final DLC integration with the design offices and technology services providers, as well as the integration of flight test center and other special units. Specialized testing laboratories and DLC will be included in a single local information network that provides parallel processing for multi-dimensional information.

New Products

Integral indicators of innovation are the timely replacement of new generations of military products and the creation of new models and systems for guided weapons that are adequate to the requirements of the time.

Currently, a dozen of the latest developments of aviation and marine high-precision weapons are in the final stages of creation. Most of them are finished testing and ready for serial production. Virtually all airborne weapons air-to-air and air-surface are being upgraded.

The company plans other than the traditional products - the creation and production of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). At the last Paris Air Show "MAKS-2011," the corporation has demonstrated a series of small reconnaissance drone.

It should be noted that several companies aren't new to the work related to UAV. Thus, the Smolensk Aviation Plant is a manufacturer of remotely piloted vehicles (RPV) namely Bee. In the "TEMP AVIA" & “Horizont”, scientific and industrial development of information-measuring systems and control systems for UAVs are leading priorities.

More about Russian UAVs

The export component

The Corporation participates in the military-technical cooperation (MTC) with dozens of countries and under the intermediary - Rosoboronexport, and with the executive authorities exercising state control, as well as those enterprises which are suppliers of vehicles armed by our systems.

In February 2005 the corporation formalized the right to exercise independent foreign trade activities concerning the supply of spare parts, equipment, training and auxiliary equipment for previously delivered military equipment, conducting maintenance and repair of this product.

Moreover, the company is in the MTC to create joint ventures and licensed production of its products in other countries.

It is known that the Russian military ranks high in the world by the "price-quality." Many samples of domestic guided weapons do not lag behind western counterparts, and often surpass their operational reliability and efficiency of use. At the same time our prices are 10-15 percent lower than the world.

Currently, the share of exports are 36-37 percent of sales.

Despite complicated by the international situation in areas of traditional Russian markets, the company has good prospects of development of military-technical cooperation with a number of foreign countries.

The plan for the main exports of defense products for 2012-2015 is about 870 million dollars. Every year the growing line of work within the right of foreign trade - a portfolio of orders for the supply of goods and services in this area in 2011-2012 is expected to reach $67 million. Creating new defense products, of course, increase the export potential of a corporation.

At the moment, the economic condition of the joint corporation can be evaluated as a mode of sustainable balanced development.

The problem of personnel

Problems certainly exist. Most of these phases, are routinely solved.

In recent years, the age limit of qualified personnel of the defense industry has a steady upward trend. Aging and the departure of skilled workers from the defense industry today, has led to the fact that the defense industry personnel problem has acquired state-level scale.

Today the country's political leadership has radically changed its attitude toward the military. It seems that there is an urgent need to raise the prestige and employees of defense enterprises. Here the key issues - wages, housing, kindergartens, social package. Corporate management is trying to find a way out of this situation, but complex problem can't be solved without the help of government - municipal and federal. Without targeted government programs nothing would be achieved.

by Valery Stone


Post a Comment

Have a say...