Minus 43%: Russian aircraft fell into a tailspin
It became known about the dynamics of production in various industrial sectors in the first quarter of 2019 in relation to the same period last year. According to the level of decline in indicators, the absolute «leader» is coal processing, it collapsed by 82%. But the most disturbing processes occur in such a high-tech industry as the production of aircraft, which include aircraft, helicopters, drones, missiles, both civil and military purposes. Here the fall was 42.3%.
The degradation of aircraft and rocket construction has been observed for a long time, so the production of aircraft, including space, in 2018 decreased in relation to 2017 by 13.5%.
Of course, the reasons for such a sad state of Affairs in the industry, which in recent years it is customary to be proud of, are to some extent known. And they are not only financial in nature.
If we study the dynamics of the industry for the period from 2014 to 2017, we will see that in this period there was growth. And stormy. Here are its figures: 2014 — 9%, 2015 — 19,6%, 2016 — 9,8%, 2017 — 8,9%. And this despite the fact that the overall growth of the entire Russian industry was in the range from 1.5% to 2.9%.about there is the aviation-missile industry that was overheated. Such periods of rapid development invariably end in recession.
However, it should be recognized that the decline was very sharp. And that it may well be called a collapse. Especially when you consider the figure of the first quarter of this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, who oversees the military-industrial complex, explains that for the military component (and it significantly exceeds the civilian one) this is a normal phenomenon. What’s more, are planned. Because the volume of state defense orders decreased. They will continue to decline. This is due to the fact that the «saturation of the army with advanced technology» has come.
«If at the peak of the defense Ministry bought up to 100 combat aircraft per year, today this figure ranges from 50 to 60. We bought helicopters for 80-90 units, and now 30-40. No need. The Park was renewed. Enterprises will serve them, support the life cycle, but these are not mass purchases. The same situation will come for other types of weapons,» Borisov commented on the new situation.
At the same time, he stressed that the priority in procurement will be given to the latest types of military equipment. However, here the Deputy Prime Minister contradicts himself.
Relatively recently, he explained the need for the air force only in the 12-and the latest fifth-generation fighter su-57 that this aircraft is not particularly needed. Because we have a wonderful fighter su-35S, which is best able to solve the tasks assigned to fighter aircraft. And quite expensive in the production of su-57 — it will be a clear bust, if we take into account not too high-quality fighters and air defense forces of the enemy. That’s when they come up with something more effective than the F-35, then we will put into action the Russian super-fighter of the fifth generation…
At the same time, the statement about the saturation of aviation with advanced technology looks very strange. The real picture is this. In fighter aircraft operated 80 su-35S (according to the plan in this decade they should be 100), 70 su-27 latest modifications, 120 su-30 (should be 150), 110 MiG-31 interceptors, upgraded to the level of the MiG-31BM (it is necessary to upgrade another 110 aircraft).
At frontline aviation, the discrepancy between the desired and actually more. The number of fighter-bombers su-34 almost brought to the planned — 115 of 125. However, there are 110 outdated su-24 bombers and 200 su-25 attack aircraft. And this pair must be changed to a modern universal su-34, which is able to perform the work of a bomber and attack aircraft and can also stand up for themselves in an air battle.
As you can see, the work of the aviation industry is no end. And about any saturation, it is not necessary to speak. And this is only in the field of aviation, which is «on everyone’s lips.»
As for the special aircraft, then we should not talk about the saturation of the Park and its archaic. In fact, almost all of these aircraft necessary for the normal operation of fighter, bomber and long-range aircraft use the platform of the civil airliner Il-18, which in its pure form can be seen only in museums. In addition, these aircraft are extremely small. And for the most part, they are equipped with equipment that has long been in need of modernization.
In force only 10 aircraft airborne early warning and control (AWACS) A-50. And only 4 of them are partially modernized. A modern a-100 aircraft was developed, effective radar equipment was created for it. But everything rests on the carrier, which should be a military transport aircraft Il-76MD-90A. One plane, fortunately, already received. But behind these aircraft carriers lined up a huge queue. Il-76MD-90A is necessary for transport aircraft (now there are only two such machines), and for the construction of its base tankers. And it seems that this turn will resolve very soon, given that the Ulyanovsk plant produces only 2-3 aircraft per year. According to the 2012 contract, 39 aircraft should be ready in 2020. At the moment there are only three.
But if you compare the number of AWACS aircraft and tankers with the American similar machines, it becomes clear that at this rate we’ll never catch a special United States air force and by the end of this century. They have 45 AWACS aircraft and more than 400 (four hundred, there is no typo) tankers.
So the question of «transplanting» on the Il-76MD-90A equipment reconnaissance aircraft, electronic warfare, command posts, anti-submarine aircraft, not even raised. For them, Soviet passenger planes are used as platforms.
So we have to admit that the decline in production rates in the aviation industry is not due to the fact that everything is good, and that you can now breathe a little after hard work. It’s because it’s bad. But it is bad not at the enterprises themselves. That is, the equipment is all right and with the staff. There are not enough orders, cash receipts necessary for the rhythmic construction of planes are reduced. And this is perfectly clear if you look at the program of the state defense order. More precisely — in its corrective documents, which spelled out the reduction of funding and refusal to implement some programs that were suddenly recognized as not so important for the defense of the country.
In the helicopter industry, this problem is even more acute. The decline in the rate of production of rotorcraft began two years ago. First of all, the Ministry of defense refuses mi-8 helicopters. Had a good run purchase shock machine — the Ka-52 alligator and Mi-28 «Night Hunter». Then the interest in them decreased. And, in fact, the main customers were foreign countries. Egypt buys for helicopter carriers «Mistral» Ka-52K «Katrina», Algeria — Mi-28NE, India — Mi-17 V. Therefore, the main hopes in the new conditions, helicopter manufacturers lay on the foreign market. However, it is increasingly oriented and aircraft manufacturers. So it is not surprising that any new contract for the supply of aircraft abroad is presented as a major victory for our aviation industry. However, as you can see, the loss of the domestic market external market is not sponsored!