starts purchasing "flying tanks"
In the capacity
of a newly appointed vice-prime minister, Russian Defense Minister
Sergei Ivanov is not going to supervise individual security agencies
and branches of the armed forces. He is not going to set up any
additional organizations either. He intends to coordinate functions
of the military-industrial complex as a whole. "I do realize
a full extent of responsibility I am going to take up upon myself
but the job has to be done anyway," said Mr. Ivanov. As regards
support of the military-industrial complex, the vice-prime minister
is going to set a personal example. On Tuesday this week he tested
a tank literally from the inside on a testing ground in Nizhny
pointed out that no new structures would be formed for his new
position in the government. "I may be appointed head of the
military-industrial commission under the government," said
he. Sources in the government believe that Mr. Ivanov will be
a link in the executive chain of command with regard to two agencies
responsible for state defense orders. The agencies in question
are the Federal Service for Defense Orders (headed by Andrei Belyaninov,
former head of the state-run Rosoboronexport) and the Agency for
Industry (headed by the former vice-prime minister Boris Aleshin).
Besides, Mr. Ivanov is going to coordinate the sector using a
wide range of authority of the government apparatus.
was speaking about his new duties on Tuesday in Nizhny Tagil where
to he arrived on his first trip in the capacity of a vice-prime
minister. Mr. Ivanov spent a few hours on the testing ground of
the Nizhny Tagil Institute of Materials Testing. He was shown
around the facility and briefed on specs of the basic Russian
army tanks e.g. T-70, T-80, and T-90. A short demonstration of
equipment capabilities (maneuvering across an obstacle course,
shooting exercises) was not enough for the vice-prime minister.
Soon he climbed into the T-90 to take part in another round of
the demonstration exercises. The tank crossed an AT ditch, rolled
over the hill and moved through the post obstacle belt. The tank's
crew did not perform a T-90 trademark stunt, though. The defense
minister was on board and therefore the crew did not put the engine
in high gear to take a leap off the springboard.
of this so called 'Flying tank' is largely theoretical. Today
I took the opportunity of getting to know it better during the
test run," said Mr. Ivanov. "It is very important to
me since the Defense Ministry will purchase 31 tanks of this type.
As regards the number of tanks to be purchased, some may find
it ridiculous but I tell you this: we have never purchased such
a quantity of new tanks during all those years since the collapse
of the Soviet Union," added he.
is virtually Russia's only tank manufacturer that it still up
and running. However, the share of the state defense orders for
the plant has dropped from 70% to 5% by 2004. The plant survived
only because of export revenues from the orders placed by India.
It was not until the last year that the Russian army purchased
14 tanks for the first time. Actually, the new batch of T-90s
is an attempt to maintain expertise and technologies required
for the production of such equipment.
batch will keep the assembly line rolling," said the first
deputy director of the Federal Service for Defense Orders Sergei
Mayev. "We are planning to purchase a larger bath of tanks
in 2007," added he. Russian Defense Minister Ivanov also
said that the Defense Ministry was planning to launch a large-scale
modernization program for tanks used by the army.
- The contents of our news section are taken from various Russian
sources and are included here for information purposes only. By
including this information we hope to give readers an insight
into Russian life. As a translation company, we are in no way
endorsing, agreeing or supporting any views contained within.