Russia's MAKS-2007 air show to attract record number of firms
Russia hopes to attract a record number of companies to participate in a major air show outside Moscow on August 21-26, a senior Moscow city government official said Monday. Over 540 Russian companies and at least 200 foreign firms from over 30 countries are expected to participate in MAKS-2007, an air show held every two years in the town of Zhukovsky, which hosts a military airbase. "At present, 726 participants have begun setting up their exhibits at the show," said Pyotr Katsyv, the transport minister in the Moscow city government. He also said the air show, which has grown in popularity each year, would attract a larger number of visitors and guests. The last air show, MAKS-2005, gathered 642 companies from 42 states. Contracts signed during MAKS-2005 totaled about $1 billion. Among the most notable deals closed at the show were the purchase of two Russian Il-76F military transport planes by Jordan, and a Russian-Indian deal on licensed production of AL-55I engines created by the Saturn Corporation.
Russia to build 2 Kalashnikov factories in Venezuela by 2010
Russia will build two factories for production of the famous Kalashnikov assault rifle and ammunition in Venezuela by 2010, a Russian arms manufacturer said Monday. The Urals-based Izhevsk Mechanical Plant (IMP) earlier fulfilled a contract to supply 100,000 AK-103 assault rifles to Venezuela, and signed a new contract licensing production of Kalashnikov rifles in the Latin American country. "We will begin construction of two plants in Venezuela at the end of 2007," Vladimir Gorodetsky, the IMP general director told a news conference dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the famous small arms brand. "One plant will manufacture AK-103 assault rifles and another plant will produce 7.62-mm ammunition for the rifle," the official said. He said the contract, whose amount was not disclosed, specified construction of both plants at one site and the transfer of all related technologies and production licenses to Venezuela. "It is an absolutely legitimate license on the production of small arms in Venezuela legally purchased by the country," Gorodetsky said, adding that the contract also envisioned training of personnel and after sales maintenance. The IMP official said Russia and Venezuela are discussing details for a new agreement on the supply of other types of small arms, including the Dragunov sniper rifle, to the South American state led by outspoken Socialist leader, Hugo Chavez. "Out goal is to re-equip the Venezuelan army with modern types of small arms, grenade launchers, and sniper rifles," he said. Oil-rich Venezuela is a major purchaser of Russian weapons and hardware. In 2005-2006, Venezuela ordered weaponry from Russia worth $3.4 billion, including 24 Su-30MK2V Flanker fighters, Tor-M1 air defense missile systems, Mi-17B multi-role helicopters, Mi-35 Hind E attack helicopters and Mi-26 Halo heavy transport helicopters. Russia has repeatedly stated that it would actively participate in the modernization of the Venezuelan armed forces until 2013.
Russia starts Pacific naval exercise
Russia has begun a scheduled naval exercise in the Sea of Japan, the Pacific Fleet press service said Monday. A major naval force, Russia's Pacific Fleet has strategic underwater missile cruisers, multipurpose nuclear and diesel submarines, surface ships for operations in the coastal and open-sea zones. The Pacific Fleet also has maritime missile-carrying, antisubmarine and fighter aviation, land troops and coastal guards. "The exercise, which marks the end of winter combat training, will feature missile and artillery firing, and the search and destruction of submarines," a press service spokesperson said. Over 15 combat and auxiliary vessels, shore and deck-based aircraft of the Primorye Territory in the Far East will participate in the exercise. Aircraft crews will practice take-off and landing on the decks of submarine chasers in day and night conditions, while submarine crews will conduct torpedo launches.
Russian bombers could suppress U.S. missile shield - general
Russia's strategic aviation has sufficient potential to suppress elements of a U.S. missile defense shield should it be deployed in Central Europe, the commander of the Strategic Air Force said Monday. "Missile shield elements, which are located in silos, are very vulnerable and have weak defenses," Lieutenant-General Igor Khvorov said. "Therefore, all aircraft deployed by [Russian] strategic aviation can either apply electronic counter-measures against them or physically destroy them." Russia, which has been anxious about NATO bases that have appeared in former Communist-bloc countries and ex-Soviet republics, has blasted U.S. plans to deploy anti-missile systems in Central Europe as a national security threat and a destabilizing factor for Europe. Washington said the defenses would be designed to counter possible strikes from North Korea and Iran, which are involved in long-running disputes with the international community over their nuclear programs. General Pyotr Deinekin, a former Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force, said the deployment of U.S. missile shield elements in Eastern Europe "enables Americans to considerably expand their possibilities from the point of view of reconnaissance and the elimination of Russian missiles in the initial stage of their flight trajectory." "We should now expect the deployment of their intermediate and short-range missiles in the former countries of the Warsaw Pact, including in the Baltic States," Deinekin said. In that situation, Deinekin said, the Russian General Staff should calmly take adequate measures not only to contain, but to actively eliminate those facilities as well, including with the use of Strategic Air Force aviation assets.
Russia's strategic aviation conducts tactical exercises
Russian strategic aviation has successfully completed five-day tactical exercises practicing interoperability with air force and air defense units, the Air Force commander said Monday. "During the five-day exercises the crews of the strategic aviation have practiced interoperability with units of three air force and air defense commands," Army General Vladimir Mikhailov said. Bomber and fighter crews rehearsed penetration of air defenses, specifics of flights in the extreme North and in-flight refueling, the general said. Russia, which has been anxious about NATO bases that have appeared in former Communist-bloc countries and ex-Soviet republics, has also blasted the U.S. plans to deploy anti-missile systems in central Europe as a national security threat and a destabilizing factor for the region. Commander of the 37th Air Army Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov, who supervised the exercises, said on March 5 that Russia's strategic aviation has sufficient potential to suppress elements of a U.S. missile defense shield should it be deployed in central Europe. "Missile shield elements, which are located in silos, are very vulnerable and have weak defenses," Khvorov said. "Therefore, all aircraft deployed by [Russian] strategic aviation can either apply electronic counter-measures against them or physically destroy them."
Russia Tests Missiles, Says They're Unstoppable
Russia on Tuesday tested new missiles that a Kremlin official boasted could penetrate any defense system, and President Vladimir Putin warned that U.S. plans for an antimissile shield in Europe would turn the region into a "powder keg." First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Russia tested an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple independent warheads and successfully conducted a preliminary test of a tactical cruise missile that he said could fly farther than existing, similar weapons. "As of today, Russia has new tactical and strategic complexes that are capable of overcoming any existing or future missile defense systems," Ivanov said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. "So in terms of defense and security, Russians can look calmly to the country's future." Ivanov is a former defense minister seen as a potential Kremlin favorite to succeed Putin next year. Both he and Putin repeatedly have said that Russia would continue to improve its nuclear arsenals and respond to U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic - NATO nations that were in Moscow's front yard during the Cold War as Warsaw Pact members. Russia has bristled at the missile shield plan, saying it would destroy the strategic balance in Europe and dismissing U.S. assertions that the system would be aimed at blocking attacks by Iran. "We consider it harmful and dangerous to turn Europe into a powder keg and to fill it with new kinds of weapons," Putin said at a news conference.