By Chaitali Bag
Moscow. 15 August 2022. It was an air of expectancy at the Patriot Expo Centre in the outskirts of Moscow. The crowd saw a dismal drop from the previous edition in 2021 and so did the participation , as the effect of the western world’s support to Ukraine in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War looked evident. But the glitter and glamour remained just the same, as it was last year on Day1 of the show and who else but one man to give credit for this -the debonaire Russian President Vladimir Putin- who inaugurated the International Military Technical forum with the same elan.
Welcoming the guest to the Army-2022 and the International Army Games he staunchly appreciated the forces by stating, “ our people are proud of their Army and Navy, the professionalism and courage of their defenders. At all times, they have reliably protected the sovereignty and security of our Homeland and brought freedom to other nations. Today, our warriors are honourably performing their duty together with Donbass fighters in the course of the special military operation. They are fighting for Russia and peaceful life in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. They are performing all the tasks that have been set with precision, gradually liberating the land of Donbass.”
The President was received at the Patriot Expo by the Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. He was excited over the display at this year’s forum, of about 1,500 domestic defence industry enterprises which will present over 28,000 modern samples of military and dual-use products.
“I would certainly like to once again thank the Russian weaponry makers for equipping our Army and Navy with modern weapons that are now working for our victory and the technological and industrial advance of our entire country, the whole of Russia. I would like to emphasise that Russia stands for the broadest, comprehensive development of military-technical cooperation. This is particularly important today in the context of the emerging multipolar world,” stated Putin.
The man in the eye of storm since February of this year feels military professionals throughout the world value these weapons for their reliability, quality, and, most importantly, their high efficiency. Practically all of them have been used in actual combat more than once. According to him the forum gives foreign military experts a good opportunity to learn about the development in the Russian defence industry of such areas as the use of artificial intelligence, modern information and radio-electronic technology and the implementation of the latest achievements by our world-renowned design bureaux and schools.
“We highly value the existence of many allies, partners and likeminded people on different continents. These are states that do not bow to the so-called hegemon. Their leaders are displaying a genuine masculine character and do not bow. They are choosing a sovereign, independent road of development. They want to resolve all global and regional security issues collectively on the basis of international law, mutual responsibility and consideration of each other’s interests, thereby contributing to the defence of the multipolar world. Russia sincerely appreciates historically firm, friendly and truly trustworthy relations with Latin American, Asian and African states. We are ready to offer our allies and partners cutting-edge weapons – from small arms to armoured vehicles and artillery, combat aviation and drones. Future-oriented advanced models and systems that will shape “tomorrow” of our Armed Forces are of special interest. We are talking about high-precision weapons and robotics, combat systems based on new physical principles. Many of them are years, perhaps even decades ahead of their foreign counterparts, and significantly superior in terms of tactical and technical characteristics,” he explicitly stated.
Putin appreciated the displays at Patriot Park, presentations at military training grounds and demonstrations of developments at ERA Technopolis and added that Russian companies showcase their achievements in innovative civilian products and technology at special stands demonstrating defence industry diversification and they too deserve close attention.
“We intend to actively develop cooperation ties to create new models of weapons and equipment and work together on fair, equal terms. Russia has rich experience in successful technological cooperation like this, primarily within the CSTO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. We see great potential in training foreign military personnel, running career development courses for them. Thousands of military professionals from around the world are proud that Russian military universities and academies became their alma mater. We will continue to work actively in this important area. As before, we invite our allies and partners to take part in joint command and staff and other types of exercises. Such training, the development of complex training and combat missions, is important for improving military skills and the quality of military command and control, as well as for tactics and the coherence of units and formations. I believe that by developing broad military-technical cooperation and joining our efforts and potential, we will be able to ensure reliable security and stability for our countries and the world as a whole,” the Russian President avowed.
The International Anti-Fascist Congress held as part of the forum is of great social and political importance and the lessons of the terrible tragedy to which Nazism led mankind in the 20th century must not be forgotten. Our duty to the memory of the millions of victims of the Second World War is to respond harshly to any attempts to falsify history, to counteract the spread of any form of neo-Nazism, Russophobia and racism, he concluded.
The Army-2022 will last till Aug. 21, with foreign militaries of more than 37 countries taking part. The forum takes place in parallel with the international military competition the 2022 Army Games, comprising 34 contests on the territories of 12 states. This year, teams from 22 countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America have officially confirmed their participation.
Today, on the first day of the ARMY-2022 forum, the Defense Industry Diversification Congress also began its work. The Congress opened the Plenary session chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. The Defense Industry Diversification Congress is a large-scale business event led by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, organized to coordinate the joint efforts of interested federal government bodies, government bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation to fulfill the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation to diversify the defense industry and increase the output of high-tech civilian defense industry products up to 50% by 2030.
The purpose of the Congress is to develop measures of state support for Russian manufacturers as part of the implementation of the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation to diversify Russian defense industry enterprises and attract natural monopoly entities, state corporations and companies to purchase high-tech products from defense industry enterprises.
“Now more than ever, it is important to place maximum emphasis on providing the country with high-tech products that are leaving our market due to sanctions. Therefore, the diversification and digitalization of defense industry enterprises is the basis for organizing the Russian production of high-tech products in the conditions of the external isolation of the state,” said a written statement issued by the Ministry of Defense, Russian Federation.
Within the framework of the Congress, a large-scale exposition will be presented in a separate pavilion “Diversification” ( pavilion “E” with an area of 10,000 sq.m ), located near the main congress center, which will clearly demonstrate the potential opportunities for using the capacities of the defense industry of the Russian Federation in the interests of the civilian sector, as well as exhibits in the interests of the production process of defense industry enterprises. A separate exposition cluster will be devoted to special topics of the Congress – Civilian weapons and Integrated security.To demonstrate large-sized samples, an outdoor exposition is provided near the pavilion.
The Day1 at the Army 2022 was of display of Russian military might and the show of allegience put up by many of the Russia’s friends in various continents, but the absence of the complete western world did give it a Russian and regional flavour and the regulars missed the international tang.
(The Author Chaitali Bag, Chief of Bureau of Aviation & Defence Universe , ADU is in Moscow to cover Army 2022. )