Russian President Vladimir Putin
President Vladimir Putin inaugurating the show
  • International Army Games also take off

By Sangeeta Saxena & Chaitali Bag

Moscow. 23 August 2021. It was Day2 at Patriot Park which attracted the crowds, as the stage was all set for the Russian President Vladimir Putin to inaugurate the show formally. Twenty four hours  into the show and it is no surprise that the glamour quotient to any event in Russia comes with the presence of it’s dashing and dynamic President. Crowds surged and very nearly broke the strict cordon to have a glimpse of their favourite political star.

For the seventh time, Patriot Park is the venue of both the International Military-Technical Forum and International Army Games and a conglomeration of Russian and foreign armed forces, heads of defence companies, research and design schools. But the cynosure of all eyes was Russia’s domestic defence industry which is by far the largest exporter of military equipment globally.

“In fact, it showcases the current level of our Armed Forces and, what is important, the powerful innovative potential, the technological groundwork that will determine the trends in the fast and high-quality advancement of the Russian army and navy in the coming years. This is one of our priorities, undoubtedly a priority task. Leading Russian experts and our foreign colleagues from almost 100 countries can view the latest projects in the defence industry, discuss prospects for boosting military technical ties, as well as cooperation in the field of national defence and ensuring national interests,” said Putin in his inaugural address.

The forum is showcasing more than 28,000 units of modern military arms and equipment ranging from small firearms to artillery, tanks, and military combat aircraft. These are battle tested in majority and are successful , reliable and effective.

Russian Tank in full resplendence
Russian Tank in full resplendence

Putin added, “Russia has something to be proud of and something to offer its allies and partners. Over the past years, we have been consistently implementing the state armaments programme and the long-term programme for the development of the defence industry. Our army and navy are being modernised at a fast pace as they receive the latest-generation military assets. For example, the share of modern weapons in the strategic nuclear forces is over 80 percent now, which is more than in other nuclear countries. Clearly, this is not important for everyone, but it matters for us and shows our Armed Forces’ level of sophistication and our science and technology capabilities.”

At the forum more than 90 percent of Russian defence companies and organisations are displaying the existing and futuristic capabilities and are  keen on attracting international customers both for developing and manufacturing, both independently and jointly.

“The Navy’s capability is also growing. Two modern short-range ships and four new submarines, including two nuclear missile carriers, are being laid at Russia’s leading shipyards. Also, projects to create and improve combat capabilities of the advanced military equipment, such as the Kinzhal hypersonic air-launched missile system and the Okhotnik long-range unmanned aircraft, are making good progress. Many of these weapons are unparalleled in terms of tactical and technical specifications. We can safely assume that certain items will remain unmatched for a long time ahead. What is on display clearly shows this,” informed Putin.

He exhorted, “We are expanding Russia’s defence complex and the Armed Forces using breakthrough technology that relies on scientific research and fundamental research programmes. That said, during the forum, we will focus on using AI and robotics, as well as advanced communication and control systems, that is, components that hold the future of the leading countries’ armed forces and the future of the Russian Armed Forces.”

Authors at the show
Authors at the show

But the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is visible in the foreign presence at the show, which is much less than the previous years. “Importantly, Russian-made weapons have always enjoyed demand on the global market. Today, they are reliably protecting national security in many countries, and our defence companies – despite the pandemic-related difficulties – keep producing and supplying export products on time. Even during these challenging circumstances as we are battling the pandemic, they kept working every single day fully complying with the sanitary requirements,” said the President.

On the contrary the participation in the International Army Games is better than before. “The International Army Games offer an excellent platform for showing off our military assets’ capabilities. Year in and year out, they have been attracting ever growing numbers of participants and the number of competitions has been increasing as well. This time, servicemen will demonstrate their skills in 34 international competitions at training grounds in 11 countries. Notably, for over 5,000 military professionals from 44 countries this is more than just a good opportunity to test their tactical training and skills in using weapons and equipment. The games imply direct communication between colleagues, which is instrumental in promoting trust and partnership among military professionals from the participating countries and strengthening peace and international security,” said the Supreme Commander of Russian Forces.

Over 320 units of weapons and military equipment will be used in dynamic demonstrations at the ARMY 2021 International Military-Technical Forum at the Alabino training ground near Moscow. This was announced by the First Deputy Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Ruslan Tsalikov.

The show is also a venue for the meeting of Commission of Russian MoD for Innovative Projects and technologies. The meeting will be chaired by Major General Dmitry Gorbatenko, Acting Head of the Main Department of research activities of the Russian Defence Ministry. A distinctive feature of the meeting will be the consideration of the best innovative projects of educational and research organizations, selected based on the results of the exhibitions “Day of Innovations of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation”.

Russian-Saudi handshake
Russian-Saudi handshake

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu met with Deputy Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia today. “Saudi Arabia is committed to strengthening cooperation with Russia, which will help to jointly respond to threats and challenges,” said Deputy Defence Minister of the Kingdom Prince Khaled bin Salman Al-Saud at the meeting.

“Russia has every opportunity to become a leader in the field of artificial intelligence – this is necessary to ensure the country’s security,” stated the First Deputy Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Ruslan Tsalikov. He noted that today artificial intelligence is also considered as a tool for achieving the defence and security of the state and AI technologies are used to increase the efficiency of solving the tasks of the Russian army. He was speaking at the event on Congress Strategic Leadership in the Digital Age and Artificial Intelligence Technologies.

Inauguration time: India Pavilion
Inauguration time: India Pavilion

The show on Day 1 was more of settling down and Day 2 for live wire statements. But not for the India Pavilion which was inaugurated on Day1. The India Pavilion at the International Military Technical Forum – ARMY 2021was inaugurated jointly by Secretary , Department of Defence Production Mr.Raj Kumar and Ambassador of India to Russia Mr. Bala Venkatesh Varma, at Hall C of ARMY Forum 2021 in Patriot Expo Moscow. Also present were the Military Attaché Brig. Rajesh Pushkar, VSM, Naval Attaché Commodore Manish Chadha, VSM & Air Attaché Air Commodore Shailesh Ranjan, VSM . The pavilion comprises of delegations and exhibits from Defence Research & Development Organisation, Ordnance Factory Board, Goa Shipyard Ltd and Bharat Earth Movers Limited.

Static expositions are formed in the pavilions and open areas of the “Patriot” convention and exhibition center, the Alabino training ground and Kubinka airfield with a total area of more than 320 thousand square meters. In the demonstration and exhibition halls with a total area of 40 thousand square meters, leading industrial enterprises are presenting their achievements in the framework of the International exhibition “Products of leading enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex”. The main part of the expositions of the aviation cluster are located at the demonstration base and in the display area of aviation equipment at Kubinka airfield with an area of 100 thousand square meters.

So Team ADU is signing off for today from Army 2021. Will come with wrap up again tomorrow.