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Jun 04, 2016

“Syria Proves Tanks’ Worthiness in Urban Combats”

The Russian weapons exposition of Uralvagonzavod Corporation hit the highlight at KADEX-2016 in Astana. Oleg Sienko, CEO of UVZ (the Russia’s largest producer of military equipment) gave an interview to Lenta.ru.

Lenta.ru: Oleg Viktorovich! Here at KADEX-2016 Uralvagonzavod features two main “attractions” — the Kazakh-made armored personnel carrier Barys equipped with UVZ combat module, and the T-72 tank with an upgraded kit for urban combat. Which of these projects has higher priority?

Oleg Sienko: Surely, T-72 is a priority, because of the well-known global events. The world is changing. The zone of conflicts spreads more and more widely, and our weapons are actively used in these conflicts. The events in Syria prove the worthiness of tanks in urban combats, and our kit is a means to increase the survivability and combat performance of this vehicle.

The interest in this embodiment of tank is quite high, and this year we decided to present it abroad for the first time.

The Russian Defense Ministry shows any interest in it?

This was our initiative to develop it, beyond the officially approved experimental designing activities. We are testing it. Of course, the army men are aware of this work, and the Defense Ministry usually supports the developments that are suitable for them.

And at what stage is now the development of the armored personnel carrier “Barys”? Is it just a concept vehicle or something more?

“Barys” is a result of joint efforts of the three countries: the South Africa, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Our contribution is the combat module AU-220M with a 57-millimeter automatic cannon. In Kazakhstan these vehicles shall undergo testing and serial production after some necessary improvements. They have already built a plant for manufacturing these vehicles, there is no way back, in fact.

During the tests, we have to complete the integration of the combat module with the new platform and to confirm the operability of the whole system.

What can you say now about the civil segment in the Uralvagonzavod’s products?

In this domain, we are working in several fields, including the “Arctic” double-purpose equipment, created both for military and civil users; and road construction machinery.

At the next INNOPROM (an international industrial exhibition that has been held in Ekaterinburg annually since 2010 — Lenta.ru) we will present an excavator that is planned for production at a tank factory, and its repair may be carried out in an AERP (armored equipment repair plant — Lenta.ru), thus ensuring workload of enterprises under the conditions of the reduced scope of government defense contracts.

If we evaluate the market of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and that of the CIS countries in whole, is it growing?

Definitely, it is. Both in new equipment supplies and in service work. In autumn, at an exhibition in Azerbaijan, we will introduce a market-special project of a service center for servicing and repair of armored vehicles, which is perfectly scoped for this market.