INDIAN EXPRESS: “Modernized T-90S tank is the next step in development of Russian tank- building”
Interview with Oleg V. Sienko, CEO, Uralvagonzavod
Uralvagonzavod has a very rich history. What was it like in terms of growth and problems?
Uralvagonzavod history is eventful and dates back to 1936, i.e. the year of establishment of the enterprise in Nizhny Tagil. Over its history Uralvagonzavod has made more than 100,000 tanks of different modifications and more than 1,000,000 railway cars. As of today, the most important event for Uralvagonzavod has become the decision to establish a holding company on its basis in 2007. It incorporates more than 30 industrial enterprises, scientific centres and design offices. A new stage in the enterprise history has started from this moment.
What are the major activities of the company? What new projects are you going to initiate in the near future? Are there any specific plans related to India?
Besides producing armoured vehicles, artillery systems, and other armament for land forces, Open Joint Stock Company «Research and Production Corporation «Uralvagonzavod» is the largest manufacturer of modern railway, road-building and agriculture vehicles in the Russian Federation. It also makes other products, including trams, equipment for oil industry. Research and development are in progress for each line; new competitive products are made.
As far as the plans with the Indian partners are concerned, I would like to dwell briefly upon the history of co- operation with India. It started in 1984 when production of assemblies, aggregates and devices for tanks T-72M1 was mastered by joint efforts of our specialists at the Indian factories. In 1984, the first tank T- 72M1 made of the Indian and Soviet components rolled off the production line. Later, USSR contributed to establishing of a factory that still operates. The next stage of our cooperation was marked by winning a tender and signing a contract with the Ministry of Defence of India on T-90S tanks supply in 2001.
Now we proceed to a new stage of our cooperation, which is not limited to licensed production, but implies joint high-technology projects on modernization of existing samples of weaponry and development of advanced ones.
India is one of the largest armaments importers and Russia is its main supplier. What do you think of the Indian armament market?
Prior to estimating Indian armament market, I would like to point out that bilateral relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India are rested on strategic partnership, which in our opinion determines the longterm multi-aspect nature of our cooperation. The key features of Indian market are first of all, the volume, complexity and manufacturability of offered products, high level of competition.
Recently, you have exhibit- ed the modernized T-90S tank in India and offered it to the Armed Forces of India. What is the proof that the Indian army needs the new tanks?
Modernized T-90S tank is the next step in the development of the Russian tank- building. All of the T-90S features were upgraded, which instilled more combat and operational capabilities. In compliance with the world tendencies at the heart of modernization were measures aimed at improving fire power, namely the new combat turret module.
The module is equipped with a highly-automated fire control system and ensures superior characteristics as for the range of effective fire, time of preparation for firing, range of target detection and identification at night. The maximum efficiency of tank armament operation is achieved by provision of gunner’s and commander’s equal searching capabilities. It provides the fire control system with high-performance mode «hunter-killer». In order to realise high fire power potential of
Protection system against conventional means of destruction was upgraded. Today it has a modular armoured protection with improved ERA of the front projection, slats for side projection and splinter-proof liners found on inner surfaces of the driving and fighting compartments. There is an automatic screening system with applicable manual mode.The tank is equipped with electromagnetic protection system.
Battle management system, digital communication channel, inertial and satellite navigation systems, VHF radio set with two independent radio paths and auxiliary electric power supply unit are among the special- equipment of the tank. Air-conditioning system is available for fighting and driving compartments. The latest generation T-90 series tank is essentially superior to its predecessors in main parameters defining its combat efficiency.
Primarily, these parameters are as follows: advanced fire damage, anti-tank weapons resistance, life support system and mobility. The Indian army can evaluate the above mentioned characteristics of the modernized T-90S tank and ultimately use them.
Do you consider India to be a potential market for the modernized T-90S tank?
?In spite of the fact that India is a country of up-to-date tank industry manufacturing indigenous Arjun tank as well, we hope that the modernized T-90S tank will find its place in the Indian market.
Do you intend to produce the tank designed for the Indian market??
It depends on request of our Indian partners.
This June turned to be the most productive for Uralvagonzavod. Could you please share your strategy developed for achieving success?
The strategic goal of OJSC «Research and production corporation «Uralvagonzavod» is to become a leader among the world manufacturers of land forces equipment, which can be done through the following:
- New markets development
- Product diversification
- Consolidation of scientific and technical potential
- Innovative approach in development, production and ?control
- Use of the best world experience
- Effective social politics
To achieve the goal, we created the prerequisites in the form of a fair product portfolio. They also include advanced development of new armoured vehicle samples and the updating programs for earlier products. We are the designers, manufacturers and suppliers of military and support systems at a time. This comes as one of our competitive advantages. ?OJSC «Research and Production Corporation «Uralvagonzavod» integrates major designers and manufacturers of tanks,tank-based vehicles, combat reconnaissance and HQ command vehicles, and self-propelled and towed guns.
The corporation performs the following tasks:
- Production of a wide range of weapons and military ?equipment ?
- Development of weapons and military equipment of ?the future
- Upgrade of military equipment and bringing it to a ?new level
- Implementing the cutting edge technologies into development, production, specialist training and services.
Having a closed-cycle production process, the corporation can invest financial flows into the product diversification and modernization, and control the production process and after-sale service of the equipment, thus strengthening the corporation positions in the world market.