ARMY Forum goes well despite COVID
The 6th International ARMY Forum was run on schedule between August, 23-29 to
become the first large scale defense related exhibition and conference since Defexpo and
Singapore Airshow. The Forum Organizers applied unprecedented anti-epidemic measures
due to COVID-19. All the non-Russian visitors were enforced to pass tests to prove being
COVID-free, and all the visitors had had to follow the mask regime at the show grounds.
The Russian Armed Forces have been being substantially modernized and upgraded
thanks to the current State Armament Program (SAP 2018-2027) worth of 20 trillion rubles (over
USD 250 billion). From this sum 19 trillion rubles are to be spent on procurement, repairing and
developing of armaments, military and special hardware, and one trillion – on the corresponding
infrastructure construction.
Not surprisingly the Russian defence industries took an active part in the ARMY-2020
Forum being organized by the MoD to show their products in the best light for the major
Customer. Participants included 1457 enterprises and organizations to present over 28 thousand
samples of military and dual-use products. The Russian companies were teamed by the national
pavilions of Belarus, Brazil, India, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The main operators of the
Russian defense equipment including PR China, India and Vietnam were presented by the high-
ranking delegations.
As stated by the MoD officials, the exhibition continued to break its own records on key
indicators, including amount of contracts being signed. The show witnessed 40+ state contracts
with 27 enterprises of the military-industrial complex for a total amount of 1 trillion 160 billion
rubles. The details of many deals were not disclosed, however the Head of MoD General Sergei
Shoigu noted the fact that “procurement has moved from the single copies and small batches
purchasing for the large series contracts”.
The High-Precision Weapons (HPW) holding proved its reputation as the main
Forum newsmaker with a number of its latest technological novelties.
The Tula-based Shipunov KBP Instrument Design Bureau (HPW subsidiary) showcased
its new-generation Hermes missile system with over-the-horizon range of 100 km. Hermes has
an autonomous guidance of the fire-and-forget type. “The system features the salvo launch mode
at several (up to six) scattered targets and automated synchronisation of laser guidance for
striking targets with a high-precision projectile with deviation not exceeding 0.5 meters,” the
company spokesman said. The system includes a number of vehicles ranging from a command
one, which employs computers, panels and controls plus communication and data transmitting
equipment alongside several combat vehicles equipped with mobile launchers. Additionally, a
transport-loading vehicle has an on-board stock of missiles, a crane and a reloading mechanism
in addition to a reconnaissance device with a UAV to provide target detection and laser
illumination round-the-clock in all weather conditions. The missile itself is reported to have a
maximum flight velocity of 1300 m/s and is equipped with a HEF type warhead of 28 kg. The
missile caliber is 210 mm in the booster stage and 130 mm at the warhead area. It is transported
in a sealed container of 3500 mm length. The container weight is 130 kg with six being deployed
per vehicle. The manufacturer also announced that the HERMES missiles can be fired from land-based, naval and aerial platforms, including strike UAVs. KBP used Army-2020 to show
HERMES on a light trailer to demonstrate an extra variant of application.
Kurganmashzavod (part of HPW) presented a BMP-3 IFV family named Manul. The
vehicle’s prime novelty is a front-located engine compartment with UTD-32 engine of increased
power up to 660 hp. The revolutionary engine position significantly increased its protection
against frontal shelling. The Manul is fitted with the TKB-945 unmanned combat module being
in use on the medium tracked and wheeled platforms Kurganets-25 and Boomerang, as well as
on the heavy BMP T-15 Armata. The module is armed with 30mm automatic cannon, a 7.62mm
machine gun, and the Kornet anti-tank system capable of destroying all existing tanks. Due to the
engine front location the troop compartment can now accommodate eight soldiers. According to
the Producer, the new IFV is mainly focused on export, in particular on the users of BMP-3 as
the degree of unification of Manul with BMP-3 is 50%.
Another HPW subsidiary, the Research institute (VNII) Signal, disclosed a man-portable
automated artillery fire control system being titled Planshet-A. The brain of the system is a lap-
top size computer using the Russian national elementary base. The computer itself can be placed
in the breast pocket of the military field uniform. The batteries and charges can be carried and
transported in the attache-case size boxes. Planshet-A is intended to optimize the artillery fire to
diminish the time for preparation and extend precision and mission performance for any type of
self-propelled and towered artillery including howitzers, mortars and MLRS. The Planshet
system includes several computers and means of communication being distributed among the
battery/ battalion commanders and their sub-units including platoons and separate guns/vehicles.
The system is to come in regular service with the Russian Army by the end of 2020 and will be
ready for export from early 2021
The Army-2020 Forum not only proved Russia's strong positions in traditional
areas such as air defense, smart weapons, armored vehicles, but also displayed
breakthroughs in a number of news technologies, drones in particular. This fact was
specially noticed by General Sergey Shoigu. He encouraged industries with a promise on
large contracts on UAVs to be concluded by the year end.
The Orion UAV became one of the Forum highlights. The Russian MoD signed the first
serial contract on the Orion supply. The completely domestic-made heavy drone has already
passed a significant part of the trials, including combat tests in Syria. Being initially designed as
the long-range aerial reconnaissance system, the UAV has been modified to perform strike
missions and was displayed at the Forum with a full range of payload including missiles and
bombs. Orion is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned vehicle which has a
normal aerodynamic scheme with a 16-meter wing in the middle and V-shaped tail fins.
Maximum takeoff weight is 1200 kg. Orion can fly 24 hours at altitudes of 7500 meters with a
200-kg payload. The producers announced plans to occupy a niche of MALE-class UAV world
market and signed an agreement on cooperation with Rosoboronexport. The Russia’s major
exporter is intended to promote other advanced unmanned aerial vehicles, including Grom
(Thunder) high-speed striking UAV with a maximum take-off weight of 7 tons and 2 tons
payload.The latest counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) were also among the Forum
They included Rubezh-Avtomatika, Bastion-Avtomatika and Kupol-PRO designs.
Rubezh-Avtomatika is a new design with an intelligent control to detect and neutralize drones
without human interference. It can be used in field and city conditions, installed in open sites and
on roofs. The complex comprises radio reconnaissance and adaptive electronic jamming. The
Kupol-PRO affects drones in a certain perimeter, that is, covers the territory with a kind of dome.
It has a shorter range (up to 2.5 km above the protected area), but it is maximally mobile.
Robotic anti-drone systems are capable of integrating with various weapons systems, for
example, with the Pantsir air defense missile system.
Another novelty was the Rat multifunctional mobile system. The system was developed
on the basis of a special armored vehicle and is equipped with a full range of drone detection and
suppression equipment to protect critical objects from unauthorized UAV intrusion. It includes a
radar station, equipment for automatic recognition and suppression of telecommunication
channels, a system of directed ultrahigh-frequency (microwave) suppression and a system of
directed laser destruction. The Rat system can detect drones up to 3.5 km away and destroy them
within a radius of up to 2.5 km.
More debutants
Almaz-Antey Concern unveiled the Antey-4000, export version of the S-300V4 anti-
aircraft missile system. The company displayed 9A83M-2E launcher, 9A84M-1E launcher-
loader vehicle; and surface-to-air missiles (9M83ME and 9M82ME) capable of hitting 24 aerial
targets simultaneously. The primary improvement of the Antey-4000 over the prior Antey-2500
and S-300VM systems is the enhanced engagement envelope for all targets engaged by the
system. Touted to be a “fully digital system, it is said to have a range of about 400 km.
The Ganichev Splav displayed the 9M544 300-mm high-precision guided rocket
projectile with HEAT-fragmentation warheads for the Tornado-S MRLS with a range of up to
120 km. The new projectile has the weight and size characteristics of the standard projectiles for
the Smerch MRLS, but at the same time it is significantly different in design. The classic rocket
has a pin at the base and the guide has a screw groove. This ensures the rotation of the projectile
when leaving the guide and stabilizes the flight. The stabilization of the new projectile is
provided by the tail unit, and it is controlled by four wings in the nose. The 9M544 projectile
features control system based on the SN398 inertial navigation system (INS) developed by the
Pilugin Scientific & production center of automation and device-building. The control system
includes high-tech devices that were originally created for the space industry. For example, the
unit for measuring the angular velocity with an accelerometer is designed to operate as part of
spacecraft motion control systems. Alexander Smirnov, the Splav CEO claimed the projectile
was the first in the range of guided ones to open absolute new opportunities for artillery units.
"The system allows guided projectiles to be fired in a single fire mode at various points distant
from each other and to hit targets with high accuracy," said the head of the enterprise.

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Дата публикации: 13.10.2020 г.