MOSCOW ($1=61.42 Russian Rubles) — The production capacities of state-owned arms companies in Russia do not stop. Something quite expected in wartime. BulgarianMilitary.com has repeatedly written that the Russian Federation is gradually abandoning planned military developments and diverting funds from the defense budget to the repair, upgrade, and production of existing weapons systems.
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This is evident from the speech of Mr. Denis Manturov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia. On November 21, he told Izvestia that “the government guarantees the development of the technical base of military enterprises.” He especially emphasized that the enterprises under the leadership of the largest Russian company Rostech receive new machines and equipment, expanding production capacities. In his statement, he paid special attention to the largest aircraft manufacturer in the country, the United Aircraft Corporation [UAC].
The reason Manturov emphasized the continuous production line at UAC is today’s delivery to the Russian VKS [Russian Air and Space Forces]. The Irkutsk Aviation Plant of UAK delivered two types of aircraft to Russia today. The first is the Su-30SM2 combat aircraft, and the second is the Yakovlev Yak-130 light attack and training aircraft.
The delivery, as Mr. Yury Slyusar, Director General of UAC told Izvestia, is planned. I.e. the enterprise continues to fulfill government orders. The press center of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced that the newly delivered Su-30SM2 has improvements. They are concerned about improvements in onboard radio-electronic equipment [radar]. The Ministry of Defense reports that with the new radars, the Su-30SM2 will have the ability to increase the detection range of enemy targets.
This announcement means that Russian engineers have increased the range of the N035 Irbis radar, which is a hybrid passive electronically scanned array radar. The main combat aviation of the Russian Air Force made up of modern fighters, flies with such a radar.
The ministry adds that the aircraft’s armament has also been improved. According to the press release, the new air-to-air, air-to-ground missiles and guided bombs have improved range as well. However, the military does not specify which model of missiles is integrated into the Su-30SM2. Most likely, however, the Russian Su-30SM2s received KAB-250 aerial bombs and the X-59MK2 stealth cruise missile with improved range.
The X-59MK2 cruise missile is a relatively new Russian product. It was presented for the first time in 2015 at the Russian military exhibition MAKS 2015. This missile is of the ‘fire-and-forget’ type and is designed to attack land targets. The missile is equipped with either a 320 kg penetrating or 285 kg [628 lb] pellet warhead.
On the other hand, the delivery of the Yakovlev Yak-130 suggests that Moscow is continuing with the training program of new pilots. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that dozens of Russian planes and hundreds of reconnaissance and attack helicopters were shot down by the Ukrainian armed forces in the last nine months since the beginning of the Russian invasion. It is quite logical that, with a need for new pilots, but an insufficient amount of training aircraft, Moscow should turn to the UAC to increase its production.
Can Russia use it for other purposes? For example, in the war with Ukraine? It is quite possible if we proceed from the position that the supply of aircraft is not proportionally equal to the lost air equipment in the war with Ukraine. The Yakovlev Yak-130 can be used for low-level attacks against ground military units, bunkers, shelters, or convoys. This aircraft does not boast a rich combat history like some other foreign aircraft of the same class. However, the aircraft recorded combat participation in the internal conflict in Myanmar.
To this day, “this combat participation” of the Yak-130 remains controversial. The Myanmar Air Force received a lot of criticism, especially internationally, when video footage emerged of a Yak-130 attacking not military targets but the civilian population.
It is noteworthy that Russia continues to lose military equipment on the Ukrainian front, but also to supply new equipment. Most likely, the ratio is not proportional. On November 17, for example, the Russian Air Force received a new batch of Su-34 two-seat fighter bombers. One part of them will be used for replenishment in the military districts of Russia, and another will be sent to the air bases serving the Russian invasion of Ukraine, providing air support to the ground units.
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