Russian President Arrives in Hero City Tula

On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin arrived at Tula /a regional centre 250 kilometres south-west of Moscow/.

The program includes a visit to the Instrument-Making Design Bureau and its exhibition of arms manufactured by the bureau and a meeting with war and labour veterans of the enterprise.

The President is also expected to lay wreaths to the memorial of Tula's defenders. Besides, he is also supposed to participate in a ceremonial meeting devoted to the 58th anniversary of the Victory.

The Instrument-Making Design Bureau is one of the leading designers and producers of precision weapons in Russia. It produces anti-tank and artillery complexes, antiaircraft weapons and cannons as well as sporting guns and hunting rifles. The most famous developments of the recent years are precise antiaircraft devices Tunguska and Pantsir as well as the Krasnopol complex, with a 25-kilometre reach.

The Tula Bureau's main foreign consumers are China, India and the United Arab Emirates.

The Tula Instrument-Making Design Bureau will be restructured into a corporation, "Precise Weapons" as part of the programme "Russia's policy bases in term of defence industry development till 2010 and in a longer-term prospect". The corporation is expected to include a total of 12-15 enterprises, mostly defence factories actively co-operating with the Bureau in designing and developing new weapon patterns for many years.

Tula is as old as Moscow, with the first mention about the city dating back to 1146. The city has always been an important strategic base on the southern approaches to Moscow and the basis of Russia's military power. Tula has never in its history been seized by enemies. The tank army of Guderian was stopped and smashed here in 1941. During WWII, 250 citizens of Tula became Heroes of the Soviet Union.

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