Germany's Der Spiegel has recently claimed that the Russian defense industry is unable to manufacture high-quality products, which makes Moscow purchase military hardware from abroad. In this connection, the German publication tried to analyze, which country is going to win 500 billion euros, which Moscow is supposedly going to spend to support foreign defense producers.
What made German and some Russian journalists come to such conclusions? They noticed that Russian generals hardly appear near the stands of Russian defense producers during international arms shows. Instead, the generals spend a lot of time near the stands of their own competitors.
Nikolai Novichkov, editor-in-chief of Arms-Tass news agency, said in an interview with Pravda.Ru that a person has to receive special technical education at first before they could deal with arms issues professionally.
"Judging upon the defense fantasies of those journalists I can assume that they received philological education. As a matter of fact, they know nothing about arms. Like other journalists, I often attend press conferences where we all receive the same information about certain issues related to the defense industry. Afterwards, some of them can say and write the things that make your hair stand on end. This is the same story, basically. The German publication presented the opinion of only one journalist, but it does not mean that this is the monopoly on the truth.
"As for our generals and specialists, who visit competitors' stands, I do that as well. Yes, I also want to know which news foreign arms makers have," the expert said.
This is not it, though. German journalists say that the Russian Defense Ministry admits the fact that Russia is lagging behind its competitors - NATO and even China - in terms of the quality of defense products. Moscow already buys Mistral ships from France, they say. German journalists also referred to recent remarks from the commander of Russian ground troops, Alexander Postnikov, who criticized the nation's
Der Spiegel also wrote that Russia's three most recent state arms programs had never been implemented. There were 25 ships and 116 aircraft ordered, but there were only 22 jets and 3 vessels built instead. Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said in March that the plan to rearm the Russian army failed.
Konstantin Sivkov, the first vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, told Pravda.Ru that foreign magazines are only right about the fact that the Russian defense complex is in crisis.
"This crisis does not mean that our arms designers can not build competitive weapons. The Russian defense complex has been declining during the recent 20 years. The equipment, which defense enterprises use, was made during the Soviet times. However, it is ridiculous to say that Russian arms are worse than Western analogues. Just take a look at the campaign, which NATO is conducting in Libya now. The alliance has been bombing that country for a whole month, but it hasn't been able to achieve anything there. Please note that the Libyans are armed with Soviet-made weapons. Hundreds of NATO planes can't do anything against Gaddafi. That's what ridiculous.
"Russia's main problem is the following. For some reason, some of our officials, who used to sell furniture in the past and have absolutely no notion of the army, dare to judge the quality of Russian arms. Let's take those
After the news about the French Mistrals, "bad"
As for the Germans - well then, look who is talking. The pot calls the kettle black. It just so happens that our military hardware that no one needs is extremely popular on the market, making Russia world's second largest arms exporter. Germany is too far from Russia at this point. No one makes other countries buy Russian arms. They have a lot to choose from today," the expert said.
It is worthy of note that NATO is seriously considering an opportunity to purchase Russian helicopters for its combat operations in Afghanistan.