Friday, May 24, 2024

Russia Pitches Combat Tested Weapons For Exports

By Staff Correspondent

Ukraine’s ongoing confrontations with Russia have captivated international attention, moving beyond mere territorial disputes. Ukrainian Defence Minister Alexey Reznikov had indicated a notable shift in these standoffs, which now double as a significant platform, not just for geopolitical engagements but also for the rigorous examination of cutting-edge military innovations.

Western allies gauge their armament efficacy against Russia’s formidable array, while Russia evaluates its gear against advanced Western counterparts, including systems like the S-400 Triumf, renowned for its multifunction radar and the ability to intercept, ballistic missiles, and stealth aircraft.

Rosoboronexport’s Dual Approach: Battlefield Testing & Global Showcasing

Like its Western counterparts, the Russian defence titan, Rosoboronexport, understands the influential role warfare can play in weaponry promotion. The Ukrainian confrontations provide a twofold opportunity: to appraise their weapons like the T-14 Armata Main Battle Tank (MBT), reflecting the evolution of armoured warfare, and their military hardware in actual combat and to parade their prowess internationally.

Drawing upon the results and experiences from the war, the Russian-state defence giant has displayed its combat-vetted machinery at international defence expositions, strategically aiming to captivate top military nations, including showcases of the Ka-52 attack helicopter,  showcased with new guided weapons, including the Item 305 light multipurpose guided missile.

Power players like India, with substantial defence allocations and geopolitical sway, are undoubtedly taking note. The assertion is evident: Russian weapons, including the likes of T-72 and T-90 tanks, have been honed in combat and are primed for impending challenges.

It is not merely about authenticating the calibre of their military hardware and defence platforms and systems. It is a refined tactic aimed at cementing Russia’s status as a premier vendor in the intensively competitive global arms arena.

Russia’s diverse arsenal spans sophisticated air defences like the aforementioned S-400 Triumf system—adept at neutralising adversaries over vast expanses—to tanks like the T-14 Armata, symbolising the future trajectory of armoured warfare, and even aerial assets such as the Su-57E fifth-generation fighters, which incorporates advanced stealth technologies and supercruise capability.

The S-400s, for instance, has been a high-profile defence deal between the two countries; the T-14 Armata tank, too, has piqued domestic interest, with the armoured platform purportedly being on its high-altitude tank wishlist.

ARMY 2023: Russia’s Continuing Defence Outreach

The IX Army 2023 International Military-Technical Forum, which ran from 14-20 August 2023 at the Patriot Exhibition and Convention Center, signified more than a mere event; it embodied a declaration.

Rosoboronexport, a crucial component of Rostec State Corporation, dominated the spotlight, unveiling an expansive range of combat-proven weaponry. Their objective was transparent: foster enriched ties with attending nations by presenting them a glimpse into equipment like the Orlan-10 and Orion drones, exemplifying Russia’s strides in surveillance and reconnaissance, and systems like the Pantsir-S, demonstrating robust counter-UAV measures.

Here are some of the highlights as seen on the ground.

From munition systems like the Kub-E loitering munition system, exhibiting the fusion of drone and ammunition tech, to fifth-generation fighters like the Su-57 and 4th++ generation jets like Su-35, the expo showcased Russia’s multifaceted defence capabilities across the spectrum of conflict.

The exhibition offered attendees an intricately designed journey. Outdoor zones spotlighted artillery hardware, avant-garde reconnaissance tools, Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) technologies, and heavily armoured combat vehicles, including the T-14 Armata main battle tank, to name a few.

The crowning moments for many were the live demonstrations, showcasing equipment from both Land and Airborne Forces. Embracing the digital era, Rosoboronexport provided a plethora of online content, including immersive Virtual Reality (VR) explorations, for those unable to attend in person.

Aero India 2023: Russia’s Continuing Defence Outreach

Aero India 2023, held in February this year, too, had spotlighted Russia’s defence ambitions in both the Indian and global markets. Against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis, Rosoboronexport reiterated its aim to secure augmented export contracts.

Its coveted ‘frontline champions’ comprising systems like the Ka-52E Alligator and Mi-171Sh helicopters garnered considerable attention, especially given their roles in the ongoing Ukraine scenario. Having manifested their aerial superiority, the Su-57E and Su-35 fighter jets could easily have potential contracts in the future, underlining their expanding global stature.

While legacy systems enjoyed the limelight, budding entrants like the BMPT tank support combat vehicle and TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system were equally compelling and piqued customer interest. These developments offer a glimpse as signifying Russia’s unwavering commitment to defence advancement.

India’s Perspective: A Delicate Balancing Act

With its historical ties to Russian defence collaboration, India’s observations at Aero India 2023 held more than mere curiosity. As India recalibrates its defence strategy amidst border tensions, the looming threat of a two-front war, an ever-active counter-insurgency grid and evolving Indo-Pacific dynamics, the performance of Russian weaponry, hardware, platforms and systems becomes seemingly paramount.

New Delhi stands at a crucial juncture. Balancing the allure of Russian battle-hardened equipment with its push towards domestic defence production, India’s forthcoming choices will profoundly influence its military preparedness and establish a precedent for other nations closely monitoring the global arms marketplace.

The Geopolitical Implications Of Battle-Proven Arsenal

In the current escalating arms race scenario, nations are keenly scouting for battle-hardened gear. As countries like India chart out their defence trajectories, Russia’s field-tested armaments loom large, poised to influence and mould global geopolitical alliances and competitions in the foreseeable future.

(Indian Aerospace & Defence was in Moscow for ARMY 2023: 9th International Military-Technical Forum organised by Russia)

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