Source Pravda.Ru

Surprises in store at Expo Arms-2004

The fourth Russian exhibition of arms and military equipment, Russian Expo Arms-2004, will be held from July 6 to July 10 near the city of Nizhny Tagil (the Urals).

The first two days of the exhibition will be devoted entirely to the military, defense industry experts, foreign guests, potential buyers of Russian arms, military experts and reporters. The rest of the exhibition will be dedicated to general visitors. The exhibition will also include business meetings, briefings, press conferences, roundtable discussions, seminars and presentations from firms.

As in the past, the exhibition will be held at the Nizhny Tagil Institute of Metal Testing. The 325000 square meter grounds include, display pavilions (8000 square meters), demonstration sites (28000 square meters), a test lane (72.5 thousand square meters) an area with obstacles for armored vehicles and automobiles (a river bank, a trench, a hill, a ditch, a wall, a turning circle), a water area (7.5 x 100 meters and 5 meters deep), a field information center with seats for 1,500 people, a site for shooting demonstrations, helipads, a shooting range, areas for technical servicing of self-propelled vehicles and other facilities to demonstrate the combat and technical qualities of arms.

Preliminary applications to display arms at the exhibition have been received from 219 enterprises, including 207 organizations from 28 regions in Russia, 9 enterprises from Ukraine and Belarus and arms manufacturers from Israel, Germany, Macedonia and the Czech Republic. As of now, it is unknown what surprises lie in store at Russian Expo Arms-2004. However, the Uralmash Corporation has already reported that it will demonstrate its Msta 155-mm self-propelled howitzer. A modernized Msta-M1 howitzer with an automatic fire-control system and the Akatsia self-propelled 2C3M2 howitzer will also be displayed.

The Akatsia has been adopted by many armiesthroughout the world, specifically in the Middle East, and its modernization may give Russian enterprises new contracts. This is also true about the 155-mm Msta. About 75%-80% of Soviet (Russian)-made arms and military hardware in India use 115-mm and 155-mm NATO caliber shells (Russia uses 122-mm and 153-mm caliber). Now that the Urals howitzer, the best weapon in its category, has been modified to meet NATO standards, its prospects on the Indian market look far better. This is also true about the modernized T-72 tank produced by Nizhny Tagil and the T-90C "flying" tank and other weapons manufactured in the region, which will also be demonstrated at Russian Expo Arms-2004.

For the first time, the Russian News and Information Agency Novosti (RIA Novosti), will take part in the Nizhny Tagil exhibition. Among other materials, the agency will display English and Russian editions of its Russian Military Review. This magazine has already started winning praise from arms manufacturing experts and soldiers in Russia and abroad. RIA Novosti regards its participation in Russian Expo Arms-2004 as yet another possibility to increase the readership and the number of subscribers to its numerous new publishing projects.