Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

What makes Russia's Vityaz better than USA's Patriot?

The town of Zhukovsky in the Moscow region is getting ready for the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2013, Russia's major air show. It is expected that the show will present a variety of new products of international level.

For the first time ever, the air show is going to present the unique anti-aircraft missile system S-350E. Russian helicopter-making companies will unveil new developments in the industry. The air show that is held near Moscow every year gradually becomes an authoritative political event.

As for the level of development of high-tech industries, particularly the aerospace industry,  - this level is seen by many as a sign of what is happening inside this or that country. It also shows its potential and the extent of development of its safety and technology. This year, the Russian industry is going to show the whole range of products, not only of civil but also military purposes. Visitors of the show will be able to take a look at a number of state-of-the-art developments in the form of actual exhibits.

It is difficult to overestimate the role of MAKS in terms of strengthening the economic positions of Russia's high-tech industrial production in the world. In late July, Defense News publication exposed the rating of most successful defense companies in the world. As it turned out, it was only Russian company that showed impressive growth over the last year. Thus, PVO Almaz-Antey Concern climbed 11 places up in the world rankings (from the 25th to the 14th position), and entered the top five in Europe with revenue growth of 62 percent.

The economic effect from holding such events in Zhukovsky outweighs organizers' costs. The value of contracts that are concluded after MAKS airshow are traditionally exposed some time after. This year, it is expected that missile defense hardware, which does not appear at MAKS very often, will become, the major attraction of the show, so to speak.

Reportedly, the main novelty from Almaz-Antey will be a promising anti-missile medium-range system S-350E, also known as Vityaz. According to the stated performance characteristics, it is superior to foreign counterparts and should replace a number of S-300 technological systems of obsolete Soviet-made modifications, as well as Buk anti-aircraft missile systems, partially. In June of this year, the system was demonstrated to Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to the Obukhov factory in St. Petersburg.

The vertical launcher of the Vityaz ("Knight") in combination with a powerful circular view multi-function radar allows the system to efficiently repel attacks from any direction, which distinguishes it from its competitors with inclined launchers (including the U.S. air defense system Patriot). Owing to the upgraded design of the system and the use of advanced 9M96 missiles, the ammunition has increased dramatically: one launcher has 12 missiles instead of 4. 

As indicated in the specifications of the new system, the S-350E is designed to protect objects from the massive strikes of current and future air threats, including those made by "stealth" technology, as well as tactical and operational-tactical ballistic missiles.

The key factor determining the effectiveness of the new system is its ability to simultaneously reflect attacks of different types of air threats from any direction, at all altitudes of flight, in all weather conditions, day and night and in difficult noise conditions. This is achieved through the use of a fundamentally new information tool - a multifunction radar. This feature is used in domestic air defense missile systems for the first time.

In addition, the S-350E has high mobility and survivability. It takes only five minutes to bring the system on alert.

In addition, MAKS airshow, according to the declared program, will demonstrate production models of S-400, Antey-2500 and different versions of Tor ADMS.

The real effect of MAKS international airshow can be easily tracked. For example, here is a direct result of MAKS 2012. Vietnam's Ministry of Defense purchased 12 new Su-30MK2 aircraft from Russia for $500 million. The exact figure of the contract has not been officially disclosed, although the fact of the transaction has been confirmed. Under the new contract, Vietnam will receive not only combat aircraft, but also accompanying technical property. Shipments will be made in batches, in 2014-2015.

In 2013, Helicopters of Russia company intends to produce and sell 321 helicopters, which is almost two times higher than in 2009. The positive trend became possible owing to increased sales of military helicopters not only on domestic, but also on foreign markets. In the segment of the civil helicopter industry, the company plans to sell 71 helicopters in 2013, including 25 aircraft - on the foreign market.

We do hope that MAKS 2013, for the umpteenth time, will help the Russians in the implementation of all these ambitious plans.

Andrei Mikhailov


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