Army 2017: Russian missile manufacturer has confidence in the future

Russian missile manufacturer has confidence in the future TMC Director General Boris Obnosov is sure that precision weapons have pretty good perspectives (TMC)

Tactical Missiles Corporation is one of handful Russian defense industry corporations that may report consolidated net income. Last year the corporation’s income reached almost 17 billion rubles (more than $280 mln) with the revenue topping 172 billion rubles. TMC Director General Boris Obnosov told Show Observer about the new recently developed products and those being under development now.

— Mr. Obnosov, how can you estimate the recent State Defense Procurement cuts effect on the corporation’s business?

– State Defense Procurement has been continuously growing for the last five years. Whereas in the beginning of the century the ratio was about one to ten in the favor of exports, today State Defense Procurement makes up about 70%. Both exports and State Defense Procurement have been growing with the latter growing faster. I hope this fact won’t be taken as a sign of another militarization of Russia. The time has come to replace the arsenals that were made in 1980-1990s; it’s as simple as that.

As far as today’s State Defense Procurement cutting policy is concerned — no doubt it will affect us all. Nevertheless the government has repeatedly said precision weapons would remain a priority. The State Armaments Program for 2018-2025 is now being drawn up. I hope and the top government officials have also stressed once and again that precision and selective weapons have favorable perspectives as these are capable to determine the outcome of a combat.

“Precision, selective weapons have pretty good perspectives”

— Could you please tell us about the most interesting products of your corporation, to your opinion?

— I’d like to say a few words about the KAB-250LG-E guided bomb with the laser self-homing head. We are the first in Russia to develop 250-kilogram class guided bombs and I hope we will finish the work on the project till the end of the year. Earlier we had 500-kilogram and 1500-kilogram guided bombs. Thus, together with the rest of the world we are moving towards a selective target engagement without any “side effects” and with minimal damage to the immediate surroundings. The second product that is displayed at the Army-2017 forum is the Kh-38ME modular missile. We have already developed the Kh-38MLE laser-guided missile and are now planning to finish the development of its thermal self-guided head modification.

Grom-E is an example of a modular missile bomb armament based on Kh-38M guided airborne missile. The product can be used as a missile with an engine and one warhead or as a gliding bomb with two warheads. This is a very effective weapon with different types of warheads and damage effects.

Read more news from Army 2017 International Military-Technical Forum in Show Observer

— There is much talk about TMC manufacturing weapons for advanced aircraft, however it’s not a secret that Russian Air Force use Sukhoi Su-24, Su-25 aircraft in Syria…

— In fact all our weapons can be used on any aircraft without being bound to any type – that would just be incorrect and ineffective. Everything we develop today can be mounted externally, on Su-34 and Su-35, respectively.

The idea is to make our products more versatile. We have many carriers including those capable of reaching the speed of Mach 2.5 and the missiles should fit the speed. Take MiG-31, for example – it has a certain range of suitable products. We will soon be able to see T-50 (Sukhoi Su-57- ed.) fifth generation fighter – and we are carrying out respective weapon testing. One should be more patient. Basically all the product range we are showing can be mounted externally on T-50.

However it is a completely different story when the armament is mounted internally – this is a key task. The armament should be more concise, other release and flight preparation; other target pointing systems should be used, and so on and so forth.

— What is the current status of hypersonic missile project?

— We are indeed working on this topic, in several directions. I would broadly call one of them ballistic. This is, for example, figuratively speaking, when the product is flying on its first stage substantially overcoming the hypersonic speed – Mach 10, 12 or even Mach 20, the engine provides certain acceleration and then inertial aerodynamic maneuvering is used with speed characteristics gradually deteriorating because of the air drag.

The second direction is when a lengthy guided flight in the atmosphere is in question even at low hypersonic speeds of Mach 6-7. To make this possible substantial development is required in many directions including the engine, materials, guidance as well as onboard systems. We are truly working in these directions, our partners are working as well, the whole country is working, I would say. I think that in the 2020s, which is near, a major hypersonic speed development is coming. First of all I mean unmanned aerial vehicles which include missiles.

By Maxim Pyadushkin

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