Modernisation 2.0: KAPO aims at 20 billion rubles

Kazan will compete for a platform for Tupolev PAK DA

Modernisation 2.0: KAPO aims at 20 billion rubles Photo: Maksim Platonov

The Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation intends to lobby additional 19 billion rubles of state investments in the ongoing technological modernization of the Kazan Aircraft Production Association in the autumn, preparing a ''Kazan'' amendment to the expenditure items on the defence industry in the federal budget of the Russian Federation for the year 2018. This was stated by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Oleg Bocharov after rolling out the highly upgraded bomber Tu-22MZM on the flight-test base. If this budget request is defended in the higher authorities, then the Kazan aircraft factory will be fixed in the status of the main production site of the UAC (United Aircraft Corporation) to create a promising long-range aviation complex (PAK DA). Read more in the report of Realnoe Vremya.

Since the early morning, the Kazan Aircraft Production Association began to meet the honourable Moscow guests, limiting for some time the automobile traffic on the entrance highway to the northern part of Kazan. Whether the guests from the defenve factories of Kazan were too many, or VIP guests arrived at the adjacent military airport, but there were little congestion on the way to the ''aviation lair'' of Kazan.

Nevertheless, top officials of the Russian aviation industry, together with the generals of the Aerospace Forces (VKS) of the Ministry of Defence of Russia, freely arrived at the ceremony of rolling out the long-range missile carrier Tu-22MZM, which was modernized for almost two years. Commander of long-range aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces Sergey Kobylash warmly communicated with president of the United Aircraft Corporation Yury Slyusar, the team of Tupolev PJSC arrived in full, among its representatives there were Director General Alexander Konyukhov, his deputy Nikolay Savitsky, chief designer of Tu-22M3, Tu-22M Alexander Korenev, who, however, all the time kept in the shade and did not go on stage. But at the end of the ceremony, it was him who was approached by the commander of long-range aviation of the Russian Airspace Forces Sergey Kobylash and hugged him like an old comrade. The representative delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia Oleg Bocharov, who was accompanied by Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov. Appointed a year and a half ago, the 40-year-old deputy minister of industry and trade of the Russian Federation, who, perhaps, was the youngest among the federal guests, became the main 'headliner' of the celebration.

Top officials of the Russian aviation industry, together with the generals of the Aerospace Forces of the Ministry of Defence of Russia, freely arrived at the ceremony of rolling out the long-range missile carrier Tu-22MZM

To bear the child, reach the age of majority

Before the solemn ceremony of rolling out the modernized ''strategist'' Tu-22MZM, Bocharov with his inherent humour congratulated the gathered factory workers with the ''newest addition to the Tupolev family''. ''After all, there is the magic of numbers: going on stage and seeing the date — August 16, which is written behind me, I realized that there is a shadow of irony in the power that we demonstrate,'' he said, but, frankly, not everyone immediately understood his message. Although professionals ''decoded'' the association straight off. Indeed, it was 16 November 2017 when from the hangar of the aircraft factory the upgraded Tu-160M bomber was rolled out. ''Exactly 9 months ago, we congratulated you and celebrated the rollout of the Tu-160. And here is a new achievement. I want that in this large Tupolev family every 9 months new achievements were born,'' congratulated the Russian deputy minister, who is the father of six children. ''And I congratulate Tatarstan on the high level of demographic aviation readiness,'' Oleg Bocharov added another good joke.

''The problem about 9 months we have received,'' responded CEO of Tupolev PJSC Alexander Konyukhov, who grew up in a family of military. ''The 405th machine for deep modernization is being on its way. We will try to roll it out in 9 months, we will continue the tradition,'' he reported. Head of the Union of Aircraft Manufacturers Yevgeny Gorbunov joined the dialogue, but noted in an adult critical manner: ''It is probably very cool when these victories become regular, as said Oleg Evgenievich. But it is necessary to reach the age of majority to deliver a child every 9 months.''

The roll-out of the large-tonnage, but graceful missile carrier Tu-22МZМ lasted several minutes and was accompanied by numerous shootings

Merits of the ''father of the Republic of Tatarstan''

The head of the aviation union reminded that ''the certain period — a difficult period that began after the collapse of the USSR, the company went through with honour'', while not all enterprises of the aviation industry continued to work in Russia. He believes that it is the merit of ''the father of Tatarstan''. ''In a difficult period, when the company did not make a profit, it received support,'' he reminded. He also said that in gratitude for the past years, the staff of the enterprise came out with the initiative to award the president of the Republic of Tatarstan the honorary sign of the Union of Aircraft Manufacturers. Then Rustam Minnikhanov was awarded a badge, and at the end of the speeches from Tupolev PJSC — the symbolic aircraft Tu-22MZM.

The roll-out of the large-tonnage, but graceful missile carrier Tu-22МZМ lasted several minutes and was accompanied by numerous photo shootings. It left the same hangar from which Tu-160M left 9 months ago. ''The capabilities of this machine are impressive. They far surpass the capabilities of all analogues existing in service of foreign states. This machine has artificial intelligence and powerful combat potential. Its expanded capabilities will allow us to better perform the tasks,'' Commander of the long-range aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces Sergey Kobylash said during the roll-out ceremony. ''We look forward to when the aircraft will take its place in the combat formation of long-range aviation,'' he added.

Tu-22MZM is the highly upgraded Tu-22MZ with a new electronic filling. President of the United Aircraft Corporation Yury Slyusar noted that several years of testing await Tu-22MZM ahead. But in parallel with this, the KAPO will be engaged in modernization and repair of all ''strategists'' in service of the VKS. ''Starting from next year, combatant aircrafts will be supplied to the plant for the purpose of deep modernization for the commissioning of the aircrafts from 2021. This means workload, improvement of working conditions, and the increase in wages. It is the programme of technical re-equipment of the plant,'' Slyusar told. ''For us, it is a fresh impetus of the plant, another product in our line.''

Yury Slyusar noted that several years of testing await Tu-22MZM ahead. But in parallel with this, the KAPO will be engaged in modernization and repair of all ''strategists'' in service of the VKS

Securing ''the product 80''

But the main news was reported by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Oleg Bocharov. According to him, the ministry of industry and trade intends to allocate additional 19 billion rubles of state investments in the ongoing technological modernization of the Kazan Aircraft Production Association so that the plant became the production facility for the creation of the promising aviation complex of long-range aviation (PAK DA, the factory designation: ''the product 80''). However, for this, the project should be defended in the Russian government and the State Duma, to make amendments to the expenditure items of the federal budget for the year 2018.

''Now the key issue is the creation of special technical conditions for the design and construction of such facilities and their commissioning. Tupolev PJSC has submitted an application to the ministry of industry and trade for this site alone at 19 billion rubles, which should be allocated from the current budget in addition to the money that the enterprise has. We will seriously monitor so that the funds are invested effectively. We have the highest degree of control over the timely commissioning of these facilities. But we are well aware that no object can be excluded. Because we have created unique mechanical production facilities, we need new technologies — all that exists in the world almost in a single copy and is a unique competence for the Russian state.''

According to him, all this should be prepared by 2025. ''We need to re-create a bench-top base for this aircraft. There will be a powerful complex re-equipment of the enterprise with new technological machines and equipment, fundamentally new research and development stands, which will allow us to continue to keep the priority in this direction. This is the most powerful financial investments that the ministry of industry and trade will make in the next three years,'' predicts Oleg Bocharov. ''We hope that the State Duma will support us because this is the main priority.''

According to Bocharov, the ministry of industry and trade intends to allocate additional 19 billion rubles of state investments in the ongoing technological modernization of the Kazan Aircraft Production Association so that the plant became the production facility for the creation of the promising aviation complex of long-range aviation

Dialogues with the ministry of construction

However, he highlighted the existing ''problems in the preparation of production and evaluation of capital investments'': ''We have started a dialogue with the ministry of construction of the Russian Federation because we understand that it is quite difficult to create such unique enterprises according to general construction rules and regulations, and it is also difficult to pass the examination of the standards that are designed for mass construction.''

The conclusion on the request concerning ''the product 80'' has not been issued yet. ''It is being discussed in special working groups, and the ministry of industry and trade protects this position before the Russian government. And then there will be additions to the State Duma and the amendment to the federal budget will be adopted, and only then the budget funds go to the parent organization.''

Let us remind that the development of the concept of PAK DA began in 2009, the first flight is expected to be carried out in 2025, the adoption is planned by 2028. In the future, the PAK DA is to replace the long-range (strategic) aircrafts Tu-95 and Tu-160 of the Russian Aerospace Forces and partially take over the functions of Tu-22MZ.

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By Luiza Ignatyeva. Photo: Maksim Platonov
Tatarstan