Sergei Shoigu, the Russian minister of defense, has ordered the country’s largest missile-holding business, JSC Tactical Missiles Company (KTRV), to produce twice as many precision-guided munitions.
The Russian Defense Ministry (RuMoD) shared the news on its official Telegram account. Shoigu met with KTRV’s top brass and the military brass in charge in the Moscow region.
Apparently, Shoigu inspected the technological process and production lines on which precision-guided weapons are assembled.KTRV representatives showed him the newest generation of mass-produced weapons. You have also been allowed to improve the Russian military’s already cutting-edge weaponry.
The Russian Minister of Defense stated that KTRV met the state defense mandate properly. Although this year there has already been an increase in production, he has instructed the corporation to double the volume of
Production of high-precision weapons.
He added that tripling KTRV’s output could be problematic, calling it “difficult but not impossible” even if the company has all the required experts and production facilities.
“The Tactical Missile Corporation faces a very serious task. The company has the necessary reserves for its realization: highly qualified specialists and production facilities. Therefore, the task is difficult but doable,” Shoigu said.
The minister also said the corporation had mass-produced some of the most modern weapons. These promising developments deserve close attention since the enemy, or the armed forces of other countries do not possess these weapons.
“The future developments demonstrated by the company today deserve great attention. These products are not only lacking for today’s adversary but also for the armed forces of other countries,” Shoigu stressed.
This is the latest case of a visit by a senior Russian government official to the KTRV production facilities. In early February, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council and former President Dmitry Medvedev also visited the KTRV manufacturing plant in Raduga (Dubna).
At the time, even Medvedev had indicated that there would be an increase in arms deliveries in general. “Our armed forces regularly and in full receive various types of missiles. Deliveries of all kinds of military and military equipment will increase significantly in 2023 », he stated.
KTRV CEO Boris Obnosov accompanied Medvedev on the trip. Obnosov announced in January that the company had implemented “a multi-shift work regime” to improve the production of missiles used by the Russian military in Ukraine.
The adoption of the new work regime, according to Obnosov, meant hiring new labor, veteran staff, and additional training of employees. He also said that the corporation was making efforts for “import substitution” of components and microprocessors now embargoed by the West.
Despite sanctions, Russia is increasing missile production.
Since the beginning of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, officials in the West have been saying that export limits enforced by Western governments have hindered Russia’s defense industrial base’s capacity to develop precision-guided bombs.
Russia is vulnerable to export limits because weapons like the Kh-101 air-launched cruise missile (ALCM), which Moscow has regularly deployed in its war effort against Ukraine, employ components developed in the West.
Although Russia is said to have stockpiled microelectronics and other critical components before invading Ukraine, all indications are that Moscow initially envisioned a short campaign to achieve a quick victory.
However, the success of the Ukrainian resistance proved the top Russian military commanders wrong, and we are now looking at a protracted conflict that experts say could last for years.
This suggests that claims by Western governments that Russia is running low on precision-guided weapons and finding it difficult to replenish its stockpiles due to Western export bans may be accurate.
Russia may be producing more Kh-101s per day than before it invaded Ukraine last year, according to an analysis of this data by John Hardie, deputy head of the Russia program at the US-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD).
Furthermore, this could be true even for other Russian-made missiles, as several Russian cruise missiles use some of the same parts and components, including Western-made ones.
For example, UEC-Saturn, which makes the engines used in the Kh-101 and other Russian missiles, announced plans in March last year to hire 500 new employees to ramp up production.
Similarly, two other missile plants have significantly revamped their operations since May. The first is the Novator plant, which produces missiles for the Iskander and Buk systems, Kalibr missiles, and various missiles for ships.
The plant is said to have received additional funding and worked around the clock in three shifts. It annually produces about 100-120 units of Kalibr and several dozen cruise missiles for the Iskander system.
However, the factory struggles to increase production volume, as it would need additional engineers, mechanics, and other technical workers.
The second is the Votkinsk plant, which makes ballistic missiles for the Iskander and Yars systems and Bulava ballistic missiles for Russia’s Borei-class nuclear submarines.
Retirement-age workers and those working for subsidiaries were let off when the plant switched to a four-day workweek in 2020. It was announced in March 2016 that 500 new positions had been made available at the company. An increase in production is credited for bringing annual missile output to over 60 from 50.
Russia also produces tanks and other military equipment.
Not just missiles, but the Russian defense industrial base continues to produce other weapons platforms and systems.
For example, UralVagonZavod, Russia’s main tank manufacturer, was supposed to have ceased production due to a shortage of Western-made bearings, according to claims by the US government and Ukraine’s General Staff and military intelligence directorate.
There has been a rise in demand from the Russian military. Thus UralVagonZavod’s military division has employed more workers—including at least 250 inmates—and implemented new shift schedules and longer workdays.
Images and videos published by UralVagonZavod demonstrate the company’s ongoing ability to manufacture tanks and other military hardware. What we see does not indicate that production has ended.
Therefore, Western claims about the demise of the Russian defense industry due to multilateral export control measures seem exaggerated and premature.