martes, 14 de junio de 2011
Russian and Peruvian cooperation: The Hemispheric military balance on alert
New Defense Systems for Peru
Rodrigo Rivera Vidal
Editor, CEO y CIO de S.I.G.N / Security and Intelligence Global Network
Peru is one of the very first Latin American partners of Russia in the area of military technical cooperation.
It began on 1st February 1969 when diplomatic relations were established. Starting from 1973 Peru took delivery of the T-55 main battle tanks, MiG-29 fighters, Mi-8 helicopters, and other weapon systems and military equipment.
In a few years Peru turned into one of the leading South American partners of the USSR, ranking first in the procurement of civil and military aircraft and other products of the machine-building industry. Soviet specialists amassed huge experience in realising various economic projects in Peru.
Soviet rescuers and doctors also rendered aid to the Peruvian people after the disastrous earthquake in 1970.
In the 1990s there was an intermission in military technical cooperation between the two countries. It was restarted only in the first decade of the 2000s.
Within the scope of the Programme for the Peruvian air fleet modernisation were signed contracts for the upgrading and repairing of the Mi-17 helicopters and MiG-29 fighters. One can mention another well-known contract for the procurement by the Peruvian Army of the Kornet-E Russian antitank missile systems.
A new powerful impulse to the long-term bilateral relations was given in November 2008 when Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and President of Peru Alan Garcia met in Peru and outlined the main directions in the cooperation of Rosoboronexport and Peruvian Ministry of Defence.
Among current military technical projects implemented by Russia and Peru the contract for delivery to the Peruvian Ministry of Defence of six Mi-171Sh and two Mi-35P helicopters is seen as the most important.
Specialists of the Peruvian Ministry of Defence chose these helicopters because of their reliability, endurance and fitness to operation in adverse climatic conditions, as well as exceptional maintainability and substantial upgradability potential.
These rotorcraft inherited unique survivability features from their predecessors which had been employed virtually in all armed conflicts in the second half of the 20th century.
Soviet helicopters earned good reputation in Afghanistan, becoming legends: hundreds of stories were told of the helicopters returning to their bases all pierced with holes from bullets and shells, with their rotor blades, fuel tanks or pipelines badly damaged. And after field repairs they resumed flying combat missions.
In April 2011 two Mi-35P helicopters were shipped to Peru onboard the An-124-100 Ruslan transport aircraft. After assembly they passed acceptance tests and entered into service with the Peruvian Air Force.
The first batch of the Mi-171Sh helicopters will be delivered in the near time.
As much topical are issues related to setting up in Peru of a servicing maintenance and overhaul centre for the Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-26T helicopters (the corresponding agreement was signed in 2008 in the presence of the Russian and Peruvian presidents).
Rosoboronexport proposes that Peru actively develops relations in such areas also as upgrading and procurement of armoured and naval equipment. It continues discussing offers for the procurement of Russian radars, air defence and antitank missile systems, small arms and ammunition, as well as training aids that allow substantial reduction in specialist formation costs.
Great attention is paid to systems which can be used by armed forces in peacetime, first of all during humanitarian relief operations after ruinous natural disasters which break out rather frequently in Latin American countries, including Peru.
The Ural family Russian multi-purpose trucks are perfectly suited to help save people found in such difficult circumstances.
The Ural trucks are very popular in the region: Mexicans have been actively using them during relief operations in the aftermath of Katrina hurricane, Uruguayans in the UN missions in Congo and Haiti, and Guatemalans in counter-narcotics operations.
The Tiger armoured cars can be classed under the same category, for they are as much indispensable when conducting search-and-rescue operations and performing special-purpose missions.
Russia and Peru maintain successful and constantly evolving relations which help raise interest in Russian weapons among other Latin American countries.
This allows Rosoboronexport to conduct balanced pricing policy by taking account of a multitude of factors including economic potentials of buying countries.
Rosoboronexport builds its business development strategy on establishing, strengthening and developing long-term partnerships with foreign countries.
In the context of goals set by the Rosoboronexport's delegation at SITDEF PERU 2011 visitors to its stand will be able to get information on the following items of Russian weapons and military equipment:
Intended for army: T-90S main battle tank, BMP-3M infantry combat vehicle, BTR-80A armoured personnel carrier, Smerch multiple launch rocket system, Metis-M1 and Kornet-E antitank missile systems, 152-mm Msta-S self-propelled howitzer, Kalashnikov assault rifles of the hundredth series, various grenade launchers, sniper rifles and sights, GAZ-2330 Tigr special-purpose police automobile, Ural family trucks (with the 4x4 and 6x6 wheel arrangements), etc.
Intended for navy: Project 636 large diesel electric submarine and Amur-1650 follow-on development of the Russian diesel electric submarine type, Project 20382 Tigr small patrol ship (corvette), Project 11661 Gepard 3.9 patrol ship, Project 12200 Sobol fast patrol boat, Laguna simulator for training ship steering and control operators, Club-S and Club-N integrated missile systems, 30-mm AK-630M-2 Duet ship-borne twin artillery gun mount, Bastion stationary coastal missile system with Yakhont antiship missile, etc.
Intended for air forces: Su-35 and Su-30MK2 fighters, as well as helicopters: Mi-35M combat transport helicopter, Mi-26T heavy-lift transport helicopter, Mi-171Sh military transport helicopter.
In general, the Rosoboronexport delegates are prepared to make detailed presentations of various modifications of Sukhoi and Yakovlev aircraft, Mil and Kamov helicopters and training aids, to Latin American specialists.
Intended for air defence units: Tor-M2E air defence missile system, Igla-S man-portable air defence missile system, Strelets air defence missile system, simulator for training operators of the Igla type man-portable air defence missile system, etc.
The exposition will also include a mobile field hospital designed to render first medical aid, treatment and hospitalisation services for casualties.
The above mentioned items do not exhaust the whole list of Russian combat systems represented by Rosoboronexport at its exposition in Peru.
It is thought that some of them will get special attention of traditional and new customers who want to procure Russian-made military-purpose products, such as:
• T-90S tank: its design has drawn on tactical and strategic concepts of armour employment in modern military actions and the long-term operational experience its predecessors had gained in both Russia and abroad. Combat weight - 46.5 t, crew - three persons. The T-90S tank is favourably distinguished from its competitors by small weight and low profile typical of the Russian tank design school.
• Mi-35M helicopter: it can fly missions in hot and high environments and at low altitudes, take off and land on unequipped pads. The Mi-35M is the world's only combat helicopter capable of performing landing, transportation and medical evacuation missions. It can carry eight troops with individual weapons or 1.5-tonne cargo.
• 300-mm 9K58 Smerch multiple launch rocket system: designed to defeat enemy fire assets and electronic systems, light armoured vehicles, command and control centres, manpower, aircraft and helicopters on the ground, other targets in battle orders. The Smerch system surpasses all foreign counterparts of this class and purpose.
• Metis-M1 antitank missile system: designed for deployment with units going into action first. It ensures guaranteed engagement of modern tanks with explosive reactive armour, mobile armoured targets, fortifications, and weapons emplacements.
• The Igla-S man-portable air defence missile system: it can engage all types of aircraft and helicopters flying at a range of up to six kilometres, as well as small-size air targets. It can be employed round the clock against visible targets and in conditions of enemy thermal jamming. The Igla-S is classed among weapons of new generation for the following qualities namely: unsurpassed accuracy, high power and range of engagement.
• Project 636 large diesel electric submarine with the Club-S integrated missile system is designed to defeat enemy submarines, surface ships and vessels navigating autonomously or within a formation. Basic specifications of Project 636 diesel electric submarine: displacement - 2,350 cu.m, length - 73.8 m, beam - 9.9 m, full submerged speed - 19 knots, economical cruising range under snorkel with increased fuel reserve at a speed of 7 knots - 7,500 nau.miles, maximum diving depth - 300 m, endurance - 45 days, complement - 52 persons, torpedo tubes - 6 units.