Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Cina

BioWares. Guangdong. 30 nuovi Bio-Labs in 5 anni. La verità di cui non si vuole parlare.


Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-06-19.

2021-06-09__ Cina. Guerra Abc 001

Per comprendere a fondo la portata di questo annuncio servirebbe avere ragionevoli conoscenze sulle BioWeapons, che illustreremo in dettaglio in un prossimo futuro.

Con una molto grossolana approssimazione, si potrebbe dire che mentre nella guerra ABC per arma batterica si intende un attacco/difesa in una zona circoscritta con un agente patogeno reso resistente a tutte le cure note, le BioWeapons indicano un attacco/difesa con un patogeno altamente infettivo, di difficile diagnosi e cura. L’obiettivo è generare un quadro infettivo dilagante che obblighi lo stato colpito ad assumere misure emergenziali di tale portata da disgregarne il sistema politico, militare ed economico.

Va da sé che questi problemi rientrano nei segreti militari.


Questa era la prima parte, propedeutica.

Enclave liberal occidentale. Bioweapons. Guerre, spopolamento, ed infine collasso.

* * * * * * *

«China to build 25-30 more Bio-Labs Like in Wuhan s over next 5 year»

«In the next few years, the world could see almost 60 maximum security Level 4 virology labs in operation»

«The Guangdong province announced in May that it was planning to build between 25 to 30 biosafety labs in the next five years.»

«The facilities will be flung all over the globe, spanning 23 countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, India, Gabon, and Côte d’Ivoire.»

«About 75 percent of these facilities are or will be built in urban areas, which has experts around the world worried about the possibility of further “lab leaks.”»

«Such laboratories used to carry out the most dangerous biological research have proliferated in the past decade with scientists now warning that lax controls at several locations could lead to another pandemic»

* * * * * * *

Gli articoli riportati citano solo la possibilità che da uno di codesti centri si disperda nel mondo l’agente patogeno.

E ben poco importa se la diffusione fosse stata casuale ovvero volontaria.

*


China To Build 25-30 More Bio-Labs Like In Wuhan Over Next 5 Years

«In the next few years, the world could see almost 60 maximum security Level 4 virology labs in operation. The Guangdong province announced in May that it was planning to build between 25 to 30 biosafety labs in the next five years.

“What could go wrong?” questioned Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec.

The facilities will be flung all over the globe, spanning 23 countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, India, Gabon, and Côte d’Ivoire.

The current Wuhan Institute of Virology is now at the center of an investigation by US authorities into whether COVID-19 could have leaked from its lab.

About 75 percent of these facilities are or will be built in urban areas, which has experts around the world worried about the possibility of further “lab leaks.”

“Reporting is getting better certainly in some countries such as the UK and US where there has been media coverage of this, but we’re not yet where we want to be. The more work that is going on, the more accidents will happen,” commented Filippa Lentzos of King’s College in London, the Financial Times reported.

Richard Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, concurred:

“The larger the number of institutions and the larger the number of individuals with access to these dangerous agents, the greater the risk.”

Ebright said that accidents and leaks have happened in large numbers in places that have weaker biosafety standards.

“We need to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity rules around the world,” the scholar urged.

Such laboratories used to carry out the most dangerous biological research have proliferated in the past decade with scientists now warning that lax controls at several locations could lead to another pandemic. Many experts have said the probe into the origins of COVID-19 has shown the problems of running high-risk experiments in the country. In March, 13 countries criticized China for not allowing full access to data and samples relating to the start of the pandemic.»

* * * * * *

Financial Times. Scientists fear future leaks as top-level labs proliferate

At least 59 facilities, like Wuhan Institute, are planned or in operation across world.

Maximum security laboratories used to carry out the most dangerous biological research have proliferated in the past decade, scientists say, warning that lax controls at some locations could lead to another pandemic. At least 59 maximum biosafety level 4 labs (BSL-4) are planned, under construction or in operation across the world, spanning 23 countries including the UK, US, China, India, Gabon and Côte d’Ivoire. They include the Chinese facility at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, now at the centre of a renewed US intelligence investigation into whether Covid-19 could have leaked from its lab. Gregory Koblentz, an associate professor of biodefence at George Mason University, and Filippa Lentzos at King’s College London, who mapped the facilities, found that of the 42 labs where planning data was available, half were built in the last decade. Three-quarters of all the BSL-4 labs were in urban centres. And only three of the 23 countries have national policies that provide oversight of so-called dual-use research, where experiments that are conducted for civilian purposes can also be adapted for military ends. “Reporting is getting better certainly in some countries such as the UK and US where there has been media coverage of this, but we’re not yet where we want to be,” said Lentzos, who is an expert in science and international security. “The more work that is going on, the more accidents will happen.” The rapid expansion of such facilities, particularly in countries like China, has heightened concerns about leaks of dangerous substances.

“The larger the number of institutions and the larger the number of individuals with access to these dangerous agents, the greater the risk,” said Richard Ebright, professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University. “Accidents and leaks already happen in very large numbers, especially in places that have weaker biosafety standards. We need to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity rules around the world.” US intelligence officials are currently investigating whether the Wuhan Institute could have played any role in the origins of Covid-19. The Chinese facility hosts one of no more than six BSL-4 labs in the world that had been conducting contentious “gain of function” research on bat-related pathogens before the pandemic, according to Ebright. Whatever the US agencies conclude, Covid-19 has already focused attention on biomedical research into deadly pathogens, much of which is subject to no international policing or oversight. According to the Global Health Security Index, which is referenced by Koblentz and Lentzos, just under a quarter of countries with labs operating at BSL-4 have “high” levels of biosecurity preparedness, such as the US and UK. Around a third, including China, have “medium” levels, while 41 per cent have “low” levels, such as South Africa. Lentzos and Koblentz’s research adds to existing worries among many scientists about the already high number of accidents involving biomedical research, even at the most secure facilities. In the US, the health department and the Centers for Disease Control jointly monitor the use of 67 different types of toxins and other potentially dangerous materials. Their latest report found that in the US in 2019, such substances were lost 13 times and accidentally released 219 times. This led to over 1,000 people undergoing medical assessments, and some taking preventive drugs. None however contracted identified illnesses as a result. US surveillance of its domestic facilities was stepped up after 2001, when an attacker killed five people by sending anthrax believed to have come from the US army medical research lab at Fort Detrick to several media outlets and two members of Congress.

The 2001 anthrax attacks are not the only example of a failure of lab security in recent decades. In 2004, nine people were infected with Sars and one person died after two researchers were separately exposed to the virus while working at the Chinese Institute of Virology in Beijing. In November 2019, just a month before the first confirmed case of Covid-19, more than 6,000 people in north-west China were infected with brucellosis, a bacterial disease with flu-like symptoms, after a leak at a vaccine plant. China has been particularly keen to build more maximum-security labs in order to strengthen its scientific research capacity. Bai Chunli, the former president of the state-affiliated Chinese Academy of Sciences, wrote an article last year warning of the country’s “clear shortcomings” in its number of high-level biosafety labs in comparison with the US. Guangdong province announced in May that it was planning to build between 25 to 30 biosafety level three labs and one BSL-4 lab, in the next five years. But some Chinese officials have warned about poor security at existing facilities. In 2019 Yuan Zhiming, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s BSL-4 lab, wrote a review of the safety deficiencies in China’s laboratories. “Several high-level BSLs have insufficient operational funds for routine yet vital processes,” Yuan wrote, adding that maintenance costs were “generally neglected”. “Due to the limited resources, some BSL-3 laboratories run on extremely minimal operational costs or in some cases none at all,” he said. In 2020, the central government passed a new law to improve national biosafety standards. Critics say secrecy in China around the activities at such facilities makes it difficult to know how secure they are. In January 2020, Beijing told biosafety laboratories working on Sars-Cov-2 samples that they needed government clearance to release any information about the virus.

Many scientists have said the Chinese approach to the international investigation into the origins of Covid-19 has shown the problems of running high-risk experiments in the country. In March, 13 countries criticised China for not allowing international experts full access to data and samples relating to the start of the pandemic. “What we’ve seen so far in relation to the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a lab that’s not being open and transparent about the sorts of work it is doing,” said Lentzos. “When you have these sorts of labs you have to ensure they are open, transparent and that you engage with your peers.”

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Geopolitica Militare, Russia

Russia. Controllo militare dell’Artico. Le basi sono più importanti delle parole.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-06-13.

Franz Josef Land 001

Il controllo militare, economico e politico dell’Oceano Artico è diventato terreno di confronto tra le grandi potenze.

2021-05-23__ Franz Josef Land 002

Tra le pochissime isole, la Franz Josef Land è l’arcipelago più a nord di tutto il continente: il suo possesso è quindi vitale, sia come punto avanzato di avvistamento radar, sia come base missilistica  di interdizione a missili, aeroplani e navi.

«Franz Josef Land archipelago is the closest land to the North Pole in the eastern hemisphere (about 870 km to the North Pole).

It has been discovered in 1873 by the Austrian – Hungarian “Tegetthoff” expedition, under the leadership of Carl Weyprecht, who named the islands after Emperor Franz Joseph I.

The extremely northern position of the islands attracted expeditions of the pioneer age (late 19th – early 20th century), which usually saw Franz Josef Land as a useful advanced base for attempts to reach the North Pole.

The archipelago was more fully explored by expeditions such as one led by Nansen (who spent the winter of 1895–96 in Franz Josef Land).

In 1926 the islands were taken over by the Soviet Union, for research and military purposes; many of the Russian Polar stations are now abandoned, and the whole archipelago is given back to the wildlife. Polar Bears, walruses, arctic foxes, belugas and whales, and lots of Arctic birds.

Nowadays it is one of rare ‘wild’ places left on Earth – it is unpopulated except for one permanent Russian base.

The archipelago consists of 191 islands, mostly covered with a permanent ice cap. Islands of volcanic origin, including Alexandra Land, Prince George Land, Bell Island, Hooker Island, Prince Rudolf Island, Hall island…» [Ultima0thule]

* * * * * * *

2021-05-23__ Franz Josef Land Saint Nicholas Church 001


«Now Franz Josef Land is home to a Russian military base and the source of added tension in relations with the West»

«The US has once again accused Moscow of “militarising” the Arctic and the head of Russia’s Northern Fleet has told the BBC that Nato and US military activity in the region is “definitely” provocative and on a scale not seen since World War Two»

«The airfield has been upgraded to allow all kinds of planes to land all year round, though emerging on to the tarmac was like stepping on an ice rink»

«Less than 960km (600 miles) below the North Pole, conditions are extreme, with deep snowdrifts and blizzards even in mid-May»

«Even the structure of the base is meant to make a statement: it’s painted in the colours of the Russian flag, bright against the blank canvas all around»

«Known as Arctic Trefoil for its three-leaved shape, the base is the second of its kind in the Arctic – this one is meant for 150 soldiers.»

«But the main show is outside, where Bastion missile launchers raise and lower their firing mechanisms as a soldier in white camouflage stands guard, gun across his chest»

«The missile systems are “to destroy enemy ships”»

«The Northern Fleet put on a far greater show of strength earlier this year when three nuclear submarines smashed through the ice simultaneously, a manoeuvre never seen before»

«Such posturing is making the United States and Nato wary as Russia’s military presence in the region expands to a level not seen since the Cold War»

«we were bussed to a battlecruiser moored in the closed military town of Severomorsk. At 252 metres long, the nuclear-powered Peter the Great is the giant grey flagship of the Northern Fleet.»

«We see such activity as provocative so close to the Russian border where we have very important assets. By that, I mean nuclear forces»

«As the polar ice melts, removing a protective natural curtain, Russia’s long northern frontier will become vulnerable»

«Trade would include exports of the large oil and gas reserves beneath the sea here»

Nota.

Pyotr Velikiy è il nome russo dell’incrociatore atomico Pietro il Grande.

* * * * * * *

Aver costruito, tenuto in manutenzione ed in ottima efficienza bellica una sofisticata base militare in una zona dal clima così avverso significa aver messo a punto una congerie inenarrabile di mezzi: dagli abiti da indossare, a sistemi di arma operativi anche a -50°C, missili e rampe di lancio mobili atte a lavorare a quelle temperature. Per non menzionare anche i mezzi più umili ma indispensabili, quali i lubrificanti che non congelino.

Le beghe legali lascerebbero alquanto sorridenti: le armi comandano.

*


Russia flexes muscles in challenge for Arctic control.

Now Franz Josef Land is home to a Russian military base and the source of added tension in relations with the West.

The US has once again accused Moscow of “militarising” the Arctic and the head of Russia’s Northern Fleet has told the BBC that Nato and US military activity in the region is “definitely” provocative and on a scale not seen since World War Two.

                         Making the Arctic a priority for Russia

We were among the first foreign journalists taken to visit the facility on Alexandra Island, over two hours’ flight from Murmansk up over the Arctic.

The airfield has been upgraded to allow all kinds of planes to land all year round, though emerging on to the tarmac was like stepping on an ice rink.

Less than 960km (600 miles) below the North Pole, conditions are extreme, with deep snowdrifts and blizzards even in mid-May. For a while, rattling along in a military truck, I could make out nothing but white through the window.

In deepest winter the temperature drops to minus 50 degrees C and the soldiers occasionally have to head out in their vehicles to disperse the polar bears who amble right up to the base.

                         ‘Like a space station’

Even the structure of the base is meant to make a statement: it’s painted in the colours of the Russian flag, bright against the blank canvas all around.

Known as Arctic Trefoil for its three-leaved shape, the base is the second of its kind in the Arctic – this one is meant for 150 soldiers.

Ahead of a tour, the commander in charge said it was so high-tech and ecologically efficient it was “like a space station, just in the Arctic emptiness instead of in orbit”.

But the main show is outside, where Bastion missile launchers raise and lower their firing mechanisms as a soldier in white camouflage stands guard, gun across his chest.

The missile systems are “to destroy enemy ships,” another soldier said. They are “effective”, he informed us.

The Northern Fleet put on a far greater show of strength earlier this year when three nuclear submarines smashed through the ice simultaneously, a manoeuvre never seen before. On the same Arctic exercises, two fighter jets flew over the North Pole, refuelling in mid-air.

Such posturing is making the United States and Nato wary as Russia’s military presence in the region expands to a level not seen since the Cold War.

Nato’s spokeswoman confirmed that the alliance had stepped up its patrols and exercises, in response, she said, to a “more challenging security environment”.

                         Blaming Nato for build-up

But Russia doesn’t see things that way.

Before we were flown to the archipelago, we were bussed to a battlecruiser moored in the closed military town of Severomorsk. At 252 metres long, the nuclear-powered Peter the Great is the giant grey flagship of the Northern Fleet.

On board, the Fleet’s commander, Adm Alexander Moiseyev, addressed us in front of a portrait of Peter I, the Tsar who founded Russia’s navy and turned the country towards the West.

But he accused Nato forces and the US of military actions in the Arctic that increased the risk of conflict.

“There haven’t been so many of their forces here for years. Decades. Not since World War Two,” Adm Moiseyev countered, when I put it to him that Nato blamed Russia for the surge in tension. “We see such activity as provocative so close to the Russian border where we have very important assets. By that, I mean nuclear forces.”

As for the Russian build-up, the troops are returning to a region Russia abandoned in the 1990s when the Soviet Union fell apart.

“We’re just recreating the capacity to protect our borders, not to threaten anyone,” argues Lev Voronkov, an Arctic expert from MGIMO university. “After the USSR collapsed, even border posts in that region were left unmanned.”

That won’t be an option for much longer. As the polar ice melts, removing a protective natural curtain, Russia’s long northern frontier will become vulnerable.

                         Land of opportunity

As the Bastion missile launchers danced for the cameras on Alexandra Island, I spotted a Russian ice-breaker cutting through the frozen landscape in the distance. A smaller cargo ship followed in its wake and an iceberg loomed behind both of them.

The vessels were crawling along the northern shipping route that skirts the archipelago and that Russia hopes to develop and control as global warming makes it easier to navigate. Trade would include exports of the large oil and gas reserves beneath the sea here.

Admiral Moiseyev calls his troops the “main instrument” for protecting those economic interests, as well as Russia’s borders.

As competition begins to heat up, our visit to Franz Josef Land was a chance for Russia to flex some muscle and send a message: that its ambitions for the Arctic are great and growing and they are interests it’s ready to defend.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Russia, Stati Uniti

Russia. Dispiega i sistemi Kh-47M2 Kinzhal anche ai confini occidentali europei.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-06-12.

Arco di Trionfo. Mosca. 001

Le relazioni russo-americane hanno raggiunto un minimo storico ed al momento nessuno potrebbe escludere la possibilità di un conflitto armato.

A giorni Mr Putin si incontrerà con Joe Biden e verosimilmente questo sarà un punto caldo delle discussione.

Di questi giorni l’annuncio che la Russia dispiega i sistemi missilistici ipersonici Kh-47M2 Kinzhal anche ai suoi confini occidentali europei.

Questi missili avrebbero un raggio operazionale tra i 2,000 ed i 3,000 km, e potrebbero colpire gli obiettivi in meno di dieci minuti primi, un tempo estremamente breve per poter attivare i sistemi di difesa.

In poche parole, tutta l’Europa sarebbe sotto tiro, con una precisione riferita essere attorno al metro.

Potrebbero essere una notevole dissuasione.

* * * * * * *

«The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (“dagger”) is a Russian nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM). It has a claimed range of more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi), Mach 10 speed, and an ability to perform evasive maneuvers at every stage of its flight. It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads[9] and can be launched from Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31K interceptors. It has been deployed at airbases in Russia’s Southern Military District.

The Kinzhal entered service in December 2017 and is one of the six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 March 2018» [Fonte]

* * * * * * *

Russia. Nuovi o perfezionati missili ipersonici. Kh-47M2 Kinzhal e 3M22 Zircon

Two down, more to go? With hypersonic weapons already in the field, Russia looks to improve features

Usa. A settembre mette in linea i primi sistemi ipersonici.

Cina. I lanciatori dei missili ipersonici DF-17 sono diventati stealth.

Putin. Stanno diventando operativi i missile ipersonici per la marina.

* * *

Russia. I missili intercontinentali ipersonici Avangard sono operativi.

Russia’s ‘invincible’ hypersonic weapon that can strike anywhere in the world in MINUTES will be ready for war by 2020

Russia’s city-destroying super-nuke Avangard that travels at TWENTY times the speed of sound will be ready for take-off next year

Gli Stati Uniti sono in allarme per i super missili ipersonici russi

Missili ipersonici: rottura dell’attuale stabilità strategica tra Stati Uniti, Cina e Russia e rivoluzione nelle tattiche militari

Missili a 6 volte la velocità del suono, testati in Cina nuovi velivoli ipersonici

Putin presenzia al test di Avangard. Un missile a testa nucleare da Mach 20.

Russia. Entra in fase di test il missile ipersonico 3M22 Zircon.

Russia. Schierati gli Iskander a Kalinigrad. Hanno svegliato l’orso che dormiva.

Armamenti Nucleari. È in atto una corsa al riarmo per la prossima guerra.

9M729, Iskander, Kalibr, S-400, S500. Putin è un gran costruttore di missili.

Cina. Dispiegati nel sud-est asiatico gli S-400 russi.

Medio Oriente. La Russia fornirà sistemi S-400 all’Arabia Saudita.

Turkia. Firmato contratto S-400. Si dice siano già operativi.

Russia. I siluri Khishchnik e VA-111 Shkval. Serie minacce alle portaerei.

Russia. Kulikovo, Kaliningrad, ospiterebbe un arsenale atomico russo.

Kaliningrad. Zeppo di missili atomici adesso anche black hole.

* * *


La Russia annuncia il dispiegamento di sistemi missilistici ipersonici Dagger vicino ai confini della NATO.

La Russia ha iniziato a schierare sistemi missilistici ipersonici vicino ai confini della NATO.

Secondo le informazioni espresse dai rappresentanti del Ministero della Difesa della Federazione Russa, i confini occidentali della Russia saranno ulteriormente rinforzati con i sistemi missilistici aerei ipersonici Kinzhal. Dai dati presentati, risulta che i missili ipersonici russi, in grado di colpire bersagli a terra con elevata precisione a distanze fino a 1,5-2 mila chilometri, saranno schierati nel distretto militare occidentale.

Ad oggi, l’ARC “Dagger” è in servizio solo con il Distretto Militare Meridionale, tuttavia, ovviamente, il Ministero della Difesa della Federazione Russa ha deciso di schierare ulteriori complessi “Dagger” e i loro vettori nel Distretto Militare Occidentale, e, soprattutto, questo si posiziona come rinforzo con armi tattiche, probabilmente a causa del rafforzamento del raggruppamento NATO vicino ai confini della Russia.

“Prima di tutto, si tratta di armi operative-tattiche che cambiano o influenzano la situazione nella regione in punti specifici in cui possono essere utilizzate. Ciò aumenta il potenziale per influenzare il nemico e può svolgere un ruolo su scala geopolitica. Vediamo un aumento degli sforzi, la creazione di nuove capacità di combattimento”, – hanno detto i rappresentanti del dipartimento della difesa russo.

Le aree esatte di dispiegamento delle armi ipersoniche russe sono ancora sconosciute, così come il numero di velivoli da trasporto, nel cui ruolo sono caccia MiG-31, non è specificato, tuttavia, in precedenza c’erano prove che almeno due MiG-31 combattenti con sistemi missilistici ” Dagger “possono apparire sul territorio della vicina Bielorussia.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti

Turkia. Vende alla Polonia 24 droni anticarro Bayraktar TB2.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-05-27.

2021-05-25__ Turkia TB2 001

«The Bayraktar TB2 is a Turkish medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations. It is manufactured by Turkey′s Baykar company primarily for the Turkish Armed Forces. The aircraft is monitored and controlled by an aircrew in the Ground Control Station, including weapons employment, via Türksat satellite. Bayraktar means “ensign” or “standard-bearer” in Turkish. The development of the UAV has been largely credited to Selçuk Bayraktar, a former MIT graduate student.

The aircraft previously relied on imported and regulated components and technologies such as the engines (manufactured by Rotax in Austria) and optoelectronics (FLIR sensors imported from Wescam in Canada or Hensoldt from Germany). Engines exports were halted when Bombardier, owner of Rotax, became aware of the military use of their recreational aircraft engines. ….

General Characteristics

    Crew: 0 onboard, 3 per one ground control station

    Length: 6.5 m (21 ft)

    Wing Span: 12 m (39 ft)

    Max Take Off Weight: 650 kg (1,430 lb)

    Payload: 150 kg (330 lb)

    Powerplant: 1 x 100 Hp Internal Combustion Engine with Injection

    Fuel Capacity: 300 litres (79 US gal)

    Fuel Type: Gasoline

Performance

    Maximum Speed: 120 knots (220 km/h)

    Cruise Speed: 70 knots (130 km/h)

    Range: 150 km (81 nmi)[27]

    Communication Range: Line-of-sight propagation

    Service Ceiling: 27,000 feet (8,200 m)

    Operational altitude: 18,000 feet (5,500 m)

    Endurance: 27 hours

Armaments

The Smart Micro Munition (MAM-L) and behind it MAM-C high explosive variant

Hardpoints: 4 hardpoints for laser guided smart munition, with provisions to carry combinations of :

    L-UMTAS (Long Range Anti tank Missile System) 

    MAM: MAM-C and MAM-L precision-guided munitions

    Roketsan Cirit (70 mm Missile System)

    TUBITAK-SAGE Bozok Laser Guided Rockets

    TUBITAK-SAGE TOGAN[132] Air-to-surface launched 81 mm mortar munition.» [Fonte]

* * * * * * *

«Poland will buy 24 armed drones from Turkey, the Polish defence minister said on Saturday, becoming the first NATO member to buy Turkish-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)»

«The Bayraktar TB2 drones, the first of which are due to be delivered next year, will be armed with anti-tank projectiles. Poland will also buy a logistics and training package»

«Blaszczak told state radio the Bayraktar TB2 drones “have proven themselves in wars”»

«The contract, which will be concluded without a procurement process, will be signed next week during a visit by Polish President Andrzej Duda to Turkey»

«Authorities in fellow NATO member Turkey say the country has become the world’s fourth-largest drone producer since President Tayyip Erdogan increased domestic production to reduce reliance on Western arms»

* * * * * * *

L’idea di una Turkia misera e sottosviluppata persiste ad alimentare l’immaginario collettivo europeo.

Ma la realtà dei fatti indica come essa sia in grado di produrre armamenti altamente sofisticati e che hanno provato la loro efficacia sul campo di battaglia.

«the country has become the world’s fourth-largest drone producer»

Quindi, si colloca subito dietro Russia, Cina e Stati Uniti, le tre grandi superpotenze mondiali.

*


Poland to become first NATO country to buy Turkish drones.

Poland will buy 24 armed drones from Turkey, the Polish defence minister said on Saturday, becoming the first NATO member to buy Turkish-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The Bayraktar TB2 drones, the first of which are due to be delivered next year, will be armed with anti-tank projectiles. Poland will also buy a logistics and training package, said Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak.

Blaszczak told state radio the Bayraktar TB2 drones “have proven themselves in wars” and added that the UAVs would be serviced by a military company, without giving further details.

The contract, which will be concluded without a procurement process, will be signed next week during a visit by Polish President Andrzej Duda to Turkey.

Authorities in fellow NATO member Turkey say the country has become the world’s fourth-largest drone producer since President Tayyip Erdogan increased domestic production to reduce reliance on Western arms.

Turkish defence technology company Baykar has sold its Bayraktar TB2 armed drone to Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Qatar and Libya. Erdogan said in March that Saudi Arabia was also interested in buying Turkish drones. read more

Canada scrapped export permits for drone technology to Turkey in April, after concluding that the equipment was used by Azeri forces fighting Armenia in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. The parts under embargo included camera systems for Baykar armed drones.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Cina

Cina. J15. Se lo hanno sviluppato a qualcosa servirà bene.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-05-15.

Gufo

«The Shenyang J-15 is a 4th generation, twin-jet, all-weather, carrier-based fighter aircraft in development by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation and the 601 Institute for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy’s aircraft carriers.»

Largo 14.7 metri (7.4 ad ali piegate), pesa 33 tonnellate al decollo. Ha una velocità massima di 2,400 km/h ed un raggio di azione di circa 3,000 km. Dispone di un corredo di missili per ogni circostanza bellica.

* * * * * * *

«Rumors of the J-15’s unreliability have been greatly exaggerated.»

«The current variant of the J-15 has seen a relatively small production by Chinese standards, with only 24 airframes produced between 2014 and 2018»

«As mentioned, the J-15 takes off from carriers using a ski jump assisted STOBAR mechanism rather than catapult assistance (CATOBAR)»

«The Chinese navy’s current in-service carriers, CV-16 Liaoning (previously the Varyag) and CV-17 Shandong, both field ski jumps and the PLAN will not have a CATOBAR carrier in service until 003 is projected to enter service around 2025 or afterwards»

«One of the most common critiques of launching tactical fighter aircraft from STOBAR are the limitations that a ski jump places on an aircraft’s takeoff weight and payload. CATOBAR, by contrast, enables an aircraft to launch at maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) and full payload. This oft-cited comparison is not inaccurate, but is somewhat simplified, as will be described below.»

«First, the J-15 was critiqued for being unable to takeoff with a payload of 12 tons, but such a payload capacity was never associated with the aircraft, which has the same 6.5 ton payload as the Su-33»

«It was also argued that its inability to carry 12 tons meant the J-15 couldn’t be armed with the PL-12 beyond visual range missile (BVRAAM) – despite the PL-12 weighing 200 kilograms, about one-60th of the supposed requisite 12 ton capacity»

«In actuality, two tons is sufficient to carry two YJ-83K family missiles, two PL-8 SRAAMs, and also at least two additional PL-12 missiles with pylons all inclusive»

«In short, catapults offer substantially greater safety in launching heavily loaded fighter aircraft under a variety of conditions, and are required to reliably launch other aircraft types. However, the conventional narrative that ski jumps are “unable” to launch heavily loaded fighters is also untrue»

* * * * * * *

Come parte di un progetto che mira ad aumentare la potenza navale cinese nella regione del Pacifico, Pechino sta costruendo la quarta portaerei della propria flotta, che è “probabile che sia a propulsione nucleare”.

Nel frattempo sta mettendo a punto gli aerei che dovranno equipaggiarla.

Sarebbe illogico il voler comparare gli attuali aerei imbarcati  le attuali portaerei cinesi a quelle americane, che sono il frutto di quasi un secolo di presenza ed esperienza nel settore.

Si dovrebbe invece constatare come prima non ci fossero, mentre adesso ci sono, e guardare a cosa potrebbe essere tra una decina di anni.

Siamo solo agli inizi.

*


It’s Time to Talk About J-15, China’s First Carrierborne Fighter

Rumors of the J-15’s unreliability have been greatly exaggerated.

*

As the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)’s first ever carrierborne fighter, the J-15 Fei Sha (Flying Shark) has been the focus of substantial English language and foreign media coverage since its maiden flight in August 2009. On cursory review of various Chinese fighter types, perhaps only the J-20 and FC-31 stealth fighters have received more foreign interest (and prompted a greater word count) than the J-15.

Some of the reporting on the J-15 could be described as controversial, or somewhat misinformed. However, this is not unreasonable, given the history and technical characteristics of the aircraft, as well as the J-15’s somewhat unique role in the context of overall PLAN carrier development efforts as the Chinese navy’s first carrierborne fighter in general.

As an aircraft derived from a Ukrainian T-10K prototype, which formed the basis of the Soviet Su-33, the J-15 inherits the same airframe and aerodynamic configuration as the Su-33, though the original T-10K prototype was so fatigued that many key subsystems required development from scratch. The J-15 in its current production form retains the same ski jump assisted short take off (STOBAR) mechanism to enable carrier launch. The current variant of the J-15 has seen a relatively small production by Chinese standards, with only 24 airframes produced between 2014 and 2018. Production of the same baseline variant restarted in late 2019, with a minimum of 10 further airframes confirmed at this point in time.

This piece will review some of the most common claims surrounding the J-15, specifically the payload and take-off weight of the aircraft, as well as consider the accident rate in context of the aircraft’s operational status and design. I’ll also judge the comparative capability of the aircraft in relation to its PLA and worldwide peers, and review aircraft variants and future prospects of the type in context of PLAN carrier development.

MTOW and Payload

As mentioned, the J-15 takes off from carriers using a ski jump assisted STOBAR mechanism rather than catapult assistance (CATOBAR). The Chinese navy’s current in-service carriers, CV-16 Liaoning (previously the Varyag) and CV-17 Shandong, both field ski jumps and the PLAN will not have a CATOBAR carrier in service until 003 is projected to enter service around 2025 or afterwards. The procurement of the ex-Varyag from Ukraine to be China’s first carrier, combined with the projected development time to achieve a mature catapult system (whether steam or electromagnetic, EM), effectively placed the PLAN on a path to adopt STOBAR aircraft carriers from the outset if it sought a carrier in the 2010s.

One of the most common critiques of launching tactical fighter aircraft from STOBAR are the limitations that a ski jump places on an aircraft’s takeoff weight and payload. CATOBAR, by contrast, enables an aircraft to launch at maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) and full payload. This oft-cited comparison is not inaccurate, but is somewhat simplified, as will be described below.

However, first it is necessary to address one of the most commonly referenced articles about the J-15, which has somehow found substantial circulation over the years. In 2013, a Taiwan-based news outlet called Want China Times (now defunct, though an archive of the original article remains available) claimed the Chinese military watching portal Sina Military Network criticized the J-15 as a “flopping fish,” for a variety of confusing reasons.

First, the J-15 was critiqued for being unable to takeoff with a payload of 12 tons, but such a payload capacity was never associated with the aircraft, which has the same 6.5 ton payload as the Su-33. It was also argued that its inability to carry 12 tons meant the J-15 couldn’t be armed with the PL-12 beyond visual range missile (BVRAAM) – despite the PL-12 weighing 200 kilograms, about one-60th of the supposed requisite 12 ton capacity. The article also claimed that a J-15 fully loaded with internal fuel could only carry a two-ton payload, limiting the aircraft to two YJ-83K anti-ship missiles and two PL-8 short range missiles (SRAAMs). In actuality, two tons is sufficient to carry two YJ-83K family missiles, two PL-8 SRAAMs, and also at least two additional PL-12 missiles with pylons all inclusive. Finally, the article asserted the J-15 would somehow be limited to only “120 kilometers of attack range” – a curious claim, given that its combat radius with full internal fuel would enable a reach of over 1,200 kilometers, and the range of an air launched YJ-83K alone would reach approximately 200 kilometers to begin with.

For some peculiar reason, the article from Want China Times has been replicated in multiple other outlets over the years, including as recently as 2020. The quotations cited by various articles all find their roots in the “Sina Military Network” source, with some outlets describing it as “Beijing based” or “state media,” without any reflection as to the status of Sina, nor any assessment of the veracity (or indeed the basic arithmetic) of the claims.

As a learning opportunity, for individuals unfamiliar with PLA watching (or indeed, navigating the vast ocean of Chinese language internet portals in general): Sina, and the affiliated Sina Military Network, is a non-state media network whose functions includes aggregation of blog posts from any number of user-submitted content. The unironic citation of a random post on Sina Military Network as a credible source is the rough equivalent of citing a random post on Yahoo Answers, Quora, or Reddit as the basis of a news story. Online sourcing can be very useful if done correctly, and indeed much leading-edge PLA watching relies on an ability to accurately identify, cross-examine, and track sources and rumors over time. However, a minimum level of discipline and competency in identifying credible sources is necessary to make this work, which does not appear to have been met in this specific instance.

Returning back to the J-15, the aircraft – again, similar to the Su-33 – enjoys an MTOW of 33 tons and an external payload of 6.5 tons. Statements from credible Chinese insiders with demonstrated track records suggest that contrary to mainstream reporting, the J-15 is actually capable of taking off from the Liaoning or Shandong with full MTOW – but with preconditions.

Specifically, the MTOW of the aircraft depends on carrier speeds, which in turn generate headwinds. At an operational speed of 28 knots, the J-15 can take off from the long waist launch position at 33 tons and the two forward launch positions at 28 tons. At a slower speed of 20 knots, J-15 can takeoff from the waist position at 31 tons. An inspection of Russian literature regarding the development of the Su-33 further confirms that the aircraft was indeed capable of taking off from a carrier with a full MTOW consistent with descriptions of the J-15’s takeoff profiles. This should prove unsurprising given production J-15s are powered by the same Al-31 engines fielded on the original Su-33s, but would have been produced some two decades after the first Su-33 airframes, with likely benefits in materials advancement.

However, the ability to takeoff from a STOBAR carrier with full MTOW does not mean the STOBAR launch mechanism is comparable or preferable to CATOBAR in terms of launch flexibility. Ski jumps require a certain level of carrier headwind for an aircraft to be launched at given requisite loads, while catapults offer substantially more flexibility for the carrier’s own navigation. Ski jumps also present more risk in the event of an engine failure during launch compared to catapults, and catapults enable the launch of other aircraft types such as airborne early warning aircraft (AEW&C) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), among others.

In short, catapults offer substantially greater safety in launching heavily loaded fighter aircraft under a variety of conditions, and are required to reliably launch other aircraft types. However, the conventional narrative that ski jumps are “unable” to launch heavily loaded fighters is also untrue. A J-15 (or indeed, a Su-33, or other STOBAR aircraft such as a Mig-29K) would indeed be capable of taking off at operationally relevant loads, including MTOW, but would face more stringent launch conditions than it would on a CATOBAR carrier.

J-15s may one day be photographed taking off from Liaoning or Shandong with a full weight payload, but given how rare it is for even land-based PLA fighter aircraft to be seen carrying full loadouts, this may or may not eventuate; indeed, such loadouts are rare for peacetime exercises. Even if such a visual was captured on film, it is likely that individuals skeptical of STOBAR may question the internal fuel load of an aircraft taking off from a ski jump with a heavy payload regardless. Therefore this is likely to remain an open question for the long term.

Unreliable… Or Not?

The performance record, specifically the reliability and the accident record of the J-15, has also come under some scrutiny in defense media over the last half decade of the aircraft’s operation.

Four supposed accidents make up this record, of which two included airframe losses, with one or two of the accidents being fatal. While the disclosure of these accidents is open knowledge, the rationale and cause as reported in some outlets do not make sense.

Specifically, claims that unreliable engines are the cause of supposed poor aircraft reliability only spark confusion, because all production J-15s thus far are powered by Al-31s, the same engines that power Russian Su-33s, and not China’s domestic WS-10 engines. Claims of irreconcilable mechanical or flight control system faults inherent to the aircraft seem inconsistent with the number of J-15 variants that were already visibly seen at the time when some of these articles were published in 2018 (at that time, the existence of test airframes for the twin seat J-15S, electronic warfare J-15D, and catapult testbed J-15T had all been confirmed), strongly suggesting PLAN confidence in the aircraft’s flight performance and viability as an airframe, especially in the context of how risk averse the PLA approach to weapons development and procurement is.

The overall implication that four accidents with two airframe losses reflect a lack of reliability also appears somewhat dubious given the context of PLA carrier operations in the 2010s.

Recall that the J-15 is the first-ever carrier capable aircraft of the PLA. It first flew in 2009, and first landed on a carrier in 2012, in the context of a navy and nation that prior to that point had no fixed-wing naval aviation experience. That is to say, not only is the individual aircraft itself new, but it represents an entirely new category of aviation for China in general. Furthermore, the 24 production airframes produced up to that point in 2018 were likely among the most intensively flown aircraft in the entire PLA’s combat aircraft fleet in that period, operating as a seed fleet to develop tactics, techniques, and procedures for the burgeoning naval aviation force and carrier doctrine, as well as flying intensively to qualify new naval aviators given the lack of dedicated carrierborne training aircraft.

In the context of such intensive flying, the lack of dedicated trainer aircraft, and the J-15’s status as an industry-first example of a fixed wing carrierborne aircraft for China, four accidents relating to the aircraft appears reasonable if not surprisingly low – especially as one of those accidents was a bird strike bearing no reflection on the aircraft itself. Certainly, assertions of the J-15 aircraft itself being somehow inherently flawed and in need of imminent replacement seem incredulous at present as of early 2021, given the variety of aforementioned J-15 test variants, as well as the restart of standard J-15 production from late 2019, and the expected production of a new CATOBAR compatible J-15 variant.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Russia, Unione Europea

EU. Quasi tutti gli stati hanno mandato gli ambasciatori alla sfilata russa del 9 maggio.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-05-14.

Putin_003__ - Copia

«Most EU states are sending their ambassadors to Russia’s WW2 victory parade on Sunday (9 May) despite tense relations»

«The list includes: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.»

«The three Baltic states and Spain are not sending anyone»

«the Baltic states are boycotting the event for political motives»

«Lithuania’s ambassador will place flowers on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow on 8 May»

«But the 2021 guest list also gives a snapshot of where individual EU states stand on Russia»

«But Berlin, in any case, always sends a VIP to the Red Square on 9 May because of Nazi Germany’s role in WW2»

«The EU ambassador is not in Moscow on the day»

«For a number of countries, this [9 May] is an important date and they appreciate the undeniable role the Soviet Union played in defeating the Nazis»

«This year, the Kremlin said it had not invited big names because the 76th anniversary was less important than the 75th»

«Presence at the level of an ambassador is always the lowest official representation possible, so this is also a sign»

«nuclear-capable ‘Iskander’ missiles, which Russia has placed in its Kaliningrad exclave, putting them in range of Warsaw and Berlin»

* * * * * * *

Gli stati dell’Unione Europea hanno nei confronti della Russia e di Mr Putin posizioni conflittuali ed incongruenti.

Da una parte devono constatare come essi dipendano dalle forniture di gas naturale russo, volenti o nolenti.

Nel contempo assistono al continuo ripristino delle forze armate russe, tornate ad essere allo stato dell’arte. Gli europei si sentono i missili russi puntati sulle loro teste.

È ben capibile che i governi europei odino di odio distillato Mr Putin, che nel giro di venti anni ha riportato la Russia al ruolo di potenza mondiale. Mr Putin è un russo che cura gli interessi del suo paese: sufficit.

Ma a tutto questo si aggiunge il fatto che Mr Putin è paladino del retaggio religioso, umano, sociale e politico: ha persino fatto scrivere nella Costituzione che il matrimonio è tale solo tra un maschio ed una femmina.

Per l’Unione Europea liberal socialista questa Weltanschauung è l’esatto opposto della loro ideologia.

*

In ogni caso si constata che “Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden” hanno inviato i loro ambasciatori.

*


EU ambassadors flock to Red Square for Putin’s parade

Most EU states are sending their ambassadors to Russia’s WW2 victory parade on Sunday (9 May) despite tense relations.

The list includes: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.

The Dutch ambassador is also expected to go, but had not confirmed as of Friday.

Austria, Cyprus, and the EU embassy in Moscow are sending chargé d’affaires.

The three Baltic states and Spain are not sending anyone.

Malta did not reply to EUobserver.

In Cold War times, Western analysts used to study who sat close to the Soviet leader at the annual event to try to understand Moscow’s opaque power structures in a practice called “Kremlinology”.

But the 2021 guest list also gives a snapshot of where individual EU states stand on Russia.

Relations nosedived in 2014 when Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting EU sanctions.

They got worse recently, when the EU imposed blacklists over Russia’s violence against opposition leader Alexei Navalny and Russia listed the EU Parliament president in revenge.

The Czech Republic and Russia also expelled dozens of each other’s diplomats after revelations that Russian spies blew up a Czech arms depot in 2014, killing two people.

But Berlin, in any case, always sends a VIP to the Red Square on 9 May because of Nazi Germany’s role in WW2, an EU diplomat noted.

The fact the Czech ambassador is going indicates Prague wants to mend ties despite the bomb attack.

Meanwhile, Austria, Cyprus, Spain, and the EU embassy’s decisions not to send top people mean little, because these were due to logistical reasons.

The EU ambassador is not in Moscow on the day, for instance.

But the Baltic states are boycotting the event for political motives, diplomatic sources said.

Lithuania’s ambassador will place flowers on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow on 8 May instead.

And his gesture was meant “to honour the victims of all the nations that fought in WW2, civilian and military,” an EU diplomat noted.

“For a number of countries, this [9 May] is an important date and they appreciate the undeniable role the Soviet Union played in defeating the Nazis,” another EU source said.

“Ambassadors cannot escape from an invitation to attend such an event – it’s a matter of courtesy and, actually, their duty to come – unless bilateral relations are so bad that they couldn’t care less,” the source added.

Last year, the Austrian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, French, and Italian presidents or prime ministers, as well as the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, had planned to go.

But the parade was cancelled due to the pandemic and, in the end, the Hungarian foreign minister was the only EU politician who went to a mini-event on 24 June.

                         Spin?

This year, the Kremlin said it had not invited big names because the 76th anniversary was less important than the 75th.

“This year is not a [major] anniversary year, so we don’t intend to invite foreign participants,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in April.

But the EU source indicated that this was spin designed to avoid a potential “snub”.

“Presence at the level of an ambassador is always the lowest official representation possible, so this is also a sign,” the source said.

“This is a snub for the Russians. Although they will try to present it as EU member states attending,” he added.

The 2021 parade is to involve 12,000 soldiers, 190 combat vehicles, 53 warplanes, and 23 helicopters, according to Russia’s Tass news agency.

This includes ‘S-400’ anti-aircraft systems, which Russia installed in Crimea after seizing the peninsula from Ukraine.

It also includes nuclear-capable ‘Iskander’ missiles, which Russia has placed in its Kaliningrad exclave, putting them in range of Warsaw and Berlin.

                         Iskanders.

And for some Western observers, Russian president Vladimir Putin’s parades have come to look more like propaganda for future conflicts than celebrating the end of WW2.

Recalling a 9 May parade shortly after Russia attacked Ukraine, Robert Pszczel, a former Nato spokesman in Moscow, told EUobserver in 2015: “I don’t have a problem with kids cheering when they watch their country’s tanks go by”.

“But I do have a problem when the biggest cheer, the kind you hear at a hockey match, comes when they see the Iskanders go by,” Pszczel said.

“The West is dealing with a leader [Putin] who is bored by domestic politics, driven by a big but touchy ego, dreaming of his huge role in history, progressively emboldened by the short-term successes of his brinkmanship, and unchained from the restrictions of political, legal, and moral accountability,” Pszczel also said on Friday, in an op-ed for British think-tank Rusi.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Putin, Russia

Russia. Nuovi o perfezionati missili ipersonici. Kh-47M2 Kinzhal e 3M22 Zircon.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-04-28.

Kh-47M2 Kinzhal 001

«President Vladimir Putin says that Russia has developed unique offense weapons without the intention of starting a war with anyone but to maintain “strategic balance” and “strategic stability” in the world.»

* * * * * * *

Gli Stati Uniti hanno basi navali, aeronautiche e militari in senso lato quasi in ogni regione del mondo.

Tuttavia, il dominio militare globale non sarebbe stato possibile senza avere disponibile una flotta di portaerei nucleari. Queste, unitamente alla flotta militare e di appoggio che le circondano formano una forza offensiva che per decenni è stata egemone.

Tuttavia, la scienza militare insegna come nella storia si siano alternati periodi nei quali le strutture di difesa erano quasi imprendibili a periodi ove i mezzi di offesa potevano superarle facilmente. Un esempio per tutti le trincee e la mitragliatrice nella prima guerra mondiale, superate dalla introduzione del carro armato.

*

«The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (“dagger”) is a Russian nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM). It has a claimed range of more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi), Mach 10 speed, and an ability to perform evasive maneuvers at every stage of its flight»

«The missile is designed to target US and NATO warships posing a threat to strategic missile systems in Russia’s European part and to destroy NATO missile defence system and ballistic missile defense ships and land objects close to Russia borders, such as one in Romania»

«It is allegedly designed to overcome any known or planned US air or missile defense systems including MIM-104 Patriot, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Aegis Combat System»

*

Alcun analisti americani mettono in dubbio le caratteristiche di questi missili e cruise ipersonici.

Il dubbio è lecito, ma proprio non vorremmo dover vederli in una azione bellica.

*


Kh-47M2 Kinzhal.

The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (“dagger”) is a Russian nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM). It has a claimed range of more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi), Mach 10 speed, and an ability to perform evasive maneuvers at every stage of its flight. It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads and can be launched from Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31K interceptors. It has been deployed at airbases in Russia’s Southern Military District.

The Kinzhal entered service in December 2017 and is one of the six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 March 2018.

Design.

The missile is designed to target US and NATO warships posing a threat to strategic missile systems in Russia’s European part and to destroy NATO missile defence system and ballistic missile defense ships and land objects close to Russia borders, such as one in Romania. It is allegedly designed to overcome any known or planned US air or missile defense systems including MIM-104 Patriot, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Aegis Combat System.

The missile first stage is probably shared with 9K720 Iskander and the guidance section is specifically designed for this missile. It is capable of attacking fixed and movable targets such as aircraft carriers. The missile accelerates to hypersonic speed within seconds of launch and performs maneuvers at all stages of the flight trajectory to evade enemy missile defenses.

Russian media claims the missile’s range will be 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi; 1,100 nmi) when carried by the MiG-31K and 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi; 1,600 nmi) when carried by the Tu-22M3.

American commentators have been skeptical about Russian claims about the weapon.

Operational history.

The first operational unit armed with the hypersonic Kinzhal missiles was formed in Southern Military District of Russia in December 2017.

In May 2018, ten MiG-31Ks capable of using Kinzhal missiles were on experimental combat duty and ready to be deployed.

By December 2018, aircraft armed with Kinzhal missiles have conducted 89 patrol flights over the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

By February 2019, crews of the MiG-31K attack aircraft in role of Kinzhal missile carriers have performed more than 380 training flights with the missile, of which at least 70 have been carried with mid-air refueling.

The weapon made its public debut during the Aviadarts international contest in August 2019.

According to TASS, the first launch of Kinzhal in the Arctic took place mid-November, 2019. Reportedly, the launch was carried out by a MiG-31K from Olenya air base. The missile hit a ground target at “Pemboy” proving ground, reaching the speed of Mach 10.

*


Two down, more to go? With hypersonic weapons already in the field, Russia looks to improve features

Moscow — Hypersonic weapons are a top priority for the Russian government, a defense analyst with the state-run think tank IMEMO has told Defense News, and with two now fielded, the country is looking into further improving the technology.

“The so-called hypersonic technology is essentially an evolutionary development. However, it provides new, combined abilities for missile weapons: increased speed and maneuverability, and improved accuracy,” Dmitry Stefanovich said. “I can’t imagine a person who is responsible for the decision-making in the country and who wouldn’t be interested in improving all those features.”

By creating hypersonic technology that can overcome missile defense systems, Russia maintains “strategic stability and strategic balance,” President Vladimir Putin once told Russian news agency Tass in March 2020.

For Russia, hypersonic technology is also a way to avoid a quantitative arms race like the Soviet Union went through during the Cold War, said Viktor Litovkin, a retired colonel and military analyst with Tass. “We have no money to get involved in a quantitative arms race. You need to have a little, but the highest quality, which will restrain the adversary,” he said.

There are currently two hypersonic missiles with the Russian military: the Avangard and the Kinzhal. The former is a nuclear-capable missile reportedly able to fly faster than 20 times the speed of sound. The first Avangard infrastructure was set up in December 2019.

The Kinzhal (or “Dagger” in English) is a nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile fielded in December 2017. Before entering the military’s inventory, it was tested with the MiG-31 fighter jet. Putin has said the weapon can exceed 10 times the speed of sound, but some missile experts have cast doubt on that capability.

Russian media previously reported the Kinzhal physically resembles the 9M723 ballistic missile developed for the Iskander tactical missile system. “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck,” Stefanovich said of the similarity.

Russia is also testing its 3M22 Zircon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile, expected to be installed on the modernized submarine-killing ship Marshal Shaposhnikov. The vessel is undergoing its owns tests. The head of Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC, Boris Obnosov, told Tass last month that the Zircon’s testing is going according to schedule.

The first launch of Zircon from the nuclear-powered submarine Severodvinsk will take place in June, industry officials said, according to reports from Tass this month. If testing goes well, the Zircon will be delivered to the military in the first half of 2022.

Obnosov has said hypersonic projects are among the top priorities for his company, adding that there are “several dozen” hypersonic efforts ongoing in partnership with the country’s several research and development institutes. He said a center dedicated to hypersonic technology efforts could be established to oversee the projects, without providing further information.

Tactical Missiles Corporation is Russia’s leading developer of hypersonic technology, so it might also be behind a recently tested prototype of an air-to-surface hypersonic missile meant for the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet. However, the company did not respond to questions from Defense News regarding its hypersonic projects.

*


Russia reports successful test launch of hypersonic missile

Moscow — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday [2020-10-07 n.d.r.] hailed the successful test launch of a new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile as a “big event” for the country.

Speaking to Putin via a video call, Russian General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said the test launch took place Tuesday from the Admiral Groshkov frigate located in the White Sea, in the north of Russia.

The missile successfully hit a target in the Barents Sea, he added.

“Equipping our armed forces — the army and the navy — with the latest, truly unparalleled weapon systems will certainly ensure the defense capability of our country in the long term,” said Putin, who was celebrating his 68th birthday Wednesday.

In 2019, Putin had said the Zircon would be capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Geopolitica Mondiale, Putin, Russia

Russia. Putin. Prolusione alla Assembla Federale.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-04-22.

Arco di Trionfo. Mosca. 001

Il Presidente della Federazione Russa, Mr Putin, ha tenuto la annuale prolusione alla Assembla Federale.

Chiunque voglia sapere cosa pensi e cosa stia facendo dovrebbe leggere il testo con molta attenzione.

Sui problemi internazionali Mr Putin spende poche parole, pacate e meditate: non sono minacce, bensì certezze.

* * * * * * *


«President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Wednesday not to cross Russia’s “red lines”, saying Moscow would respond swiftly and harshly to any provocations and those responsible would regret it»

«We want good relations…and really don’t want to burn bridges»

«But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn down or even blow up these bridges, they should know that Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, swift and harsh»

«Russia would determine where its red line lay in each specific case, he said, comparing those who attack it to hyenas led by a tiger»

«In some countries, they have developed a highly unseemly habit of picking on Russia for any reason, and most often for no reason at all – a kind of sport»

«Organisers of any provocations that threaten our core security interests will regret what they have done like they’ve never regretted anything for a long time»

«The meaning and purpose of Russia’s policy in the international arena – I will just say a few words about this to conclude my address – is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens, for the stable development of our country. Russia certainly has its own interests we defend and will continue to defend within the framework of international law, as all other states do. And if someone refuses to understand this obvious thing or does not want to conduct a dialogue and chooses a selfish and arrogant tone with us, Russia will always find a way to defend its stance»

«At the same time, unfortunately, everyone in the world seems to be used to the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions and to certain actors’ brutal attempts to impose their will on others by force. But today, this practice is degenerating into something even more dangerous – I am referring to the recently exposed direct interference in Belarus in an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état and assassinate the President of that country. At the same time, it is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seemed to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening»

«You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials – well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits»

«Clearly, there is a reason why our Western colleagues have been stubbornly rejecting Russia’s numerous proposals to establish an international dialogue on information and cyber security. We have come up with these proposals many times. They avoid even discussing this matter»

«All the while, unfriendly moves towards Russia have also continued unabated. Some countries have taken up an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often, for no reason at all. It is some kind of new sport of who shouts the loudest»

«As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer»

«By 2024, the share of modern weapons and military equipment in the armed forces will reach nearly 76 percent, which is a very good indicator. This share in the nuclear triad will be over 88 percent before this year is out.

Standing on combat duty are the latest Avangard hypersonic intercontinental missile systems and the Peresvet combat laser systems, and the first regiment armed with Sarmat super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles is scheduled to go on combat duty in late 2022.»

* * * * * * *


President of Russia. Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly

The President of Russia delivered the Address to the Federal Assembly. The ceremony took place at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall.

The ceremony was attended by the senators of the Russian Federation, State Duma deputies, members of the Government, the heads of the Constitutional and Supreme courts, regional governors, speakers of regional legislatures, the heads of traditional religious denominations and public activists.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies,

Citizens of Russia,

Today’s Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly will be dedicated mostly to internal issues. These include, naturally, healthcare, social policy and the economy. Of course, I will say a few words about external affairs and literally a few words about security issues.

It stands to reason that I will begin with last year’s events, when our country and, actually, the entire world faced a new, previously unknown and extremely dangerous infection.

It that period, including during our meetings with experts and conversations with the leaders of many states, I often heard the following description of the situation: we are faced with total uncertainty. And this is how it really was.

I could see this from the information I received from the regions. The number of people who contracted the disease and needed to be rushed to hospital kept growing. Actually, all of you are very well aware of this. Many hospitals were filled to capacity and reported that they could run out of oxygen soon, including in intensive care units. Ventilators, protective masks and PPE were actually distributed by the piece. Shops were running out of basic products, such as cereals, butter and sugar, due to increased demand.

The epidemic was on the offensive. But although there was great concern, I personally had no doubt that we would pull through.

Citizens, society and the state acted responsibly and in unison. We rallied, managed to take preventive action, to create conditions that would reduce the risk of infection, and to provide medical personnel and citizens with personal protective equipment. We increased the number of hospital beds for coronavirus patients more than five times over, to 280,000 beds.

The brief outline of measures conceals the tremendous and intensive work of millions of people in all regions of the Russian Federation. I would like to cordially thank all of you for this. Everyone worked quickly, efficiently and conscientiously.

At that time and later on, we were analysing the situation practically non-stop. I recall vividly my visit to the hospital in Kommunarka. It was necessary to experience, to see at first hand the danger facing us and to assess the working conditions of medical specialists. They immediately found themselves in the thick of events and fought for every life, while risking their own.

Today, doctors, paramedics, medical nurses and members of ambulance teams are sitting here in this hall. Once again my heartfelt thanks to you and your colleagues from all the Russian regions.

Russian researchers made a real breakthrough, and Russia now has three reliable coronavirus vaccines. These and many other achievements of the past few years highlight the country’s growing science and technological potential.

I would like to thank everyone, every person who contributed to the fight against infection, including the workers at the plants manufacturing medications, medical equipment, personal protective equipment, and enterprises working 24 hours a day, housing and utility agencies, trade companies, the Russian business community that quickly converted entire sectors so that they could manufacture essential goods, civilian and military builders, agriculture workers who gathered a record-breaking harvest, one of the biggest in the country’s history, that is, over 130 million tonnes.

The personnel of law enforcement agencies and the special services continued to carry out their duty, and the Russian Armed Forces reliably ensured our country’s security.

I would like to underscore the selfless behaviour of people working for social services, orphanages, boarding schools, retirement homes and hospices who stayed and who continue to stay with their charges. You will certainly agree with me that, while analysing developments at these institutions, one feels proud of people who are carrying out their duty there in such a responsible manner. It could move you to tears. I would like to thank them once again.

I would also like to convey my sincere gratitude to school teachers and the lecturers at universities and other education institutions. You did everything possible to enable your students and pupils to gain knowledge and successfully pass their exams, with the involvement and support of their parents.

Russia’s cultural life continued unabated. Theatres, museums and concert halls remained open to audiences online thanks to modern technology. Everyone who works in this crucial sphere rose to the occasion.

Our people showed discipline and managed to observe, let’s face it, quite exhausting, but vital precautions. Thus, acting together, we have put up an effective barrier to the pandemic.

The people’s solidarity showed in concrete actions, in caring for the loved ones and in willingness to help people in need. Millions became volunteers and engaged in building person-to-person help routes. The nationwide We Are Together campaign brought together people from different walks of life and ages. As always during challenging times, our traditional religions stepped up to provide spiritual support to the society. I see the leaders of our religions here and I would like to bow deeply to you, thank you very much

Throughout history, our people have come out victorious and overcome trials thanks to unity. Today, family, friendship, mutual assistance, graciousness and unity have come to the fore as well.

Spiritual and moral values, which are already being forgotten in some countries, have, on the contrary, made us stronger. And we will always uphold and defend these values.

Colleagues,

The pandemic broke out at a time when the aftermath of the demographic shocks of the 1940s and 1990s converged. We realise that the current demographic situation is an emergency. Unfortunately, this is how things are. We must accept and admit it and do something about it based on our understanding of this situation.

Saving the people of Russia is our top national priority. This priority underlies the stipulations of the updated Constitution concerning the protection of the family, the important role parents play in bringing up their children, strengthening social guarantees, and further developing the economy, education and culture.

Our strategy is to return to sustainable population growth to make sure that the average life expectancy in Russia increases to 78 years in 2030.

Unfortunately, the statistics show us sad and disappointing numbers. We are even seeing a certain decline. It is clear what is happening because of the pandemic, but we will keep our strategic goals in this critical sphere unchanged.

I fully realise that this is no small feat, the more so as the coronavirus has not yet been completely defeated and remains a direct threat. We see the dramatic developments in many countries where the cases of infection continue to grow. We need to keep in check the defence barriers designed to slow down the spread of the virus along our external borders and within our country.

I would like to address all citizens of Russia once again. Friends, please stay alert. I am asking you to take care of yourselves and your loved ones and to comply with the doctors’ and sanitary services’ recommendations as closely as possible.

Vaccination is of crucial importance. I would like to ask the Government, the Healthcare Ministry and the heads of the regions to monitor this process on a daily basis. The opportunity to take the jab must be available everywhere, so that we achieve the so-called herd immunity by the autumn.

The attainment of this goal depends on everyone, on all our citizens. Please, I am asking all citizens of Russia once again to get vaccinated. This is the only way to stop this deadly epidemic. There is no alternative. The other choice is much worse: to contract the disease with unpredictable consequences.

I would like to say once again that the disease is still with us. But we must start thinking already now about healing the wounds it has inflicted and restoring people’s health.

During the peak periods, our hospitals and outpatient clinics had to reduce or even suspend scheduled visits. This increased the risk of the aggravation of chronic illnesses or the risk of missing the first signs of or correctly diagnosing new illnesses.

I would like to ask the Government, the Healthcare Ministry and the constituent entities of the Russian Federation to expand the system of medical check-ups and periodic screenings, taking into account the current epidemiological situation, and to relaunch them in full measure on July 1, 2021 for people of all ages. They must involve the largest number of people possible. This is why we will increase the supply of mobile medical diagnostic systems to the regions in the near future.

One of the targets of the coronavirus is the cardiovascular system. These diseases have always been the leading cause of death. Therefore, special attention during periodic screenings must be given to people with cardiovascular diseases. I would like to instruct the Government to take additional measures to prevent the diseases that are the main causes of premature death. As I have already mentioned, these are cardiovascular diseases plus malignant tumours and respiratory system diseases.

Hepatitis C claims many young lives. Decisions must be made to reduce this threat to the health of the nation to a minimum within 10 years.

To ensure that as many people as possible can restore their health at sanatoriums and health resorts, I propose that the 20 percent rebate programme for domestic travel is extended at least until the end of the year.

Children’s health is our special priority. Indeed, the foundation for good health for many years to come is laid during childhood. Children’s rest and recreation activities must be made as affordable as possible. In this regard, this year, I propose reimbursing half of what parents spend on their children’s summer camps.

In addition, we need to expand opportunities for student tourism. Already this year, we must launch several pilot projects, including accommodation on university campuses and in dormitories in other regions for students who travel around the country during the summer.

And, of course, we must reward the young people who have done well in academic competitions and in volunteer and creative initiatives as well as the projects operated by the Russia – Land of Opportunity platform. For them, the partial reimbursement programme for tourist vouchers will remain valid during the holidays, aka the high season. This is a ground-breaking decision.

I wish to thank all the parliamentary groups which supported the decision on the taxation of high incomes, or rather, a portion of high incomes. These proceeds will go to the dedicated Circle of Kindness fund and have already been released to help children affected by rare and serious diseases, to purchase expensive medicines and medical equipment, and to cover the costs of surgeries.

On April 28, we will celebrate Ambulance Worker Day which was established as a show of respect to those who arrive first to save lives. These specialists must be provided with all necessary supplies. Within the next three years, we will make another 5,000 new ambulances available to rural communities, urban-type localities and small towns, which will replace the ambulance fleet almost in full.

I want to emphasise that public healthcare authorities in many leading countries – we are well aware of it and, in fact, they themselves are saying so – were unable to deal with the challenges of the pandemic as effectively as we did in Russia. At the same time, global health care is on the cusp of a genuine revolution. This must be recognised and clearly seen. We cannot miss it.

The pandemic has exponentially sped up the introduction of telemedicine, artificial intelligence and new approaches in diagnostics, surgery, rehabilitation and the production of medicines everywhere. We must put these technologies at the service of the people of our country.

We must build our healthcare system around this ground-breaking technology, and keep an eye on pressing everyday problems in the process. As we are all aware, they abound, mostly in primary care. There must be no such thing as waiting lines, no hassle making a diagnostics appointment or a specialist doctor appointment, or obtaining prescriptions and sick leaves, for that matter. This has often come up in our discussions lately. The funds have been set side and allocated. It is time to move quickly and efficiently to make it happen.

We have a backlog to deal with in healthcare and other social sectors, including many technical, financial and managerial challenges. However, what people need is qualified and timely medical help. I propose reviewing public healthcare problems from this perspective at an expanded meeting of the State Council some time soon. We will prepare for it and hold it shortly.

I repeat: we have gained some fundamentally new experience in fulfilling our social commitments. During the pandemic, we made direct payments to families bringing up almost 28 million children, and they received their benefits without any unnecessary paperwork or other kinds of red tape – they got the money they needed and were entitled to automatically. I know Government members have been working on this, focusing deliberately, not without some failures, but they have made every effort to accomplish this task, and coped with it. This is great, this is a good example. This approach should become the norm at all levels of government.

This is the essence of the National Social Initiative, which was discussed at a recent joint meeting of the State Council Presidium and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

I am calling on the regional governors: it is your direct responsibility to organise the work of local clinics, daycare nurseries and schools, and employment centres, based on the daily needs of families, of each and every person. In many regions, I have seen with my own eyes that such work has already been launched in certain areas. This needs to be done everywhere and in all social sectors.

As soon as in 2022, we must introduce the ‘social treasury’ principles. This means that all federal benefits, pensions and other social payments and services will be provided and paid in a one-stop mode, without having to visit dozens of different agencies, but simply upon marriage, the birth of a child, retirement or other life milestones. Within three years, the vast majority of public and municipal services should be provided to Russian citizens remotely, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that is, on an ongoing basis.

Separately, we will have to discuss child-support payments, which are a sensitive topic for many families. Unfortunately, this is a problem in our country. This procedure should not be humiliating for anyone. Most issues here need to be resolved remotely and, most importantly, in the interests of the affected party. A mother with a child should not have to camp on the doorstep of various authorities to collect official documents, carrying her baby in her arms, and this is what usually happens. A system of interagency communication needs to be built, with banks included, in such a way as to ensure the unconditional execution of court decisions on the recovery of child-support payments. The state is obliged to protect the rights of the child; this is what we are talking about. I will return to this topic again later.

Colleagues,

We understand the heavy toll that the pandemic has taken on people’s welfare. Statistics show the aggravating effects of this outbreak on social inequality and poverty. It has been a challenge for all countries around the world – remember, all countries, not only Russia, are experiencing the same consequences. Certainly, we should be primarily concerned about the situation in our own country.

We are now facing price hikes that are undercutting people’s incomes. Some urgent decisions have been made, of course, but we cannot solely rely on targeted and essentially directive measures. We remember potential outcomes. Back in the late 1980s and the 1990s in the Soviet Union, they resulted in empty store shelves. But today, even when the pandemic was at its worst, we did not allow the same thing to happen.

The Government’s goal is to create conditions that will be long-term and which, I want to stress this part, colleagues, can, thanks to market mechanisms (which we have), guarantee the predictability of prices and quality replenishment of the domestic market. Nobody is saying that we will be setting prices from the top. There’s no need to muddy the waters and scare people. There are market regulatory mechanisms and they must be employed – promptly and to the extent required and appropriate to a specific situation in the economy and social sphere. We need to stimulate investment activity by reducing business risks. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Surely, the main goal right now is to ensure that people’s real incomes grow – that is, to restore them and secure their further growth. As I said, we need tangible changes in our fight against poverty.

Before anything else, the Government must provide direct support to families with children who are experiencing hardships. This has been our consistent policy and we will continue to pursue it.

We already have a system of benefits paid to parents of one or two children from the time the children are born and until they reach the age of three. Families with incomes below two subsistence minimums per family member are entitled to such benefits. The average monthly amount paid across the country is 11,300 rubles per child. Seventy-eight Russian regions pay benefits for the third child, also 11,300 rubles on average.

Please note that we are making consistent progress in this area, step by step. Last year, we introduced benefits for children aged three to seven. They range from 5,650 to 11,300 rubles per month depending on the region.

I instruct the Government to develop, by July 1, a comprehensive system of support for families with children. Our goal is to minimise the risk of poverty for such families.

But a number of new decisions need to be taken immediately, already today. It is always difficult for a single parent to raise a child. There are plenty of reasons for that. And this is not about the reasons but about supporting children. It is particularly difficult when a single-parent family is having financial problems, especially when children start going to school and family expenses objectively rise.

In particular, we must support single-parent families, where a mother or a father is bringing up a child alone, and only one of the parents is registered on the birth certificate – sorry to be speaking of such mundane things, but this is a fact of life – or the parents have divorced and one of them has the right to child-support payments. Therefore, as of July 1 this year, all children in such families aged between 8 and 16, inclusively, will receive a benefit. The national average of such benefit will be 5,650 rubles.

Of course, we must also help women who are expecting a baby and who have financial problems. It is extremely important for a mother-to-be to get support from the state and society, so that they can keep their pregnancy and know that they will receive help in raising and bringing up their child.

I propose approving a monthly subsidy for women who register at a maternity centre during early pregnancy and who have financial problems. The average subsidy for them will be 6,350 rubles a month.

Next, the sick pay for taking care of a child who falls ill depends on the employment record, which is correct, on the whole, and fair. However, young women receive much smaller sick leave payments. We have discussed this issue at the State Council, and it has been raised by the United Russia. We need to adopt legal decisions on this matter without delay, so that payments for taking care of a sick child aged up to 7 years inclusively are approved at 100 percent of the parent’s salary as soon as this year.

You understand what this means. The majority of those in this room know that the longer the employment record the larger the sick pay. Women who have a long work record usually receive full sick pay, but they usually do not have children at their age. Those who have children do not receive full pay. We must definitely help those who are expecting a baby.

I would also like to remind you that we have expanded and extended the maternity capital programme up until 2026. This benefit will now be paid already for the first child. We could not afford this before. The maternity capital has been adjusted to inflation and is almost 640,000 rubles

Free hot meals for all primary school children were approved as of January 1, 2020, and this measure has become a great help for families.

I would like to point out that all our decisions were designed to support our people. I know that many and very many people have financial problems now. The labour market and real disposable income of the people will be certainly restored, and we will move on. This has not happened yet. Therefore, I suggest approving one more one-off payment for the families that have school children, namely, 10,000 rubles per schoolchild. Moreover, this payment will also be made for the children who will only start school this year. We will transfer the money in mid-August, so that parents can get their children ready for school.

The updated Constitution of Russia includes clauses on demographic development, and protection of the family and childhood. They should be implemented in practice at all levels of government. I propose including a section aimed at supporting young people in each national project.

Friends,

During the pandemic, many young doctors and nurses, recent graduates as well as residents and students of medical universities worked courageously in the so-called red zones, joining their senior colleagues. In that extraordinary situation, teachers, schoolchildren, college and university students continued to teach and study, to have exams. Young family members supported their parents and older relatives. The youth of Russia proved to be extremely worthy during that period of trials. We can be proud of them.

We will do everything to open up as many life opportunities as possible for the younger generation. Their journey certainly begins at school, and I am sure that school will always be a second home for children; a new home, comfortable and modern.

Under the existing federal programme and with additional resources provided by the VEB Development Bank, we will build at least 1,300 new schools for more than a million children by the end of 2024. We will also purchase at least 16,000 school buses over the next four years. All school buses must be modern and safe.

Classroom teachers have been receiving a monthly addition to their salaries since last year. A very necessary and, I am sure, fair decision. I remember how we held discussions on this matter last year.

However, I have received requests, letters from teachers in secondary vocational institutions who say they have been forgotten. This is actually true. Justice must be restored. We have to fix this and establish the same additional payment of 5,000 rubles for supervisors of educational groups at technical schools and colleges.

I propose allocating an additional 10 billion rubles in the next two years for major repairs and technical equipment of our pedagogical universities. I ask the Government to pay close attention to up-to-date training of future teachers. The future of Russia largely depends on them.

Furthermore, school teaching teams should be expanded with teaching assistants, mentors and counsellors, whose job will be to organise exciting projects for children at schools.

It is very important that our young people should look to and be inspired by the achievements and victories of our outstanding ancestors and contemporaries, by their love for our Motherland and aspiration to make a personal contribution to its development. Children should have the opportunity to explore the national history and the multinational culture, our achievements in science and technology, literature and art in advanced formats. You know, I still open certain school textbooks occasionally and am surprised at what I see there – as if what is written there has nothing to do with us at all. Who writes such textbooks? Who approves them? It is unbelievable. They mention everything, the ‘second front’ and a lot of other facts, but not the Battle of Stalingrad – how is that possible? Amazing! I do not even want to comment.

I propose allocating an additional 24 billion rubles within the next three years to renovate cultural centres, libraries and museums in rural areas and small historical towns. This is another crucial area.

It is important to resume the activities of the Knowledge Society – we all remember well what it is – based on a modern digital platform. It seems to have been operational lately, but no one seems to notice it is there, either. Also, in order to support projects in culture, art and creative activities, we will set up a Presidential fund for cultural initiatives. Already this year, we will use its competitive grants to finance over 1,500 creative teams.

Colleagues,

A month from now, 11th grade students will be taking exams. Based on the results, most of them, about 60 percent, will enrol in universities and have their tuition covered from the budget. It can be safely stated that practically no country in the world apart from Russia has this kind of broad and free access to higher education.

In the next two years, we will make an additional 45,000 state-funded places available at our universities. At least 70 percent of them will go to the regions which need university graduates.

Starting this year, at least 100 universities in the constituent entities of our Federation will receive grants in the amount of 100 million rubles or more for opening student technoparks and business incubators, upgrading academic and laboratory facilities, and running training programmes. All state universities will be eligible for this support, including the ones that train future teachers, medical doctors, transport and culture workers. I am confident that the young generation of Russians, Russian scientists, will make their names known in the meaningful research projects that are yet to come.

This year was declared Science and Technology Year in our country. We realise that science is absolutely key in the modern world. Until 2024, Russia will allocate 1.63 trillion rubles from the federal budget alone for civil, including fundamental, research. But that is not all.

We are about to launch ground-breaking programmes in areas that are critical to our country. They will be given the status of nationwide projects. I would like to discuss some of them separately just to give you a sense.

First, we must have a solid and reliable shield to give us sanitary and biological safety. We now understand what it is about. It is imperative to ensure Russia’s independence in the production of the entire range of vaccines and pharmaceutical substances, including medications against infections that are resistant to the current generation of antibiotics. Importantly, this must be achieved with the maximum engagement of Russian-made equipment and domestic components.

In the event of an infection as dangerous as the coronavirus, or, God forbid, even more dangerous, Russia must be prepared to develop its own test systems within four days, precisely four days, and to create an efficacious domestic vaccine and start its mass production as soon as possible. These are the goals that we are setting for ourselves. The timeframe for achieving these goals is 2030. But the sooner we get there, the better.

Second, we need new comprehensive approaches to the development of our energy sector, including new solutions for nuclear generation in the promising areas of hydrogen energy and energy storage.

Third, we must find answers to the climate change challenges, adjust our agriculture, industry, the housing and utilities sector and the entire infrastructure to them, create a carbon utilisation sector, bring down emissions and introduce strict control and monitoring measures.

Over the next 30 years, the cumulative emissions in Russia must be smaller than in the EU. It is an ambitious goal, considering the size of our country and the specific features of its geography, climate and economic structure. However, I have no doubt whatsoever that it is a perfectly realistic goal in light of our research and technological potential.

Our new energy and pharmaceutical sectors and the solution of climate problems must provide a powerful boost to a comprehensive modernisation of all economic sectors and the social sphere. It is a direct path to the creation of modern and well-paid jobs.

The efforts taken by each level of government, business, development institutions and the Russian Academy of Sciences must have in view the main, central task: to improve the quality of life for our people. I would like to point out that our position on environmental protection is a matter of principle in this respect, and it will definitely remain unchanged.

The dangers of the alternative position have been recently exemplified by the events in Norilsk, Usolye-Sibirskoye and several other places. We will certainly help the people who live there, but we must also preclude a repetition of such environmental disasters.

I would like to ask those responsible to accelerate the adoption of a law on the financial responsibility of enterprise owners for clearing up the accumulated pollution and for the reclamation of industrial sites. This is a very simple approach. Here it is: if you have benefited from polluting the environment, clean up after yourself. We must act harshly. Rosprirodnadoz [the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources] and other regulatory authorities must do their jobs.

I would like to add that the “polluter pays” principle must also be employed in full in the waste disposal sector to ensure transition to the so-called closed-loop economy. With this aim in view, we must launch a mechanism of extended producers and importers’ responsibility for the management of products and packaging wastes as soon as this year.

I also propose marking environmental payments to the federal budget. I know that experts and financial specialists do not like such special marks, but I see this as a vital sphere of our activity. We can make an exception in this case, and invest these funds in clearing up accumulated pollution and improving the environment.

Also, as I said, the amount of hazardous emissions in Russia’s 12 largest industrial centres must be reduced by 20 percent by 2024. We have already discussed this. Obviously, this goal must be accomplished through a comprehensive modernisation of the industrial sector, the housing and utilities sector, transport and energy.

Moreover, I propose expanding the emission quota system to all Russian cities with major air quality problems and introduce strict liability for non-compliance with environmental regulations. Of course, this requires transparent monitoring.

We will definitely support the efforts of businesses to upgrade their facilities up to current environmental standards. For example, upgrading will begin this year at aluminium plants in Bratsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Novokuznetsk based on the state guarantee mechanism. I will later name other cities and towns in other contexts but it does not mean that our work is limited to those areas. They only serve as examples.

Colleagues,

Last year, we allocated unprecedented resources for supporting the economy. Among other things, we managed to preserve over 5 million jobs through subsidised loans for wage payments. I want to stress that this programme succeeded but it succeeded precisely because businesses acted responsibly and did everything they could to keep their employees. We could see that.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to prevent layoffs completely. I understand how hard it is for those who lost their jobs. The Government was instructed to ensure that the labour market recovers by the end of the year. Still, this problem must be solved sooner so that people can have a stable income again. The Government will be encouraging entrepreneurial initiatives and stimulate private investments that create new jobs.

As you know, last year, social insurance contributions for small and medium-sized businesses were reduced by half, from 30 to 15 percent. This decision will remain in force permanently and is not subject to review.

I instruct the Government to present, within the next month, additional proposals on supporting small and medium-sized businesses, such as tax incentives, accessible loans and expanding product distribution and sales, including to major state-run companies.

As for other decisions in the economic sphere, I would like to mention the following.

First, we have already scrapped many archaic norms and requirements in construction and other fields and discontinued many unnecessary control inspections, but we also need to increase the momentum to achieve substantive, clear and tangible results in improving the business climate. For example, building a turnkey factory in Russia should be faster, more economically efficient and easier than in other regions of the world, including countries with developed economies.

Furthermore, we need to simplify the working conditions for non-commodity exporters. We have certainly been pursuing this policy line for a few years now, but we still need to remove all excessive restrictions in forex control for these exporters. This is one of the problems. The new procedure should start functioning in July. We have discussed this matter more than once. All amendments to the legislation must be adopted as quickly as possible during the spring session.

Secondly, the talent of an entrepreneur is primarily the talent of a creator, an aspiration to change life for the better, to create new jobs. The state will definitely support this attitude.

In the modern world where the market situation sometimes changes almost every day, businesses have to deal with high risks, especially when investing in long-term projects. To address this, we will be adjusting the entire private investment support system. We will evaluate how effective the projects are by the new products, services, and technologies they provide people with and how they improve the potential of Russia and each individual region.

The Special Investment Contract mechanism has already been improved; we have implemented a new instrument – Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements. We have consolidated development institutions on the basis of VEB. Their job is to reduce the risks for investing private capital, to help in the creation of new markets and investment mechanisms, the same as with the Project Finance Factory mechanism already in place. It is currently supporting more than 40 commercial projects with a total investment of 3 trillion rubles.

I am waiting for proposals from the Government on the implementation of the ideas proposed in March at a meeting with Russian businesses. Colleagues, you are well aware of this.

Third, we are making all major decisions concerning the economy through a dialogue with the business community. This is the practice established over many years. Of course, we have the right to expect that the auxiliary financial instruments and support mechanisms will bring the most desired result, which is converting profit into investment and development.

There is an important thing I want to say although it is nothing new to businesses. They know it already. The corporate sector is expected to make a record profit this year, despite all the problems that we are dealing with. Despite these problems, this is the real picture. We will take note of how this profit will be used and, based on the annual results, we may decide to calibrate the tax legislation. I want to see specific proposals from the Government. Off the record, I should note: some withdraw dividends while others invest in the development of their companies and entire industries. We will be encouraging those who invest.

Last year, we substantially increased budget expenditure while managing to maintain the stability of state finances. The Government and the Central Bank must continue to pursue a responsible financial policy. Ensuring macroeconomic stability and containing inflation within set parameters is an extremely important task. I assume that it will definitely be accomplished.

At the same time, thanks to our budget capacity and our reserves, we can allocate more funds to support investment in infrastructure and provide regions with new development instruments. Launching these instruments will require the law to be amended. I expect that all parliamentary parties – A Just Russia, the Liberal Democratic Party, the Communist Party and United Russia – will uphold these amendments.

In this regard, I want to thank all constructive public forces in the country for their responsible and patriotic attitude during this difficult epidemic. These are not just meaningless words because it was this attitude and its practical significance that helped all of us preserve the balance and stability of Russia’s government and political system. This is always important but it is especially relevant because we are preparing for the elections to the State Duma and other government bodies, considering the extensive work we will have to carry out. I hope that this competitive mindset that unites us in the face of common goals will persist.

Colleagues,

The country is developing and moving forward, but this is only taking place when the regions of the Russian Federation are developing. A striving of the heads of constituent entities to make their regions successful and self-sufficient must be and will be encouraged in every way.

We will support those who assume responsibility and launch constructive projects. I am confident that every Russian region has huge potential. To help make positive and productive use of this potential, what must we reduce first of all? The governors know what I am referring to: we must reduce the debt burden. These topics must be thoroughly discussed once again.

I ask the Government to submit by June 1 the proposals on ensuring long-term stability of regional and municipal finance and on increasing the regions’ self-sufficiency. We will discuss them in summer at a State Council meeting, and we will do so with due regard for the priority decisions about which I will tell you now.

First of all, we must help regions with large commercial debts. Here is what I suggest: the amount of a region’s commercial debt that exceeds 25 percent of the given region’s own revenues will be replaced with budgetary loans that will mature in 2029.

In addition, I propose restructuring the budgetary loans, yes, budgetary loans that were issued to the regions last year for taking measures to combat the pandemic. I believe that this would be fair. I would like to remind everyone that these loans will mature in two months, on July 1. I suggest extending them to 2029 as well.

I would like to emphasise that the restructuring of accumulated debts should be used as a mechanism of increasing the self-sufficiency of regional economies, especially considering that we will be offering a fundamentally new development tool to our constituent entities. I am referring to the so-called budgetary infrastructure loans with an interest rate of not more than 3 percent per annum and with maturity in 15 years. We intend to allocate a total of at least 0.5 trillion rubles, that is, 500 billion rubles of such infrastructure loans by the end of 2023.

Regional debt restructuring must be based on the concept of justice, which has always been the case, actually. Some constituent entities have large accumulated commercial debts, while other entities did not take out many loans. The latter may feel neglected in this case. This will not do, and we will not permit this. We will support those who have always pursued and continue to pursue a balanced financial policy. The principle of the distribution of infrastructure loans will be as follows: the fewer debts a region had, the more it will be able to receive in infrastructure loans.

We are one country. All levels of government and business must work to one end. Debt restructuring and an innovative investment resource in the form of infrastructure loans will allow us to expand the planning horizon and to launch new solutions that are tied in with the implementation of national projects, sector-specific strategies and a comprehensive plan for upgrading the backbone infrastructure.

Federal infrastructure loans are a powerful resource, but whether they will help us get ahead or attract private investment hugely depends on what regional management teams do and on their ability to conduct an open and candid dialogue with businesses, investors, and, of course, primarily, individuals.

The infrastructure projects in the regions must be implemented, primarily, in the interests of the people, and serve as investment in the creation of new jobs and in promoting the well-being of millions of Russian households and securing the future of our children. The priorities will be building motorways and bypasses in urban areas, upgrading the housing and utilities sector infrastructure and the public transport system, as well as conducting integrated development of territories and building tourist facilities.

Please note that the infrastructure and budget loans will be fully under the control of the Federal Treasury and will be provided exclusively for specific projects that have been thoroughly analysed by experts at the federal level. While we are at it, I would like to say something to regional leaders and the Government: listen, let’s work in a rhythmic and business-like manner. I do not want to use harsh or rude language at this rostrum, but things must be done on time and projects must be prepared, not just pictures shown to the Government. In turn, the Government must quickly process the projects and help the regions deal with things they have problems dealing with. You must help your colleagues, you understand that? Not trash what they have brought to you and say they did a bad job. Some of them are unable to do what you ask of them. Help them, and then things will be on the path forwards.

The scale of the projects may vary, but most importantly, as I said, they must benefit our people and open up new opportunities. For example, in conjunction with our major companies and using the proposed mechanism, the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area will begin the construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway. This is the railway that will spur the development of the richest resources of the Arctic. This project has been in the works for a long time now, and it’s time to launch it, since we can do so now. For example, as a result, Nizhny Novgorod will be able to continue building the metro and to start renovating the city centre. Chelyabinsk, another city with a million-plus residents, will also have the opportunity to upgrade its transport system through a long-standing metro construction project. I am aware of other similar projects in Krasnoyarsk and other regions.

And, of course, the construction of new facilities must be at a qualitatively higher level. I want the Government to draft a clear step-by-step plan for the end-to-end and widespread use of digital design, and the production and introduction of cutting-edge energy-efficient materials. This is also important if we want to tackle the climate and environmental challenges.

Large-scale infrastructure development sets fundamentally new tasks before the construction industry. In the difficult past year, it worked smoothly and built over 80 million square metres of housing. This is a good result. The more we build, the more affordable housing will there be for Russian families.

Therefore, we have an ambitious goal. We have already discussed it as well and this ambitious goal has not disappeared– we plan to build 120 million square metres of housing every year. That said, we must certainly envisage a special mechanism for supporting private housing construction.

As for large-scale construction, the DOM.RF development institute will attract financial resources through the placement of bonds. This is a tried and tested mechanism that generally works well. These resources must go to developers as targeted loans.

I would like to emphasise that federal budget subsidies will allow DOM.RF to issue loans to developers at a minimal annual rate of about 3–4 percent. The construction of residential neighbourhoods in Tula, Tyumen, the Sakhalin Region and Kuzbass will be pilot projects for developing this model.

Improvement of cities and towns and housing construction growth play a major role in the development of the regions. We must take care of the urgent, daily problems of local residents. Quite a few Russian families live in areas connected to gas networks but their homes still have no access to gas for some reason. It seems the pipe is there but there is no gas at home.

I would like to ask the Government to work out, in cooperation with the regions, a clear-cut plan for bringing gas to such households. In this context, I support United Russia’s initiative, notably, that people do not have to pay for laying gas pipes directly to the border of their land plots in a residential area.

As I have already said, the Government must analyse all details in cooperation with Gazprom and other companies and agencies that work in this area to prevent any setbacks. Otherwise, I will say something from this rostrum and people will be waiting for it but because you don’t put some squiggles or commas in the right place everything will get bogged down again. This is unacceptable, and I will check on it myself, so please pay attention. Mosoblgaz and other companies must understand what they must do, in what timeframe and how much money they have at their disposal.

The goal is certainly more extensive. We must offer every region our solutions on public access to reliable and clean energy sources. This may be electricity, including from renewable sources, or environmentally friendly use of coal, which is also an option in the modern world, pipeline or liquefied gas. I instruct the regional heads to prepare, in coordination with the Government, detailed plans of action and start implementing them next year.

For example, in Kamchatka we must envisage the creation of local gas-receiving infrastructure to ensure reliable long-term gas supplies to the residents and companies of the Kamchatka Territory.

Colleagues,

We will not only give fundamentally new development tools to the regions, but will also directly invest federal resources into the settlement of the worst systemic problems, which will have a compound effect on boosting the regions’ growth and improving the quality of people’s lives.

We will begin with allocations from the National Welfare Fund for building mainline motorways. First of all, we should finance the ongoing construction of the Moscow-Kazan high-speed road and, more than that, extend it all the way to Yekaterinburg, completing this project within three years.

This way, together with the existing Moscow-St Petersburg high-speed road and the Central Ring Road, this will ensure safe high-speed motorway transit across the entire European part of Russia, from the Baltic Sea to the Urals, by 2024.

However, it is not enough to simply connect the end-of-line destinations. What good will this do, if it does not change anything about life in villages or small towns but only gives the people there an opportunity to watch high-speed trains and vehicles rush past? The backbone infrastructure must definitely lead to the development of all the territories where it has been built, giving rise to the development of a modern regional network.

The constituent entities will now be able to use infrastructure loans to speed up the implementation of these construction projects. But in their development plans, our colleagues should remember and take into account that the federal and regional mainlines must function as a unified system in the interests of our citizens, businesses and regions. In this way, the infrastructure loans and the resources of the National Welfare Fund will be working for the benefit of all Russian regions.

The same goes for our new national project in the tourist sphere. A programme of easy loans will be launched soon to finance the construction and renovation of hotels and other tourist infrastructure. The interest rate on these loans will be 3–5 percent as well, and the loans will mature in 15 years.

There are many other pilot projects. I will only mention some of them: the development of Sheregesh, the leading mountain ski resort in Kuzbass; the creation of a yachting resort in the Bay of Balaklava in Sevastopol; and the development of the tourist industry on the Altai and in the Kaliningrad Region.

The infrastructure loans project will give a new impetus to entire tourist clusters. In particular, several regions in Central Russia will be able to modernise and expand the Golden Ring route at a fundamentally new level, realising the tourist potential of small towns such as Tarusa, Palekh, Murom, Gorokhovets, Tutayev and Borovsk. Development projects will be launched in the Volga Region cities, the Crimean resorts, the Black Sea and Pacific coast areas, as well as in our resort towns such as Staraya Russa in the Novgorod Region and Kavkazskiye Mineralnye Vody in the Caucasus, including its gem, Kislovodsk.

Russia is a hospitable country that is open to its good friends. You surely remember what happened during the 2018 football championships. As soon as the epidemiological situation allows, we will lift the remaining restrictions and millions of tourists from all over the world will come to Russia again. We have a practical task at hand: to ensure that e-visas for travel to Russia are available remotely and without undue formalities within a matter of four days in the majority of countries.

Colleagues,

The meaning and purpose of Russia’s policy in the international arena – I will just say a few words about this to conclude my address – is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens, for the stable development of our country. Russia certainly has its own interests we defend and will continue to defend within the framework of international law, as all other states do. And if someone refuses to understand this obvious thing or does not want to conduct a dialogue and chooses a selfish and arrogant tone with us, Russia will always find a way to defend its stance.

At the same time, unfortunately, everyone in the world seems to be used to the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions and to certain actors’ brutal attempts to impose their will on others by force. But today, this practice is degenerating into something even more dangerous – I am referring to the recently exposed direct interference in Belarus in an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état and assassinate the President of that country. At the same time, it is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seemed to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening.

But listen, you can think whatever you like of, say, Ukrainian President [Viktor] Yanukovych or [Nicolas] Maduro in Venezuela. I repeat, you can like or dislike them, including Yanukovych who almost got killed, too, and removed from power via an armed coup. You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials – well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits.

Suffice it to mention the admission made by the detained participants in the conspiracy about a planned siege of Minsk, including plans to block the city infrastructure and communications, and a complete shutdown of the entire power system in the capital of Belarus! This actually means they were preparing a massive cyberattack. What else could it be? You know, you cannot just do it all with one switch.

Clearly, there is a reason why our Western colleagues have been stubbornly rejecting Russia’s numerous proposals to establish an international dialogue on information and cyber security. We have come up with these proposals many times. They avoid even discussing this matter.

What if there had been a real attempt at a coup d’état in Belarus? After all, this was the ultimate goal. How many people would have been hurt? What would have become of Belarus? Nobody is thinking about this.

Just as no one was thinking about the future of Ukraine during the coup in that country.

All the while, unfriendly moves towards Russia have also continued unabated. Some countries have taken up an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often, for no reason at all. It is some kind of new sport of who shouts the loudest.

In this regard, we behave in an extremely restrained manner, I would even say, modestly, and I am saying this without irony. Often, we prefer not to respond at all, not just to unfriendly moves, but even to outright rudeness. We want to maintain good relations with everyone who participates in the international dialogue. But we see what is happening in real life. As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer.

We really want to maintain good relations with all those engaged in international communication, including, by the way, those with whom we have not been getting along lately, to put it mildly. We really do not want to burn bridges. But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn or even blow up these bridges, they must know that Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, swift and tough.

Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time.

At the same time, I just have to make it clear, we have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence and certainty in our cause, as well as common sense, when making a decision of any kind. But I hope that no one will think about crossing the “red line” with regard to Russia. We ourselves will determine in each specific case where it will be drawn.

I will now say, just as I always do during the annual addresses to the Federal Assembly, that the improvement and qualitative strengthening of Russia’s Armed Forces continues on a regular basis. In particular, special attention will be given to the development of military education both at military school and academies and at military training centres at civilian universities.

By 2024, the share of modern weapons and military equipment in the armed forces will reach nearly 76 percent, which is a very good indicator. This share in the nuclear triad will be over 88 percent before this year is out.

Standing on combat duty are the latest Avangard hypersonic intercontinental missile systems and the Peresvet combat laser systems, and the first regiment armed with Sarmat super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles is scheduled to go on combat duty in late 2022.

The number of combat air systems with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, and warships armed with precision hypersonic weapons such as Kinzhal that I mentioned, and with the Kalibr missiles, is increasing. The Tsirkon hypersonic missiles will be put on combat duty soon. Work is underway on other modern combat systems, including Poseidon and Burevestnik, in accordance with the development plans of the Armed Forces.

As the leader in the creation of new-generation combat systems and in the development of modern nuclear forces, Russia is urging its partners once again to discuss the issues related to strategic armaments and to ensuring global stability. The subject matter and the goal of these talks could be the creation of an environment for a conflict-free coexistence based on the security equation, which would include not only the traditional strategic armaments, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, heavy bombers and submarines, but – I would like to emphasise this – all offensive and defensive systems capable of attaining strategic goals regardless of the armament.

The five nuclear countries bear special responsibility. I hope that the initiative on a personal meeting of the heads of state of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, which we proposed last year, will materialise and will be held as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.

Russia is always open to broad international cooperation. We have consistently advocated the preservation and strengthening of the key role of the United Nations in international affairs, and we try to provide assistance to the settlement of regional conflicts and have already done a great deal to stabilise the situation in Syria and to launch a political dialogue in Libya. As you know, Russia played the main role in stopping the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

It is on the basis of mutual respect that we are building relations with the absolute majority of the world’s countries: in Asia, Latin America, Africa and many European countries. We are consistently expanding as a priority contacts with our closest partners in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and our allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Our common projects in the Eurasian Economic Union are aimed at ensuring economic growth and the wellbeing of our people. There are new, interesting projects here, such as the development of transport-and-logistics corridors. I am sure they will become a reliable infrastructure backbone for large-scale Eurasian partnership. The Russian ideas of this broad, open association are already being put into practice, in part, via alignment with other integration processes.

All these projects are not just geopolitical ideas but strictly practical instruments for resolving national development tasks.

Colleagues,

I began today’s Address with urgent healthcare issues, and concluding it, I would like to say the following. Nobody in the world knew what misfortune we would have to face. However, we, citizens of Russia, have already done much and will do all we can to counter the threat of the epidemic. Our country has reliable resources for this. We created them in healthcare, science, education and industry in previous years.

However, we must definitely move forward. We have mapped out national development tasks. Naturally, the challenge of the epidemic has made objective adjustments to our work. Today’s Address contains instructions on demography and family support, as well as on efforts to fight poverty, increase incomes, create jobs, improve the business environment and raise state management to a new level.

I would like to ask the Government to focus on these tasks in preparing new initiatives on Russia’s socioeconomic development and instruct it to present them by July 1 of this year.

What do I have in mind? Doing everyday work, we must certainly not forget about our strategic development goals and our national development goals, and we must improve the mechanisms for reaching them.

We will discuss the Government’s proposals with the participation of the relevant State Council commissions, our business associations, experts and the Civic Chamber. Following such a broad discussion, we will make final decisions on further financial and organisational actions at the meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects.

Now I would like to address all citizens of Russia once again to say that we will do everything in our power to achieve the goals set. I am sure we will move forward together and accomplish all the tasks that we have set for ourselves.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Diplomazia, Russia, Stati Uniti

Russia denomina la Nato come ‘avversario’ e schiera l’esercito.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-04-16.

Ukraina 001

La tensione tra Russia e Stati Uniti sta crescendo. Dapprima parole severe e pesanti, quindi dispiegamento di forze armate in Ukraina, da ambo i lati.

Se un intervento militare su larga scala sembrerebbe al momento essere improbabile, qualora esso dovesse avvenire verosimilmente la Russia potrebbe schierare forze di terra più numerose e meglio equipaggiate, mentre la Nato potrebbe contare su delle forze aeree di tutto rispetto.

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«The United States called on Russia to halt a military build-up on Ukraine’s border on Tuesday as Moscow, in words recalling the Cold War, said its “adversary” should keep U.S. warships well away from annexed Crimea»

«Moscow seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and fighting has escalated in recent weeks in eastern Ukraine, where government forces have battled Russian-backed separatists in a seven-year conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people»

«U.S. President Joe Biden, in a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, emphasised Washington’s “unwavering commitment” to Ukraine’s sovereignty and expressed concern over the Russian military build up»

«The United States is our adversary and does everything it can to undermine Russia’s position on the world stage»

«Ryabkov’s remarks suggest that the diplomatic niceties which the former Cold War enemies have generally sought to observe in recent decades is fraying, and that Russia would robustly push back against what it regards as unacceptable U.S. interference in its sphere of influence»

«Two U.S. warships are due to arrive in the Black Sea this week.

“We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast. It will be for their own good,”»

«In recent weeks Russia has moved thousands of combat-ready troops to Ukraine’s borders, the largest massing of Russian troops since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014»

«Russia has said it moves its forces around as it sees fit, including for defensive purposes»

«Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday Russia had moved two armies and three paratrooper units to near its western borders in the last three weeks, responding to what it called threatening military action by NATO»

«In total, 40,000 troops and 15,000 weapons and pieces of military equipment are concentrated near our territory, including strategic aircraft»

«Kuleba said Kyiv wanted a diplomatic solution.»

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Russia ritira l’ambasciatore. Biden ha chiamato Putin ‘assassino’, manipolatore delle elezioni.

Biden: «Putin un assassino, pagherà prezzo per interferenze». La Russia richiama in patria l’ambasciatore

Mosca esige le scuse da parte di Biden il quale dice che Mr Putin sia un ‘assassino’

«This kind of assessment is not allowed from the mouth of a statesman of such a rank»

«This kind of statement is not acceptable under any circumstances»

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Allo stato attuale, e per quanto sia dato a sapere, si sta assistendo solo a prove di forza, senza seri intenti di arrivare al conflitto armato.

Tuttavia, la Harris-Biden Administration ha una disperata esigenza di sbandierare nemici esterni, la Russia e la Cina, per tenere sotto tono quanto stia facendo in patria.

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Russia calls U.S. ‘adversary’, rejects NATO call to end Ukraine build-up

Brussels/Moscow (Reuters) -The United States called on Russia to halt a military build-up on Ukraine’s border on Tuesday as Moscow, in words recalling the Cold War, said its “adversary” should keep U.S. warships well away from annexed Crimea.

Moscow seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and fighting has escalated in recent weeks in eastern Ukraine, where government forces have battled Russian-backed separatists in a seven-year conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people.

U.S. President Joe Biden, in a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, emphasised Washington’s “unwavering commitment” to Ukraine’s sovereignty and expressed concern over the Russian military build up, White House said.

Biden also proposed a summit between the two leaders in a third country.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in Brussels for talks on Tuesday with NATO leaders and Ukraine’s foreign minister, echoed Biden, saying U.S. stood firmly behind Ukraine.

Blinken also said he would discuss Kyiv’s ambitions to one day join NATO – although France and Germany have long worried that bringing the former Soviet republic into the Western alliance would antagonise Russia.

“The United States is our adversary and does everything it can to undermine Russia’s position on the world stage,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Tuesday.

Ryabkov’s remarks suggest that the diplomatic niceties which the former Cold War enemies have generally sought to observe in recent decades is fraying, and that Russia would robustly push back against what it regards as unacceptable U.S. interference in its sphere of influence.

Two U.S. warships are due to arrive in the Black Sea this week.

“We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast. It will be for their own good,” Ryabkov said, calling the U.S. deployment a provocation designed to test Russian nerves.

                         CALL FOR DE-ESCALATION

Blinken met Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Brussels after Group of Seven foreign ministers condemned what they said was the unexplained rise in Russian troop numbers.

Echoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who met Kuleba earlier, Blinken said Moscow was massing forces in its biggest build-up since 2014, since Moscow annexed Crimea. He called Russia’s actions “very provocative”.

“In recent weeks Russia has moved thousands of combat-ready troops to Ukraine’s borders, the largest massing of Russian troops since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014,” Stoltenberg said.

“Russia must end this military build-up in and around Ukraine, stop its provocations and de-escalate immediately,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference with Kuleba.

Russia has said it moves its forces around as it sees fit, including for defensive purposes. It has regularly accused NATO of destabilising Europe with its troop reinforcements in the Baltics and Poland since the annexation of Crimea.

Asked if Ukraine could repel a Russian invasion, the head of U.S. forces in Europe told U.S. lawmakers in a hearing on Tuesday that he believed Ukraine could do that “over time”.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday Russia had moved two armies and three paratrooper units to near its western borders in the last three weeks, responding to what it called threatening military action by NATO.

Shoigu, speaking on state television, said NATO was deploying 40,000 troops near Russia’s borders, mainly in the Black Sea and the Baltic regions.

“In total, 40,000 troops and 15,000 weapons and pieces of military equipment are concentrated near our territory, including strategic aircraft,” Shoigu said.

The Western alliance denies any such plans.

                         SANCTIONS, MILITARY HELP

Kuleba said Kyiv wanted a diplomatic solution.

Kyiv and Moscow have traded blame over the worsening situation in the eastern Donbass region, where Ukrainian troops have battled Russian-backed separatist forces.

Kuleba appealed for further economic sanctions against Moscow and more military help to Kyiv.

“At the operational level, we need measures which will deter Russia and which will contain its aggressive intentions,” Kuleba said after the NATO-Ukraine Commission met at the alliance headquarters.

This could be direct support aimed at strengthening Ukraine’s defence capabilities.

Separately, two diplomats said Stoltenberg would chair a video conference with allied defence and foreign ministers on Wednesday. Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin were expected to be present at NATO headquarters in Brussels to brief the other 29 allies on Ukraine, as well as on Afghanistan, the diplomats said.

Austin, on a visit to Berlin, said the United States would ramp up its forces in Germany in light of the friction with Moscow, abandoning former President Donald Trump’s plans to withdraw about round 12,000 of the 36,000 troops from there.

Kyiv has welcomed the show of Western support, but it falls short of Ukraine’s desire for full membership of NATO.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti

Francia. Commissionato a Naval Group e Chantiers de l’Atlantique progetto portaerei atomiche.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-04-15.

2021-04-10__ Francia Portaerei 001

La Francia ha attualmente in servizio la portaerei atomica Charles De Gaulle, ordinata il 3 febbraio 1986, varata il 7 maggio 1994 ed entrata in servizio il 18 maggio 2001.

«La Charles de Gaulle (R91) è l’unica portaerei della Marina francese attualmente in servizio, nonché la prima e unica nave di superficie a propulsione nucleare costruita in Europa occidentale. Sostituisce la portaerei Clemenceau arrivata a fine carriera.

Doveva essere affiancata nel 2015 da una seconda portaerei della medesima classe, la PA 2 che doveva sostituire la Foch, come promesso dal presidente Sarkozy durante la campagna presidenziale del 2007, ma il progetto venne respinto. Parigi è la sua “città madrina” dal 9 ottobre 2001.

La nave prende il suo nome dal generale, statista e presidente della Repubblica francese Charles de Gaulle.

La Charles de Gaulle, immatricolata R91, è di taglia più piccola in confronto alle portaerei statunitensi. Misura 261,5 metri di lunghezza, 64,36 metri di larghezza e 75 metri di altezza. Con un dislocamento di circa 42.500 tonnellate, può trasportare circa 1.950 persone a bordo, con l’aggiunta di 800 militari in trasporto truppe. La superficie del ponte di volo raggiunge i 12.000 metri quadrati, mentre quella dell’hangar per aeromobili ammonta a 4.600 m². La Charles de Gaulle utilizza un sistema di catapulte a vapore CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery) lunghe 75 metri, le stesse usate sulle portaerei statunitensi della classe Nimitz.

La Charles de Gaulle è dotata di una propulsione nucleare e può effettuare 648 miglia nautiche al giorno a tempo indeterminato. La portaerei può dunque navigare per 1.200 km in 24 ore a una velocità effettiva fino a 50 km/h, o 27 nodi, il che rende la più lenta tra le imbarcazioni moderne della stessa categoria. La sua autonomia in viveri e carburante per gli aeromobili a bordo è limitata a 45 giorni, il che comporta l’obbligo di fare rifornimento in mare durante le missioni di lunga durata, dal momento che la sua propulsione nucleare le permetterebbe di rimanere diversi mesi in mare, fino a un anno. Il suo gruppo aereo è in grado di eseguire 100 voli al giorno per 7 giorni.

Nonostante i suoi limiti operativi e le piccole dimensioni rispetto alle superportaerei statunitensi, la sua efficacia è migliore di quanto sembri. Il sistema di stabilizzazione anti-sbandamento COGIT associato con il sistema di stabilizzazione del rollio SATRAP consente alla Charles de Gaulle di operare con degli aeromobili di 20 tonnellate con uno stato del mare a forza 5 e 6. La Clemenceau e la Foch erano studiate per l’utilizzo di aeromobili di 12 tonnellate con un mare forza 3-4.

Per raggiungere lo stesso livello di stabilità del bastimento, gli Stati Uniti costruiscono portaerei di tonnellaggio doppio e quindi, di conseguenza, possono imbarcare il doppio di aerei. Il Rafale F3 in dotazione alla Charles de Gaulle è progettato come un aereo multiruolo, il che consente ad entrambe le due flottiglie di Rafale (una sola fino al 2017, più una di Super-Étendard Modernisé) di eseguire gli stessi compiti delle quattro flottiglie di F18 Super Hornet delle portaerei degli Stati Uniti, che non hanno la capacità di effettuare operazioni aria-aria, aria-mare, aria-terra nel corso della stessa missione.» [Fonte]

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La Charles de Gaulle ha il severo limite che la sua autonomia in viveri e carburante per gli aeromobili a bordo è limitata a 45 giorni, il che comporta l’obbligo di fare rifornimento in mare durante le missioni di lunga durata. Questo fatto richiederebbe l’accompagnamento di un elevato numero di navi di appoggio, che però non possono sostenere la velocità della portaerei.

Ecco quindi la necessità di disporre di una portaerei allo stato dell’arte.

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Ecco come sarà la nuova portaerei nucleare francese.

«Si chiama Pang (Porte Avion Nouvelle Generation), il progetto francese per una nuova portaerei a propulsione nucleare lanciato ufficialmente lo scorso dicembre dal presidente Emmanuel Macron. L’unità non è ancora stata impostata e non ha nemmeno un nome: nei piani dell’Eliseo, infatti, dovrà sostituire la portaerei Charles de Gaulle nel 2038, ma recentemente sono stati rese note le sue caratteristiche di massima.

Le Caratteristiche.

Lunghezza: circa 300 metri fuori tutto

Larghezza: massima 80 metri alla linea di galleggiamento circa 40 metri

Pescaggio: circa 9,5 metri (massimo)

Velocità massima: 27 nodi

Autonomia: illimitata data dal reattore nucleare il cui combustibile va ricaricato ogni 10 anni. L’unità sarà in grado di stare in mare per circa 45 giorni consecutivi senza effettuare rifornimenti,

Dislocamento: massimo 75mila tonnellate, standard circa 66400 tonnellate

Equipaggio: tra i 900 e i 1125 uomini più 500 del gruppo di volo e altri 100 dello Stato maggiore in qualità di nave ammiraglia. Complessivamente la nave potrà comunque ospitare sino a 2mila uomini.

Descrizione.

La nuova portaerei, dai disegni preliminari, si caratterizza principalmente per avere un’isola spostata nel settore poppiero, sempre sul lato di dritta della nave. L’unità avrà due ascensori della portata, stimata, di 70 tonnellate ciascuno e un ponte angolato di 8,3° la cui superficie sarà di 235 per 35 metri. La superficie totale del ponte di volo molto probabilmente sarà di più di 16mila metri quadrati e sarà dotato di due o tre catapulte elettromagnetiche (Emals – Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System), e tre cavi di arresto con sistema di nuovo tipo Aag (Advanced Arresting Gear). Entrambi questi sistemi, di lancio e recupero, sono mutuati da quelli utilizzati sulle nuove portaerei statunitensi della classe Ford. L’hangar interno dovrebbe avere una superficie di 5250 metri quadrati (175×30 metri) e, teoricamente, dovrebbe avere 14 postazioni per parcheggiare i velivoli. Altri 24 possono essere disposti sul ponte di volo.

La propulsione, come detto, sarà nucleare e affidata a due reattori tipo K-22 in grado di sviluppare 450 MW termici (circa 162 utili). Non è ancora noto quanti gruppi di turboriduttori, e relativi assi per l’elica, saranno montati, se tre o quattro.

La dotazione elettronica è ancora sconosciuta.»

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Di questi giorni la notizia che il governo francese stia perfezionando gli ordinativi.

«Naval Group and the Chantiers de l’Atlantique have formed the joint venture MO Porte Avions to manage France’s new generation aircraft carrier program»

«the joint venture (JV) was held two-thirds by Naval Group and one-third by Chantiers de l’Atlantique»

«It will integrate the combat system, the navigation and aviation-related systems, the catapults and arrestor gear; it will supply the sub-systems of the nuclear boiler-room and integrate the boilers into the ship»

«The JV’s relationship with sub-contractor TechnicAtome, responsible for the nuclear-powered engine, is being finalized»

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Naval Group, Chantiers de l’Atlantique team up for France’s new aircraft carrier.

Naval Group and the Chantiers de l’Atlantique have formed the joint venture MO Porte Avions to manage France’s new generation aircraft carrier program.

Pierre-Eric Pommellet told journalists during a videoconference on Tuesday that the joint venture (JV) was held two-thirds by Naval Group and one-third by Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “The program director will be somebody from Naval Group and the technical director somebody from our partner,” the Naval Group CEO said.

Pommellet said the idea was to maximize the synergies and capitalize on the strengths of each company. Naval Group has responsibility for the overall architecture of the ship and the transverse systems. It will integrate the combat system, the navigation and aviation-related systems, the catapults and arrestor gear; it will supply the sub-systems of the nuclear boiler-room and integrate the boilers into the ship.

Chantiers de l’Atlantique, for its part, will be responsible for the design and construction of the platform itself, notably the structure, the electric propulsion, the living quarters, the steering system and overall activities such as the hydrodynamics.

The JV’s relationship with sub-contractor TechnicAtome, responsible for the nuclear-powered engine, is being finalized.

Pommellet added that the JV “will end when the aircraft carrier has been delivered.“ It will first be based in Lorient, Brittany, at the Naval Group shipyard during the design phase and then move to Saint-Nazaire where Chantiers de l’Atlantique have their shipyard and where the ship will be built.

The JV was signed in Lorient on March 29 by Pommellet and Laurent Castaing, the director-general of Chantiers de l’Atlantique in the presence of Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly. She had come not only to announce the notification of the preliminary outline study contract of the aircraft carrier and inaugurate its design office but also to notify Naval Group of the order for two FDI frigates.

The two 4,200 tonne (4,630 tons), 121m (397 ft) long, multi-mission frigates, the second and third in a series of five, will both be delivered in 2025. This is an acceleration of the program as the original plan was to deliver one ship every 18 months with the first FDI scheduled for delivery in 2024.