Belarus aims to become a supplier of high-tech weapons.


Recently, as part of the expansion of contacts with developing countries, the Belarusian authorities increasingly offer its partners the joint projects in the sphere of military-technical cooperation. The most recent examples are Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

The military-industrial complex of Belarus has something to offer to the potential customers. According to Alexander Lukashenko at the meeting held on January 21, 2013 devoted to the development of the military-industrial complex, the Belarusian defense enterprises currently produce quite a wide range of products, demanded in the world arms market.

It is appropriate to note that after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the Republic of Belarus was a significant number of businesses allied to military industrial complex, producing military products mainly in the form of elements, units, parts as well as materials and semi-finished products used for the production of finished weapons systems mainly for Russia or Ukraine.

During the time elapsed since the establishment of the independent state, these separate companies with public funds and loans guaranteed by the Government formed sufficiently competent and scientific technical and industrial complex focused on the development of several promising technologies for military and dual-use items. Including the development of the information technology, telecommunications, automated control systems, electro-optical systems, instrumentation, and modernization programs for a variety of weapon systems and military equipment (aircraft, armored vehicles, air defense) of Soviet and Russian production.

To ensure the management of the enterprises, the products of the defense and dual-use as a single research and production complex and a unified technical policy in this area the State Military-Industrial Committee of the Republic of Belarus was created in December 2003.

Currently the State Military-Industrial Committee includes 24 defense companies and organizations. In addition, the committee coordinates the activities of more than 200 companies and organizations that have a license to develop, the production, modernization and reparation of military equipment. 80 of them have evidence of foreign trade activities in this area.

According to the state military industry development program for 2011-2015 five priority areas for development of weapons, military and special equipment in Belarus were identified: geographic information systems, equipment for unmanned aircraft systems, systems integrated in anti-precision weapons, combat systems of special operations forces and ground forces, as well as fire damage systems.

According to the information announced by Alexander Lukashenko at the above-mentioned meeting, more than 70% of products of Belarusian defense industry is made for the foreign market. Complex command and control system to protect against high-precision weapons, radars, and air defense equipment have steady demand abroad.

In particular, the products produced by JSC “Peleng” are really popular among foreign customers. One of the most innovative areas of the company’s activity is the production of space equipment. In its history, beginning in the Soviet period, the company participated in the launch of 35 space objects.

At JSC “Peleng” has developed a number of innovative design and technological approaches that create a whole line of equipment for remote sensing of the Earth of high resolution, as well as exclusive manufacturing equipment for its industrial production.

If we talk about the products by “Peleng” for purely military purposes, it is necessary to note the development and production of multi-gunner “Sosna-U” for modernization of one of the most common tanks — T-72. Now, together with the Volgograd optical-mechanical plant the production of sights “ESSA” (for T-90) and “PLISA” (for T-80) was organized. Currently, the company is actively involved in the modernization of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles of the Russian and Soviet production.

The products of JSC “MWTP” have large export potential. In this series, we should mention a wheeled chassis MWTP-79221 designed for the Russian mobile missile complex strategic “Topol-M”. And MWTP-7930 used for the placement of Russian tactical complex “Iskander” missile system onshore “Ball”, multiple launch rocket systems “Uragan” anti-aircraft missile systems S-300 and S-400, heavy mechanized bridge “Gusenica-2”.

MWTP-8021, 80211, 8022 and their modifications are used for assembly of the complex air defense units “Pechora-2M”. Based on the special wheeled chassis MWTP-6922 the combat assets of SAM “Tor-M2E” and modernized complex “Osa-1T” can be mounted. Improved version of the chassis (MWTP-69221) is developed for installation of units of SAM “Buk-M2E”.

New promising area of activity of the enterprise may be the production of a whole range of wheeled armored vehicles (hereinafter referred to as WAV) of different wheel formulas for use in the Army and security agencies. Work on the family of the WAV “Umka” that can compete in the global market of armored vehicles and occupy a niche, was begun by the designers of MWTP on their own initiative in 2008.

Initially, it was decided to develop a car on the principles of innovative technology (electric transmission, composite booking, the most advanced optic-electronic warfare and surveillance, fire correction, communications and automated control). It was supposed, that Belarusian enterprises would create all components for WAV. It was planned to purchase the turret and weapons are from foreign manufacturers.

Development of the means of electronic countermeasures of modern precision weapons and methods of combat employment is one of the priority directions of the development of weapons and military equipment in the Republic of Belarus. Most of all because of the demand in the global market for such products is growing.

According to information posted on the website of “Design Bureau Radar”, one of its main specializations is the development and production of complex “interference to users of global satellite navigation systems, excluding the performance of their navigation tasks (for example, the failure of the guidance precision cruise missiles at targets)”.

Along with stationary noise generators “Design Bureau Radar” is also developing mobile jammers placed on unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters. They are created for the formation and emission of interference suppressing the work of navigation receivers for GPS and GLONASS (“Tuman”) as well as for users of mobile devices space radio systems INMARSAT, IRIDIUM (“Tuman-2”).

The development and production of radars is traditional for “Radar”. One of the latest innovations of the company is the omnidirectional radar station “Vostok-E”. This unit, having inherited all the advantages of the legendary P-18, repeatedly exceeded its technical characteristics, including the performance of an aircraft manufactured according to “stealth” technology. Another innovative product of the company is radar antenna array “Rosa” with the annular phased array. It is developed to detect low-flying aircraft and surface targets.

According to experts, it is necessary to note a great export potential of the complex electronic countermeasures aircraft equipment of any type of “Satellite”, created by the “558th Aircraft Repair Plant”. It creates a virtual hardware system and leads to the goal of fighting course most advanced missiles, induced by the radar beam. Field tests have shown that it is almost impossible to get through the defense of the “Satellite”. Hardware installation of “Satellite” is possible both in the military and in civilian aircraft.

In terms of foreign supplies and construction analysts believe the unmanned aerial vehicle (hereinafter UAV) “Grif-1”, capable of performing tactical and operational challenges and created by this Belarusian plant to be very promising. The payload of this machine includes various types of electro-optical (with TV and infrared channels) and radio-electronic equipment, which provides the photographing and video recording, radio (RTS) and radar survey.

Minsk Aircraft Repair Plant offers potential buyers (including foreign) its version of the unmanned aircraft system (it got the name “Filin”). It consists of one or two UAVs “Sterh-BM”, equipped with an automatic on-board hardware and software management systems.

The expected directions of its military use are exploration and battlefield surveillance, electronic warfare (the equipment made by “Design Bureau Radar” can be used for that), communications relay, creating the target environment. The use of UAVs for this type of strike missions, air and missile defense, long-range radar surveillance is really promising. It is already known that a number of businesses (in particular – Cuban ones) have already shown the interest in the creation of assembly lines of UAVs production in their countries.

One of the leading developers of UAV of different types and for different purposes in Belarus is a private company called “Design Bureau Indela”, representing the range of more than 10 types of UAVs. This includes robotic unmanned helicopters, unmanned aerial surveillance systems and robotic aerial targets.

Another large national center for the creation of the UAVs is Physic-Technical Institute of the National Academy of Sciences. This organization is designated as the lead contractor of the State Science and Technology sub-program “Creation and development of production of certain scale of technology and elements of aircraft, target payloads and unmanned aircraft multi-purpose systems.”

If we talk about other significant exporters of military and dual-purpose, it is certainly necessary to mention “Design Bureau Display” (based in Vitebsk), which in many positions in the CIS is the only supplier of monitors for electronic computing systems designed for harsh environments. Here it is also essential to note the company “Ekran”, which delivers flight control and navigation systems for the Su-27UB, Su-30 and Su-33 to Russian air industry.

Anti-aircraft missile systems and complexes (in particular, the medium-range air defense missile systems S-125-2TM «Pechora-2TM) modernized according to the program, developed by a multi-scientific-production private unitary enterprise “Tetraedr” have good prospects in foreign markets.

Alexander Taraskevich, specially for Belarus Security Blog.