The COVID-19 pandemic has created certain difficulties for Russia's arms manufacturers, but they were still able to continue working on new projects throughout lockdown, and a total of 1,500 companies have brought thousands of exhibits to this year’s Army forum.
The total area of exposition at the forum has increased this year by more than 60,000 square meters and besides tanks, missiles, handguns and ammunition, many companies which specialize in electronic components, medical equipment, food supplies and clothing, have also booked their booths in the hallways of the Patriot Congress and Exhibition centre near Moscow Region’s Kubinka.
"Russian Helicopters" – the country’s sole helicopter manufacturer and the subsidiary of the state tech giant "Rostec" is showcasing several models, including the newly-modified Mi-171Sh "Storm". This versatile and heavily armed military transport helicopter is made by the Ulan-Ude aviation plant and its first export sales are scheduled for 2022.
The Mi-171Sh “Storm” has better armor compared to its predecessors. It’s capable of protecting the crew from 12.7mm rounds. The “Storm” is also equipped with President-S anti-aircraft missile launch warning system. pic.twitter.com/nzC44lncEd— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) August 24, 2020
Just like most "Russian Helicopters" facilities, the Ulan-Ude aviation plant was able to continue functioning throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, which made it possible for the company to continue fulfilling its obligations.
"Despite the pandemic, we are trying to keep all our contracts on schedule” – says Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant representative Mikhail Karpushkin – “Knowing that our plant is the backbone of the industry, the government has given us an opportunity to allow the employees to continue working with all health safety measures in place. And that gives us the chance to fulfil domestic defence contracts, as well as to keep up with the schedule of Rosoboronexport military and technical cooperation.”
Kazakhstan and India are showcasing their products and sharing plans for the upcoming industry events. pic.twitter.com/B7iodWo6MF— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) August 24, 2020
Just like other Russian manufacturers, “Russian Helicopters” is planning to show off its latest technology in action. The “Army-2020”, as well as the 6th international Army Games, which kicked off at the nearby Alabino training ground in parallel with the forum, is a chance to put tanks and the flying machines to the test, so visitors will be able to see the Ka-52 “Alligator”, as well as the Mi-28N “Night Hunter” and the navy Ka-27M helicopters in the skies over Alabino.
"Army-2020" is one of the few large public events in Russia since the beginning of the year, which wasn't cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the organizers made sure that all health risks have been minimized: visitors, as well as exhibitors, are required to wear face masks and respect social distancing guidelines.
The forum is currently accessible only for military experts, but it will open its doors for the general public on 27 August and will remain open until 29 August.
- Army-2020 forum© Sputnik / Denis Bolotsky
- Helicopter (Army 2020 Forum in Moscow)© Sputnik / Denis Bolotsky
- Armoured vehicle (Army 2020 Military Forum in Moscow)© Sputnik / Denis Bolotsky