Putin inspects Russian defense industry 'capital'
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with top defense industry executives in Tula on Friday, laying out his expectations for supplying the military in 2023 amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The president also reminded them of a practice successfully developed in fighting against Islamic State terrorists in Syria.
“The most important and key objective of the defense industry is to provide our frontline units with all the necessary weapons, vehicles, ammunition and equipment, of the required quality and in the required numbers. On a short deadline,” he said.
The second objective will be to “improve and substantially upgrade” the performance of certain weapons systems, in line with the experiences gained in the fighting in Ukraine, the Russian president added.
Industry specialists are working “right on the frontlines” to repair any damaged equipment and evaluate its combat performance, Putin pointed out. This is then transmitted back to the factories, where their colleagues make the recommended improvements. This practice must remain efficient and become permanent, he added.
“We began doing this a while back, when we used our weapons against the terrorist groups in Syria,” Putin said. “I know that your employees also went to Syria. They made decisions on the spot. They did a good job then and continue doing a good job now.”
The Russian president had first touched on the need to use combat experience to improve weapons systems in a November speech to Rostec, the consolidated defense industry flagship celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Advances in military production will also safeguard Russia’s technological sovereignty and boost related civilian industries, he said at the time.
Among the enterprises represented at the Tula summit were Almaz-Antey, KAMAZ, and Uralvagonzavod. Prior to the meeting, the Russian president visited a factory that makes Pantsir air defense systems, Kornet-EM anti-tank rockets, and modernized BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles.
After Putin’s introductory remarks, which were made public, the meeting proceeded in a classified setting. Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Prime Minister for Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Deputy Defense Minister Alexey Krivoruchko, and Tula Region Governor Alexey Dyumin were among the government officials in attendance.