“Waiting for the state defense order: how Kazakhstan’s weapons can conquer the world” – newspaper “Caravan” from August 31, 2018.

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The deputies returned from their summer holidays, and now they are surely nothing and no one will stop the discussion of the bill “On the defense industry and state defense order” and accept it.

It will finally determine the mechanisms for the formation of the state defense order and provide measures for real support of the domestic defense-industrial complex. From stable financing to final acceptance.

Last Thursday, former vice minister of defense and aerospace industry of Kazakhstan, and now chairman of the board of JSC “NC” Kazakhstan Engineering “Asset KURMANGALIYEV agreed to answer on questions of “CARAVAN”.

To battle and without reconnaissance?

I have known Asset Kurmangaliyev for a long time. Ever since he was appointed deputy minister of defense. Businesslike, literate, extremely accurate in judgments. Short-spoken. So that’s why the conversation with him begins without the so-called reconnaissance battle. On the move, without losing precious time.

Asset Kabiyevich, when you talk about the competitiveness of the products of the domestic defense-industrial complex on the world arms market, are you really going to conquer the world? Do not joke, do you?

– Of course we are. We Already conquer. And this is a real confirmation. The 5th International Exhibition of Armament and Military-Technical Property “KADEX-2018”, held in May this year, showed what our national specialists are capable of.

Leading domestic enterprises for the export of products have already become the “West Kazakhstan machine-building company”, the machine-building plant named after. Kirov, “Tynys”, KAI, “Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering “… We really have something to be proud of.  It is True.

Today, in addition to the production of machinery and equipment, they pay attention to the possibility of developing a full range of services. That is, both for repair and maintenance of modern combat vehicles supplied to the troops. As it is done, for example, at the enterprise “Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering”. They are now producing the most irrepressible, according to the television program Top Gear, a car in the world.

Do you mean the battle car “Arlan”?

– Yes, exactly. “Arlan” – a unique multi-purpose car, capable of performing the most difficult tasks in the course of combat operations. It is ideal for both standard combat situations and for conflicts with the use of asymmetric weapons … At the enterprise the design office had professionally created and all the conditions for discovering the talents of young professionals. I advise you to get to know them better. Creative guys. Ideas of all kinds, sometimes even extremely delirious, are very numerous in their minds. The main thing is to find the rational grain in time and direct the young people to the right track.

  • And does science help you at least somehow

– Scientific research is always welcome. This is the basis for the development of the defense industry. In the Ministry of Defense and Aerospace Industry, as you know, a scientific and technical council has been created that considers and selects the best promising breakthrough projects in the field of defense industry, space and cyber security. We cooperate with Russia, Belarus, Israel, Spain. We establish partnership relations with other countries. In the current year, it is planned to create a Kazakhstan center to provide maintenance services, overhaul military transport and front aviation, to assemble unmanned aerial vehicles for the needs of our Armed Forces.

The implementation of the project for a large-scale assembly of helicopters of the Mi family on the basis of the aircraft repair plant No. 405 has already begun? What is its value for Kazakhstan?

– This project will undoubtedly allow us to reach a new level of industrial development and will promote Kazakhstan’s advancement in the helicopter industry not only in the CIS, but also in countries far abroad. By the way, at the same enterprise, it is planned to organize a competence center for helicopters of state and civil aviation, which will also contribute to improving the level of flight safety.

On the basis of the enterprise “Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering” it is planned to create a regional center for servicing light helicopters “Airbus helicopters”. There are projects in the field of armored weapons and equipment, air defense.

  • Recently, the IV International Military Technical Forum “Army-2018” was completed in Kubinka (Moscow region). Has Kazakhstan participated in it?

–Of course, we are already presenting our products there for the third year. For example, the plant for the production of electronic optical products LLP “KAE” presented infrared lenses for thermal imaging devices and professional radio communications equipment. JSC “Plant named after S.M. Kirov” presented a universal polygon equipment, consisting of target installations, targets of various sizes, control units, as well as radio relay stations. The company “Semey Engineering” exhibited models of modernized armored and conversion equipment, including repair and evacuation and reconnaissance patrol vehicles based on the T-72, BMP and BTR-80 tanks. JSC “Tynys” exhibited at the forum “Army-2018” components for the aviation industry and military ammunition: bullet-proof vests, armored systems, protective plates and helmets. More than 200 square meters occupied the national stand at that international forum …Everyone was interested.

Restraining factor

But not everything in our defense industry is as smooth and transparent as we would like. At a government hour in the mazhilis of the parliament, vice speaker of the chamber Vladimir BOZHKO drew attention to the fact that the loading of enterprises makes up only 20 to 60 percent of potential opportunities. According to the deputy, the enterprises of the military-industrial complex require serious and urgent modernization.

A clear system and coordination of producers and consumers of products and services with the Ministry of Defense, the National Security Committee, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the State Security Service and the Foreign Reconnaissance Service, akimats, and territorial defense troops are needed.

A Restraining factor in the development of the defense industry is the lack of a long-term program for the rearmament and development of the defense industry complex, aimed at loading the enterprises with defense orders “to its fullest”. Bozhko believes that the emphasis is to be “transferred from direct purchase of products from abroad to technology transfers with the localization of the production of weapons and military equipment by foreign suppliers in Kazakhstan on the basis of domestic enterprises”.

Sleepless nights of our designers

Also in this short journalistic trip to Astana, I met with the chief designer of JSC “Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering” Ilgiz Safiulin. Young, promising, with a fine sense of humor. He moved to the capital from Ereimentau. He recalls that in his school years he was able to solve complex mathematical problems of the university level in his mind. And the textbooks were not needed. He easily kept all the formulas in his head.

Now admits that he can completely stay awake for three days, if there is an interesting technical specification from the customer.

It is necessary to think with colleagues of the workshop, over the modernization of the gun, over the improvement of the machine gun, over something else which  is very important. He likes this complex defense-industrial, and not just “screwdriver” production. But that’s another story…

Source: Web-site of newspaper «Caravan» https://www.caravan.kz/gazeta/v-ozhidanii-gosoboronzakaza-476087/