Russia and Belarus strengthen their mutual military-technical cooperation 73008162

Defence & Security News - Russia & Belarus
Russia and Belarus strengthen their mutual military-technical cooperation
Moscow and Minsk are planning to enhance mutual military-technical cooperation, according to a source in the Russian defense industry. "Russia and Belarus have had good and well-established military-technical ties since the early 1990s. For instance, Minsk is the primary supplier of optical-electronic sighting systems for Russia`s state-of-the art armoured vehicles, while Moscow delivers to Belarus the latest aerospace, air defense and radar technologies.
Russia and Belarus strengthen their mutual military-technical cooperation 001

Belarus remains a strategic Russia`s partner in the area of military-technical cooperation and we suppose that the aforementioned lucrative cooperation will continue in the years to come. Several months ago they acquired of batch of the newest Yakovlev YaK-130 (NATO reporting name: Mitten) operational trainers to increase the training capability of the national Air Force. I know that Minsk is considering the acquisition of the newest Sukhoi Su-30SM (Flanker-H) multirole combat aircraft to replace the ageing variants of Sukhoi Su-27 (Flanker) and Mikoyan MiG-29 (Fulcrum) fighter jets. At the same time, the Minsk-based Minotor Service Company is overhauling the chassis of the Russian Armed Forces` Tunguska (SA-19 Grison) self-propelled anti-air gun-missile (SPAAGM) and ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled anti-air gun (SPAAG) systems. Moscow and Minsk are good partners [in this area]," the source said.

Despite severe financial constraints, Belarus is re-equipping its national Armed Forces with Russian-originated pieces of military hardware. In August 2016, the Belarusian military has received a 59N6E Protivnik-GE mobile early warning surveillance radar manufactured by the Almaz-Antey Concern. "The new radar will drastically increase the combat capabilities of [the Belarusian] signal intelligence troops, as they will be able to detect ballistic targets. The range of aerial and targets detection will be increased. The usage of modern technologies is supposed to reduce the cost of operating the radar," the Belarusian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a statement. It is noteworthy that Minsk is planning to acquire more Protivnik-GE radar systems. According to the Chief of Belarus` General Staff, Major General Oleg Belokonev, the national Armed Forces will have received a total of seven long-range early warning surveillance radar by 2020. "The second radar station of such type is planned to be brought into service in 2017," the general said. He added that one radar would be used as an operational training system. The Belarusian media said that the 59N6E radar recently supplied by Russia would be stationed at the 50th Mixed Aviation Airbase near Minsk.

Russia`s Nizhny Novgorod Scientific-Research Institute of Radio Engineering (Russian acronym: NNIIRT, Nizhny Novgorod Nauchno-Issledovatelsky Institut Radiotekhniki) has been producing 59N6E Protivnik-GE mobile radars since 1999. The L-band radar has a maximum detection range of 400 km. It is designed to detect and track combat aircraft, ballistic missiles, helicopters, cruise missiles, and other aerial targets.

Minsk will receive the second four YaK-130 operational trainers manufactured by the Irkut Corporation (a subsidiary of the United Aircraft Corporation) "at an early date", according to the source. "Irkut seems to have produced all four YaK-130 aircraft ordered by Minsk in August 2015. The planes have already made their maiden flights. Hence, the Belarusian Air Force will operate a total of eight YaK-130 operational trainers soon. We suppose that they are planning to use them as trainers and light attack aircraft," the source pointed out. He added that Belarus had already revealed its interest in the acquisition of Su-30SM multirole fighter jets. "However, this is not the issue of near future," the source said.

Russia will deliver 12 Mi-8MTV-5 (Hip) medium military transport helicopters to Belarus in 2016-2017. The relevant contract was signed in June 2015 at the Army-2015 military-technical forum outside Moscow. "The Mi-8MTV-5 rotor-wing aircraft will radically increase the transport capabilities of the Belarussian Air Force and Army Aviation," the source pointed out.

Belarus had received four batteries of the S-300PS (SA-10d Grumble) long-range air defense systems (ADS) by early 2016, the source said. "In April 2016, Minsk announced the finishing of the united [with Russia] air defense system creation," he added.

In 2015, Minsk ordered 32 BTR-82 armoured personnel carriers (APC) from Russia, the source emphasized.

Belarus is acquiring Russian-originated radio-electronic equipment. "Minsk will have received 12 President-S onboard jamming systems by 2019. We suppose that the systems will be integrated with 12 Mi-8MTV-5 military transport helicopters," the source pointed out.
It should be noted that Minsk delivers optical-electronic sighting systems intended for the Russian Armed Forces` main battle tanks (MBT) and infantry fighting vehicles. "The T-72B3 and T-90A MBTs of the Land Forces are equipped with Sosna-U sighting systems developed by the Minsk-based Peleng Company," the source added.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute`s (SIPRI) arms transfers database, Russia supplied military hardware to Belarus to the tune of USD638 million in 1991-2015. Minsk received 4 MiG-29UB (Fulcrum) multirole fighters/operational trainers, 4 S-300PS and 4 S-300PMU1 (SA-20 Gargoyle) long-range ADS batteries, 150 5V55R and 150 48N6 long-range surface-to-air-missiles (SAM), 12 Tor-M2 (SA-15 Gaunlet) short-range SAM systems, 300 9M338 short-range SAMs, 4 YaK-130 operational trainers, and 1 Yak-52 trainer within the prescribed period.

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