He wanted to stop his army from using American technology and failed – El Financiero

Even before the sanctions cut off access to vital components and technologies for the defense industry Of the president Vladimir Poutinean internal Russian government review found that years of attempts to reduce import dependency had largely failed.

Previously unreported evaluations show that it has been implemented a program with specific objectives from 2019 for reduce Russia’s dependence on Western parties for its arsenal by 2025, from radars to advanced submarines and missile defense systems. But an internal review of the plan 10 months before Putin invaded Ukraine found it fell short of nearly every parameter.

Conversations with European officials, including those familiar with the audit report, highlight the long struggle of Russian companies and the Ministry of Commerce to move away from parts provided by NATO member states and the Ukraine. One of the Russian assessments explicitly warned that the state defense acquisition program it could fail under a harsher sanctions regime, said a European official, who asked not to be identified due to sensitive issues.

The information about Russia’s challenges for component supply it has been split between several Western governments and has fueled discussions over trade sanctions imposed since late February.

The the shortage of modern weapons has forced Russia trust Soviet-era models, many of which are less accurate and reliable, according to US and European officials. They said the Kremlin was unlikely to be able to withstand the kind of massive attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure seen this week, despite Putin’s threats to escalate further.

Russia is already struggling to resupply its ground troops, has suffered heavy tank and aircraft losses and is burning through its missile arsenal, these officials say. In Russia, senior officials have repeatedly said they can replenish their forces in Ukraine and Putin said on Friday that he did not regret the invasion.

Since the war broke out, the United States, the European Union and others have also hit Moscow with heavy sanctions, including sanctions aimed at cutting off access to semiconductors and other key components used in weapons. high tech.

“The costs for Russia, in men and equipment, are enormous”Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of Britain’s signals intelligence agency, said this week of the war in Ukraine. “We know, and the Russian commanders on the ground know, that their supplies and ammunition are running out.”

The import substitution program was established in 2014 following the previous Russian invasion of Ukraine and was accelerated with detailed targets set from 2019. But what was described to Bloomberg as a 20-page audit by Russia’s attorney general’s office in April 2021, covering the 177,058 components used in 278 types of military equipment, found widespread shortcomings. In 2020 alone, Russia expected 18,047 substitutions spanning 43 team types but only managed 3,148 substitutions across five elements, the sources said.

Kremlin officials have repeatedly said that economy-wide import substitution efforts have failed to achieve their goals: Putin said in 2019 that “in a number of cases, as shown by the practice, obvious mistakes were made in the planning and organization of import substitution work”.

The trade minister was recently named deputy prime minister, according to Russian state media, with increased powers to work on import substitution. The shortcomings were discussed in meetings where subsequent public comments were made.

Still, officials said efforts to limit reliance on foreign components have helped the industry weather the impact of sanctions imposed after the start of the war. “For some sectors, 100% import substitution is not that important or necessary. But here we need it,” Putin told a group of defense industry executives last month, calling for it to be secured “as quickly as possible.”

The 2019-2025 program aimed to exchange imported technology, electronics and essential goods for domestic equivalents or items produced from scratch, establish new supply chains and build a strategic stockpile of critical parts. , according to one of the documents. A similar effort was put in place to replace nearly 640 components originating in Ukraine.

The inspection reported some limited success, the people said. Found this almost all goals were achieved for a small number of radio and laser reconnaissance equipment.

At the same time, the evaluation showed that Ka-226.80 light multi-purpose helicopters they received more than 230 million rubles in import substitution contracts, although they were not even part of the state arms purchase program. Efforts to produce analog electronic components from scratch have not even started: of the plan to develop 4,148 different analogs by 2020, Russia has not achieved any.

A European official said that further deterioration of Russian equipment and of its armed forces in general is expected. Some of Russia’s most advanced weapons rely on foreign components, including cruise missiles, TU-22 bombers, submarines, the Nudol air defense system and anti-aircraft radars.

The authorities have clearly recognized the extent of the problem.

According to the Kremlin, Putin has assigned prosecutors to monitor the program’s progress for 2018. Then-Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika said in July 2019 that “import substitution in the defense industry remains a problem”. His successor, Igor Krasnov, said in 2020 that was still a concern.

“Relying on Western components will not stop the Russian military machine, but it will significantly reduce the speed at which Russia can regenerate military power,” according to Sidharth Kaushal, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute.


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