MINSK, 22 May (BelTA) – State investments in developing the missile and rocket engineering industry have already been recouped several times thanks to sales of these weapons, BelTA learned from Chairman of the State Authority for Military Industry (SAMI) Roman Golovchenko.
The official said: “This is not the kind of money someone talks about or writes about. It was a very wise investment not only on the scale of the national economy but even our defense industry. Besides, the state investments have already been recouped several times thanks to the relevant contracts. This is why one can say precisely that this industry is not a burden for the state.”
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko visited a test facility of the R&D company OKB TSP in Machulishchi, Minsk District on 22 May. The head of state was made familiar with the development of missile and rocket production in Belarus. He was informed about the fulfillment of the government program meant to guide missile production development in Belarus in 2017-2020, about problems and proposals designed to address them.
According to Roman Golovchenko, Belarusian rocket engineers secured rather considerable progress over the years. For instance, the effective range of the multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) Polonez-M has been increased from 200km to 300km. The development of new types of ammunition the MLRS can fire continues. “The work is very complicated. It is already on par with space exploration or aerospace technologies. This is why we are definitely on the right track but we need more time,” the head of the Belarusian defense industry management agency told media.
The air defense missile system Buk-M3 is another serious R&D product. It is not a simple upgrade of the Russian air defense system. “We no longer use the term ‘an upgrade of the Soviet or Russian complex'. It is a purely Belarusian air defense missile system. A guided missile is the main thing the system lacked. The first launches were carried out in February. The missile design is being polished now,” Roman Golovchenko said.
Now Belarusian defense companies are intent on exploring opportunities inherent in the production of the most sophisticated and expensive products: warheads, explosives, fuel and energy materials. “We are in the initial phase for now, but we are moving rather fast. It is the vector we are going to pursue in the next five-year term. I mean we have the hardware and electronics. We will have to come up with energy-intensive military-grade materials,” Roman Golovchenko added.