The space and rocket industry after the dismemberment of the USSR. Strangulation. Survival. The immediate prospects

Original taken from nkfedor in the space industry after the dismemberment of the USSR. Strangulation. Survival. The immediate prospects


The last quarter of a century the position of the rocket and space industry can be characterized as extremely serious. But judging by the signals coming from the field in the last few months, the situation in the space segment of the defense industry has deteriorated sharply. This is a big topic that deserves careful and thoughtful analysis. To start, seem to have what now is called “dashing nineties”. However, I should mention that today’s problems are not the only “legacy”. There are in the current issues and brand-new factors.
In the nineties, when Russia “poher” socialist path of development and rasplevavshis with communism, stood on the “right” way in which the victorious moved to the prosperity of all progressive mankind (the civilized West), many thought that the reason for the use of military force in international relations is no more — as the confrontation between the two systems is over. And if so, what and they say nothing to develop a military space.


And the army as a result of perestroika and post-perestroika processes were, to put it mildly, humiliated, to some extent, demoralized and, more importantly, in fact, excommunicated from power. On political situation could influence the power structures such as the GRU and its spetsnaz, not the command of the strategic missile forces and missile defense. As for the scientific space programs, they were viewed solely as a source of foreign exchange earnings. And who needed basic research (no matter whether they were aimed at the study of the Universe or the physics of the Earth) during the “Great News”.
Station “the World” existed only as long as the American astronauts mastered the experience of a long stay in space until we worked out the technology of maneuvering, berthing and docking of the Shuttle to large space objects. Then it was a joint project of the ISS, which, as is likely, the USA in the near future, can count is exhausted. And where would be now RSC “Energia”, if not for those projects with international participation”?
An important source of foreign exchange earnings in the aerospace sector were the commercial launches of “Proton” GKNPTs im. Khrunichev yet accumulated since the Soviet era stockpiles of these rockets did not come to an end.
Specifics of the existence of the industry in these years was the fact that these foreign exchange earnings — substantially — was among the enterprises involved in international projects. It is in these enterprises managed to maintain more or less tolerable conditions of existence. They were able to retain staff — not all experts went into small business, construction pick-up work and in the “Shuttle”. And “firms” operating in this period “in the interests of the Ministry of defence”, or worse, space research in the interests of domestic science” was doomed to destruction. And we must pay tribute to the leadership of these companies — as higher and middle managers who were able to “tighten” the process of killing the industry.
During this period, many promising projects were suspended or terminated. This primarily concerned the most time-consuming of them, which requires significant financial investment. As a result, stopped production, preserved, and often dismantled equipment large test stands. Giant metal structures and dozens of tons of high-tech products of high-alloy import of steel went to scrap. Just to salvage something from what can still be saved.
To the middle of zero the Russian elite wanted to merge in ecstasy with the “Civilized West,” in unison was eager — “no soap” — in Europe. Perhaps the first call that made the part, while still small, these elites question the attainability of that dream was the NATO war against Yugoslavia. In Russian history one can hardly remember the case, such a cavalier and cynical treatment of Russia, its leadership, its elites, as did the USA in 1999. Taking the decision to start the bombing of Yugoslavia, they spat on Russian interests, and previous to her appointment. And it could not provide (at least some part of the Russian elite) doubts about the correctness of the “European” (and generally “Western”) choice of Russia.
Interestingly, just before the beginning of the NATO operation in Yugoslavia in American and Russian media have opened up a discussion around the fact that the Russian system of missile warning (EWS) in the first place, its space echelon, supposedly by the end of 1998 is not a barrier for a nuclear missile strike from the United States. Probably for the masses of the Russian public, this debate went unnoticed. But experts, including those close to the military-political leadership of Russia could not ignore the fact that the conclusions reached by the participants — from both the Russian and the American side looked like presented an ultimatum to Russia. And not was whether this fact is an additional and substantial basis for the eve of 2000 sounded the famous “I’m tired, I quit”?

In the zero situation in the defense industry began to change. Not immediately. Painfully. Slowly. Many businesses still were without work production. Test centers continued to be dismantled and cut into scrap metal with their unique stands, created in the late eighties. But bureaus and research institutes allows for the experimental design work (OKR). This work was funded. Their performance was monitored by the relevant Department of the Ministry of defence. Contract R & d more or less successfully implemented, which strengthened the trust between the customer and developer and was the basis for entering into agreements for new developments. But a socio – political background of these processes was the first (“fat”), the years of Vladimir Putin’s presidency from 2000 to 2007. Growing prices for oil. Growing GDP. Even the workers defense (not all, but many) have the opportunity to rest abroad. (Some believe that it is a representative indicator of social welfare.)
It is believed that somewhere in the middle of zero finally cleared the question of how “Russia’s entry into Europe.” It turned out that the whole Russia does not need Europe. Only the most tasty parts. Moreover, aspiring, and, horror of horrors, stronger, and most importantly, not lost their integrity of Russia — the geopolitical enemy of the West, Europe, USA. “Friend of bill”, “friend Kohl’s — these mutual oblizyvala top officials in the past. In the “dashing” of the nineties.
By early 2007, this new understanding is reflected in the “Munich speech” Putin:

In his speech the Russian President gave to understand that the expansion of NATO to borders of Russia with no response will not remain, but stated:
“Russia is a country with a thousand year history, and has practically always used the privilege to carry out an independent foreign policy. We are not going to change this tradition today”
Following this tradition is impossible without the strengthening of the armed forces of a state applying for an independent foreign policy. And a crucial role in solving this problem in modern conditions is the defense industry, including missile and space industry. And it is also clear that “Munich speech” would never have taken place if set out in it approach is not shared sufficiently powerful elite group. We should not think that they were composed exclusively of patriots, surviving the painful dismemberment of the Soviet Union and hungry for revenge for the defeat inflicted on the beloved Fatherland as a result of Restructuring.
There were other “Alitalia” pragmatic intend to “feed” running “defense”. The actualization of geopolitical confrontation inevitably gave rise to the need for defence products. Hence, stable state defense order. But most importantly, that it could not only “cut”, but to use for the development of technologies, retention of specialists of the Soviet generation and even for the education of the younger generation.” Because “cow” is the paradigm of these “elitist” — better years to milk than overnight to score the meat”.
It is important that the “patriots to the bone,” and pragmatists, whose business is in the defence industry, not anywhere else, just a part of the Russian elite. They have quite sane opponents who believe it makes no sense to defend the country’s sovereignty, if it involves great costs. Costs not only for them personally but for the whole country, for all Russian people. It may seem that the appeal to ordinary citizens — no more than a cover for their selfish interests. And really, their children are studying abroad, has already taken place so necessary for entry into the Western elite combines marriages, often supporting joint business projects. Opposing these “patriots” “elitist” holding accounts in foreign banks abroad of their property. But in the so-called “secondary” layers such reasoning is quite widespread. Few people want to fight and live under sanctions. Few believe that the rejection of sovereignty carried out in the framework of the “guys, let’s live together”, will inevitably lead to the disintegration of the country, strife, criminalization of all spheres of life.
It would be strange if the West, in recent times openly declared Putin’s Russia as an enemy, took advantage of this situation.
So he enjoys.
From these positions, you should evaluate the totality of influences by the West against Russia — diplomatic, political, military, economic, information. These impacts are evaluated within a single strategy, the purpose of which is to eliminate Russia. All this is presented as a deliverance from the present — Putin — regime. And it’s not that those Russian citizens who are willing to share the idea of this “deliverance” in the slightest degree have no idea what may replace “Putin” regime. The fact that Russia, which demonstrated unexpected vitality, will not allow to demonstrate and further. Will not let to grow and accumulate power. Because allowing it, they at least will allow you to stand up to geopolitical competition. Which, what the hell, will gain power and influence comparable to the power and influence of the USSR.
The idea of surrender — of “just war” based on a misunderstanding of what war is, unfortunately, full. And it’s not the cold war. And it is not confined to the fighting in the Donbass and Syria. It is not confined to the fact that our opponents are called the “annexation of Crimea and occupation of Donbas.” This is a modern war waged in a multidimensional space, where each type of impact on the enemy — as something immediate hostilities, political attacks on leaders of the country’s economic impacts on key sectors of the economy, manipulation of consciousness of ordinary citizens, corruption of the elites and their individual representatives — corresponds to its own axis.
Assistance to the Donbas, military operations in Syria, the arrangement of the Crimea cost and would be a large moral and strong-willed efforts. Rejection decision from at least one of these tasks will inevitably be interpreted (in the media) as a major local defeat current political and military leadership (CDF) of Russia, the consequence of which will inevitably be a decline in the authority of the CDF. But the victory at the front the classic war is fraught with sensitive losses on the fronts of the war economic. It is clear that it will inevitably hit “the social”. But the paradox is in the fact that these losses equally will inevitably suffer and the defence sector. In the first place will suffer “non-military” industries. But not only they.
The fact that the specifics of the fighting on the Donbass, in Syria deform the structure of the defense order. Priorities are the problem of replenishment of the currently used ammunition Park of military equipment, spare parts. If any 2005 the priority was given to OCD, in large measure, to the detriment of mass production, it is now inevitably shift towards serial production (of missiles “Caliber” need more). If the “peacetime” defense contracts include the development of advanced weapons systems, deep modernization of the earlier models of equipment and even basic research, aimed at creation of weapons based on new principles now will, improved combat techniques used in actual combat.
Among other conditions being equal, will be frozen-related projects with significant financial investments — the creation of large space vehicles will be frozen in favor of less overall. The update software will be given preference over the creation of new equipment. Upgrading electronics in existing products will be preferable to the creation of new types of products.
These processes are already in full swing in the missile industry comic. A lifesaver for many businesses, as in the “dashing nineties” can become projects with international participation. But there is one major difference between the current situation from the one that began to unfold a quarter of a century ago. The industry started the process of “optimization”. Already there are first results. And they can not be alerted. As well as can not guard it as it is. And who exactly performs it.
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Translated by Yandex Translate