DOES RUSSIA NEED COMPETITION OF MILITARY SHOWS?

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The fifth international armament, combat hardware and ammunition show “Russian exhibition of armament. Nizhny Tagil-2006” will finish its work in Nizhny Tagil on July 15. The show was opened by Vladislav Putilin, senior deputy chair of the military industrial commission, Boris Aleshin, Director of the Federal Industrial Agency, as well as Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region Eduard Rossel, his colleague from the Kurgan Region and a big group of generals. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov was also expected. This was broadly announced by local and Moscow mass media. However, after reports about destruction of terrorist, Shamil Basayev, plans of the minister changed and he quickly flew to Chechnya.

Meanwhile, the show did not lose its importance because of this. At the opening ceremony, Boris Aleshin read the welcoming address of Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. The address said that during a short period of time the show in Nizhny Tagil acquired a high authority among specialists and became a recognized site for signing business contracts. This is really so. According to Valery Rudenko, director of the Nizhny Tagil institute for metal testing in the territory of which the show is organized, 44 delegations from 33 countries arrived at the armament show. More than 200 foreign representatives including businessmen, designers, armament manufacturers and military attaches participated in the show. Overall, the show gathered more than 400 enterprises in the defense industry. About 660 managers of defense companies, chief designers, leading specialists and armament developers were registered as business visitors and heads of delegations.

According to its scale and opportunities, the show in Nizhny Tagil has no equals in the world. At the show, it is possible to demonstrate combat capabilities of all kinds of armament of the ground forces at distances of up to 60 kilometers. On one of the days guests were shown a training battle where aviation dropped combat vehicles and soldiers.

The show will be closed tomorrow, although a broader scenario has been planned. It was necessary to reduce it because almost a similar show of military products for the ground forces MVSV-2006 will begin in Moscow two weeks later. It will last from August 2 until August 6. Of course, such a big concentration of similar military shows is not expedient from a commercial point of view. Vladimir Paleshchuk, Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military Technological Cooperation, says that in the near future it is planned to hold negotiations with organizers of the show in Nizhny Tagil on shifting of the show from an odd to an even year. Incidentally, Paleshchuk said the same two years ago. However, the governmental resolution on organization of the show in Nizhny Tagil prescribed its organization in July of 2006. There is a reason for this for organizers of the show. Organizing the show twice a year they renovate the exhibits, prepare new testing ranges for demonstration of firing exercises of tanks and artillery systems, missile launches etc. Nobody hides that organizers of the show in Nizhny Tagil consider the show in Moscow in which the government has invested money to be its main competitor. According to Valery Rudenko, so far the Nizhny Tagil show is financed “at expense of its participants and large sponsors.” The government of the Sverdlovsk Region hopes that its “federal money will be invested in this exhibition center of state importance.” Organizers of the show wanted to ask this from Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov. Meanwhile, recently Paleshchuk said that the armament show in Nizhny Tagil “is not international according to the content side.”

Paleshchuk says, “If we speak about international status of the armament show, we mean that foreign manufacturers participate in it as exhibitors. There is nothing like this in Nizhny Tagil now.” Nonetheless, according to Paleshchuk, good infrastructure was created in Nizhny Tagil for demonstration possibilities of armament and combat hardware of the Ground Forces. Paleshchuk expressed his conviction that “when the show in Nizhny Tagil develops it will reach good international level.”

This means that the state official proposes the show in Nizhny Tagil to develop at its own expense. Along with this, organizers of the show in Moscow will receive incomparable advantages. MVSV-2006 will be held in the territory of the all-Russian exhibition center, as well as on the testing range of Geodesia research institute in Krasnoarmeisk (Moscow Region). In any case, it is known that the testing range in Krasnoarmeisk is small. This means that there will be less demonstrations of capabilities of Russian armament there than in Nizhny Tagil.

At any rate, organizers of the show in Moscow do not lose hope. Sergei Marichev, member of the organizational committee of the show, told journalists recently that over 350 companies already announced their participation in the show. Marichev added, “We expect that we will manage to exceed the figure of 400 participants.” Incidentally, the same quantity of companies is also registered at the show in Nizhny Tagil. Along with this, it is expected that not less than 1 million people will visit the show in Moscow. Of course, this quantity is bigger than the quantity of visitors in Nizhny Tagil. However, according to the spectacular and qualitative parameters, the show in Nizhny Tagil is much better. It may evidently make a bigger impression on potential buyers of Russian armament. However, organizers of the show in Nizhny Tagil are left alone and the government supports them only with words.

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