Russian defense companies are learning to make money on sales of armament and combat materiel which they produce. According to General Director of the Russian Ammunition Agency, Zinovy Pak, “Now, the real volume of armament and combat materiel exports of Russia exceeds the volume of the state defense order.” Pak adds that, due to this circumstance, development of this business is very important. According to Pak, this importance defines importance of development of exhibitions, where it is possible to demonstrate properties of Russian weapons. In the framework of this concept, the federal government and the administration of the Sverdlovsk Region organized UralExpoArms-2002 exhibition in Nizhny Tagil between July 9 and 13. According to Pak, the exhibition is unique because it can show practically all kinds of armament. The exhibition is organized at the Staratel testing range, which belongs to the Nizhny Tagil Institute of Metals Testing. Practically all kinds of projectiles manufactured by Russian plants since 1939 were tested at the Staratel. Valery Rudenko, Director of the institute, says that 6.5 million pieces of ammunition have been tested at the range during its entire history. The institute is currently working in the interests of 120 enterprises of the national military industrial complex. Rudenko says that the new exhibition is attractive also because of its facilities for demonstration of armaments. The water testing range with depth of 5 meters, width of 75 meters and length of 100 meters is a unique facility. There is also an up-to-date shooting range, where it will be possible to organize a contest of world level in the future. The grandstands and parking lots were broadened. It is possible to show combat vehicles firing at targets 40 kilometers away at the Staratel testing range. No other Russian testing range has such an opportunity.

According to Rudenko, these features will contribute to growth in attention to combat capabilities of armament. Recently, the institute received the Salka airfield, having a runway of 2,400 meters and a base for testing of airborne munitions. Overall, there will be 1,500 models of armament and combat equipment, including over 200 real ones, demonstrated at the exhibition.

For example, experts say that foreign partners will most likely be interested in the T-72M tank and BMP-3M combat infantry vehicle (M means modernized). Uralvagonzavod manufactures the T-72M. Experts say that, according to its qualities, this modification is on a par with the T-90S “flying tank.” The T-72M is the most widely-used tank of modern times. It is also 40% less expensive than the T-90S. Kurganmashzavod produces the BMP-3M. The firing control system differentiates the BMP-3M from the BMP-3. The vehicle has a quick-firing gun coaxial with the machine gun. The rapid-firing gun can destroy air targets too.

It is possible that the delegation of Kuwait will be interested in the products of Kurganmashzavod. Kuwait has bought more than 100 BMP-100. Probably this Middle Eastern country will wish to modernize its fleet. A delegation of Kuwait consisting of 30 members will arrive in Nizhny Tagil. Over 200 representatives of 46 countries will attend the exhibition. The biggest delegations will come from India, China, Italy, UK and Kazakhstan.

The biggest displayers of RussianExpoArms-2002 are the Motovilikhinsky plant (Perm) and Uralvagonzavod (Nizhny Tagil). Uralvagonzavod will present the T-90S gun-missile tank, the upgraded T-72, and engineer vehicles for tank support. Exhibits of Uralvagonzavod will require an open territory of 635 square meters. The Motovilikhinsky plant will show its exhibits on a space of 19.5 square meters and on an open territory of 300 square meters.

The main exhibits from Perm will include the 300-mm Smerch multiple rocket launcher system, the 122-mm Grad multiple rocket launcher system, the 120-mm Vena automated gun, the 120-mm Nona-K towed gun and the 122-mm 2A46M1 tank gun. A delegation including 35 experts and technicians will present the exhibits of the Motovilikhinsky plant at RussianExpoArms-2002.

Administration of Nizhny Tagil says that, due to preparation for the exhibition, industrial production in the city grew by 43% in comparison to 2001. Industrial production per capita in Nizhny Tagil is higher than in Russia as a whole on average. A presentation of Nizhny Tagil was held during the RussianExpoArms-2002 exhibition on July 10. An investment passport of the city was presented during the presentation. Now the city has more than 3,000 companies and a population of 400,000.