President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon everyone,
We are holding the latest unified military goods commissioning day today, and we will also discuss implementation of the 2015 state defence procurement orders and the orders for the first quarter of 2016.
Let me say right at the outset that overall, the defence companies have fulfilled their obligations in good faith and most of the goods and equipment ordered were delivered in full and on time.
Overall, around 4,000 items of latest-model arms and military equipment that will shape the look of our modern armed forces were delivered in 2015. This includes 96 planes, 81 helicopters, 2 multi-purpose submarines, 152 air defence systems, 291 radar stations, and more than 400 items of artillery and armoured vehicles.
These new models are being put to active use and getting put to the test regularly during inspections of units and at exercises. Of course, our operations against the terrorists in Syria have also been a serious test for our new arms and equipment, especially our aviation equipment.
The state authorities will continue to support the defence companies and develop their production capabilities and technological potential.
At the same time, let me say that this work on army and navy orders is not simply a mark of great trust, but is above all a great responsibility.
In this respect, I must note that there were delays in the completion of a number of contracts, and in some cases the deadlines were not met. We need to make a thorough analysis of the causes in each individual case and of course we must ensure that these contracts are completed as soon as possible and take measures to make sure this kind of situation does not happen again.
Next, our import replacement programme has been underway for around 18 months now and we have organised production of many of the components previously delivered from abroad. At the same time, there are still problems with a number of important units, other components and spare parts. We need to speed up their production or at the very least find alternative suppliers. I am sure however, that our defence industry is up to this task and will most certainly accomplish the set goal.
Let me say again that this is not simply a task we must ultimately resolve in order to ensure our country’s defence capability, but is also an undertaking that will have very positive benefits for the civilian production sector.
As for the arms, the most important thing here is to avoid any delays in getting the new equipment to the units.
Let’s hear the reports now. Please, go ahead.
Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, there is no need for me to say how important this work is. The current economic circumstances do limit our possibilities, but this should not in any way affect the quality and results of our final products. Those directly responsible for financing and organising this work are well aware of this.
It is true that we need to take a thriftier approach to state finances, and this is something we should do in any case, whatever the circumstances. However, there is another problem that we know of – that is refinancing, huge receivables that the companies have. This problem has not yet been resolved. I agree with the measures the Defence Ministry is taking to encourage the manufacturers to raise quality and meet their obligations on time. You need to continue monitoring this situation very closely.
I also address my words to the senior management in the defence industry itself and to CEOs of the companies working in the sector. We know that at some factories, workers work in three shifts, including at night, and at others, the machinery stands idle. This is the result of poorly coordinated work and there is still much effort to be made to produce the needed results and meet the customer’s deadlines.
The Defence Ministry heads and company CEOs and chief designers will meet in May this year to review the results, continuing our recent practice. We will discuss once more the results for 2015 and analyse where there were problems and why, and we will outline our plans for the rest of the year. I ask you to prepare for this review meeting.
Thank you all for your work. I wish you all the very best.