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There Is A Huge Arms Show Outside Moscow Right Now

June 17, 2015

Russian OMON file

For four days this week Russia’s military-industrial complex will be out in force. The occasion is the International Military-Technical Forum or Army 2015. The venue is the Congress and Exhibition Center and the nearby Military and Patriotic Park. Both are located in a town called Kubinka outside Moscow. The purpose of Army 2015 is to rekindle Russian arms exports at a time when the domestic economy is weakening.

But in a published statement from Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Army 2015’s appeal was cast in a more positive light.

The Forum is geared towards demonstrating capabilities of scientific organizations, defence industry businesses, weapons and equipment production, innovative technologies, both from Russia and abroad, as well as enable cooperation between leading foreign military goods developers and Russia’s scientific organizations and defence industry businesses.

It’s worth noting the Defense Minister mentioned the possibility of co-developing weapon systems and technology between Russian and foreign firms. A sure sign Russia has lost some of its edge as a world-class manufacturer.

As for the event itself, Army 2015’s schedule includes multiple seminars and demonstrations of various hardware, from stunt planes to armored vehicles. Despite its name, Army 2015 is an arms show for the naval and air forces too. The organizer’s made sure space was available to fit hundreds of exhibitors in 50 categories relevant to the Russian armed forces and its foreign clients.

Army 2015 was first announced in April, 2014, but its promotion was very limited. For example, only state-owned media outlets provided coverage of Army 2015’s opening day when President Vladimir Putin delivered a short speech where mentioned adding to the missile force’s nuclear arsenal. This garnered some attention from the international press.

The Kremlin later published his speech in English.

News and further details on activities during Army 2015 are scarce outside non-Russian media. So far, only Russia Today, the Tass news agency, Russia Insider, and Sputnik International are providing English-language coverage for the Russian military’s “biggest event” with an expected 100,000 visitors and 500 exhibiting companies.

At least a handful of arms shows and security events take place in Russia each year. With a growing defense budget and a rearmament program in full swing, Russia’s consolidated defense firms are busier than ever. How much business activity and deal making is done in Army 2015 is for the press releases to reveal.

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