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The Massive ARMY 2018 Starts Next Week

August 19, 2018

Via Wikimedia Commons.

The largest tri-service arms show in Russia starts next week. ARMY 2018 is a hyper publicized occasion for boosting the country’s weapons exports and its own national military culture; both are taking place in a sprawling outdoor venue outside Moscow from August 21 until 26. The duration of the event promoted as an “International Military-Technical Forum” is held at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center in Kubinka, a town outside Moscow.

ARMY 2018 involves both indoor and outdoor exhibits for participating companies and separate live demonstrations at the Alabino Training Grounds, Komsomolskoe Lake, and the Kubinka Airfield. 21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) is a media partner for ARMY 2018

ARMY 2018 is organized by Russia’s defense ministry with help from the organizer ICE Ltd. Its aim is providing a venue where the local military industry can show off their catalogs and enjoy media coverage from around the world. The openness extends to the public, who can roam the outdoor show grounds where hundreds of vehicles are on static display, and the multitudes who are visiting from everywhere. A total of 1,209 exhibitors are participating in ARMY 2018 with the majority coming from Russia.

The organizers behind ARMY 2018 expect 550,000 visitors from 62 countries to be present for the duration of the show. Companies from 14 countries that enjoy strong relations with Russia are participating too. National pavilions for seven countries have been arranged for ARMY 2018. These include Armenia, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Slovakia, and South Africa. A frenzy of conferences are to be held throughout the show’s duration that cover 24 “thematic areas” or topics and span 140 separate meetings.

As if this weren’t enough to overshadow Eurosatory or the Farnborough Air Show and prove Russia can easily dominate military exhibitions, ARMY 2018 has different programs for showing off weapons used by the armed forces. The schedule is so crowded, in fact, that a separate webpage on the ARMY 2018 website is devoted to listing the “demonstration program” on each day of the show.

Russian armored vehicles are confined to the Alabino Military Training Grounds and the T-90A, T-80U, and T-72B/3 will make appearances just a week and a half since they launched this year’s International Army Games in the same venue. Almost every type of vehicle used by the Russian army is being shown in Alabino, from the GAZ Tigr M to Iskander ballistic missiles.

An equally lavish display is reserved for the Kubinka Airfield where a combination of MiG-31K’s and Su-57’s are schedules to perform acrobatics on the first day. They’re followed by the acrobatic flying teams “Falcons of Russia” and “Knights of Russia” who each have have separate performances. Export-ready models like the Su-30SM, MiG-29, and Yak-130 trainer are making appearances too. The same aircraft, including helicopters, will repeat their performances on each day of ARMY 2018.

The army’s skills in and near bodies of water aren’t being neglected either. Small-scale amphibious exercises and water crossing activities are taking place at the Komsomolskoe Lake from August 22 until 23. As a further attraction, fighting vehicles like the BMP-3, BMD-4A, and BTR-82A are going taking a dip in the water to please professional and non-professional audiences. A separate but related event taking place within ARMY 2018 is the first IntellTechExpo meant to promote the R&D of the Russian armed forces.

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