A good day to finish old business . . . this covers the second half of Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov’s Rossiyskaya gazeta interview. Serdyukov, while remaining on message, seems tired or uninspired in giving this interview. He reviews old ground rather than breaking any new.
Serdyukov talks about coming to grips with large existing stockpiles of tanks, BMPs, BTRs, guns, and automatic rifles, and indicates he’s waiting for the defense sector to propose some fundamentally new systems. In regard to Kalashnikovs, the Defense Ministry is open to new developments from private firms but isn’t eschewing future AK purchases from its traditional supplier either.
On Mistral, Serdyukov tells RG the French will decide where it’s best to produce units 3 and 4, and Sevmash is the likely place. But he wants them to come in cheaper than number 1 and 2 being built in France. He expects Russia to acquire leading edge shipbuilding techniques in the process.
Serdyukov shows a flash of interest when asked about conclusions from Russia’s recent space launch failures:
“One conclusion — we have to change our approach to military acceptance. And we’re occupied with this. Next year we want to reformat it. There’s already understanding about what has to be done in training units for military acceptance specialists, their incentives, and technical equipping.”
“Generally, this is a serious question. We haven’t devoted the due attention to military acceptance because of various obstacles. Now we are smoothing out the situation. Not so long ago the prime minister had a conference, and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin gave a whole series of instructions on price formation and tracking contracts. Acceptance and production quality was one issue. Today this task is being worked, and we are preparing proposals by the end of the year .”
Serdyukov says voyenpredy can be civilians, but they should be former military men with lots of practical experience.
The last significant point in the second half of Serdyukov’s interview is his call for differentiated training for new professional sergeants — 3 or 4 months for those in motorized rifle units and 2 years or more for EW or communications specialists, for example. The comparison he gives is training equivalent to technical secondary school or old school for warrant officers. He indicates he’s not afraid future NCOs will become “eternal students.”