Potential for security

The latest weapons and military techniques go on show at the 5th international milex–2009 exhibition held in minsk
145 exhibitors from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and Armenia have presented their developments at the BelExpo exhibition pavilion and open grounds. Military techniques and weaponry, created using the latest information and telecommunication technologies, caused a stir of interest. High-precision weapons and fire control information support systems were of particular note for those present from China, Sudan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Poland, Egypt, Libya, India, the UAE, Iran and elsewhere. MILEX demonstrates Belarus’ top defence industry developments, providing a platform for finding new partners among foreign guests.

The Belarusian military-industrial complex rivals that of any country. This year’s innovations include a joint Skif antitank weapons system (with contemporary guidance system and pinpoint firing even at night) developed by Beltechexport enterprises and Ukrainian plants.

Belarusian Tetraedr presented its A3 short range air defence unit. Those inspecting it were delighted; it can easily shoot both air and surface targets, enabling any site to be protected from air attack (from planes, helicopters or pilotless aircraft with high-precision weapons). It could be used to protect the state border and fight terrorists.

The A3 unit isn’t the only source of pride for the domestic military industry. The Pechora-2TM missile system (modernised by the Belarusian enterprise) aroused great interest with its ability to counter air attack of any kind.

The event’s opening was attended by Belarus’ Prime Minister, Sergei Sidorsky, and the State Secretary of the Security Council, Yuri Zhadobin. Mr. Sidorsky noted that the international armament exhibition in Minsk is a business card for the country’s military and industrial complex, since it showcases the whole range of production of the defence industry. Software and hardware mobile units were on display for the first time, alongside radio-electronic intelligence and fighting equipment developed by Belarusian enterprises. Achievements in contemporary planes and helicopters of various types were also demonstrated, alongside Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant vehicles used for transporting missiles.

The event brought together around 140 official delegations from over 40 countries worldwide. They also took part in the 4th international scientific conference on military-technical problems. Moreover, during the forum, the 6th session of the Interstate Commission for Military and Economic Co-operation of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation took place, in addition to a session of the Business Council at the CSTO Interstate Commission for Military and Economic Co-operation.

NATO representatives also highly praised the level of organisation at the 5th International MILEX-2009 Exhibition of Arms and Military Machinery, as proven by the responses of military attaches from Europe.

“I was pleasantly surprised on seeing Belarusian technology — especially the electronic systems. I didn’t expect such a wide diversity of electronics to be manufactured in Belarus. This shows a good level of development in the country’s military industry,” noted Klaus Wirts, Defence Attachй at the German Embassy to Belarus.

The Military and Air Attachй at the Slovakian Embassy to Russia, Vladimir Sukhodolinski, also shared his impressions, noting that Belarusian and Russian equipment is competitively priced while being of good quality. “There are prospects for collaboration. However, it’s a pity that we have the global crisis, which has resulted in reduced funding for the purchase of new equipment,” he added.
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