MIT General Designer Yuriy Solomonov told Interfaks yesterday Russia needs to increase intercontinental ballistic missile production in the coming years to preserve its strategic nuclear forces (SYaS or СЯС). See a more complete version of his remarks at Arms-expo.ru. He said:
“We have two years at our disposition to be in a condition, proceeding from implementation of the production preparation program, to get all cooperation ready for the possibility of manufacturing a large quantity of products. Many times more than have been made previously.”
He said Russia has produced 6-10 missiles per year over the last ten years. And he acknowledged that plans for increased production volume may not be fulfilled:
“All this rests, with respect to corporate enterprises, on resolving the task of allocating them investment. And the regulatory-technical base — the way officials interpret it — doesn’t allow for resolving this task. If it isn’t resolved, it’s possible to say unequivocally that the task of significantly increasing the volume of products delivered by 2013 won’t be fulfilled either.”
So he’s saying the reluctant state will need to invest in Votkinsk and its component suppliers?
Solomonov notes that the Votkinsk plant, manufacturer of the Topol-M and RS-24 ICBMs, produced up to 120 Pioner (SS-20) medium-range missiles a year between 1980 and 1987. He says:
“It follows from this that the production capabilities of the factory undoubtedly allow it to realize, proceeding from this potential, production of a substantially larger quantity of missiles than in the preceding ten years.”