Overlooked in recent days was new RF Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov’s announcement about the “mass use” of counterfeit materials and parts in Russia’s OPK.
Interfaks-AVN reported Krasnov told fellow prosecutors at a “broadened collegium” in Moscow:
The mass use of counterfeit materials and parts by OPK enterprises is a cause for special alarm. Considering the strategic character of this problem, it’s necessary to carry all planned oversight measures to their logical end.
We know “logical end” means arrest and convict people, don’t collude with them.
. . . the condition of legality dictates the need to increase the oversight component in strengthening financial discipline, reducing the indebtedness of OPK enterprises for unmet obligations and increasing the quality of military products.
Krasnov claimed during the past year military prosecutors uncovered more than 44,000 legal violations in the OPK.
TASS reported Krasnov directed military prosecutors to ensure MOD officials responsible for “military acceptance” respect relevant laws and exert control over the fulfillment of GOZ work.
Counterfeiting in Russia’s defense industry isn’t novel. It just doesn’t get much attention. There are likely egregious cases of counterfeit equipment that never surfaced. But a few have:
- An official in the MOD’s 1st TsNII (Shipbuilding) said in 2018 that counterfeit parts were hampering Russian efforts to build its own ship engines to replace those once bought from Ukraine and Western countries.
- As late as the first half of the 2010s, torpedo maker Dagdizel was “recycling” parts from old dismantled weapons for “new” torpedoes.
- Several managers at Zvezdochka were arrested in 2015 for using fake parts in the repair of Indian Kilo subs.
- An experimental Ka-60 helo crashed in 2010 due to faulty tail rotor parts made by an unauthorized “underground” manufacturer.
- The MiG-29SMT fighters sold to Algeria and returned in 2008 is just the most famous scandal. Some “new” parts on those planes were stamped in the early 1990s.
Some recent glaring example of counterfeiting in Russia’s OPK must’ve sparked the new Prosecutor General’s comment but we just haven’t learned about it yet.
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Side note…the Russians operated the returned MiG-29SMTs until late 2018. By then the Kursk-based 14th Fighter Regiment had replaced all 24 with Su-30SMs. https://bit.ly/2wMhrym