Russia continues to develop innovative military technology which designers say are more capable than Western equivalents.

President Vladimir Putin recently announced a plan to spend $400 billion by 2020 to modernize the Russian military. In addition to the Armata tank and new amphibious assault ships, military sources have recently announced the development of two new artillery systems, according to Sputnik News.

Russia Developing Advanced Anti-Aircraft, Anti-Ship Guns
Source: Pixabay

New gun reportedly far more advanced than Western rivals

The designer of the new, self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery system claims that it will be far more powerful than its Western counterparts.

“We are developing a 57 mm self-propelled artillery system for our antiaircrafters,” said Georgy Zakamennykh, head of the Burevestnik design bureau, during an interview with the RIA Novosti news agency.

Engineers at Burevestnik are also developing a rapid-fire cannon for the Russian Navy. “It’s up to the Navy command to take it onboard, along with our remote-controlled machineguns of various caliber,” Zakamennykh added.

Russia boasts several high-profile military research centers, and Burevestnik Central Scientific Research Institute is part of the Uralvagonzavod Corporation.

New anti-ship shells allow one-strike destruction

As well as the new cannons, Russian defense researchers are also working on delayed-action detonators which could allow ships to be sunk using just one strike.

Valery Lebedev, department head at the NIMI (Engineering Scientific Research Institute), states that the institute is working on programmable detonators for artillery shells which cause far greater damage to ships.

The shell penetrates the hull of the ship before detonating after a programmed delay, exploding inside the hull and causing widespread damage. The U.S. Navy is also reportedly working on a similar system which is part of the MEMS microchip project.

“The international trend that we follow is the creation of intellectual detonators which allow for the explosion of the shell in optimal temporal and spatial coordinates,” Lebedev said.

Lebedev went on to say that the new technology means fewer shells are needed to complete destroy naval, coastal and aerial targets. Alongside the advance in shell technology, the institute is also considering working on low-sensitivity explosives. Such materials would reduce the likelihood of unintentional detonation.

Russia’s arms industry facing competition from China

The new artillery pieces sound impressive on paper, but it must be said that Russia has a record of announcing new pieces of military hardware but then delivering them late, or not at all. In addition to modernizing its own military, Russia needs to protect its reputation for innovation in military hardware in order to boost arms sales to foreign powers.
With economic sanctions imposed by the West and the unstable price of oil, the Russian economy is suffering. One way for Putin improve the country’s finances is to export vast amounts of military hardware, but it is facing increasing competition from China in the world market.
Although other economic problems may stymie Russian plans to modernize its own military, there is certainly a market for Russian technology around the world. The agreement of a deal with Iran this week opens up the possibility of arms sales to Tehran, although any sales will be subject to UN rules.
It was thought that an existing deal for the transfer of an S-300 missile system from Russia to Iran may have been scrapped under new rules banning the sale of missile technology to Iran for the next 8 years, but Russian Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the press that exports will be possible if the UN Security Council approves them.