Russia Ramps Up Missile Production, Doubles Output of Air Defense Missiles

Russia Expanding Capacities, Working 24/7 to Meet Defense Order Amid Ukraine War.

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Girish Linganna
Girish Linganna
Girish Linganna is a Defence & Aerospace analyst and is the Director of ADD Engineering Components (India) Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of ADD Engineering GmbH, Germany with manufacturing units in Russia. He is Consulting Editor Industry and Defense at Frontier India.

More than twice as many missiles for air defence systems (ADS) are being manufactured in Russia than in the past. Sergey Shoigu, the Russian Minister of Defence, made this announcement on January 30. He did so after he had visited defence firms in Yekaterinburg.

In contrast, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are experiencing a severe lack of ammunition and air defence equipment. The Russian Ministry of Defence has stated that they have destroyed at least five air defence systems in Ukraine over the past few days. These systems include the S-300, IRS-T, and SAMP/T. However, France has denied that Russia has destroyed its SAMP/T installation in Ukraine.

Russians report shooting down Ukrainian missiles and drones every day, which requires a large amount of Air Defence equipment and ammunition.

Shoigu paid a visit to the Novator Design Bureau (OKB), where he enquired about the progress that has been made in putting the plan to build cruise missiles this year into action. He was notified that the enterprise has already fulfilled 17% of the plan to produce sea-based cruise missiles of the “Kalibr” type.

In addition to being launched from ships, “Kalibr” missiles can be launched from ground-based operational-tactical complexes known as “Iskander.” Kalibr missiles can travel a distance of more than 1,500 kilometres. It means that a ship carrying them can be stationed off the coast of Sochi and can fire at any location within Ukraine. 

Shoigu was informed by Farid Abdrakhmanov, the General Director of Novator, that the production plan was completed in its entirety, even though the state defence order in 2023 had significantly increased. He said that this outcome was accomplished by expanding the firm’s manufacturing capacity and converting to a style of operation involving three shifts and a round-the-clock operation to assemble components at all cooperation facilities.

Shoigu visited the Kalinin Machine-Building Plant (MZIK), where he reviewed the production operation in the final assembly shop of launchers and launch-loading installations for the S-300V and Buk military air defence complexes and systems. The first batch of these launchers and launch-loading installations is assembled within the 2024 State Defence Order framework.

“Colleagues, we have practically visited all the production facilities. We talked to the chief engineers and designers…a lot of equipment has been acquired. Consequently, production volumes have significantly increased. As for the missiles needed for air defence, there has been an increase of more than two times. I hope the program will be fully implemented by the end of this year,” Shoigu said at the meeting.

“This should provide a significant addition to what we currently have. But there are several key issues that we need to address. And we need to address them energetically enough. This includes engines and production setup for launching installations,” the minister noted.

In addition, the Ministry of Defense specialists are engaged in modernising the produced products.

Earlier, on January 29, Shoigu also inspected the progress of the modernisation of experimental bases of Moscow region scientific research institutes (NII) during a visit to the troops of the Western Military District. In particular, the minister visited the 12th Central NII, which deals with studying damaging factors after nuclear explosions.

During his visit to the Raduga Design Bureau in the Moscow region on January 18, Shoigu was able to familiarise himself with potential models of missiles and assess the progress made on the state defence order.

Before this, on January 11, Dmitry Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, stated that in 2023, all planned deliveries of especially demanded samples of weapons were fulfilled according to the schedule. This was stated during a meeting of the working group of the military-industrial commission (MIC) on monitoring the production of demanded samples of weapons, military, special equipment, and means of destruction of the Russian Federation.

Denis Manturov, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, stated on December 25 that Russia is currently ahead of Western countries in manufacturing arms. 

Overall Increase

Russia’s production of primary weapons and ammunition increased substantially in 2023 due to the modernisation and expansion of defence industry enterprises. Shoigu stated this during a speech on January 26 in observance of the Unified Day of Acceptance of Military Products.

An increase in labour productivity, expansion and modernisation of production capacities facilitated this development. “In numerous businesses, high-tech equipment has been installed in newly constructed workshops, divisions, and sections,” the minister defined.

Shoigu further stated that the expansion of defence product production necessitated the employment of a considerable quantity of recently certified specialists and, in certain instances, the adoption of 24-hour work schedules. 


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