Monthly Archives: March 2013
The Czech company CEZ, which is in charge of the tender for the construction of two power units at the Temelin NPP, has presented a preliminary rating of the Russian and American bids.
It’s necessary to mention that the bids were originally submitted by the Czech-Russian consortium (including Skoda JS, CJSC Atomstroyexport, and JSC OKB Gidropress), U.S.-Japanese Westinghouse Company, and France’s Areva. The latter was excluded from the tender by CEZ for its failure to meet the tender conditions.
According to Dmitry Baranov, a leading expert of Finam Management, the tender for a contractor to construct the Temelin nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic is now entering the final straight. The tender proposal of the Czech-Russian consortium has been recognized as the best one under three out of four criteria. However, there are some parameters that haven’t been evaluated at all. For instance, one of the initial tender conditions was to ensure a significant localization of equipment, production facilities and services. In 2009, CJSC Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Rosatom, envisaged an unprecedentedly high localization level of 70%. However, the final assessment of tender parameters doesn’t include this item at all.
“This may be treated as an invitation to a further dialog between the bidder and the contractor. The Russian Federation hopes to win in a fair and open contest, with tender conditions being equal for all the bidders,” Mr. Baranov commented.
The Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft, carrying new crew members to the International Space Station, docked with the station as scheduled on Friday. This information was presented by a spokesman for the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos.
“The docking was carried out by command from Earth at the designated time, in automatic mode,” the source explained.
The Soyuz-FG rocket, carrying the Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft, was launched at 00:44 Moscow time from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft performed the first-ever manned flight under a new six-hour flight program.
It’s necessary to mention that the Soyuz crew comprises Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin, as well as Christopher Cassidy of NASA. During their 168-day mission, the new ISS crew members will take part in docking and unloading five spacecraft (four Russian Progress space freighters and Europe’s ATV-4 supply craft). Four spacewalks are also scheduled. The cosmonauts will carry out a total of 42 scientific experiments.
Venezuela has received a new batch of Russian amphibious combat vehicles. This came in a statement by a representative of the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade. According to the information available, 13 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles were delivered by sea to the port of Puerto Cabello.
Venezuela ordered a total of 123 BMP-3 vehicles in 2009. The first delivery was effected in 2011. At the same time, it is unknown how many vehicles have been delivered so far.
According to the previous reports, Moscow will continue military-technical cooperation with Venezuela regardless of who takes over power after Hugo Chavez. The officials said some contracts with Caracas included deals for the construction of weapons factories and servicing centers for military equipment.
It should be noted that between 2005 and 2007, Venezuela concluded a number of contracts to purchase $4 billion worth of Russian weaponry and military equipment, including Sukhoi fighter jets, combat helicopters, and over 100,000 light weapons. Furthermore, Caracas obtained a license to produce the assault rifles in Venezuela.
According to Russian experts, Venezuela is expected to become the world’s second largest buyer of Russian weaponry after India by 2015.
Roscosmos plans to increase the positioning accuracy, while using the GLONASS global navigation satellite system in combination with ground differential correction stations, to 0.1 meters by 2020.
“The positioning accuracy is expected to be up to 0.6 m in the short run. In addition, we plan to use the ground differential correction stations, which will increase this value to 0.1 m,” Yuri Makarov, the Head of Department of Strategic Planning and Targeted Programs at Roscosmos, stated at the Second International Scientific Conference “Space for life and people” organized by the Russian Space Agency and NPK REKOD.
According to the official information, the system of differential correction and monitoring has already been put into service. The data exchange is performed by means of the Luch-5 relay satellites. “As for the Luch satellite, everything is proceeding according to plan of the Federal Space Program. The system works quite well,” Mr. Makarov stated.
It should also be noted that Roscosmos is likely to pay particular attention to the development of competitive consumer equipment in the coming years.
Russia may offer two Project 636 non-nuclear submarines to Indonesia as an alternative to South Korean submarines. This statement was made by Victor Komardin, the Deputy Director General of Rosoboronexport and head of the joint delegation of Rostec and Rosoboronexport at LIMA 2013.
According to Mr. Komardin, the Indonesian Navy is already armed with two Project 209/1300 conventional submarines that have been selected on the basis of the tender results. The Republic of Korea, which had mastered the licensed production of the German Project 209 conventional submarines, was declared as a successful bidder at that time.
Today, the Indonesian Navy is interested in the additional purchase of two advanced Project 209 submarines from Seoul. However, Germany does not give permission to launch the licensed production of these submarines in South Korea. “If Seoul and Berlin are not able to agree on this issue, Rosoboronexport will have another chance to offer the Project 636 submarines to Jakarta,” Mr. Komardin emphasized.
The Mir.1200 project presented by the Czech-Russian consortium is considered to the best tender proposal for the construction of the Temelin nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic. Westinghouse seems to be the main competitor of the Russian Federation in this tender.
It should be noted that the Czech authorities may pursue an objective of reducing Russia’s influence on the global nuclear power market while making a decision on cooperation in the construction of the Temelin nuclear power plant. The Czech government may come under political pressure both from the USA and neighbour states. Meanwhile, the United States is still being focused on the construction of the nuclear power plant in the country, with Russia occupying a leading position in terms of the number of nuclear units being constructed abroad.
It’s necessary to mention that in 2007, two nuclear units of the Tianwan NPP were put into operation, thus making this facility the most powerful nuclear power plant in China.
The Temelin project seems to be very advantageous for Russia both from financial and political points of view. However, the loss of this contract will not become a tragedy for the Russian nuclear industry, since Rosatom has already concluded a number of multi-billion agreements to build new power generating units in India, Bulgaria, Turkey, Armenia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and China.
Bangladesh is planning to purchase 24 Yak-130 jet trainers on a $1 billion credit from Russia. This information was presented by a representative of Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport.
“Bangladesh has a whole list of arms it wants, but this information can’t be disclosed, since it’s a state secret. I can only say that the purchase of Yak-130 warplanes is a very significant subject of negotiations between Russia and Bangladesh,” Viktor Komardin, the Deputy Chief of Rosoboronexport, stated at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA-2013) that opened in Malaysia on Tuesday. He added that negotiations on Yak-130s are due to begin later this spring.
The Yak-130 is a highly maneuverable aircraft with an extended range of about 2,000 kilometers and a maximum speed of 1,060 kilometers per hour in level flight.
According to the official information, some 20 Russian companies are currently participating in LIMA-2013, which has been held since 1991, including top aircraft manufacturers and the state-owned United Industrial Corporation (OPK Oboronprom), which produces helicopters, aircraft engines and air defence systems.
The Russian technology companies are attempting to increase their presence and share in the Latin American market. Apart from Rosneft, Mechel, Norilsk Nickel, RusAl and other natural resource companies, the Russian technology corporations, such as Rostec, have also decided to enter the Latin American market. Russia can offer advanced technical and technological solutions and go a little further in localizing technologies and production facilities than its Western colleagues.
The companies entering the Latin American market will have to face a growing presence of the USA, EU and China, which have a high, dynamic and integrated technological potential. In addition, Latin American countries are slowly but surely augmenting their own potential. Theoretically, technology alliances (first proposed in 2005-2006) with the Latin American countries will make it possible for the Russian corporations to accumulate the necessary resources and gain the market share.
It should be noted that imports of weapons and military equipment have doubled to reach about $25 billion in 2008-2011. At the same time, the list of imported products has been drastically changed to include aircraft, air defence systems, and marine facilities.
Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket, launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, has put the Mexican SatMex-8 satellite into orbit.
According to Roscosmos, the SatMex 8 satellite carried by the Proton-M was launched from the Baikonur space center at 23:06 Moscow time on Tuesday. After separating from the Briz-M booster, the spacecraft has been placed into orbit and handed over to the client management.
It’s necessary to mention that the launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket with the Briz-M upper stage and SatMex 8 satellite was originally scheduled for December 27, 2012. However, this operation was canceled due to the problems occurred during the launch of the Russian Yamal-402 satellite. The satellite separated from the Briz-M booster 4 minutes earlier than it was planned.
The Satmex 8 satellite manufactured by the U.S. Space Systems/Loral company is designed for providing broadband and television services in Ku- and C-band frequency bands in the territory of America. The launch has been ordered by Satellites Mexicanos S. A. de C. V. (Satmex), the Mexican satellite service provider.
Rosoboronexport is currently demonstrating the state-of-the-art antimissile and antiaircraft facilities within the framework of the international naval and aerospace exhibition held in Malaysia.
It should be noted that foreign customers take a keen interest in the Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft artillery weapon system produced by KBP of Tula. This system is considered to be the leader among air defence systems and one of the most advanced smart weapon specimens of 21 century. The use of Pantsir-S1 results in the boost of efficiency, enhancement of electronic and fire countermeasures survivability, as well as improvement of the whole air defence system adaptability to the alterations of air threat performance and tactical employment methods.
It should be noted that Tor-M2E, Antey-2500, Igla-S and Buk-M2E air defence missile systems are also displayed at the exhibition.
In addition, Rosoboronexport plans to present Mi-28NE combat rotorcraft, Mi-35M transport-attack helicopter, Ka-52 scout-attack aerial vehicle, Mi-26T heavy transport rotary wing aircraft and other pieces of the advanced military equipment.