Center Khrunichev was left without the "Protons" and "Angara"

The degradation of science and industry in the Russian Federation, as well as the mess in Roskosmos and its enterprises have turned the Khrunichev Khrunichev Space Center into a zombie. The head of the Board of Directors of the Center, Nikolai Sevastyanov, tried to tell about the ways to withdraw the company from the crisis.
The State Space Research and Production Center (Khrunichev State Research and Production Center) - once the largest rocket-building enterprise in the country - has in recent years found itself in a deep financial crisis. Its debt load, according to the latest data, exceeds 73 billion rubles. How the new leadership of Roskosmos intends to correct this situation, when the production of Proton rockets will be discontinued and the serial creation of Angara missiles will be rolled out, and also whether personnel changes are expected in the SCNPT, the special correspondent of Kommersant Ivan Safronov was told by the chairman of the council directors of the Khrunichev Center Nikolai Sevastyanov.

- Not so long ago, Dmitry Rogozin formed in Roskosmos an operational headquarters for the withdrawal of the enterprise from the crisis, instructing you to organize the organization of his work. What were your first impressions?

- Complicated: after immersing in the topic it became clear that due to various force majeure circumstances the accumulated debt load of the State Committee on Credits and Loans is now 73.4 billion rubles. At the same time, the enterprise operates with a negative profitability, that is, its costs are not yet covered by revenues from the sale of products. Therefore, there are no sources for repaying loans and loans accumulated in previous years. Roskosmos itself has already issued Khrunichev loans of 26 billion rubles to cover the deficit of operating expenses.

- Because of what is this situation in general?

- There are several reasons. The first is that due to the failure rate of launches in 2012-2015, competitors began to displace our Proton from the international launch services market. Because of the problems that appeared in third-stage Proton engines with the last two emergency launches, in 2016 71 engines had to be recalled to the manufacturing plant-the Voronezh Mechanical Plant-for a bulkhead, which required significant additional costs. But the main thing is that almost for a year the entire launch program of the "Protons" was stopped. In today's business, dropping out of the market for a year means giving competitors the opportunity to get ahead. As soon as you stop, someone else comes to your position. Therefore, after the resumption of proton launches in 2017, only four launches were made, and this year there is only one launch. But in the previous years 10, 12 and even 14 Proton rockets were launched every year! And for the profitability of the production of the SCNPTS it is necessary to produce at least nine Proton rockets annually: this rate allows covering all current costs.

The second reason is that the SCNC because of the delays associated with the slow preparation of production, has not yet completed flight tests and regular launches of the new heavy Angara-A5 missile. Therefore, revenues from the production of the Angara do not yet cover the costs.

- Plus, there is a problem with large overhead costs in the SCNPC.

- This is the third reason, which is the presence of other inefficient costs. Starting from 2008, the SCNC began to include a number of branches in its branches in the regions that were already unprofitable, but supplied their products to the SCNPC, as well as to other enterprises of the industry. Today these branches make a big contribution to the growth of additional costs: this is due, inter alia, to the ineffectiveness of production management. In addition, there are several socially-oriented loss-making assets, such as the fish factory and others, which significantly increase overhead.

"And how can the operational headquarters help?"

- Thematic, financial, corporate and other units of Roskosmos should also take an active part in the production and financial recovery of the enterprise. It is necessary that they work on the basis of unified information with the management of the SCNPC.

- How can you describe his tasks?

- The first task is to understand the true state of affairs at the enterprise and why the program of financial recovery adopted by the previous administration of Roskosmos has not been implemented. The second - to develop scenarios for the withdrawal of the enterprise from the financial crisis. The third is to develop an industrial and financial model for further action. On the basis of these documents, a program of financial rehabilitation of the enterprise will be formed, taking into account state support.

- Roskosmos has already tried several times to adopt a program for the financial rehabilitation of the SCNPC, but it has never been implemented.

- The last version of the program was adopted in 2017, but, in my opinion, he was overly optimistic. It was assumed that everything would be perfect - the company will retain its positions in the international market and will produce missiles in the same way as in previous years. But life was more difficult: the launch program was reduced to three or four starts per year, so the proceeds from the sale of products do not correspond to the adopted program. Plus, the program provided for the transition of a part of the branches, the same Voronezh Mechanical Plant or KB Khimavtomatiki, to the engine-building holding company. But this was not done.

- Now such holding is already being formed?

- Yes, Dmitry Olegovich (Rogozin.- "Kommersant") instructed to complete the work on the creation of a single engine-building company under the management of NPO Energomash in 2018.

- The State Oil and Gas Complex in the Filevskaya floodplain is its only liquid asset. The Moscow government was ready to buy about 100 hectares for about 25 billion rubles, but Vladimir Putin decided to keep the territory for the company.

- Yes, the president in this issue fully supported the position of the new administration of the state corporation. The previous leadership of Roskosmos was looking for ways to remove the debt burden, and one of them really was to sell the land. But the president at the last meeting decided that the state should help Khrunichev get out of the situation without selling off the territories, and the territory, in turn, should be used for the development of the enterprise itself. Now Roskosmos and the Ministry of Finance are discussing a mechanism for providing state support to the SCNPC.

- Are there any specifics already?

- I will not run ahead. The main thing is that there is a presidential decision, and the specifics will be worked out by a joint group of Roskosmos and the Ministry of Finance. We perfectly understand that you can not leave the company to the full maintenance of the state - it must work. Otherwise, it will never become effective and will not return its positions in the international market of launch services.
The state can help remove the debts that by force majeure accumulated in the past period and which can not be liquidated in the foreseeable future independently, but the company must achieve profitability in the production of its products.

- And what about the territories of Khrunichev?

"We will develop them by creating a technopark there, which will be based on the Salyut and the Rocket and Space Plant in Fili, which are part of the Khrunichev Center. It is clear that nothing happens instantly, but until 2023, together with the Moscow authorities, we will try to do everything.

- What about the salary fund?

- Because of the situation in recent years, the management of the enterprise simply did not have the opportunity to raise the salaries of the staff of the SCNPC. Now the situation will change: we need to create normal conditions for the work of specialists.

- Can you voice the data on the order book for the products of the SCNPC?

- Currently, the volume of signed contracts until 2025 is estimated at 211 billion rubles. Including under these contracts in 2019 should be sold products and services for 32 billion rubles. This is not only rocket carriers, but also other products.

- Is it just an order on the line of Roskosmos and the Ministry of Defense?

- This is the state order for the Proton and Angara missiles, commercial orders, and other works.

- How many "Protons" are planned?

- Until 2021 on the Moscow site we plan to produce about 20 "Protons", 16 already have contracts. After the planned production of these missiles. All of them should be launched before 2024, then we have an agreement with Kazakhstan on the use of these missiles at the Baikonur cosmodrome. To replace the "Protons" will come a heavy missile "Angara-A5", which will be launched from the two cosmodromes Plesetsk and Vostochny.

- After the "Protons" will bet on the heavy "Angara-A5"?

- By 2023, our task in Omsk to complete the serial production of a closed cycle of universal rocket modules for the Angara missiles, so that after 2024 we will provide from the Plesetsk and Vostochny cosmodromes to eight launches per year of the Angara-A5 and two launches of the Angara light missile -1.2. & Quot; For this purpose, Omsk, in its turn, creates a closed cycle production, which will allow to reduce the production cost of the Angara by about 40%.

- Right on 40%?

- Yes. Because when one missile is manufactured, all overheads of production and amortization fall on its cost price. And when there is a series of eight missiles, then these costs will be distributed to the entire series, and, accordingly, the cost of production is significantly reduced. This, in turn, will allow us to bring "Angara" to the market. This, of course, is not a momentary matter: today our task is primarily to bring this space missile complex to the completion of flight tests at the Plesetsk space center. In 2019, the next launch of the heavy "Angara" is to take place.

- The plans sound good, but since 2014 in Omsk could not build a galvanic shop.

- Could. Now there is an acceptance, works on this object are de facto completed.

- How many heavy Angara-A5 missiles are firmly contracted?

- Currently, in total 12. But we must bear in mind that until 2027 to update the Russian orbital group will need about 27 launches of "Angara-A5."

- You will make 20 "Protons", save the pilot production ... But staff cuts are inevitable: serial production will be conducted in Omsk PO "Polet".

- There is no program to reduce the staff of the SCNC at the Moscow site. On the contrary, there is a shortage of about 500 professional workers who are needed to produce carrier rockets.

Moscow site after the termination of the Proton program will receive production of at least two heavy Angara missiles a year. Two such missiles are ten URMs (universal missile modules. - "b"). And now the plant in Fili due to its production capabilities can not collect more than one such missile per year.
And we plan to launch eight heavy Angara-A5 missiles and two Angara-1.2 a year: if we take into account only the heavy ones, then this is 40 URMs. The Moscow site is not something like a half, and with 20% of such an order can not cope.

In addition, KB "Salyut" is the center of competence for heavy rocketry, and the RKZ will be necessarily involved in the work on a superheavy missile. Also on KB "Salyut" will lie work on creating and working out new solutions. For example, there will be a modernization of the Angara. Without work, the Moscow capacities of the SCNC will not remain exactly.

- And how many starts should you spend before you start mass production?

- Ten. By the way, the famous "Seven" (missile R-7 designer Sergei Korolev .- "Kommersant") went to the series only since the 18th rocket. Before that, it was brought to the required characteristics.

- Do you think that it will be possible to quickly find commercial customers on the international market?

- I think that it is really possible to do this by 2023, when "Angara" will start from the Vostochny cosmodrome. Roskosmos and its enterprises have already begun work on the further modernization of the Angara-A5 missile, which consist in increasing the carrying capacity to the reference orbit to 27 tons of payload, and to the geostationary orbit - more than 4 tons. In addition, on the "Angara", which will be launched from the East, it is planned to use a fairing with a diameter of 5.2 m instead of a four-meter, as in the "Proto". This is extremely important for the commercial market, because the satellites in their dimensions are growing. Taking into account the decrease in the cost of production by 40%, we will provide a fully competitive launch service on the international market.

- "Angara" is often criticized and is called an "obsolete missile", which is being created since 1994.

- What do you mean "outdated"? The real financing of works began in the middle of zero - before this money, not that in the industry, there was no country.

Thus, KB "Salyut" actually developed a new rocket for ten years, bringing it to practical flight tests. It used a new modular design, the engines of the new development, a new control system, the new structure of manufacturing technology, and so on. D. "Angara-A5" is already on-duty one-ton more than the "Proton". All the launches were successful, which indicates the reliability of the adopted technical solutions. At the Plesetsk cosmodrome, a modern launch complex for the Angara was built. The construction of the launch complex at the Vostochny Spaceport begins. If today you look at the carrying capacity of the reference orbit - "Angara-A5" is better than most foreign missiles. So how can it become outdated if it is better?

But there is another side to this issue. Competitors do not want the Khrunichev Center regained its position in the market of launch services, so there is a deliberate discrediting of "Angara", which is exacerbated by the current difficult financial situation of the Khrunichev. Many people are trying to speculate on this today. We see how outside organizations that have nothing to do with the enterprise and its collective are trying to hold rallies at the gates of the building. But the center has completely restored its work, a full-scale production cycle is underway.

- Does the SCNPC management cope with the work?

- General Director Alexei Varochko is trying to improve the situation. We must understand that he came a year ago in a difficult time for the company, when it was necessary to restore the rhythm of production after its forced stop. The problem is compounded by a large debt burden. But he, along with his deputies, the general designer of KB Salyut Sergey Kuznetsov, the director of the RKZ Roman Khokhlov and other leaders, shows great dedication in his work. "Roskosmos" will support the leadership and the staff of the SCNC.

- What are the tasks of the board of directors of the SCNPT?

- The Board of Directors is responsible for the formation and control of execution of production and the economic program of the enterprise, as well as for the adoption of strategic decisions on the development of the company, so the main priorities that the Board of Directors has set itself - is to promote the stabilization of the financial condition of the company, ensuring the reliability of the "Proton rockets ", The completion of flight tests of the Angara missiles from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, and the organization of a serial production of a closed cycle in Omsk. In addition, it is extremely important to pay attention to the modernization of the Angara for launching from the Vostochny space center and the development of proposals for the creation of a modern technopark on the territory of the SCNC on the basis of KB Salyut and RKZ.