The merger of the two helicopter design bureaus Milya and Kamova, announced by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in 2012, into a single structure, the Scientific and Technical Complex (STC) of Russian Helicopters, entered the final stage. Who benefits from the actual destruction of the Soviet design bureaus, laid down in the program of the Ministry of Industry and Trade “Development of the aviation industry for 2013-2025”, and what can it lead to?
Competitors are ready to capture the market
The process of merging (and according to many experts - the destruction) of the famous Soviet design bureaus was physically launched in July this year. Order No. 480 dated July 25, 2019 for JSC MVZ named after M. L. Milya ”, the process of creating a working group for the reorganization of Milya Design Bureau was launched, and on July 29, 2019, Order No. 157-uk was issued on the establishment of a working group for the reorganization of Milya and Kamov Design Bureau into NTsV (National Center for Helicopter Engineering - editorial note), which launched this process as part of a single holding.
But it seems that the authors of all this did not calculate the reaction of the markets.
Competitors, apparently, have long been preparing for this initiative of the Ministry of Trade (or was it agreed with them in advance?). Not even two months have passed since the release of the above orders for unification, and the Americans are already ahead of the curve. Intersfax-AVN reports that the United States has handed over certificates for the repair of Mi-type helicopters to Ukraine, thereby legalizing Ukrainian repair and production facilities in markets influenced by the United States. According to the publication:
“The US strategic adviser on the military-industrial complex of Ukraine, Donald Winter, at a meeting with Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andrii Zagorodniuk handed over certificates that will allow enterprises of the Ukrainian defense-industrial complex to repair Mi-type helicopters for foreign customers.”
This is a great gift to Ukrainian colleagues. Indeed, according to official estimates of the helicopter holding, more than 8,000 Soviet and Russian helicopters are operated in more than 100 countries of the world. Soviet / Russian-made helicopters today occupy 32% of the world's combat fleet and 42% of medium-sized military transport helicopters. According to the holding, in the global fleet of civilian helicopters, our helicopters account for 49% of heavy helicopters and 65% in the medium-sized helicopter class (with take-off weight from 7 to 20 tons). This is a huge market! Even in the holding (oddly enough) they understand this ...
It is noteworthy that earlier, in 2015, the American company Lockheed Martin acquired the national manufacturer of helicopters Sikorsky Aircraft. At the same time, it should be noted that no one renamed Sikorsky Aircraft and did not destroy its structure. So maybe you should take a closer look at the experience of others, if yours is not enough?
So do not get to anyone!
In 2012, on the official website of Russian Helicopters JSC, it was reported that the program for combining two design bureaus initiated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade was due to the fact that: “... it’s not a secret to anyone that over the past 20 years both design bureaus have lost a significant part of their employees, and this is the trend, that in the near future neither CB Mil or KB Kamov will be able to independently realize a large-scale project in helicopter construction. ”
That is, even then, the lead managing holding structure and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, openly recognized that Russian helicopter design bureaus are incapable? But it was Denis Manturov, first as Director General of JSC OPK Oboronprom, and then in the chair of the Deputy Minister and Minister of the Ministry of Industry since 2002, had a direct relationship with the national helicopter design bureaus. Moreover, in 2005, it was Manturov who headed the Board of Directors of JSC “MVZ im. M. L. Milya! ” Thus, it can be argued that it was Manturov who could be involved in what could be called the collapse of Russian helicopter design bureaus, because even the Russian Helicopters themselves on their website in 2012 made it clear that they did not believe in the viability of the design bureau.
If you delve into more detail in the biography of Denis Manturov, then it contains interesting details that characterize the business qualities of the minister. The Mila design bureau still witnesses his short-term presence in this organization as a commercial director. For obvious reasons (fearing the wrath of the omnipotent minister), employees of the CB Mil spoke about this period on conditions of extreme anonymity. For the position of commercial director of OJSC MVZ named after M. L. Mila ”Denis Valentinovich was enrolled on July 12, 2000, and already on January 30, 2001 he hastened to leave the Mila Design Bureau“ of his own free will ”. Denis Manturov came to the Mila design bureau from his post as deputy. General Director of U-UAZ OJSC, which, apparently, was built by his father-in-law Yevgeny Kisel. Such a short-term period in the post of commercial director of KB Mil will allow Manturov to use this fact in his biography when moving up the career ladder. But the results of the “work” of Denis Valentinovich in this post are not mentioned in official biographies, since he does not like to go into the details of this period.
It's a pity! According to our sources, while in the position of commercial director of the cost center. M.L. Milya, Denis Valentinovich did not show himself. During his leadership of the commercial component of the design bureau, not a single serious contract was concluded for research and development, the supply of spare parts and / or equipment, as well as the repair or modernization of helicopter equipment. But in this position Denis Manturov became famous for his constant trips to various exhibitions and other foreign events. Of course, the future minister lived much more modestly at that time than he does now, about which there was a big scandal just recently, but the sense of his trips was that then, now that was not enough.
In connection with the US initiative, a natural question arises - who does the Russian Minister Manturov work for? After all, a sociology teacher Manturov, who graduated in 2006 from the Russian Presidential Academy of Public Administration with a degree in jurisprudence as a lawyer, cannot but know that the legal destruction of the historical design schools Milya and Kamov will cause a certain legal vacuum. And it is not a fact that the world aviation community recognizes the Manturovka “NCV”. At least, the US initiative in Ukraine suggests that recognition will have to wait a long time ...