In russia, the purge of scientists, designers, and engineers who were involved in the development of the Kinzhal missile is gaining momentum. The people who were involved in it are being detained and charged with treason or bribery. The story would be connected with the Day when one of the pillars of russian defense industry mythology about "hypersonic arsenal" was shattered by Patriot systems used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
If earlier it was known about the theorists, now it has come to the manufacturers. In particular, on May 18, it became known that a top manager of Arzamas Instrument-Building Plant (Russian: Арзамасский приборостроительный завод), which executes defense contracts and is part of the Tactical Missile Corporation, was detained for bribery.
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The Arzamas-based company is directly related to the Kinzhal. In particular, thanks to the russian defense procurement registers that were still open in 2019, it is known that the company was to manufacture 'product U-001M' for the modernization of the Tu-22M3M, the main feature of which should be the ability to launch the X-47 Kinzhal. And the index U-001M refers to the weapons control system.
But it seems that officials from the russian Defense Ministry should also expect a Sweat Box. The other day, Russia made a rather limited announcement about the detention of the head of the military representative office of Tactical Missile Corporation, Podlesnyi, who, along with other unnamed individuals, is suspected of stealing 700 million rubles ($8.7 million) from a defense contract. This may be connected to a high-profile case involving the head of the Zvezda-Strela enterprise, which is part of the holding company and is involved in the development of aircraft missiles, heat-resistant titanium alloys, and the manufacture of jet engine housings. Its director, Maslenskyi, was detained in the fall of 2022.
The situation with three theorists of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences gained the most publicity. Maslov, Shyplyiuk, and Zvegintsev, who were directly involved in hypersonic aerodynamics, are condemned for treason.
Thanks to an open letter from the staff of the institution, it is known that they could imprison them for publishing in Western scientific journals. This, of course, caused a shock in the scientific circles of russia, because in such institutions, sending any article to print requires permission from 'the first department,' that is, directly from the FSB. This means that all more or less well-known scientists who are involved with any restricted information are now on suspicion of treason.
At the same time, this purge has not actually begun now. The first scientist from this institution was detained on June 30, 2022. Kolker worked on quantum optical technologies. Already on July 7, the russian scientist unexpectedly died in a pre-trial detention center from stage IV cancer. After Kolker’s arrest, the aerodynamicists were detained on July 2: Maslov, Shipliuk on August 5, and Zvegintsev in April 2023. All are allegedly accused of collaborating with foreign intelligence.
Interestingly, there are currently two reasons for the detention in russia for anyone involved in defense-related issues: 'bribery' and 'treason.' The Chekists do not have enough imagination for anything more interesting than the traditional Stalinist 'wrecker' and 'spy.'
As Defense Express reported, the Kinzhal missile wasn't created to be used against Ukraine but for a sole, very specific purpose in case of war against NATO, whether the missile is capable or not will determine if Putin ends up the same way as Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi. So it was not good sign for Putin that Ukrainian Air Force Shoot Down Kh-47 Kinzhal Missile, Ruining the Myth About the russian "Unparalleled" Hypersonic Weapon
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