No tech inspection was carried out.
The Russian side insists that they offered holding a tech inspection, but we allegedly refused, writes journalist Viktar Malisheuski in his blog "Anti-journalist".
I cannot report the details, but I managed to talk with the head of the design office #3 of Piro-Ross OJSC Andrei Inkin. It wasn't as hard as it sounds. This is the designer of the salute installations, which are in service with the Belarusian army. Perhaps this information will help our investigators too.
So our country bought the self-propelled launchers 2A85 (correct name) in 2008. ''Belarusian MAZs came to Sergiev Posad (to the location of Piro-Ross OJSC) specifically for us to install the launchers on the chassis.''
Now watch my hands ... Since then, firing installations underwent two upgrades. In 2011, they were switched to a modular construction principle (launch modules are interchangeable) and to a digital control system. In 2011, the installations acquired a wireless synchronization system. Remember this (it's important), and let's continue.
It was Andrei Inkin who was supposed to fly to Minsk in order to control the scenario of fireworks. Usually he came to Minsk on the eve of Victory Day and ''Independence Day'', ''but this time he fell a little ill''. The man was just incredibly lucky, of course.
The representative of Piro-Ross emphasizes that in the Minsk business trip he never touched the projectiles. ''This is not my function at all." The process of preparation is thoroughly scheduled: ''There is a commander, he passes the projectiles to the cars, according to the fireworks program. There is a soldier, carrying projectiles and a soldier loading projectiles. Intervention into this process is excluded! Imagine, in one self-propelled launcher, there are 244 projectiles, 60 of which are of the 195 mm caliber, the rest are 105 mm. Only 8 installations, plus three trailers. 11 in total. This is about 2.5 thousand projectiles! Only your military are engaged in charging. There is a regular soldier in the commandant's office responsible for this. We advise on the scenario and solve minor problems that your military draw attention to.''
The Investigatory Committee had previously accused the detained Russians of ''applying mechanical actions on pyrotechnic projectiles when loading mortars, which is not provided for by the rules for dealing thereof''.
- Then what are the usual functions of the representatives of your company when they come to Minsk?
- We usually arrive 4 days before the holiday in order to have time to agree on a preliminary scenario of fireworks. This is the scenario under which projectiles are fired. We usually provide a salute modeling program; we can even provide a 3D model of a future salute when ONT representatives contact us with such a request.
- Why then two people come to Minsk, if there are no special problems?
- It’s easier to work, it’s not very convenient for one person, there is a possibility that minor malfunctions will have to be fixed, and you need to agree on a salute scenario. But, in fact, we have no obligation at all to come to Minsk, we can coordinate the scenario remotely.
- What are minor malfunctions?
- If there is a minor malfunction that your servicemen point to, our representative eliminates it. The wire is broken, for example, or the clem has come off, this is what we fix. All problems are voiced by the Belarusian military personnel. If there are no questions, we simply participate in the recording of the script program - and that’s all. You see, we arrive 4 days before the time X. Only minor defects can be eliminated.
- Who is responsible for the charging process?
- Surely not our representatives, it would be odd. In general, I want to draw attention to the fact that you, I think, have a strange situation with the maintenance of self-propelled launchers. There is no person who monitors the technical condition. In Russia, in every military unit where 2A85 launchers are in service, such responsible persons are appointed and fulfill their duties. They take care of them, monitor defects, fix malfunctions. People turn to us throughout the year if consultations or minor repairs are needed. As I understand it, there is no person who is responsible for the state of the self-propelled launches here. Once again I draw attention: we work only on the issues voiced by the Belarusian side. In 4 days before the holiday, it is impossible to assess the state of armament at 11 objects, and we have no rights or obligations to do so.
- What is the guarantee period for the projectiles?. You said that this is the 2017 lot.
- The guarantee period is 5 years. Some 105 mm projectiles have been manufactured even this year. Mostly, the batch of 2017. But projectiles are not everything.
- Is there something wrong with the salute installations?
- The guarantee period of the self-propelled launchers is 10 years, this is indicated in the technical documentation, I can send it to you. After 10 years, you need a major overhaul or maintenance at the factory. We, I remind, shipped the launchers to Belarus in 2008. It is possible that the Ministry of Defense of your country independently maintains these installations, but we suggested carrying out the tech inspection at the factory, that is, at our base in Sergiev Posad.
Apparently, in the budget of the Defense Ministry there are no funds for this. Although each year they purchased projectiles for a substantial amount of money. We addressed up to the meeting of Ministers of Defense last year, we repeatedly made offers to carry out the technical inspection of launchers. These launchers are of the year 2008. The guarantee period is 10 years. This does not mean that you cannot continue to use them, but you need to undergo a technical inspection at the factory.