• The Russian Antey-2500 air defense missile system.

The Russian Antey-2500 air defense missile system. (Photo : Almaz-Antey)

  • Armata-based Kurganets-25 heavy assault armored vehicle.

Armata-based Kurganets-25 heavy assault armored vehicle. (Photo : TASS)

Russia's ongoing "Army 2016 International Military-Technical Forum" being held at the town of Kubinka outside Moscow is seeing a lot of big business deals that could benefit Russia's crippled economy.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov claims 17 long-term contracts with Russian arms makers have been signed so far. The contracts are valued at $2.0 billion.

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The forum, the second of its kind, opened Sept. 6 and will end Sept. 11. Over 1,000 Russian firms and organizations are displaying their weapons and military equipment on the grounds of the Patriot Park in Kubinka, which is also home to the world famous Kubinka Tank Museum.

Pavilions have a total exhibition space of 80,000 square meters in addition to 28 conference built for the forum. The outdoor grounds area for the display of over 11,000 weapons, military and special equipment exceeds 100,000 square meters.

Some 80 foreign countries have sent delegations to the forum. More important, some of the six members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization or CSTO, Russia's equivalent of NATO, have opened their own expositions at the forum. These CSTO members with their own exhibits are Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan

Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu described this huge event as an excellent opportunity for direct communication between Russian and foreign developers, and manufacturers of military and dual-purpose products.

"The latest scientific and technological achievements are demonstrated here, they are displayed not only statically, but there is also a dynamic display of weapons and military equipment on the ground and in the air," said Shoygu.

Shoygu believes the Army 2016 Forum "will contribute to a constructive exchange of views between representatives of the defense departments and scientific-industrial complexes of the participating countries. To this end, the forum's business program includes more than 100 official events."

Of special interest are Russian strategic missiles, some of which are being seen in public for the first time. Among these are the road mobile RS-12M Topol intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that became operational in 1988 and is due to be replaced by 2020, and the silo-based RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) ICBM that started service in 1975 and is also to be retired. The NATO reporting name for the RS-12M is SS-25 Sickle.

There is also the Iskander-M tactical missile system Russia claims is capable of hitting both small-size and large-area targets at a distance of up to 500 km.

A popular exhibit is the Armata Universal Combat Platform consisting of the T-14 main battle tank; the Kurganets-25 heavy assault armored vehicle and the Bumerang wheeled armored personnel carrier.

Also on display at the forum is the new Mil Mi-38 transport helicopter and an Arctic version of the Mi-8AMTSH transport helicopter. There's also the Antey-2500 air defense missile weapon system from major missile system maker Almaz-Antey, and the Kalibr triple threat cruise missiles used against Islamic terrorists in Syria.

Kalashnikov is displaying its remote-controlled weapons platforms while United Instrument-Making Corporation, part of the hi-tech conglomerate Rostec, is exhibiting a system that can simultaneously control a dozen robots.