Working trip to Vitebsk Oblast

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made a working trip to Orsha District, Vitebsk Oblast, on 14 June.

His first stop was the Ustye manufacturing and technical cluster, one of the most high-security contractors of the State Authority for Military Industry, where Aleksandr Lukashenko inspected the modernization of rockets and the production of ammunition for small weapons.

Following the President’s instruction, five workshops for the manufacture and modernization of certain types of weapons were set up the at the Ustye manufacturing and technical cluster. To make it possible, 18 months were spent on the development of the legal framework, including for the regulation of the operation of divisions working with explosive materials.

Upon his arrival, Aleksandr Lukashenko toured the production premises. Chairman of the State Authority for Military Industry of Belarus Dmitry Pantus told the President that the manufacturing and technical cluster is located in the territory of 277 hectares. The production facilities occupy only one tenth of this area. Plans have been made to start using all this territory in the coming years. However, the head of state doubts that the enterprise needs such a big territory.

“We need to mull over this issue in the near future, there should be no excesses. What for do you need such a big territory?” Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered. “It is essential to sort things out this year. The governor is personally responsible for it.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko inspected the workshop where Belarusian ammunition is produced. He was informed about the development prospects, the modernization and additional equipment of the workshop. The head of state also toured the workshop where used cartridges are recycled. They are cleaned and recharged, what is more economically-viable than the purchase of new cartridges.

Aleksandr Lukashenko visited the workshop for the regulation and repair of air-launched missiles. The head of state deemed it necessary to localize production, to produce missile envelopes, operation and navigation systems at the enterprise. “We need to do major things here,” the President said. In his words, it is necessary because of the unstable situation in the world, emerging challenges and threats from external forces.

“Who can guarantee that we will not be at war? I cannot, no one can. The world has gone crazy. The war can erupt in any place at any moment, God forbid it starts here,” the Belarusian leader warned. In this context, Aleksandr Lukashenko deemed it necessary to teach the population the basics of handling smalls arms. Of course, soldiers in the army are taught. However, many people do not serve in the army. It is essential to focus on them, the President is convened. “Why not teach students and other people to handle weapons, to assemble, strip and fire a gun? People need to know how to handle weapons so that they do not have to learn to do it in the battlefield at difficult moments,” the head of state said.

During the visit to the Ustye manufacturing and technical cluster Aleksandr Lukashenko was made familiar with samples of small arms and scope sights of Belarusian make.

The President also visited Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant during his working trip to Orsha District. This is Belarus’ leading enterprise specializing in major overhaul and modernization of Mi helicopters, equipment and systems for various types of aircraft, and maintenance of IL-76 aircraft.

The head of state was made familiar with the operation of the enterprise, with the aerial vehicles the enterprise is repairing now, and with the construction of a new shop where helicopter and aircraft parts and modules will be repaired. The enterprise’s Director General Pavel Sluchak said they intend to commission the new shop in 2023.

The executive noted: “It will be a new joint manufacturing enterprise. It will allow us to minimize all the purchases and create new jobs. The scale of the project including the equipment is roughly Br32-35 million.”

According to Pavel Sluchak, there are no problems with the enterprise’s workload at present. The amount of work is sufficient to keep the enterprise operating in the black. “We have enough work for this year. Our traditional markets are Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America. There are a number of countries, contracts with which are fairly advanced, this is why we are moving forward,” he added.

The future development of the Orsha airfield was also discussed during the tour of Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant. The enterprise used to own these territories but later on they were handed over to the Minsk National Airport. Aleksandr Lukashenko was told that the airfield can handle any type of aircraft.

“Everything will be owned by the state here,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. “The plant will be owned by the state, it is expanding. The airfield will be a state one. There is nothing to divide here, all of it is owned by the state.”