Is it possible that the second volume of “Russia’s
Arms and Technologies—XXI Century Encyclopedia”—entitled
“Rocket and Artillery Armament of Ground Forces”—is
not only better than the first one (see National Defense, August
2000, p.65), but a portend of more volumes to come? Let’s
look at this volume from different perspectives.
First, the printing, full-color pictures, technical diagrams, charts
and illustrations are outstanding—something rarely seen in
any encyclopedia. It is true that the costs to produce such quality
have become prohibitive, but that didn’t seem to faze the
publisher, the Arms and Technology Publishing House or its General
Director Nikolai Spassky. Amazingly, the cost of this 685-page volume
has been kept at $495, plus $15 for shipping and handling (in the
United States), which certainly will take a bite out of long-standing
competitors in the defense marketplace, with their black and white
photos and escalating prices. At this point, there is nothing in
publication to equal it.
Second, the material covered here in considerable detail will tantalize
both the military historian or Intelligence specialist with its
reportage of current and prospective rocket and artillery systems,
theater and tactical missile systems and surface-to-air missiles.
The book also covers the systems’ specifications and missions.
There are additional, hidden assets to be found in this volume,
such as details concerning:
Much of this material was recently declassified and offers numerous
Russian weapons-system references previously known only by NATO
Third, we get to know the manufacturers and developers, their nomenclature
and, most interestingly, their capabilities and potential. A section
called Industrial Enterprises—which includes state enterprises
and joint stock companies—provides points of contact with
those industries, thereby facilitating a level of sophisticated
marketing rarely seen in Russia. This book takes a page from the
French and British defense industries, which banded together into
national cooperatives to market their governments’ exports.
It brings a new level of capability and expertise, as well as style,
to the Russian defense industry.
An unusual and certainly precedent-setting feature, found in the
beginning pages of this volume, is a foreword by Russian President
Vladimir V. Putin. Could you imagine George Bush providing support
for such a book in the United States?
The volume also names key individuals in the Russian defense ministry
who can help interested parties observe some of these systems in
action. In addition, it includes articles from several Russian military
officials, such as Lt. Gen. Nikolai Svertilov, chief of the ministry’s
rocket and artillery directorate.
This series bears the approval and considerable support of Russian
defense minister Sergei Ivanov. Through it, the Russians aim to
show the international defense industry that their capability to
develop state-of-the-art weapons systems can challenge the best
of the West.
Vol. II of “Russia’s Arms and Technologies—XXI
Century Encyclopedia” is available from TommaX, Inc., Riverview
Professional Plaza, 65 Mechanic Street, Suite 205, Red Bank, N.J.
07701. Tel: (732) 224-1046. Fax: (732) 224-1047. E-mail: email@example.com.
Web site: http://tommax-military.com. ISBN: 5-93799-002-1.
Vol. III, Naval Weapons, will be available shortly. At this time,
10 volumes are scheduled through 2002, including: IV, Space &
Missile Systems; V, Military Aviation; VI, Armored Fighting Vehicles;
VII, Naval Ships & Aviation; VIII, Air Force Armament &
Material; IX, Air Defense Systems, and X, Ammunition.
As a reminder, books from Russia’s Arms Catalog—V.6
(Missiles & Space Technology), as well as CD-ROMs (“Russian
Air Power & Air Defence Technology” and “Russia’s
Strategic Missile Forces”), are still available from TommaX.
Dr. David LL. Silbergeld is a member of the Special Operations
and Low-Intensity Conflict Division of the National Defense Industrial
Association. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.