Might and Fury: Army-2021 Forum Ends on High Note in Moscow


From experimental weapons and next-generation drones to acoustic-thermal reconnaissance systems, the seventh edition of Russia’s Army forum, which took place in the Moscow Region this week, not only showcased cutting-edge military technologies but also gave observers a glimpse into the future of aerospace and defense.

The Army-2021 defense industry forum started on August 22 and ran through Saturday in Patriot Congress and Exposition Center, as well as at the Kubinka airfield and the Alabino training ground. More than 1,500 enterprises, including from 12 foreign countries, exhibited their products. In total, the forum showcased over 28,000 exhibits from industrial enterprises for open inspection.


The forum has long been a platform for signing military contracts, and this one has not become an exception. Russia has managed to sign over $2.3 billion worth of contracts with China, India, Myanmar and other countries. The contracts with India are known to be related to land equipment, while contracts with China cover naval equipment.

India has traditionally been a frequent guest at the Russian forum. The Indian delegation this year included Ambassador in Moscow Bala Venkatesh Varma and defense ministry officials, as well as the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which develops advanced chaff technology for the Indian air force.

“We are offering indigenously developed products like Anti Tank Guided Missiles Nag and Helina, Astra, artillery gun ATAGS, the surface to air missile Akash, some radars etc. We intend to make people aware about indigenously developed products,” a DRDO representative told Sputnik.

According to the official, the advanced chaff technology safeguarding Indian fighter jets has been developed entirely in India.


One of the key novelties showcased at the Army-2021 forum was an acoustic-thermal reconnaissance system under the name Penicillin. Produced by Rostec subsidiary Ruselectronics Holding, the system is capable of detecting the positions of artillery, mortars and multiple launch rocket systems of the enemy.

“We look forward to a great interest in Penicillin. Negotiations are already underway with several potential foreign customers,” Director for International Cooperation and Regional Policy of Rostec State Corporation, Viktor Kladov, told Sputnik.

According to Kladov, Penicillin is superior to analogs by that it detects enemy artillery not using radar but by a combined application of thermal and sound reconnaissance.

“The system captures acoustic and thermal signals from shots and explosions, gives out the exact coordinates of the location of the guns and puts them on an electronic map of the area both with the help of an operator and in an automated mode,” he explained.


Russian Helicopters, another Rostec subsidiary, presented its brand new Mi-171Sh helicopter, which flew from the East Siberian city of Ulan-Ude to partake in the forum. It took the helicopter 3,000 miles and five days to reach the Patriot Park near Moscow.

“The helicopter acquired additional features to effectively support airborne assault operations,” the company said.

Mi-171Sh Storm, designed to carry out counterterrorist missions, is equipped with a new rotor system, an integrated flight and navigation system, and an improved combination of weapons and defense systems.

Apart from Mi-171Sh, the company presented the BAS-200 unmanned aerial vehicle that can carry up to 110 pounds.

“BAS-200 is capable of performing flights for up to 4 hours at altitudes up to 3,900 meters (2.4 miles),” the company added.


The Kalashnikov defense company presented a brand new S-8L guided missile compatible with combat drones. This rocket can destroy targets both single and group, mobile and stationary. The missile has a semi-active laser homing head, a high-explosive fragmentation warhead, a range of up to 6 kilometers (3.7 miles).

Kalashnikov also premiered the PPK-20 submachine gun at the Army-2021 forum. It is intended for pilots of the Russian Aerospace Forces but will also be available for export.

“PPK-20 has a telescopic stock for firing from the left and right shoulders, a collimator sight, a Picatinny rail, and an infrared beam,” Kalashnikov deputy general director Denis Fesenko told reporters.

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