NIZHNY TAGIL, September 11. /TASS-DEFENSE/. The Russian Defense Ministry and government are mulling over a merger of the Russia Arms Expo (RAE) arms show traditionally held in Nizhny Tagil and the Army military technical forum first conducted in June in the Moscow Region, Uralvagonzavod Director General Oleg Siyenko told TASS on Friday.
"The idea [to merge the shows] exists and is being a subject of discussion in the Russian Defense Ministry and in the Russian government," he said.
Siyenko emphasized that RAE is unique: "Nowhere in the world have they demonstrated military hardware that leaves test benches right to firing ranges." "Exhibitors mostly bring mock-ups. I have not seen a show where the organizers demonstrated exhibits on the move. The characteristics displayed in posters are not the same as hardware," he stressed.
Earlier, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said the ministry believed that RAE was a success. Commenting on media reports that the show in the Urals could be discontinued in favor of the Army forum, Borisov stressed that RAE was held under the aegis of the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry and that the Defense Ministry was not in a position to "terminate it or not". He admitted, though, that the subjects of arms shows "overlap" indeed.
Nizhny Tagil has hosted RAE for the 10th time. The event has been attended by about 250 Russian and foreign defense contractors. The arms show is dedicated to Army military hardware.