Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Huge sums stolen from key Russian aviation test center

An investigation has revealed that over 875 million rubles ($10 million) were embezzled during the reconstruction of the main testing range for military aviation technology in Akhtubinsk, according to a report by Baza.

The case, initially opened by the Main Military Investigation Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia in 2022, remains unresolved.

In 2014, the Russian Ministry of Defense allocated approximately 1.5 billion rubles for the renovation of the flight testing center in Akhtubinsk. The state contractor, FSUE “Main Military Construction Directorate No. 14,” funneled more than 900 million rubles through a network of subcontractors into the accounts of the company “PromSpetsStroyGroup” (PSSG).

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Investigators discovered that the management of PSSG completed only about 5% of the planned work before siphoning off the funds and declaring the company bankrupt.

The Akhtubinsk center is pivotal for testing all of Russia’s latest aircraft and helicopters, including aviation equipment, communication systems, and control systems used by the Russian Armed Forces and other agencies. Specialists at the center evaluate aircraft performance under various flight conditions, including critical combat scenarios.

The facility has also been used to launch stealth missiles like the Kh-69 from the latest Su-57 aircraft against targets in Ukraine. This made it a target for Ukrainian drone strikes, which recently resulted in the destruction of one Su-57 and damage to another.

This corruption scandal is the latest in a series of setbacks for Russia amidst the failure and inability of its military to turn the tide in Ukraine.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more

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