The Belarusian State Authority for Military Industry of the Republic of Belarus (SAMI) holds a leading position in ensuring the national security and defense capacity of the state, in the implementation of its innovation and foreign economic policy.
SAMI was established by the Belarusian President’s Decree of 30 December 2003. State Authority for Military Industry of the Republic of Belarus was designed to keep the potential inherited by the Republic of Belarus from the Soviet defence industry. Then the trends for this were clearly observed.
In a difficult situation, we have not only retained highly skilled workforce and extensive scientific and production capabilities. We literally have restored the enterprises that were at a loss in the 1990s. We have laid the ground work and have formed an effective structure that allows the successful implementation of the state policy in the field of development and maintenance of weapon systems and military and special equipment (WSMSE), as well as in the area of military-technical cooperation and export control. These priorities were specified as the key ones when SAMI was established.
During this short period from a historical viewpoint, the Belarusian State Authority for Military Industry passed the stages of formation and development when the number of tasks continuously increased. SAMI has ensured the state’s military security and the growing needs of the Belarusian Armed Forces in equipping with state-of-the-art weapons (systems), and also the implementation of intergovernmental agreements in the field of military-technical cooperation.
Within a short time the Belarusian State Authority for Military Industry became a republic-scale government authority fully implementing the military-technical policy of the state while performing regulatory and managerial functions in such spheres as:
Basic objectives of the SAMI
- development and maintenance of armaments, military and special equipments;
- development and implementation of the development strategy of the defense sector of economy;
- implementation of the state policy in the field of military-technical cooperation;
- implementation of the state export control policy;
- implementation of the state policy in the sphere of navigation activities;
- state regulation of activities in the field of experimental aviation in Belarus.
Belarusian President’s Decree No. 49 of 28 February 2017 “On State Regulation of Export Control” entrusted SAMI with the functions of a specially authorised export control body.
SAMI is subordinate to the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus and in certain aspects of its activity, in accordance with the current legislation, is subordinate to the President of the Republic of Belarus.
Reform measures allowed forming an effective management pattern that would promote dynamic development of the defence industry, building a fundamentally new rational and effective system of interaction with other republican government bodies on the formation of the state defence order. They also helped to enhance the efficiency of state programmes implementation in the field of new and high technologies aimed at launching the production of high-technology military products and meeting the needs of customers for modern WSMSE, in keeping with the policy of the government. These measures allowed SAMI to specify functions, optimise its structure and staff, increase the efficiency, relieve SAMI of overlapping and non-core functions, cut red tape in the process of decision making.
SAMI’s lean professional staff analyses and evaluates the global geopolitical situation and its influence on the development of the arms market. The team of SAMI quickly finds and systematically develops new directions, forms and controls the implementation of the state armament programme and the state defence order. The staff do a great deal of work on analysing the state of Belarusian defence companies. On the basis of this work, they prepare forecasts of companies’ production and technological development and financial and economic growth.
The activities of the Belarusian State Authority for Military Industry as a state customer of the most important weapon development projects are associated with serious achievements — the development of the newest weapons and military equipment, which are capable of reliably ensuring the national security and defence capability of our country. At the same time, we have begun to produce not only arms, but also weapon systems within the framework of integrated projects. It allows the companies to significantly enhance their combat capabilities and competitiveness in the domestic and foreign markets.
Today, the task of developing military equipment, which is in SAMI within the framework of integrated systems projects, such as combat geoinformation systems; UAS and robotics; ﬁ re weapon systems; vehicles for carrying weapon systems; integrated systems for countering precision weapons (including electronic intelligence and electronic warfare systems).
Within these projects, eight lines for the development of weapon systems have been identiﬁ ed, three of which are strategic (priority): ﬁ re weapon systems; combat light armoured vehicles of various classes and purposes based on a common chassis and integrated with individual and group combat systems of military personnel; robotic and unmanned vehicles integrated into a network of combat and support platforms.
These integrated projects and areas are identiﬁ ed in the SAMI and Defence Sector Development Programme until 2020 and allow developing weapons in a comprehensive and systematic way.
The goal of the Goscomvoyenprom and Defence Sector Development Programme until 2020 is to develop the innovative resource of the Belarusian defenсe industry through accelerated technological modernisation, competitive advantages and human resources development, while reducing the share of budget ﬁnancing and increasing the share of companies’ own funds and other sources of ﬁnancing.
From 2004 to 2017, in US dollar terms there was a 5.6-fold increase in the volume of industrial products (work, services) manufactured by SAMI companies (from $94.3 million to $521.7 million).
The period saw a 3.5-fold increase in the average monthly salary of employees of SAMI companies (from $192 to $675).
There was a ﬁ ve-fold increase in labour productivity (in terms of revenue per employee) over the period (from $12,000 to $58,500).
Currently, SAMI is facing the task of qualitatively and fully completing the implementation of the SAMI and Defence Sector Development Programme until 2020 (new edition) and starting in 2019 to elaborate the SAMI and Defence Sector Development Programme until 2025.
Today, exports remain the key focus of eﬀ orts for the balanced economic development of SAMI.
From 2004 to 2017, there was an almost seven-fold increase in exports of goods produced and services rendered by SAMI’s companies (from $143.8 million to more than $960 million).
In 2018, exports of goods and services passed $1 billion for the first time in SAMI’s history.
For Belarus, this is a rather serious ﬁ gure that cannot be achieved without expanding the market.
Amid increasing competition from foreign manufacturers and arms suppliers, the expansion of sales markets was one of the priorities facing all SAMI’s companies without exception.
Currently, military-technical cooperation is being implemented under more than 50 bilateral military-technical cooperation agreements with more than 40 countries.
The intergovernmental commissions (committees, subcommittees) on military-technical cooperation, which were established in the framework of intergovernmental agreements on military- technical cooperation (currently there are 30 commissions in total) are aimed at promoting Belarusian products and services to foreign markets and coordinating the implementation of large military-technical projects.
Exports are expanding in the Asia- Paciﬁc region; development of cooperation with the countries of the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America continues; cooperation with Serbia, which can become a platform for entering the markets of the European Union countries, is progressing.
Our strategic partners include Russia and China. Military-technical cooperation with CIS countries and CSTO member states remains a priority.
More than 70 countries are armed with advanced military equipment made in Belarus.
Responsible, strict and rigorous attitude towards compliance with international law and towards fulﬁ lment of obligations has become a hallmark of Belarusian arms exporters. All this allows them not only to maintain strong ties with long-term partners, but also to conquer new markets.
Staying ahead, the Belarusian State Authority for Military Industry actively develops those scientific branches (design schools) that today have a development prospect not only in our country, but are progressive in the world, including rocket engineering, space instrument making, electronics, information and communications technologies, and robotics.
SAMI’s scientiﬁ c potential rests on schools of sciences, traditionally oriented at de fence problems, and on schools of sciences within the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the Ministry of Education, and the Defence Ministry conducting basic scientiﬁ c and technological research for developing military products.
Speaking about personnel potential, it is worthwhile mentioning that today in the Belarusian defence industry (12 SAMI organisations are certiﬁ ed as scientiﬁ c) about 6,000 people are involved in research and development, among them nearly 100 have scientiﬁ c degrees of Candidate or Doctor of Sciences.
In order to strengthen human resource capacity, to build skills and professionalism, emphasis is placed on cooperation of education and applied sciences. To this end, the practice of creating branches of university departments at industrial enterprises extends.
The Belarusian defence industry is a powerful and dynamically special permits (licences) to carry out activities related to specific goods (work, services) and conduct research and (or) production activities on the development of products (execution of work, provision of services) for military purposes (the Law of the Republic of Belarus of 20 July 2016 “On Approving the Military Doctrine of the Republic of Belarus”).
At the moment the structure of the Belarusian State Authority for Military includes 25 main defence companies, among which there are 3 republican unitary enterprises, 13 business entities whose shares belong to the Republic of Belarus and are placed under the management of SAMI, as well as 9 subordinate organisations.
The Belarusian State Authority for Military Industry incorporates newly-created powerful multi-level vertically integrated structures capable of developing, commercially manufacturing and marketing competitive products, based on the priorities selected in weapons development.
As of 1 January 2019, in Belarus 155 organisations have a licence to carry out activities related to military equipment. A total of 102 organisations have been granted the right to carry out foreign trade activities with speciﬁ c goods (work, services) (most of them only with products of their own design and/ or production).
The high-tech diversified defense branch of the economy combines organizations of various industries, such as: radio engineering, electronics, optical mechanics, aviation, electrical engineering, instrument engineering, aerospace instrument engineering, special automobile industry, as well as armament and military equipment repair plants.