Fire
The spread of civilization may be likened to a fire:
first, a feeble spark, next a flickering flame, then
a mighty blaze, ever increasing in speed and power
Nikola Tesla

We tamed fire. We made water work for us. We cultivated the earth. We rose into the air. We braved outer space. Overcoming the four elements and conquering outer space goes to the core of humankind.

Our civilization was built by pioneers: those who invented the light bulb, a radio, television, satellite, passenger jets, the electronic microscope, helicopters, cellular telephone service, parachutes, the laser.

Today, this innovation relay is carried on by Rostec Corporation, which not only develops and enhances Russian technology, but also tackles epic tasks like harnessing unruly elements and subjecting them to human will.

When Rostec tames fire it is looking for energy and heat to create heavy-duty materials. Its technologies rely on many great discoveries made by Russian scientists. While many played with fire in fairly innocent ways — like the world’s first electric light bulb created by Pavel Yablochkov and Alexander Lodygin — many changed the way alloys and metals are forged, like the discovery of the electric arc effect by Vasiliy Petrov.

Petrov’s discovery of the electric arc effect in 1802 was an outstanding contribution by a Russian scientist to the development of metallurgy. When Petrov obtained the voltaic arc effect for the first time, he carefully examined its properties and found that it can be used at high temperatures for melting and welding of metals, as well as for recovering metals from their oxides. This unique technology is now widely used in the production of titanium.

A press weighing a few tons is just about to squash a scorching rough workpiece. Only six countries in the world dispose of technologies of titanium production, and Russia is one of them, holding the first place in production and export volumes.
VSMPO-AVISMA, Verkhnyaya Salda.

To ensure flexibility of molded preforms, titanium is forged at a minimum temperature and under high pressure.

To enable this heavy-duty metal to “complete” the most complex of technological tasks, Russia has been improving domestic technologies such as vacuum-arc furnaces for two centuries, blazing the trail of electrometallurgical innovation.

It also runs one of the few plants in the world that houses a full technological cycle of titanium production under one roof. The cycle starts with the processing of raw materials and ends with the release of finished products with a high degree of machining.
A titanium part starts out as a rod called a billet. Before they are shaped, these rods are cut into several pieces called crats.

VSMPO-AVISMA is located in Upper Salda, Sverdlovsk Region, known as the “Titanium Valley” because of its concentration of the world’s most advanced titanium-processing facilities. This is a special, industrial production-friendly economic zone whose main goal is to expand cooperation between Rostec and the world’s largest consumers of titanium.

This is a panoramic video. Holding down the mouse button, move the camera to see the performance of the legendary ‘70’, the largest forging press in the world with the force of 75,000 tons.
VSMPO-AVISMA, Verkhnyaya Salda.

VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation has two industrial sites: VSMPO is located in the city of Verkhnyaya Salda of Sverdlovsk region and AVISMA — a filial branch is in the city of Berezniki in Perm Krai. They are linked with one whole technological chain. The most advanced titanium processing technologies in the world are concentrated here. For this reason the decision to create a so-called «Titanium Valley» — a special economic zone of industrial production has been made.

Today, VSMPO-AVISMA covers 60 percent of the titanium needs of Airbus and 100 percent of those of the largest Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer. Boeing orders up to 40 percent of its titanium products from here, and is investing over $200 million in the company to foster the discovery of new alloys for the modern aerospace industry. Rostec not only uses fire to forge metal, but also to conquer the sky.

In the historic city of Rybinsk, located on the banks of the great Russian river Volga, another Rostec subsidiary, United Engine Corporation, runs its Saturn business. Saturn makes aircraft and ship engines, as well as generators.

A modern jet engine is a complex system that consists of more than a thousand parts. Some of its most critical components are gas turbine blades. An engine’s reliability depends largely on the quality of these blades, which must continuously withstand the pressure of hot gases that rotate the turbine at temperatures that frequently exceed 2,000 degrees Celsius. Today, Saturn is able to provide a full production cycle of gas turbine engine blades in accordance with the national and international requirements and quality standards. In other words, these blades are very reliable.

Taming the fire for Rostec means not only product innovation, but also making some of its work greener.

The city of Togliatti is where another large Rostec company, AvtoVAZ is located. At this car factory, robots are used to complete many production tasks, from metal casting to high-tech assembly of cars.

Production capacity at AvtoVAZ allows it to
melt up to 120,000 tons of cast iron at a time.
The robots — also made by Rostec — are sexy,
but the star of AvtoVAZ is cast iron.

All the cast iron for car manufacturing is produced at AvtoVAZ with metal that is recycled from scrap parts of old cars. The recycling process is a double benefit for the environment: emissions resulting from steel production are lowered and the number of hazardous landfills filled with scrap metal is reduced.

Iron-cast pavilion of the automobile giant. Here, bent shafts, cylinder barrel and other elements are produced, all in all more than 90 items.
AvtoVAZ, Tolyatti.

Its green ways are especially gratifying here, because in Russian folklore cast iron is called «rotten iron» or «devil’s metal» because of how it’s made — its unpredictability, complex smelting technology and risks of sudden outbursts. And now making it helps the environment, what a change.

Metallurgical production of the Volzhsky automobile plant is 120,000 tons of cast-iron and 35,000 tons of aluminum founding, as well as more than 100,000 tons of stamped blank components.
AvtoVAZ, Tolyatti.
The next frontier of fire-taming
for Rostec is overcoming the Earth’s gravity

Also on the banks of Volga River, in the city of Samara, one of Rostec’s United Engine Corporation plants — named Kuznetsov after it’s founder, creates and testes space rocket engines — one of the most complex pieces of machinery made by man.

One of the most critical stages of space engine testing is simulating the take-off. The work of all systems is carefully monitored and analyzed through more than 100 parameters. Every second of the test, half a ton of kerosene and liquid oxygen is burned in the belly of this giant.

This is where they test NK-33 engines, one of the most reliable and popular rocket engines in the global aerospace industry and the one that was first created for the Soviet lunar program decades ago.

Along with rocket engines, Rostec manufactures aircraft engines for civil aviation and military use. One of the main customers is United Aircraft Corporation, which includes Russia’s major aircraft holding company, Sukhoi, the maker of well-known Russian SU fighter jets.

However, aircraft engines are not the only means for Rostec’s companies to subjugate fire, tame its onslaught and make it serve Russia’s national security.

In Tula, the glorious city of armourers, there is a number of enterprises of High Precision Systems (“Vysokotochnye Kompleksy”) holding company, whose production is designed to provide reliable protection of both Russian sky and land.

The production in question is the land-based anti-aircraft missile and gun system ‘Pantsir-S1’.

At the moment, ‘Pantsir-S1’ fully answers all the demands of fighting modern air attack weapons thanks to a sum of advantages. First and foremost, it is a combined missile and gun armament that permits to create a continuous target engagement zone up to 20 km range and 15 km height. Moreover, it has a noise-free multi-mode and multi-specter radar-optical control system. Finally, other advantages are automatic mode, possibility to shoot while moving and during short stops, short response time (4 to 6 seconds), combat use self-sustainability, battery action coordination and simultaneous gunfire on four targets in a sector.

Innovative approach to the ‘Pantsir-S1’ system design fulfills module construction principle, which provides a possibility of stationing the system on various gear types, including tracked chassis, and creating fixed and sea system versions (for example, for protecting an oil platform, important point objects of administrative, military-tactical and other purposes), stationing on railway platforms.

Outstanding technical specifications of anti-aircraft missile and gun system ‘Pantsir-S1’ give the air defense systems equipped with it a considerable advantage over foreign short-range air defense systems.

Today, Rostec is Russia’s largest defense conglomerate. Its companies make a variety of weapons and defense systems, from Kalashnikovs to the latest electronic warfare systems by Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET). Mostly due to effective work of Rosoboronexport — Rostec’s subsidiary charged with the exclusive right to export Russian arms — the demand for Russian-made high-tech military products continues to be consistently high outside of Russia. It is no accident that Russia is the second largest player in the world’s arms market.

Rostec’s priority is not only to keep its leadership on the global arms market, but also to increase its volume of non-military, civil products to 50%. This ambitious goal has been set for the directors of all its holding companies as part of the Corporation’s Development Strategy until 2025.

The Strategy’s goal is to place Rostec among the 3 global leaders in machine-building. This will involve an extensive expansion into the «smart markets». The goal is the 17% calendar-year rise.

A great example of Russian inventors’ productive work in this area is the creation of combined protection systems (CPS). CPS, which consist of fibrous metal oxide refractories, not only solve the problem of creating a multipurpose heat protection, but also reduce the structural weight of the equipment, increase its productivity manifold and save up to 50% of energy.

Another unique chemical material — methylsilane — is needed for the production of high-quality nanocomposites such as “silicon carbide-carbon” and coatings with unique oxidation and corrosion resistance qualities that retain their performance in high temperatures (up to 19000С).

By following its Development Strategy, by 2025, Rostec plans to become a global player on the «smart» markets, alongside such companies as GE, Siemens and Samsung.

Even so, with Rostec, the fire does not have
to be only a hot stream of molten metal or a guided missile.
Rostec also uses fire to bring joy

As early as the 15th Century, Russians used an artillery salute to mark a resounding victory or to welcome distinguished guests.

Today, fireworks for all major protocol ceremonies and state holidays are made exclusively by Rostec enterprises. One of the most spectacular fireworks of recent years — seen by millions of TV viewers live during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi — was prepared and executed by Rostec specialists. The artillery fired 3,500 times that day, with the total weight of the Olympic fireworks being over 26 tons.

So whether you are celebrating with fireworks, boarding an aircraft, or watching a space launch, most likely you are watching Rostec playing with fire, responsibly.