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Union of War Industry

Cuba is among the dozen or so smaller countries that have attempted to develop and maintain some degree of self-sufficiency in weapon systems. Others that come to mind are Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, South Africa, and Yugoslavia, though Cuba lacks the economic resources of these larger countries.

The Union of the Cuban Military Industry [Unión de la Industria Militar], which has 12 industrial military companies, seven research and development centers and two centers of scientific-technological services, has its direct antecedents in the bases of general repairs that were in charge of the repair and maintenance of the combat technique from the 1960s to the founding of the Union in 1988. The Cuban military industry is the result of the development of the FAR and its actions are directly related to the historical military art of the nation that comes from the first independence struggles through the Rebel Army in the Sierra and the experience acquired during the years of Revolution.

The emergence of the grouping goes back to the first years of the 1960s, when the first Repair Bases appear General Services (BRG), with technology fromthe old socialist camp. From them they derived the Industrial Military Companies (EMI - Empresas Militares Industriales). The Union responds to the defensive needs the country, through the continuous improvement of therepair processes, manufacturing, modernization and development of weapons and technicallitar, as well as other productions and servicescompetitive in the market.

To a certain extent it was much cheaper to buy than to develop, as could be seen with Cuba itself with respect to the USSR (naturally there were other priorities). Until 1989-1991, the Industria Militar went through the production of material under license exclusively (which despite this is important as previous experience to be launched on) and in the maintenance of the equipment transferred. Only since 1991 when Cuba was left alone did it begin to give itself some movement and that culminated with small projects that, although they did not mean something crucial, served as a first step to accumulate experience and begin further steps.

The Union of War Industry has the mission to assure the repair the armament and the technique whereupon the terrestrial, aerial and marine units with the Revolutionary Armed Forces, as well as their periodic modernization in correspondence with the advances of world-wide the technological development are equipped. Also it counts on a series of factories destined to the light weapons production of infantry, the ammunition, mines and other means of diverse type.

The industrial system of General Repair bases and other companies, count on facilities throughout all the country. It includes great factories specialized in tanks, artillery, aviation, navy military, radio communications, transport, radars, systems, metallurgical productions and others. The high qualification of the specialists, the technological discipline and the modern equipment, do possible to undertake tasks of high technical complexity.

The most known (but not the most technologically advanced) are the UIM "Ernesto Che Guevara" in the municipality of Manicaragua south of the province of Villa Clara composed of several factories producing ammunition, there is also the UIM "landing of the Granma" of Santiago from Cuba, which produces items such as mechanical and hydraulic jacks, tire lifts, closed cargo vans, mobile workshops and spare parts, and provides mechanical remoting services; UIM Francisco Cruz Burzac in San José, the UIM "Major General Ignacio Agramonte y Loynaz".

In addition to products destined for the units of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, the military-industrial complex develops important products that are marketed to both the national and international market. For several years now, the military industry has been in the vanguard of the introduction and application of the most advanced business-management techniques.

The Military Industry allocates part of its productive and service capabilities to meet the requirements of the national economy. This has been the case since its emergence, on the one hand, because several of its facilities have a productive capacity superior to the needs of the defense; on the other hand, the continuous reductions in the regular troops that have been taking place since the end of the seventies, left even more free capabilities.

With the advent of the special period and the consequent adjustment of the structures and levels of activity of the Revolutionary Armed Forces that began in the 1990s, this process acquired an even greater boom and dynamism. In this way it has been possible to guarantee the maintenance of their employment to a considerable number of highly qualified workers, while at the same time it has constituted an additional source of income that diminishes the impact of the defense expenses for the country.

The 20th anniversary of the creation of the Union of the Cuban Military Industry was held on 22 December 2008 during a ceremony in which the contribution of this institution to the country's defensive capacity was recognized. At the ceremony, held at the Industrial Military Company Grito de Baire , recognition diplomas were granted to founders of the Union, as well as a diploma of congratulations dedicated to the work collective for its two decades of uninterrupted work signed by the member of the Political Bureau and Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), Army Corps General Julio Casas Regueiro.

The 40th Anniversary celebration of the EMI Granma Industrial Military Company was held 25 December 2018 in Havana, chaired by Army Corps General Joaquín Quintas Solá, and delivered to the diploma center signed by the Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), commemorative stamps for the anniversary 30, and diplomas to founders and heads of the institution. The seal for the 75th Anniversary of the CTC was also delivered to the Union of Military Industry and the Communist Party of Cuba card to the worker Yulier Ortega Tejeda. Caridad Vega, a young worker, said that the youth of the entity joins the daily tasks of the Union with the aim of continuing to contribute to the economic development of the country.

All of these companies, even if they have amilitary profile, undertake productions in interestof the national economy or to meet the needs ofof the internal market. Of the two manufactures of metal furniturewhich the Union possesses, one is in the EMI Ignacio Agramonte and Loynaz, from Camagüey, where they also produce doors, padlocks, locks and wooden furniture for the Turismo. The same goal has the fiber furniture of rattan, of singular beauty and quality, elaborated by Francisco Aguiar Rodríguez, in Sancti Spíritus, responsible in addition to manufacturing machines, forges and mills for agriculture.

For its part, the EMI Francisco Cruz Bourzac, in the province of Mayabeque, also produces tiles for constructions and LED lamps, with the latest lighting technology impact on the energy program. In the Havana municipality of La Lisa, Emilio Bárcenas Pier, which in addition to metal furniture, produces parts, pieces, ferrous and non-ferrous materials melted in sand, keel and by microfusion, used in the military and in agriculture.

EMI Francisco Aguiar Rodríguez, which made the David armored rural car, provides repair services, modernnization, remotorization and manufacture of spare parts for rural vehicles such as GAZ and ZIL. To this they add the repair of Diana Bus, semi-buses, vans and car workshops. For its part, Desembarco del Granma focuses on the MAZ, KRAZ and Kamaz. EMI Transporte Occidente is responsible for other lighter lines, such as Peugeot, Lada, Geely and the rural car WAZ. The company employs technologies that improve and expand the services for upholstery, hatched direction, sheet metal and painting.

The EMI Yuri Gagarin plant, in the capital municipality of Playa, works to keep the aircraft in optimum condition, engines, parts, parts and aggregates, as well as to guarantee the training of personnel in aviation. This is the center where technology is concentrated for the pro-production of rubber parts, highly demanded for transportation, other industries and the population.

Russia continued to negotiate with Cuba the creation of a center for the maintenance of Russian Mi-brand helicopters that are part of the Cuban aeronautical park, confirmed the deputy director of the Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation (FSVTS). in Russian), Anatoli Punchuk who heads the Russian delegation at the International Air and Space Fair (FIDAE 2016).

Transforming a merchant vessel into a patrol boat, with an aircraft platform, and with guns, was a dream come true in the Cienfuegos factories of the companies EMI Astillero Centro and EMI Granma, and others of the national economy. With the mission to build and repair means of naval and aquatic use, works are also of wood and fiberglass. It is of strategic importance for tourism in the region. In the Mariel, Astimar Astilleros concentrates on enlisting the naval media and venturing into the retromolding technology, to enhance also plastic productions. Another important emporium is the EMI Granma, located in Casablanca, Havana. In addition to providing technical naval construction services, modernization, repair and maintenance, they manufacture gastronomic and cooking means for domestic trade, as well as water for different sectors of the economy, coordinated at EMI Carlos Espinosa.

The Research and Development Center of Artilleria y Óptica (CIDAO) is small, still young, but with significant contributions in technology. It belongs to the EMI Francisco Cruz Bourzac and provides repair service for microscopes to the Ministries of Education, Public Health and inland. The integration of research and development centers (CID) of military technical profile is not a novelty, coming from the 1990s, when they added five and later added another three. The performance characteristics of the UIM is the link between industry and science, so it is not casual then that, in general, the CIDs are within the companies, even if they maintain their own legal personality.

At the beginning of the year 2000 the science and technology innovation system was implemented in the FAR. According to the director, the CID Megatronics, from EMI Yuri Gagarin, is the greater strength within the Union and where they develop electronic research and radioelectronics With innovative results also important are: CID Perspectiva, CID Naval, CID Cry of Baire and Cidsim (Cen-Simulation Research and Developmentbeef). As can be seen, the UIM deploys abroad and diverse activity, both for defense as well as for the economy, and face problems similar to those that affect the rest of the system of Cuban business.

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Page last modified: 21-02-2019 18:43:11 ZULU