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Focus on high-precision weapons boosts Russia’s competitive edge on global arms market

December 15, 2015, 18:37 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© Yuri Belinsky/TASS

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Russian defense enterprises are demonstrating increasingly growing competitiveness on the world arms market with their focus on hi-tech products and their improved quality, experts polled by TASS say.

A report on the global arms industry in 2014 released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday points to a steady trend towards a rise in the Russian arms producers’ sales.

"The number of Russian companies ranked in the Top 100 went up from 9 to 11, amounting to a share of 10.2% of total Top 100 arms sales in 2014," the SIPRI report says.

According to SIPRI, the market leaders include Russia’s United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation (the main supplier of communications and automated control systems for the Russian Defense Ministry), Uralvagonzavod arms manufacturer (a leading Russian supplier of the armor), Almaz-Antey antiaircraft missile system manufacturer, High Precision Systems research and production association and RTI Enterprise.

The breakthrough achieved by Russia’s defense enterprises on the world arms markets can be largely explained by the Russian government’s efforts in the past few years to pay enhanced attention to this industry and better finance it, President of the League of Assistance to Russian Defense Enterprises Anatoly Dolgolaptev said.

"The defense industry has come to feel an inflow of oxygen," he said.

"Some 15 years ago, the country’s defense sector and its scientific schools were on the verge of ruin. Compared to the Soviet period, when the best graduates of higher educational institutions went to work for defense enterprises, an inflow of young specialists into the defense industry’s research institutes decreased sharply. Meanwhile, it is no secret for specialists that it is intellect rather than the type of propellant that makes missiles hi-tech products," Dolgolaptev told TASS.

"The country’s leadership has come to realize that precisely the Soviet school of computing mathematics has kept the traditions of creating competitive armament systems and grey-haired specialists are capable of passing on their experience to talented youth," the expert said.

"Talented graduates of higher educational institutions now come to work for defense enterprises where they have started to receive reasonable salaries, even if this inflow of specialists is not as intensive as before," he added.

Also, the League of Assistance to Russian Defense Enterprises has managed to convince the Defense Ministry in the need to develop non-nuclear high-precision weapons, which are currently have an advantage on the world arms market.

"The quality of the newest armament systems is, of course, the main factor of the Russian defense industry’s breakthrough observed in international trade. With all the respect for the Kalashnikov automatic rifle, the most needed armaments on the world market today include Su, MiG and Yak fighter jets, S-300 and S-400 antiaircraft missile complexes, Iskander ballistic missiles, Kornet and Konkurs anti-tank missile systems, Pantsyr-S and Igla air defense systems, as well as missile and space defense information technology, i.e. the examples of products, many of which do not have rivals in the world," Dolgolaptev said.

The expert said, however, that the Western sanctions were barring Russia from many advanced armament technologies. This circumstance is reducing the competitiveness of Russian arms manufacturers whose market place is being taken up by the United States, which accounts for 54.4% of the global arms market, according to SIPRI.

Meanwhile, Vice-President of the League of Assistance to Russian Defense Enterprises Vladimir Rubanov said that the build-up of the armor production in the Russian defense industry caused doubts amid the US efforts to develop precision-guided systems.

"Considering new war concepts that do not envisage ground operations, tanks are an ageing type of armaments. What is the sense of producing new types of the armor, if US anti-tank missiles destroy them with high striking accuracy?" the expert told TASS.

Meanwhile, Deputy Director of the Institute of Military and Political Studies Alexander Khramchikhin told TASS that "the defense industry’s success on the external market is primarily explained by the fact that the most advanced armaments are first of all supplied to the Russian armed forces. This is the best advertising of domestic military products. It can’t be otherwise," the expert said.

Considering that the world arms market is centered on US weapons, the experts mentioned Southeast Asian states, above all, China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as Middle East and South American countries as the main buyers of Russia’s weaponry.

TASS may not share the opinions of its contributors