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Russia’s major weapon supplier exports more than $5 billion over 6 months 2014

August 12, 2014, 11:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Equipment and weapons for air forces accounted for the largest portion of the portfolio - 36.7%
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Ryumin

MOSCOW, August 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s main weapons exporter, state agency Rosboronexport, exported about $5.1 billion worth of military goods in the first half of 2014. Orders increased from $38 to almost $39 billion, Director General Anatoly Isaykin said on Tuesday.

“The figure is constantly changing but has been hovering near this level in the last years, ensuring full capacity utilization for several years to follow,” he said, adding that contracting did not decrease.

Equipment and weapons for air forces accounted for the largest portion of the portfolio - 36.7%, followed by air defense means (25.7%), land force weapons (21.2%) and the navy segment (11.8%).

“This is a very well balanced portfolio. Certainly, the figures are floating but without any sharp jumps and imbalances,” Isaykin said.

Rosboronexport will sustain annual sales at $13 billion until 2017, Isaykin said on Tuesday. “We have annual plans approved by the president and the government. The plan for 2014 is being fulfilled on schedule, and all the goals will be achieved,” he told ITAR-TASS, adding that the company had a development strategy up to 2020.

“Any record achievements are not to be expected in the following years” due to a great amount of work on state defense procurement, Isaykin said. Rearmament of the Russian army and navy was a priority, he added.

“Capacities will be somewhat released, and export will confidently increase since the international demand for Russian weapons now exceeds production capacity,” said Isaykin.

Part of the Rostech corporation, Rosoboronexport is the only state agency in Russia specializing in export of all military and dual purpose products, services and technologies. The company accounts for more than 80% of Russia’s total military export.

Military-technical cooperation

Isaikin believes that the national arms manufacturing industry has on offer a wide range of products that can dramatically enhance the combat potential of any army around the world. He told ITAR-TASS that the major package of agreements concluded with Iraq was a good example. “Bearing in mind the situation that has taken shape there, we promptly reacted to our partners’ request. Thereby, we proved that in critical situations, Russia is one of the few countries that is capable of dramatically raising the combat potential of any country’s armed forces,” he said.

Isaikin said that supplies under the newly-concluded contracts with Iraq had already begun to give Iraq’s ground and air forces far greater resources to crack down on terrorists. “I would describe the current stage as renaissance of military-technical cooperation in the Middle East,” he said.

Rosoboronexport has signed large contracts with a number of Middle East and North African countries. Rosoboronexport will supply Kornet-EM antitank missiles to Bahrain while Namibia is buying small arms, Kornet-E systems, Isaikin said.

"The largest contracts have been signed with countries of the Middle East and North Africa. They envision the supplies of practically all kinds of weapons and military equipment," Isaikin said, adding that the contracts with Bahrein and Namibia were a benchmark.

According to the Rosoboronexport executive, Bahrain has become the first buyer of Kornet-EM systems, while the contract with Namibia is the first weapons supply contract with that country in the past 15 years. It envisions supplies of smalls arms, armaments for special units, mortars, Kornet-E antitank systems, vehicles, ammunition and simulators.

Russia-China cooperation

Moscow and Beijing are in talks over supply of Amur-1650 conventional submarines to China, Director General of the Rosoboronexport weapons trading company Anatoly Isaikin said.

"We're having talks; the parties are coordinating the technical image of submarines," Isaikin said in the first official confirmation of the reports. "No date for signing the contract has been named yet. There's still much work to do."

According to open information sources, the Amur-1650 submarine, designed by the Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering, has several advantages over foreign counterparts, such as firing missile salvos from all torpedo tubes at seaborne or ground targets, enhanced hydroacoustic target detection equipment and a low noise signature.

Rosoboronexport, which is part of the Rostekh Corporation, is the only state-owned organization in Russia specializing in exports of the whole range of weapons and military and dual-purpose products, services and technologies, accounting for more than 80% of exports of Russian armaments and military equipment.

Cooperation with BRICS countries

Russia, Brazil and South Africa have been planning talks on joint arms production in the BRICS framework to be held until the year's end, Isaikin said.

"For the time being, we have been working with each of these countries separately, but we have been considering joint projects with the participation of several states," Isaikin said.

"At the end of September, South Africa will host an international weapons exhibition — one of the biggest exhibitions in Africa. Problems of cooperation in the BRICS framework will be raised at the conference as well. We hope to make tangible progress in a number of projects," he said.

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