Russia to sell US$14 billion worth of weaponry this year

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Russia is expected to export a record US$14 billion worth of arms this year, up from US$10 billion last year, a Russian think-tank says.

“We are expecting Russian arms exports to surpass US$14 billion in 2012,” the Centre for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) said in a report.
“Considering the current foreign orders portfolio, which is worth US$41.5 billion, Russia may maintain this level of arms exports for at least three years,” the report said.

The Moscow-based CAST is an independent, private defence industrial and foreign policy think-tank with close ties to both Rosoboronexport and senior Kremlin officials, RIA Novosti notes.

According to the CAST report, Russia will deliver about 50 Su-family fighters to India, Vietnam, Algeria, Indonesia and Uganda.

In addition, Russia will supply India with ten MiG-29K naval fighters and modernize ten MiG-29s in service with the Indian Air Force to MiG-29UPG level. Myanmar will receive 14 MiG-29 of various modifications.

Russia may also start the deliveries of 24 MiG-29M2 fighters to Syria under a 2007 contract. It is counting on President Bashar al-Assad keeping his grip on power to see through potential arms contracts worth up to US$6 billion (US$4 billion signed, US$2 billion on the way). Syria, where Russia maintains a naval base, is also the only ally Russia has left in the Middle East.

Russia will deliver Pantsir-S1E air defence systems to Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, Buk-M2E air defence systems to Syria, and Tor-M2E systems to Belarus.

Venezuela will receive Russian T-72 tanks, BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles and BTR-80A armoured personnel carriers.

Major deliveries of naval equipment to India will be carried out in 2012.

Russia is expected to hand over the long-awaited Vikramaditya aircraft carrier (former Admiral Gorshkov), and deliver two Talwar class frigates and a modernized Kilo class diesel electric submarine to the Indian Navy.

Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state arms exporter, sold US$10.7 billion worth of weaponry to 57 countries last year, but this number could be readjusted to US$12 billion with the addition of direct sales of spare parts by Russian arms producers.

Russia is the world’s second largest arms exporter, after the United States. Last year it lost around US$4 billion worth of arms exports to Libya, following the civil war there.

Despite having signed US$3.69 billion in new arms contracts in 2011, the total portfolio of Russia’s arms exporting monopoly Rosoboronexport shrank to US$35 billion from a size of US$38.5 billion in 2010.
“We expect that results of 2012 will show that Russian export of arms will exceed the mark of $14 billion. Looking at the current portfolio…that level of export may be supported for at least another three years,” the report said.

Rosoboronexport makes up around 80 percent of all arms exports in a given year, while nearly 20 independent firms make up the difference with sales of spare parts and upgrades.