According to a statement made by an official from the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Russian arms exports in 2015 exceeded $15 billion in total value. The same official said that the goal for 2016 would be to maintain at least the same export volume, retaining Russia’s position as the world’s second largest arms exporter.
” The plan for 2015 has been completed with the production of military equipment delivered with a total of $15.2 billion and deliveries are continuing,” said the unidentified official, speaking to reporters of Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency. This announcement comes after a general diversification of Russian arms exports markets that has been in progress for many years. During a statement made in October, Anatoly Isaikin, the head of leading arms exporter Rosoboronexport, announced that new markets had been opened for Russian weapons, including Algeria, Vietnam and Venezuela. While more than 40% of Russian arms exports are still targeted at Asia and the Pacific Ocean region, there is a growing diversity that has allowed Russian weapons to continue selling despite sanctions imposed against it.
2015 saw multiple major weapons deals that helped to stimulate Russian arms exports. A long-delayed sale of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran has established the Middle Eastern country, a market freshly opened after years of heavy sanctions, as a potential future buyer of Russian weapons. As part of a continuing effort on the part of the Indian government to modernize its military, Russia was contracted to produce new armored vehicles, as well as to update the avionics of several planes in the Indian air force. The latter deal was followed up by a more recent series of agreements between India and Russia that are meant to encourage cooperation between the two nations in the area of military development.
“Next year’s main goal is to retain the second place [after the United States] in exporting weapons in the world.” the official interviewed by Novosti went on to say. Recently, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov stated that oil, one of Russia’s other major exports, could reach a new low of $30 per barrel in the coming year. This eventuality has the potential to further damage the Russian economy, leaving future Russian arms exports and sales as one of the few areas in which growth can be expected.
By Vitaly V. Kuzmin (http://vitalykuzmin.net/?q=node/446) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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