MOSCOW: Russian arms exports are expected to increase by $700-$800 mln in 2009 despite the global credit crunch, state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Wednesday.
“Rosoboronexport sells an additional $700-800 million [worth of weaponry] every year. Despite the crisis, 2009 will be no exception,” company official Valery Varlamov said.
The arms export monopoly sold $6.75 billion worth of arms in 2008, and earlier said its defense order portfolio was worth $27 billion.
“We could have signed deals worth a total of $50 billion, but we did not do this, and settled for $27 billion. We believe this figure is realistic,” the official said.
Combat aircraft have a 50% share in sales of Russian weaponry, followed by air defense systems, military equipment for ground forces, and naval equipment.
“At present, combat aircraft lead the sales of Russian arms with a 50% share of a total. Whoever dominates the skies, wins on the ground,” Varlamov said.
The official reiterated that Russia exports weapons to about 80 countries.
“The amounts and types of the contracts vary from small arms ammunition to combat aircraft, and we do not shy away from small contracts. We have business ties with about 80 countries,” he said.
Varlamov confirmed that the Chinese and the Indian share of Russian arms exports decreased to 16-18% last year and could dwindle even further. However, Russia is expanding its presence on other markets, including in the Middle East and in Latin America.
“We are increasing our arms exports by penetrating the markets of other countries,” Varlamov said, adding that the U.S. remains Russia’s key competitor in global arms sales.
In military-technical cooperation with India and China, Russia has shifted focus to joint development of weaponry and defense technologies, he said.
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