Russia Builds up Contacts with Venezuela Navy


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Russia Builds up Contacts with Venezuela Navy
Tue, 30 Aug 2005, 10:05

Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, hosted the first international naval exhibition "Exponaval Venezuela Internacional'2005" on August 24-27, in the context of preparations for a re-equipment program of the Venezuelan Navy.

As part of those preparations, the Top Management of the Navy is actively communicating with naval equipment suppliers, potential partners for the national shipbuilding sector, as well as investors. A number of conferences on relevant subjects are envisaged as part of the event, as well as presentation of the "investment portfolio".

Cooperation in the naval area between Russia and Venezuela is a relatively new development, but it took an active start and seems to promise a good potential in some specific areas. During the first visit in Moscow of President Chavez in 2001, the first agreement for military and technical cooperation (MTC) was signed, which provided a legal base needed for such cooperation. Four years later, in March and June 2005, Rosoboronexport and the Ministry for Defense of Venezuela signed major contracts for the supply of helicopter hardware into Venezuela.

The first supply of helicopters will be shipped towards the end of this year. In May, Rosoboronexport signed a contract to supply 100,000 Kalashnikovs of the latest modification to Caracas. Talks are under way for the supply of other types of armaments and equipment.

The emerging cooperation between the Venezuelan Navy and Russian shipbuilders seems therefore quite a logical trend against the background of above mentioned developments.

Russia is a recognized leader in the world shipbuilding industry, capable to produce combat vessels and auxiliary ships of all classes, develop all types of naval armaments and technical hardware. High standards of R&D in the shipbuilding technologies and design concepts, solid production base, high level of expertise of the personnel involved in that area, vast experience in conducting foreign economic activities in that field, enable Russia to maintain leadership among the world exporters of naval equipment and armaments.

More than 2,000 surface combat vessels of the main types have been supplied by Russia over the last half century, as well as submarines, patrol and rocket launching boats. In patrol boat supplies Russia has surpassed all major ship building nations of the world, including USA, UK, Germany and France.

Naval equipment has been gaining importance in the structure of Russia's export of armaments in recent years. The 2004 results show a share of 24% now occupied by the exports of naval equipment in the total armaments and equipment exports of Russia, which in that year totaled over $5.1 bn. It is expected that this year that share will be at least doubled.

In accordance with the decision of the Government of the Russian Federation, Rosoboronexport — the sole state specialized exporter of military products — has been appointed the Organizer of the Russian Display Section at Exponaval-2005. Under the auspices of Rosoboronexport, the Russian defense industry is represented by experts from Izhmash, as well as the Kazan and Rostov Helicopter Plants.

Posters, models and promotional booklets represent the Russian product range. It is arranged based on specific requirements of the Venezuelan Navy and regional fleets. Over 100 samples of naval equipment and armaments for the Navy are exhibited, some of which have no rivals in the world. The attention of experts is attracted by the latest modification of the Project 950 Amur submarine, which can now destroy targets not only at sea, but on shore as well. The visitors can see the Project 1410 Mirage patrol boat, featuring powerful weaponry, high speed and enhanced seagoing qualities achieved by a gas filled cavity created under the bottom of the boat. The Project 12061E Murena-E marine landing craft, which utilizes an aircushion principle, has also perfect combat characteristics. It is designed for carrying at a speed of 50 knots and landing on unprepared shores of tanks, wheeled vehicles, personnel, of the total weight exceeding 40 tonnes.

Apart from the Navy, combat missions in the shore areas can be accomplished by shore rocket mobile systems engaging naval ships, boats and marine landing crafts at the range of 7 to 130 km.

Exhibited on the Rosoboronexport stands are armaments and equipment for naval aviation and Marine Corps. In particular, the visitors can get acquainted with the SU-39 attack aircraft designed to destroy surface targets at sea in a radius of 700 km, apart from 24-hour troop support and destruction of enemy troops on the battlefield and in the rear of the hostile defense. Russian SU-35 has become a favorite in the tender for supply of fighters to the Brazilian Air Force in recent years. Visitors of the display can have a closer look at that multi-purpose aircraft, which is equipped with front horizontal tail unit and an engine thrust control system.

Russian Mi-26, Mi-35 and Mi-17 helicopters will soon be supplied to the Venezuela Armed Forces. Visitors to the Rosoboronexport stand have a chance to know more about these aircraft, as well as Kamov helicopters of anti-submarine defense.

Rosoboronexport offers not only finished products, but also cooperation in the field of shipbuilding based on Russian designs at shipyards of the Customer, as well as adaptation and installation of Russian armament systems on foreign built combat vessels.

Rosoboronexport views its participation in Exponaval'2005 as an important step in the development of military and technical cooperation with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and defining of new horizons for stepping up Russia's MTC with other Latin American countries.

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New developments are taking place in the world mainly bigger counrties are involved i.e US russia and China.A new market for the russians in this way they can fullfill the gap created by the Indians after heading towars the westeren counries for the MRAC's