Russian weapon producers achieved success, probably not a great success, but a success all the same. DSA-2002, an exhibition of defense systems, is being held in Malaysia now. During the exhibition, Malaysian Defense Ministry and Russia’s concern Rosoboronexport signed a contract for the delivery of IGLA portable anti-aircraft missile systems to Malaysia.
Experts say that the Russian air defense systems were the main focus of the exhibition. The Sept.11 terror attacks were the cause of the increasing interest in air defense systems. Indeed, not a single country in the world is secured against terrorism from the air. Air defense systems are out-of-date in many countries of the world. For example, the Malaysian army still uses outdated Rapier air defense complexes and US-made Stingers. Therefore, Russian officials aiming at the promotion of Russia-made air defense complexes abroad can be optimistic.
At the same time, no positive comments can be said about other Russia-made weapons to be exported as well. PRAVDA.Ru has already reported that Russian figher planes are the most promising in this respect. Unfortunately, as of today, all tenders with Russia’s participation have brought no results for our country. It is perfectly clear, that such tenders mostly depend upon the politics. At the same time, economic motives still exist.
The matter is that figher planes, unlike portable anti-aircraft missile systems, require permanent technical maintenance, a regular supply of spare parts, etc. However, when it comes to service maintenance, Russian defense establishments face great problems. In addition, the fighters offered to foreign customers (Su-35 or Su-37) are not yet in large-scale production in Russia. This becomes another explanation for the failures of tenders, as it is really difficult to persuade clients of regular supplies at the very time when no large-scale production has in fact been launched.
Now, the Russian defense industry has a very complex task to solve. They have to start large-scale production using up-to-date techniques and improve the quality of the service, and this is against the background of insufficient financing. It is really a very hard task, but it is to be solved to retain the markets for weapons sales that had been originally developed.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/04/10/39500.html