Russia President Vladimir Putin completed his official visit to Malaysia. The main issue on the agenda of the visit was the signing of a contract to supply 18 Su-30 MKM fighters produced in Russia to Malaysia. The contact is valued at $900 million; thanks to the deal, Malaysia is rated third after China and India among countries purchasing Russian military technology.
It is no wonder that Russian military experts say the contract is a breakthrough. Vladimir Putin became the first Russian leader to pay an official visit to Malaysia during the 35-year bi-laterial relationship.
Russian officials say that Moscow and Kuala Lumpur have concluded long-term contracts for cooperation in the defense sphere. The Russian authorities hope that the example of Malaysia will be demonstrative for other neighboring countries wishing to improve the technical potential of the air force.
Within the framework of the concluded agreement, Malaysian pilots will be trained to operate Su-30 MKM in Russia. Also, according to the terms of the agreement Russia will help with opening of maintenance centers for repair of the fighters and supply with spare parts.
It is expected that battle fighters will remain the most popular kind of Russian military technology for at least the next 7 years. According to Experts of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, to the year 2010 Russia will be able to export battle planes valued at $8-9 billion. This is quite a sum as the total portfolio of Rosoboronexport, Russia's state arms corporation makes up $13.5 billion for the period up to 2012.
During the past five years, 50 per cent of Russia's military export made up aviation export; last year the aviation supplies fixed a record for foreign trade deals amount of 75 per cent. To compare: 14.8 per cent of the military export fell at conventional armaments, 6 per cent – at navy technique and 4 per cent – at air defense facilities. China and India still remained the largest importers of Russian military technique; Kuwait, Cyprus and Vietnam purchased 4, 3 and 1 per cent correspondingly.
The total export of Russia's military devices made up $4.8 billion in 2002 which rated Russia second after the USA regarding the volume of arms export.