Russia is included in the group of world’s largest arms exporters along with the United States, France, Germany and Great Britain. Russia makes 31 percent of world’s arms exports, whereas the USA’s share is 30 percent, according to the volumes of arms shipments from 2001 to 2005.
Experts of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) say, though, that Russia’s stable presence in the group of world’s leading arms exporters is explained with cheaper prices of Russian products. The income that Russia makes from such exports puts this country on the traditional third or fourth place.
An annual report from the above-mentioned institute says that Russia’s defense industry still depends on exports despite the ongoing increase of the defense spending. In 2001-2005 Russia presumably shipped its defense products to China and India – 43 and 25 percent respectively. The two countries will most likely remain the two largest defense markets for Russia during the forthcoming years.
The program of military and technical cooperation between Russia and India before 2010 includes about 200 projects. Its total cost is evaluated at about 18 billion dollars.
On October 18 2007 Russia and India signed an agreement on the development of the new fifth generation fighter jet. The project may become one of the biggest cooperation programs between the two countries.
Russian defense technologies have always received a great deal of attention from foreign specialists at international arms shows. Exhibition Defense&Security 2007 has recently ended in Bangkok, Thailand. Twenty delegations visited the Russian stand at the show. Spokespeople for foreign defense companies evinced great interest in the shoulder-carried anti-missile complex known as Igla-S. Volley-fire rocket systems Smerch and Grad still enjoy high ratings among foreign customers.
The exhibition showed that a number of Asian countries intend to purchase arms from Russia. Indonesia, for example plans to acquire Russian submarines, Malaysia is interested in Buk-M2T anti-missile complexes, aircraft, and coast guard boats.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov