Russian Defense Industry Exports Stabilizing at $6B/Year, But Structure May Change
Back in April 2005, DID noted that Russia’s 2004 arms exports had risen to $5.78 billion as part of a five-year pattern of successively larger exports since 2000. Those figures appear to be stable, as Russian arms trader Rosoboronexport says that it has collected a portfolio of orders that is estimated to be worth $12 billion though 2007-2008 “We have orders for approximately $12 billion to be fulfilled by 2007-2008.”
Meanwhile, Rosoboronexport itself is changing its structure to become a state-owned corporation. It also seems to be trying to position itself as the procurement hub for domestic and international procurement of Russian weapons – one involved in export orders, defense tenders, and even new designs.
With respect to specific areas of strength for Russian defense exports, the firm noted that:
“Rosoboronexport is closely following trends on the world arms market and adjusting its marketing policy, he said. [Chemezov] predicted growing demand in the next few years for air defense and electronic devices, guided anti-tank weapons, night vision equipment and fire control systems. In addition, the demand may grow for armaments for the land forces, especially tanks and armored vehicles, multi-role hardware on light chassis and other armaments. As to the naval hardware, major interest for the period until 2010 will be attracted by patrol boats displacing 20 to 200 tonnes. There is demand for this class of hardware on the markets of the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America. The demand for large and small landing craft, frigates, corvettes and submarines will remain, he said. Chemezov described the decline in demand for combat aircraft as temporary.
The demand for combat helicopters, cargo aircraft and helicopters remains high and contracts for the delivery of Il-76 aircraft to Jordan and China confirm this, he said. “The completion of the formation of a helicopter-making holding involving Rosoboronexport should boost our export potential in this sphere…”
Rosoboronexport Director General Sergei Chemezov also noted that even the Soviet Union had not received such sums in foreign currency, largely because weaponry was often transferred under long-term loans or free of charge. He also predicted that the volume of Russian arms exports would likely remain steady, and admitted that “In reality we have approached the maximum possible volume of arms exports considering the present state of the Russian defense industry.”
See Rosoboronexport’s web site for the complete release regarding Russia’s weapons sales, organization, ambitions, and projections.