Russia Looks to Triple Arms Exports to Venezuela
Brazil’s Defesanet reports that Rusia’s Rosoboronexport expects to double or triple its defense industry contracts with Venezuela, which currently amount to around $4 billion for 24 SU-30MK fighters, 50 helicopters (Mi-17, Mi-35 Pirana attack, giant Mi-26 transport), 12 Tor-M1 anti-air missile sets, and 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles. Rosoboronexport official Sergei Ladiguin has reportedly referred to additional deals in the works for ships, aircraft & helicopters, missiles, and land forces equipment.
Partly as a response to their neighbor Venezuela’s buildup, and partly in response to aging equipment that is falling apart, Venezuela’s larger neighbor Brazil recently moved to increase its own annual defense budget from $3.5 billion to $5 billion. Russian equipment will be strong contenders for key Brazilian contracts as well, including 4+ generation fighters, transport/attack helicopters, and naval contracts.
Russia was well known for producing and exporting fast attack missile boats during the Cold War, and recent years have seen a renewed emphasis on naval exports. Rosoboronexport has reportedly been been pushing “Mirazh” patrol craft and Murena-E hovercraft in Latin American sales campaigns, and the country also makes the new Stereguschiy Class stealth corvettes.
Additional Readings & Sources
- El Universal via Defesanet (Oct 29/07) – Rusia espera duplicar o triplicar las ventas de armas a Venezuela
- Council on Hemispheric Affairs (March 20/07) – The Russian Arms Merchant raps on Latin America’s Door
- DID Spotlight – Venezuela Buying SU-30s, Helicopters, et. al. From Russia. Covers those deals and updates.
- DID (Nov 22/05) – F.I. Looks At Latin American Arms Market, Sees Venezuelan Buildup. Forecast International valued Venezuela’s military modernization program at up to $30.7 billion through 2012, which would make the country the leading arms buyer in the region through the rest of the decade.