STOCKHOLM, January 31 (RIA Novosti) – Russian defense companies saw a large increase in arms sales in 2012 due to growing domestic procurement, an independent think tank said Friday.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released new data on international arms production, showing that while sales by companies in the United States, Canada and most West European countries continued to fall, arms sales by Russian firms increased by 28 percent.
Sales of arms and military services by the largest arms-producing companies totaled $395 billion in 2012, according to SIPRI’s annual list of the world’s 100 largest arms manufacturers.
The seven Russian companies that made it into the 2012 SIPRI Top 100, including Almaz-Antei, United Aircraft Corporation and Russian Helicopters, sold over $22 billion worth of weaponry.
“Russian arms companies continue to maintain high export levels, but the increase in estimated arms sales in 2012 mainly reflects large and growing domestic sales, as part of Russia’s $700 billion 2011–20 State Armaments Plan,” the institute said in a press release.
According to Sam Perlo-Freeman, Director of SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program, “the Russian arms industry is gradually re-emerging from the ruins of the Soviet industry.”
“Nonetheless, the industry is still plagued by outdated equipment, inefficient organization and widespread corruption, which will continue to limit Russia’s ability to compete technologically with the West,” he said.
Russia became the world’s second-largest arms exporter in 2011, generating $13.2 billion in revenues.
In 2012, Russia exported $15.2 billion worth of weaponry while adding Afghanistan, Ghana, Oman and Tanzania to a list of about 80 foreign customers.
India remains the leading purchaser of Russian arms, with China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Venezuela and countries of the Middle East also figuring among the main clients of the Russian defense industry.