Russian weapons exporter plans talks with Middle East countries during show in UAE

Most popular products for export to the Middle East and North Africa are Sukhoi Su-35 and Mikoyan MiG-29M/M2, Yakovlev Yak-130, as well as Russian attack and transport helicopters

MOSCOW, November 7. /TASS/. The exporter of Russian weapons, Rosoboronexport, plans to have negotiations with practically all Middle East countries during the Dubai Airshow due in the United Arab Emirates on November 8-12, head of the Russian delegation Mikhail Zavaliy told TASS on Saturday.

“Sure, we shall also have talks with counterparts from other regions as well, including Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa,” he said.

Most popular products for export to the Middle East and North Africa are Sukhoi Su-35 and Mikoyan MiG-29M/M2, Yakovlev Yak-130, as well as Russian attack and transport helicopters.

Besides, he said, some North African countries express interest in initial-training planes Yak-152.

Russia, UAE to Sign Contract on Unique Khrizantema-S Antitank System Sales

Khrizantema-S anti-tank missile system

Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are set to sign a contract on the delivery of Russia’s unique self-propelled antitank system Khrizantema-S; pre-contractual works are currently underway, according to the chief designer of the company which developed the weapons.

“Why has Khrizantema-S attracted the attention of our Emirati colleagues? It’s the world’s only antitank system capable of finding targets without optical visibility and destroying tanks of any type, including advanced models with dynamic armor,” explained Valery Kashin, the Kolomna Instrument Manufacturing Design Bureau’s chief designer.  The Bureau, located near Moscow, developed and manufactured the system.

The unique Russian self-propelled antitank system Khrizantema-S was one of the main exhibits at the international defense exhibition IDEX-2015 in February in Abu Dhabi and was then presented to the higher leadership of the UAE during the part of the program which was closed to the public.“They have expressed an interest in the system and the pre-contractual work is currently underway,” added Kashin.

The Khrizantema-S self-propelled anti-tank system is installed on the tracked chassis of the new BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle. This solution was enabled by unifying various components and assemblies to reduce the cost of production and subsequent operation of the machine, to improve its maneuverability, mobility, and ability to overcome floating obstacles.

The missile system can easily move at a speed of 45 kilometers per hour over rough terrain. On highways, it has a top speed of 70 kilometers per hour. It has the capacity to travel up to 600 kilometers without refueling. Importantly, the Khrizantema-S can transition incredibly fast from a marching to a combat state.

As soldiers joke, the Khrizantema can “bloom” in twenty seconds.

Today, Khrizantema-S is the world’s only anti-tank missile system capable of detecting and destroying targets without optical visibility in smoke, fog, and snow, as well as at any time of the day, thanks to its radar and optical laser channels. The simultaneous operation of two channels allows technicians to track two targets and launch rockets automatically.

The Khrizantema-S system is equipped with a unique radar system. The locator creates an invisible radio beam which is accurate to the millimeter. When the beam finds its target and the rocket launches, the strike is inevitable. Radio beam guidance is carried out without operator intervention.The 15 missiles in the system’s ammunition supply come in two varieties: antitank missiles with shaped-charge warheads or high-explosive antitank missiles. The system can destroy armored vehicles including tanks; engineering structures; low-flying, low-speed air targets; boats and tonnage ships; and enemy forces (in shelters and in the open field) at a distance of up to 6 km.

According to the Instrument Manufacturing Design Bureau’s estimates, a battery of three Khrizantema-S military vehicles is equipped to repel 14 attacking tanks, destroying at least 60% of the advancing company. A high-explosive warhead incorporated into the missile system will further expand its application.


Israel Enraged With US Over Advanced Arms Supplies to Arab States

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon raised concerns that the United States' move to supply various Gulf Arab states with arms as a counterweight to Iran could weaken Israel's own US-backed regional military dominance.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon raised concerns that the United States’ move to supply various Gulf Arab states with arms as a counterweight to Iran could weaken Israel’s own US-backed regional military dominance.

At the Herzliya security conference on Tuesday, Yaalon said Israel needs to maintain its “qualitative edge.”  The statements preceded scheduled talks with US General Martin Dempsey, where Israel hopes to secure increased military funding from the United States.

“Even if there are not now any hostile designs (among them) against us, as we know in the Middle East intentions are liable to change. The capability will without a doubt be there and this must be prepared for,” Yaalon said.

Yaalon questioned the regional reaction to the ongoing international negotiations concerning restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. A June 30 deadline is approaching for a final agreement.

“The Gulf states are arming themselves, mainly with Western, American weaponry, in the understanding they will need defensive capabilities to contend with the new Iran situation,” Yaalon said.

“This of course challenges us, too, and here there is enormous importance to preserving what is called the State of Israel’s ‘qualitative edge’ in the face of this regional arms race.”

The “qualitative military edge” (QME) is a concept solidified in US law, and serves as a standard of technological and tactical military advantages over Israel’s larger regional neighbors that the United States has committed to maintaining with its military aid to Israel. The US government is required by law to take this concept, this balance of military might, into account when planning arms sales to Gulf states.

Moreover, Israeli officials have expressed skepticism that the Iranian deal will even achieve its stated goal of preventing Tehran’s development of a nuclear weapon.

Speaking at the same conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed the entire region lacks confidence in the nuclear talks, though he did not name specific countries or their leaders in making the assertion. However, one of his closest confidants, Dore Gold, met just a few days earlier with Saudi Arabia to discuss Iran.

“I am often portrayed as the nuclear party pooper,” Netanyahu said. “But I speak with quite a few of our neighbors, more than you think, and I want to tell you that nobody in this region believes this deal will block Iran’s path to the bomb.”

Netanyahu, recognizing that neighbors in the region had a common fear of a nuclear Iran, warned that the talks would lead to a nuclear arms race, resulting in a Middle East “crisscrossed with nuclear trip wires as other states nuclearize.”

Israel’s statements come on the heels of a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in May, where the US announced that it was considering agreeing to use military force to defend Gulf States under threat — granting them major non-NATO ally status — and on creating a shared missile defense system.

In the wake of the sweeping territorial gains of the self-proclaimed Islamic State terror group starting last year, some US officials have said they are open to reconsidering the QME concept, as it may hinder the fight of certain states against IS militants.

In a Feb. 5 letter urging military aid to Jordan to support their fight against the group, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, including chairman Sen. John McCain R-Ariz. said they were committed to “the maintenance of a Qualitative Military Edge (QME) for Israel.”

But others questioned whether the concept would need to change with changing regional circumstances.

“Arming Jordan so that they’re in the best possible position to fight [IS] is in the best interest of Israel and the region,” Rep. Adam Smith, D-Calif, the committee’s ranking Democrat, told Al-Monitor. “[The QME policy] is something we might have to look at. I think certainly regarding Jordan, Saudi Arabia, we should review it.”


Top Arab Generals Plan Libyan Intervention; Will France & Italy Join?

 Representatives of the Arab League attend an emergency meeting to discuss the conflict in Libya, at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015.

As world leaders continue to grapple over how to resolve the chaos left in post-Qaddafi Libya, high-ranking military personnel from Arab countries will discuss the matter in Cairo on May 18. The talks could also include France and Italy, which played key roles in the coalition’s bombing campaign.


Since the ousting of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, the lack of a stable government has led to a power vacuum in Libya. That disorder has, in turn, exploded the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, as thousands reach the coastline through the nation’s unsecured borders to attempt unsafe passage to Europe.


The migrant crisis can arguably be blamed on coalition airstrikes which aided the fall of the Qaddafi’s government.


Next Monday, military leaders from Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Sudan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Libya, will meet to discuss strategies on how to stabilize the nation, according to an Arab League source speaking to Defense News.


Talks already conducted between Libyan National Army chief Maj. Gen. Khalifa Haftar, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Arab leaders have already led to arms sales from the UAE to the Libyan Army.


“Five Mi-35 Hind upgraded helicopters were delivered last month ahead of more Russian equipment, which include anti-tank and armor-piercing weapons and munitions,” the source said.


The meeting will focus on organizing Libyan tribal leaders to create unified support for a potential Arab intervention.


“A meeting to coordinate the different tribes in Libya would reinforce the credibility of an action by the Joint Arab Force in Libya,” Jean-Marc Rickli, assistant professor with the Department of Defence Studies at King’s College London, told Defense News.


That unification is seen as a crucial step in stabilizing Libya, and something that has been stressed in the past by the Egyptian government.




Migrants arrive at the port in the Tunisian town of Zarzis, some 50 kilometres west of the Libyan border, following their rescue by Tunisia’s coastguard and navy after their vessel overturned off Libya, on April 13, 2015



The May 18 meeting could also include officials representing France and Italy, despite the role of those countries in the coalition bombing which largely caused the crisis.


“France has been asked to supply with logistics and special forces while Italy has been called to provide naval support,” the Arab League source said.


That naval support is already largely in place, and could easily be used to support a ground operation.


The European Union – Italy, in particular – has already taken criticism for its treatment of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. Amnesty International blamed European leadership for its decision to halt a search and rescue operation after the capsizing of a migrant vessel off the coast of Tripoli.

It’s criticism like this that makes the Italian government eager to stabilize its neighbor across the sea.


“A Libya in convulsions of civil war is a source of instability for the whole North Africa and the Mediterranean, as it represents a geopolitical black hole which breeds the phenomenon of international crime trafficking of drugs, arms, and people, and religiously motivated terrorism,” Andrea Margelletti, president of the Center for International Studies in Rome, told Defense News.


“In addition, there are Italian economic interests in Libya that our government intends to protect, above all those related to the hydrocarbon sector.”


All parties have expressed concern over the growing influence of the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group, and the potential for its spread through a destabilized Libya. The group rose to power through the fall of the Saddam Hussein.



Migrants crowd and inflatable dinghy as rescue vassel Denaro of the Italian Coast Guard approaches them, off the Libyan coast, in the Mediterranean Sea, Wednesday, April 22, 2015


The leaders could also be encouraged to intervene in Libya based on what they see as a success in Yemen.


“With the operations in Yemen going quite well at the moment and with the movement from the first phase of operations to the second phase, now this could embolden the Arabs to move into Libya,” Rickli said.


“However, in Yemen it was known who were the assailants [and] where direct actions [can] be taken,” he added. “In Libya, the question is who could be labeled as the bad guys.”

Russia to Complete Upgrading BMP-3 Vehicles for UAE


The contract for the modernization of 135 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles supplied to the UAE will be fulfilled in summer. This statement was made by Rosoboronexport Deputy Head Igor Sevastyanov.

“The contract for the modernization of 135 BMP-3 vehicles is being fulfilled according to schedule. Almost half of the machines have already been delivered to the customer. We expect to complete the work in summer,” Mr. Sevastyanov said at the IDEX 2015 exhibition in Abu Dhabi (UAE), noting that the contract worth about $74 million was signed in February 2011.

It’s worth mentioning that the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle is a Soviet and Russian armored tracked vehicle designed for transporting military personnel to the front line and increasing mobility. The infantry fighting vehicle is characterized by enhanced fire power, mobility, protection and ergonomics resulting in higher combat efficiency.

Russia Signs Arms Deal With UAE to Supply AU-220M Automatic Turret Module


The new turret will be integrated with a new Emirati armored fighting vehicle, as Russia continues finding new partners for defense cooperation.

Russia will integrate the AU-220M, a 5-mm automatic turret with an armored vehicle built by the United Arab Emirates, following a memorandum signed by Russia’s Rosoboronexportprom and UAE’s Emirates Defense Technology (EDT) during the IDEX-2015 defense expo in Abu Dhabi.

The AU-220M module is designed for armored vehicles, both new and undergoing modernization. The naval version of the module is capable of hitting targets on land, air and sea, with a horizontal range of 12 kilometer and a vertical range of 8 kilometers.

The module will be integrated with an 8×8 platform produced by EDT, presumably the Enigma Armored Modular Fighting Vehicle (AMFV).

The AU-220M is manufactured by the Burevestnik Central Research Institute, part of the Uralvagonzavod corporation.

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Uralvagonzavod to Showcase New Developments in UAE


Russia’s Uralvagonzavod Scientific and Production Corporation will present its new developments in the field of special equipment at the IDEX 2015 international exhibition of arms and military equipment that will be held in Abu Dhabi on February 22-26. This was reported by the press service of Uralvagonzavod.

The company will showcase the upgraded T-90S tank representing current trends in the development of armored vehicles and adapted to the climatic conditions of the region. The demonstration program will be organized as a static display with presentation events giving an opportunity to get acquainted with combat and operational characteristics of the product.

“The company will present a new unmanned combat module armed with a 57mm automatic gun developed by JSC Burevestnik Central Research Institute. The module characterized by unique layout solutions and high power of ammunition is capable of destroying most of the existing armored facilities in a battlefield,” the press center informed.