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.

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Russian Defense Manufacturers More Independent From Foreign Suppliers

Workers of the JSC Uralvagonzavod assemble tanks on the production floor

 

Russian defense manufacturers are becoming more independent from foreign suppliers as the country’s import substitution plans are being implemented, President Vladimir Putin said Monday.

MOSCOW.   Import substitution became relevant for Russia as the West imposed several rounds of sanctions against Moscow, targeting Russia’s banking, energy and defense sectors.

In August, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that Russia would substitute all foreign components in domestically produced defense products by 2022. According to him, the substitution list includes 186 products from Ukraine and some 800 products from the EU and NATO.

“An import substitution plan is being implemented in the defense sector. Russian manufacturers are becoming more independent from the supply of imported components,” Putin said, opening a session of Russia’s Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation with Foreign States.

Meanwhile, Russia’s cooperation with foreign states in the military-technical field is on the rise, Putin said.

“Russia continues to increase cooperation with foreign states in the military-technical field. The portfolio of our companies’ orders exceeds $50 billion. We are fulfilling our obligations to foreign partners consistently, on time and with the required quality.”

The president added that the export plan for 2015 was 70 percent fulfilled by October 1. “It is fundamentally important to continue refilling the order book in the military-technical sphere, to expand cooperation, especially in the areas of joint production of military equipment and training of foreign specialists to maintain and repair this equipment.””Recently, competitiveness on the global market of weapons and military equipment has notably intensified, despite this sphere being competitive as it is. And our defense industry manufacturers are on the receiving end,” Putin said.

The Russian president said that national weapons makers “faced unscrupulous competitive practices of Western companies this year.”

Brothers in Arms: Despite Human Toll, US to Supply More Weapons to Saudis

FILE - In this file photo released Sept. 24, 2014 by the official Saudi Press Agency, Saudi pilots sits in the cockpit of a fighter jet as part of US-led coalition airstrikes on Islamic State militants and other targets in Syria, in Saudi Arabia

 

Turbulence in the Middle East presents an obvious challenge for the Obama Administration, seeking to satisfy all major players in a series of convoluted games. Washington continues to supply weapons to “crucial ally” Saudi Arabia, where coalition airstrikes on Yemen kill innocent people and humanitarian aid is blocked from entry.

President Obama and Saudi King Salman met Friday in the Oval Office. The details of their chat remain undisclosed, through various sources earlier hinted arms supplies would be on the table for discussion.Among possible candidates are Boeing’s GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions, according to Bloomberg. Approved for use in the Royal Saudi Air Force’s F-15s back in 2008, it’s likely they have been used for the bombardment of Yemen this year, which has reportedly claimed the lives of dozens of civilians. There are also numerous reports of the use of internationally banned cluster munition in the airstrikes, which began in March.

Reuters reported Wednesday a deal had nearly been reached for two frigates worth over $1 billion to the Saudis by Lockheed Martin Corp. The US recently approved a possible $5.4 billion sale of advanced Patriot missiles to Riyadh, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement in July, the same month US defense contractor Raytheon was awarded a $180 million contract to provide Saudi Arabia with guided air-to-ground missiles.

Defense buildup in Saudi Arabia, which became the world’s top arms importer this year, has considerably benefited several American weapons manufacturers. And the US relies on defense contractors to fill the void created by Pentagon budget constraints, as former US Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb told Sputnik, adding that the Saudis have increased orders for US missile defense systems out of fear that Iran will grow stronger militarily after nuclear sanctions are lifted.

Ahead of today’s meeting with King Salman, Barack Obama announced they planned to discuss Iran, Syria, the self-proclaimed Islamic State terror group, the global economy and energy issues, among others.

“I look forward to continuing to deepen our cooperation on issues like education and clean energy and science and climate change because His Majesty is interested, obviously, ultimately in making sure that his people, particularly young people, have prosperity and opportunity into the future,” Obama said. “And we share those hopes and those dreams for those young people, and I look forward to hearing his ideas on how we can be helpful.”

No mention of any arms sales.

As western countries profit from the sales of advanced weapons systems to Riyadh — including American and British warships to maintain a blockade on humanitarian aid to Yemen — they turn a blind eye to what many call Saudi war crimes and the obvious violation of human rights under Saudi leadership at home.

“The entire affair is a blatant breach of international law, and an assault on authentic democracy and self-determination,” Canadian writer and activist Stephen Gowans noted earlier this month.

On Monday, Amnesty International accused the Saudi-led, US-backed coalition of using internationally banned weapons in Yemen in a report that also lambasted the US for supplying the coalition with intelligence and material support, and the disastrous consequences for local populations the war perpetrates.

Russia’s ‘Secret Weapon of War’ Holds the Key to Armata’s Future

Armata main battle tank

 

As part of its massive rearmament program Russia is likely to focus major efforts on developing unmanned military systems, which could become its secret weapon, Blake Franko wrote in the National Interest.

“Conceptually, the idea of focusing on unmanned systems in Russia is not new. There has been significant development of these robotized systems in recent years,” the expert noted.

Russia’s new Armata combat vehicle is rumored to be on the way to become the world’s fully automated tank. And while this impressive piece of military hardware is getting there, the Russian Army is already operating robotic systems.One of them, dubbed Platform-M, was recently showcased in Crimea. The system is designed to carry out reconnaissance, patrol, cargo-carrying and combat missions. Trial tests of another robotic platform, capable of transforming into an array of useful units, ranging from a route clearance vehicle to electronic warfare system, are expected to start in late 2015.

“The drive for drones is rooted in Russia’s attempt to get past the Soviet model for a military, which famously coined the idea that quantity is its own quality,” Franko claimed.

The expert also noted that the United States and China are developing unmanned military systems, which could result in a robotic arms race.

“Skynet may yet be highly unlikely, but the ambiguity added to the already complicated modern battlefield will be enormous,” Franko stated.

Iraq Plans to Buy Weapons From Russia, Iran and China

Klimovsk specialized ammunition plant in operation

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will visit Moscow on May 21-23. Russia and Iraq are expected to discuss military and technical cooperation.
 

The Iraqi government plans to purchase weapons and military equipment from Russia, Iran and China within its plan to diversify arms supplying sources, Salim Shuki, an Iraqi lawmaker from the “Civilian” bloc, told Sputnik.”Iraq plans to diversify its arms supplying sources and considers buying arms from Russia, China and Iran. The issue has taken shape due to the United States’ delays in the implementation of the agreement on strategic security cooperation. The country also wants to strengthen its armed forces to fight against ISIL,” the lawmaker said.

Currently, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan is on official visit to Iraq. The two countries discuss bolstering cooperation in defense as well as way to counter terrorism and restore peace and security in the region.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will visit Moscow on May 21-23. Russia and Iraq are expected to discuss military and technical cooperation.

Earlier, Iraqi sources told Sputnik that the country may purchase Russian weaponry worth up to $3 billion in the near future.

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Nuke Deal Fallout: Iran Becomes Major Battleground for Arms Deals

A Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system is on display in an undisclosed location in Russia

With the framework for an agreement to lift international sanctions against Iran finally in place, Tehran is poised to become a battleground for international arms sales, which has neighboring Arab countries watching closely.

Since the P5+1 group of countries reached a political framework agreement with Iran over its nuclear program earlier this month, Russia has lifted its ban on weapons exports to Tehran and will supply a missile defense system.

The 2010 ban cancelled a 2007 contract to sell Iran the air-defense system.

The announcement of the impending Russian export brought disapproval from the United States, as well as the Gulf Cooperation Council, which said the decision was made too soon and perhaps to pave ways for future arms deals.

China has been equipping the Iranian military since the 1980s, but their sales have dropped since the turn of the millennium. Beijing is now looking to increase its annual trade with Iran from $52 billion to $60 billion, according to the Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce.

It was also announced that Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Iran sometime in the near future.

“Chinese arms sales to Iran fell off sharply around 2000,” said Richard Bitzinger, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore.

“I think this was in part Beijing trying to demonstrate to the world that it was not supporting a supposed terrorist state, to appease Israel, which has been an important if sporadic supplier of military technology to China; and also to perhaps to curry favor with conservative Gulf States.”

 

As for Moscow, it has shown its intent to intensify arms sales to Iran ahead of competition that could emerge after the nuclear agreement is signed. That competition, however, is not likely to come from the West, experts say.

Sources close to the Russian Defense Ministry believe Iran is unlikely to start buying Western and US weapons once the sanctions get lifted, said Yuri Barmin, a Russian political and military analyst.

“Tehran would be better off purchasing Russian arms and there are in fact existing contracts that need to be implemented first,” Barmin told Defense News. He also cited an assessment by the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade that stated Iran needs $11 billion to $13 billion in Russian arms.

“Iran has an ambitious program to rearm its Army, and Russia could become Tehran’s main arms supplier,” he said.

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Russia will be able to supply weapons to Libya after UN lifts arms embargo — diplomat

 

April 16,
Moscow woukld like to help the legitimate Libyan government

© EPA/STR

MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. Moscow will be able to supply weapons to Libya after the UN Security Council’s arms embargo is lifted, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who is the president’s special envoy to the Middle East and Africa, told reporters on Thursday.

“The issue will be discussed at the UN Security Council. The basic understanding – and we share this – is that there are legally elected authorities in Libya. Of course, we would like to really help Libya’s authorities to strengthen the state power bodies, army and law enforcement forces,” Bogdanov said.

“In this context, it is very important that the UN Security Council has an understanding and finds consensus on what should be done so that this aid does not fall into wrong hands,” Bogdanov said.

Speaking on whether Russia’s supplies are possible after the embargo is lifted, the diplomat said: “Yes, of course.” “Traditionally, we had very successful military and technical cooperation with Libya. We are ready to resume this cooperation but for this the common understanding in the UN Security Council is needed,” he said.