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.

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.


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.


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


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.

“Rostec” to showcase the newest weapons at LAAD-2015 exhibition


At the LAAD 2015 International Defense and Security Exhibition to be held from April 14 to 17 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Rosoboronexport, part of the Rostec State Corporation, will discuss prospects for expanding military-technical cooperation with Brazil and other Latin American countries.

Rosoboronexport’s delegation and Brazilian partners will discuss the issues of establishing licensed production facilities, joint R&D projects, the development of new models of weapons and military equipment, including for delivery to third countries.
Rosoboronexport expects that Latin American partners will take interest in the super agile Su-35 multipurpose fighter, Yak-130 combat training aircraft, Mi-35M attack/transport helicopter, Mi-17-type military transport helicopters, Mi-28NE and Ka-52 attack helicopters, Pantsir-S1 self-propelled anti-aircraft missile and gun system, Nebo-SVU radar. In the area of army materiel, the Russian automotive equipment – Tigr and Gorets-M armored vehicles, as well as KamAZ military trucks – have good export prospects in the region.

Russia ready to replace Thailand’s traditional weapons suppliers — PM

April 08, BANGKOK
Dmitry Medvedev said Russia can supply both tanks and other types of armaments

© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Karpov

BANGKOK, April 8. /TASS/. Russia is ready to supply its weapons to Thailand in exchange for agricultural output, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Nation media group on Wednesday.

“If you take such decisions, we’ll naturally be pleased to supply such hardware to you, even considering that Thailand has traditionally worked with western suppliers,” the Russian premier said in response to a question about the possibility of such exchanges.

Medvedev said Russian weapons are in no way inferior to armaments imported by Thailand.

“If necessary, we’ll do a lot, supplying both tanks and other types of armaments,” the Russian premier said, adding Russia is one of the largest weaponry exporters and is not ashamed of this fact.

Most countries in the world will always and in any conditions have their own armies after all, the Russian premier said.

“In any case, there must be sufficient armed forces so that you can be treated with respect,” Medvedev said.

When asked by a Thai journalist whether Russian weapons were cheaper than western armaments, Medvedev said: “Some types are surely cheaper.”

Washington to Allow NATO Members to Share US Weapons

Американские ракеты Patriot размещены в Польше

The US State Department and Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that NATO Allies are seeking mutual cost sharing both within and outside of NATO to maximize their defense budgets.


WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US State Department and Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced a plan to allow for the first time NATO members and organizations to share with each other US-acquired military equipment to maximize defense budgets, according to DSCA statement.“NATO Allies are seeking mutual cost sharing both within and outside of NATO to maximize their defense budgets,” DSCA said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said US authorities would consider purchases by a lead nation or international organization on behalf of others on a case by case basis during a two-year test period, with the possibility of making the new program permanent.

“Lessons learned during the two-year test period will inform the potential development of more permanent policies by the Departments of State and Defense to govern such transactions,” the statement read.

The US State Department will have to approve arms transfers outside the designated group, according to the statement.

The announcement came as NATO has increased its activities in Eastern Europe amid alleged Russian involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

As part of its “Readiness Action Plan,” NATO has increased the number of fighter jets patrolling the skies of the Baltics, sent more ships to European waters, and deployed ground troops to the Alliance’s eastern reaches for training and exercises, according to a statement on NATO’s website.

On Thursday, NATO defense ministers are scheduled to discuss the action plan, including the size of a new rapid deployment force “of several thousand ground troops supported by air, maritime and special forces able to deploy within a few days,” the NATO statement said.

NATO plans to have the force ready by 2016, according to the statement.

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