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Vietnam joins group of Russia's largest arms buyers - expert

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti) - Vietnam is turning into a major buyer of Russian armaments after India, with several contracts worth billions of U.S. dollars signed recently, a Russian expert said on Wednesday.

Russia's largest arms buyers are currently India, Algeria, China, and Vietnam.

Konstantin Makiyenko, deputy director of the Center for Strategies and Technologies Analysis said that Vietnam became Russia's biggest arms client in 2009, having ordered six Kilo-class Project 636 diesel-electric submarines worth $4 billion and eight Su-30MK2 Flanker-C multirole fighters worth $400 million.

Makiyenko also said last week Vietnam signed a new contract to purchase 12 Su-30MK2 fighters from Russia worth several billions of U.S. dollars.

Vietnam is expected to buy Russian armaments and military hardware worth $1 billion annually from 2011-2012 according to expert estimates, Makiyenko said.

The Project 636 Kilo-class submarine is thought to be one of the world's most silent submarines. It has been specifically designed for anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in relatively shallow waters.

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