Russia doubles int'l arms order portfolio to $30 bln in 2006
MOSCOW, February 27 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian defense industry portfolio of international orders for 2006 almost doubled over the previous year, increasing by $14 billion to $30 billion, the head of Russia's military and technical cooperation body said Tuesday.
Mikhail Dmitriyev said more than $20 billion involved contracts with the state arms export monopoly Rosoboronexport.
He said Russia received $8 billion in 2006 for foreign arms sales and the maintenance and upgrade of foreign-based military hardware.
He also said arms sales in 2007 could reach $8 billion, excluding maintenance and upgrade, adding that Russia cooperates in the military-technical sector with many countries.
"Their total number is about 80," he said.
Dmitriyev said Russia's main partners in military and technical cooperation are China and India, whose share in the overall order portfolio is 62%.
He also said that orders from Middle East and North African countries have been increasing over the past few years, amounting to 21% of the total volume of orders, or $1.4 billion, twice the 2005 figure.
Dmitriyev said supplies to Latin American countries grew from 0.5% to 7.7% of the total volume, reaching some $0.5 billion, with the main clients being Venezuela and Mexico.
The share of East European countries totaled 3.8%, with Greece being the traditional partner, he said.
Dmitriyev also focused on cooperation with Middle East countries.
"We have very serious projects with Saudi Arabia, and we hope they will be developed to their logical conclusion. We are interested in cooperation with that country in the military-technical sphere," he said.
He also said Russia gave Jordan a loan to buy military hardware in Russia.
"Relevant contracts have been concluded, and they are now being implemented. These contracts deal with both the maintenance and modernization of old military hardware Jordan is armed with, as well as with the supply of new items, including military transport aircraft," Dmitriyev said.
He said the United Arab Emirates has shown an interest in Russia's new S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile system.
"We are presently conducting technical consultations," Dmitriyev said. "The project is very interesting for both sides."
He added that the missile system might interest other nations as well.
He said Jordan recently placed orders for Russia's Pantsir short-range air defense system.
"This system is currently undergoing field tests in the country [Jordan] and its serial production will be launched soon," Dmitriyev said.
Pantsyr-S1 is a short-range, mobile air defense system, combining two 30mm anti-aircraft guns and six 57E6-E surface-to-air missiles.
Dmitriyev denied all allegations of military technology leaks from Russia
"All accusations to the effect that military products may be leaking from Russia are baseless," he said, adding that Russia pays special attention to portable surface-to-air missile systems.
He said Russia honors all its international obligations concerning non-proliferation and arms control regimes.
He also said that sanctions imposed by the United States on a number of Russian arms producers, including Rosoboronexport (for arms sales to Iran and Syria), are unjustified.
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