RUSSIA HAS INCREASED ITS WEAPON EXPORTS

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Mikhail Dmitriyev, chair of the committee for military-technical cooperation with foreign countries, plans to hold a press conference in the building of ITAR-TASS on February 13. He will tell journalists about the main results of weapons exports. As is seen, the situation in this sector is not bad. Mr. Dmitriyev stated in December 2002 that the sum of Russia’s export contracts would exceed $4.3 billion. Meanwhile, the Rosoboronexport general director stated on February 3, 2003 that his company exceeded this sum in 2002. the weekly Kommersant-Vlast noted that the total sum of weapon export revenues reached $4.7 billion last year. This is a record result in the post-Soviet period. Meanwhile, Russia falls behind the US and some other countries in this sector. For instance, last year the US exported weapons $13 billion worth (the world exports amounted to $21.3 billion).

Analysts note that Russia can increase weapon exports. The committee for military-technical cooperation with foreign countries said that Mikhail Dmitriyev signed an order on February 4, 2003 according to which the Splav state-owned scientific and industrial enterprise (Tula) and the Kvant enterprise (Veliky Novgorod) currently have the right to export military products.

The committee said that these enterprises cannot export up-to-date weapons. All they can do is to sell spare parts and auxiliary hardware, and offer technical services.

As is known, Splav produces the Grd, Smerch, and Uragan volley missile system. The enterprise has offered a program aimed at upgrading its complexes. For instance, an upgraded version of the Grad complex destroys targets at a distance of 40 kilometers (the range of fire of ordinary models is 24 kilometers). A test at an international arms show in Nizhny Tagil last year showed that the complex’s precision is very high. Representatives of the committee for military-technical cooperation said that many countries are interested in upgrading such weapons, which is why the committee has decided to permit the enterprise to realize this program without intermediaries.

Kvant is interested in modernizing countermeasures systems. Over ten foreign armies use products by this enterprise. Kvant and Splav have been added to the register of organizations, which have the right to carry out foreign economic activities without intermediaries. The committee said that before such a right was granted to the Pribor federal scientific and industrial center, the Salyut mechanical engineering enterprise, the Rubin central design bureau, and the Sukhoi aircraft military-industrial complex.

The committee said that President Putin singed a decree on September 16, 2002 according to which issues connected with granting the right to export spare parts and offer technical services to foreign customers are to be supervised by the committee for military-technical cooperation with foreign countries. This will make it possible to speed up the process of realization of foreign economic contracts.

At present there are six enterprises, which have been permitted to export spare parts and auxiliary products without intermediaries. In addition, there are seven enterprises, which have the right to export finished products. These are Rosoboronexport, the Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau (Kolomna), the Instrument-Making Design Bureau (Tula), the MiG aircraft corporation, the Rubin central design bureau, and the Antei concern. (As far as Antei is concerned, its license to export weapons and military hardware has expired, and a new structure – Almaz-Antei – is being created on its basis). In other words, the share of enterprises, which can export spare parts, simulators, auxiliary hardware (and also repair military hardware) in the structure of Russian weapon exports amounts to 5% to 7%. However, if the committee grants such a right to many Russian companies and prevents rivalry between them the share of such enterprises may go up to 30% (around $1 billion a year).

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