Official: Russian arms sales to set new record

Por Venezuela Real - 5 de Agosto, 2008, 14:57, Categoría: Temas Militares

The Associated Press
Miami Herald
August 05. 2008

Russian arms sales are set to reach a new post-Soviet record this year, a top official said Tuesday.

Russia's weapons exports will exceed $8 billion this year, Russian news agencies quoted Mikhail Dmitriyev, head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, as saying.

Arms sales have grown at a quick pace, reaching a post-Soviet record of $7.5 billion last year and on track to surpass that for 2008.

According to the latest report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Russia accounted for a quarter of global arms sales in 2003-2007, coming a close second after the United States.

While China and India have been the leading customers, Russia recently also has struck big weapons deals with Venezuela, Algeria and Iran.

Dmitriyev on Tuesday confirmed that Russia completed the delivery of 24 Su-30 fighter jets to Venezuela.

But despite the steady increase in sales, Russia has suffered several recent, highly publicized failures in arms exports that were widely attributed to swelling production costs and the general inefficiency of the nation's weapons industries.

Russia demanded a revision of the contract price in a deal to refurbish a Soviet-era aircraft carrier for the Indian Navy, and difficult talks with the disgruntled Indian officials are still ongoing. It also has failed to fulfill China's order for 38 Il-76 transport planes and Il-78 tankers, leading to the suspension of the deal.

Earlier this year, Algeria also returned the MiG-29 fighter jets it bought from Russia, complaining of their poor quality.

Dmitriyev acknowledged that Russia's military industries have struggled to fulfill the earlier contracts.

"At present, we have a queue of foreign customers waiting for military products, foremost air defense systems under earlier contracts," Dmitriyev said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency

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