Monday, June 21, 2010

DTN News: Russia To Sky-Rocket Its Military Imports

Defense News: DTN News: Russia To Sky-Rocket Its Military Imports
DTN News: Russia To Sky-Rocket Its Military Imports
Source: DTN News / RT
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - June 21, 2010: Russia may spend more than €10 billion on weapons from Europe and Israel over the next 5 years.
Experts at a Moscow-based research institute predict Russians will see two €1.5 billion deals within the next couple of years.
The first will be a purchase of 4 Mistral-class warships, which are primarily helicopter carriers, from France. Prime Minister Putin negotiated the possible terms during his recent visit to the country.
The second deal will be 3,000 light-armoured LMV vehicles from an Italian firm, Iveco. They are used in hot spots to protect infantry from gunfire and bombs.
Other contracts are thought to be in the pipeline for the next 5 or 6 years, including a purchase of Israel air-space industry models of unmanned aircraft and a deal with another French firm for thermal imaging equipment, which in total will cost €10 billion.
Traditionally, Russia has been an exporter than rather an importer of weapons: currently the country is the second largest exporter of weapons in the world, covering 23% of the market. As for imports of arms, between 2005 and 2009, Russia was ranked as 80th in the world.
The reason for such change in tactics is an absence of its own technologies that would enable Russia to build the Mistral-class warships or, for example, complex military electronics. It will take years to develop such technologies, so Russian authorities decided to purchase it and, at the same time, maintain the high level of exports.

“This is absolutely normal,” Puslan Pukhov from the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies told RT. “After the end of the Cold War, all the countries of the world are not only exporting the weapons, but also importing them – like the US. There is no single country which is capable of producing good equipment for itself. Sometimes other countries produce excellent equipment and it is much cheaper to buy it than to develop it.”
All this is part of a broader plan by President Medvedev to upgrade 30% of the country’s arms by 2015

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