Companies in the Russian defense industry are beginning 2016 with optimism: The contracts in their portfolio exceed $50 billion, and the military campaign in Syria has been excellent advertising for Russian armaments.
In an article published last week in Kommersant–Dengi magazine, writer Ivan Safronov analyzed the internal (economic) and external factors which will impact armament exports in the new year. He also predicted which countries will buy arms from Russia in 2016, and in which quantities.
Following are excerpts from Safronov’s article:
Adopting To The New Economic And Political Realities
“…According to the Federal Authority on Military Technical Cooperation (MTC), the export of Russian weapons has increased dramatically during the last 11 years, from $5 billion to $11.3 billion. However, even though Russia has arms contracts with some 60 countries, most of the revenue comes from five or six major players. Although the sales figures for 2015 has not been officially announced, we know that as of December 1, $11.6 billion worth of military equipment was exported. Existing contracts for future military sales total $57 billion. Continue reading
The emergence of China has prompted the U.S. to shift its focus to Asia Pacific under its “Asia Pivot” strategy. But unfazed China continues to expand its geopolitical influence and military power, challenging the United States’ position as the world’s superpower. Meanwhile, economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies have prompted Russia to move closer to Asian countries to alleviate the impact of sanctions. Continue reading
As the Russian president visits his EU ally Viktor Orban, prime minister of Hungary, we look at other leaders around the world who have embraced the divisive Vladimir Putin
Caracas is a major buyer of Russian weapons and has recognised breakaway pro-Russian territories such as Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia.
Moscow reciprocates by investing billions of dollars in Venezuelan oil projects.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, while in Shanghai, was given a sharp dressing-down by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a warning that Russia would not tolerate further Israeli attacks on Damascus and would respond.
Putin did not say how, but he did announce he had ordered the acceleration of highly advanced Russian weapons supplies to Syria. Continue reading
China has offered to help Russia rebuild its armed forces. China needs a strong ally and Russia needs help to become that kind of mighty ally. Currently China is more of a superpower than Russia. Chinese GDP is more than three times Russia’s and China is spending more than three times as much on defense as Russia (which is trying to maintain defense spending at 2.8 percent of GDP). Current Russian GDP is nearly $2 trillion, and 2.8 percent of that is $50 billion. The U.S. spends over three percent of a $15 trillion GDP on defense, but is reducing that a bit. Economy is destiny, as the Russians have learned. With recent spectacular economic growth in China, the Russians see the possibility of a return to the status of a major military power. At the moment China has twice as many troops and most of them have better weapons. But the cost fixing this appears to be more than the Russians can afford. China is offering to help by spending billions more on Russian weapons (despite the flagrant Chinese theft of Russian military tech). As distasteful as the situation is, the Russians really do need some help. The Russians are also becoming aware that they were not much of a superpower back in the Soviet days. Continue reading
After the “War in weeks” comment from Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei, could this be the beginning of the final stages? This leaves the only backer behind the Assad regime being Iran, possibly China. Once this proves too difficult for Iran to continue supporting, or the loss of some close and high ranking officers of the Assad regime, look for all hell to break loose. Assad will either have a choice to go all-out to keep his last grips on power or plan for early retirement. The former is more likely as evidenced in the continuing bloodshed of his own people and the increasingly brutal methods of doing so.
Russian naval vessels have unexpectedly departed the Syrian Mediterranean port of Tartus and Russian arms shipments to Syria have been suddenly discontinued. debkafile’s military sources reveal that those and other steps indicate that the Russians are rapidly drawing away from the Syrian arena to avoid getting caught up in the escalating hostilities expected to arise from military intervention by the US, Europe and a number of Arab states. Russian intelligence appears to have decided that this outside intervention is imminent and Moscow looks anxious to keep its distance for now.
According to our military and Russian sources, these drastic steps must have been personally ordered by President Vladimir Putin. He is believed to have acted over the objections of some of his army and naval chiefs. This would explain the mixed statements issuing from Moscow in recent days about the disposition of Russian personnel at the naval base in Tartus and Russian military personnel in Syria.
Wednesday, Aug. 22, Commander of the Russian Navy Vice Adm. Viktor Chirkov said that if the fighting in Syria reached Tartus, Moscow may decide to evacuate the base. He stressed that this decision would have to be taken on the authority of President Putin. He was the first Russian official to suggest the possibility of an evacuation.
A Russian source disclosed that all the remaining Russian personnel in Tartus have gathered on the floating shipyard, except for two officers on shore. This vessel and the remaining personnel are evidently packed up and ready to sail at any moment out of the Syrian port.
Full article: Russia is disengaging from Syria: Arms shipments stopped, warships exit Tartus (DEBKAfile)
MOSCOW — Russia said it intends to complete additional weapons deliveries to the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The Kremlin said Moscow would fulfill several unidentified defense contracts with Syria in 2012. Officials said Russian weapons exports to Damascus have not been banned by the United Nations.
“As of today there are no restrictions on the delivery of weapons, and we must fulfill our obligations,” Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said. “And this is what we are doing.”
Full article: Russia vows to continue arms deliveries to Syria: ‘no restrictions’ (World Tribune)