Russian arms exports may exceed $8.5 bn in 2008August 5th, 2008 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, Aug 5 (RIA Novosti) Russia’s military exports will exceed $8.5 billion in 2008, a senior government official said here Tuesday. Russia has doubled annual arms exports since 2000 to $7 billion last year, becoming the world’s second largest exporter of conventional arms after the US.
Military exports “are planned at $8.5 billion this year (2008), and I think we will fully meet the plan, and even exceed it,” Mikhail Dmitriyev, head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, told a news conference.
Russia exports weapons to about 80 countries. Among key buyers of Russian-made weaponry are China, India, Algeria, Venezuela, Iran, Malaysia and Serbia.
“Our foreign customers are queuing up for new Russian-made weaponry,” Dmitriyev said. “Among our main 10-15 customers are China, India, almost all Middle East countries, Algeria, Morocco and Venezuela.”
The most popular types of weaponry bought from Russia are Sukhoi and MiG fighters, air defence systems, helicopters, main battle tanks, armoured personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles.
Russia also maintains traditionally strong positions in sales of small arms, and anti-tank and air-defence missile systems.
Dmitriyev said Russia’s defence companies were overloaded with orders and urgently needed to increase capacity to meet existing orders and ensure future growth in arms exports.
“I think our defence industry can handle this situation,” he said.
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