The 11 international exhibition of weapons and military equipment IDEX 2013 (IDEX 2013) held in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, once again demonstrated the steady interest of the countries of the Persian Gulf, the Near and Middle East, and North Africa to acquire high-tech systems armament and equipping of national armed forces.
Based on the results of the latest report of the Congressional Research Service, the Middle East region is still leading among importers of weapons and military equipment from the developing world. It should be noted that the Middle East has traditionally been the largest purchaser of military products (MPP). In the earlier period (2004 – 2007), it accounted for 47,9 percent of the total volume of agreements on the supply of STPs to developing countries (60,3 billion dollars). Asia in these years ranked second (41,6 percent or 57,2 billion dollars). In the 2008 – 2011 years, the Middle Eastern region again ranked first (56,2 percent or 116,6 billion dollars), the Asian continent remained in second place (29,1 percent or 60,3 billion dollars).
The USA is the largest exporter of armaments in the Middle East: in 2004 – 2007 they signed 30,3 per cent of agreements for the supply of MPPs for 16,1 billion dollars, and in 2008 – 2011 years - 78,9 per cent of agreements (almost 92 billion dollars). In the same period, the UK ranked second in the Middle East market (17,5 billion dollars or 26,5 percent), and Russia ranked third (16,3 billion dollars or 25 percent). However, in 2008 – 2011, our country came in second place by signing agreements for the supply of drug products to countries in the region in the amount of 6 billion dollars (5,2 percent), while France became the third (4 billion dollars), and the UK moved into fourth place (1,1 billion dollars).
The leader among the largest importers of weapons and military equipment of developing countries is also a representative of the Middle East region - Saudi Arabia. This country with 2004 to 2011 year concluded agreements for the supply of weapons in the amount of 75,7 billion dollars. In total, developing countries for the eight-year period (2004 – 2011) signed similar contracts for a total of 344,7 billion dollars, and the share of Riyadh accounted for 22 percent of these funds.
In the period of 2004 – 2007, India was the first place among developing countries - importers of defense products (25,3 billion dollars), and Saudi Arabia - the second (23,6 billion dollars). But in the next four years, the Saudis took the lead (52,1 billion dollars or 25,1 percent). In total, developing countries for the last four-year period under review (2008 – 2011) signed supply agreements for drug products with a total value of 207,3 billion dollars. India over the years has moved into second place (21,3 billion dollars or 10,3 percent).
The first 10 PPN importers in 2004 – 2007 accounted for 69,3 percent of all agreements concluded by developing countries, and in 2008 – 2011-m - 68,2 percent.
In 2011, a dozen of the leading importing countries in the developing world signed similar contracts with a total value of 58,9 billion dollars (82,4 percent of all last year’s agreements). Saudi Arabia was the first among them, concluding agreements for the supply of weapons worth 33,7 billion dollars. India is in second place (6,9 billion dollars), and the United Arab Emirates - the organizers of the IDEX-2013 exhibition - in third place (4,5 billion dollars). The top ten largest importers of the developing world in 2011 are six countries from the Middle East and North Africa region (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Egypt, Oman and Algeria) and four from Asia (India, Indonesia, China, Taiwan).
In the same 2011, Riyadh received defense products as part of realized supplies worth 2,8 billion dollars, taking the lead among importers in the developing world, and New Delhi took second place (2,7 billion dollars). The third is Islamabad (1,8 billion dollars). The supply of drug products to 10 of the largest importing countries in the developing world is estimated by US analysts at 17,1 billion dollars or 61,1 percent of the total. Seven of the top ten countries represent the Middle East and North Africa (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Syria), two - Asia (India, Pakistan), one - Latin America (Venezuela).
Distribution of supplies of drug products to developing countries over the period 2004 – 2011 is as follows: Saudi Arabia (24,8 billion dollars), India (18,2), China (12,7), Egypt (11,1), Pakistan (9,8), Israel (9,8), United Arab Emirates (8,5), Taiwan (7,2), Algeria (6,5).
If we consider only the results of arms supplies to developing countries in 2011, then the situation for the leading countries - importers of these weapons is as follows: Saudi Arabia (2,8 billion dollars), India (2,7), Pakistan (1,8), UAE (1,7), Venezuela ( 1,7), Algeria (1,5), Egypt (1,3), Iraq (1,3), Morocco (1,3), Syria (1,0).
The German defense concerns, which in 2012 more than doubled their arms exports to the countries of the region - Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have intensified their activities in the Gulf countries. Last year, the German defense industry received an official permit from Berlin for deliveries totaling 1,42 billion euros compared to 570 million euros a year earlier. Saudi Arabia remains the main importer of German armaments: in 2012, Germany approved deliveries to the kingdom worth 1,2 billion euros.
The success of domestic brands
The volumes of Russian supply of goods to the UAE in 2004 – 2011 were at the level of 0,5 billion dollars (200 millions in 2004 – 2007 and 300 millions in 2008 – 2011), while the United States during this period supplied the Emirates with weapons worth 2,6 billion dollars (600 million in 2004 – 2007-m and 2 billion in 2008-2011-m), and leading European countries (France, Germany, Great Britain and Italy) - in the amount of 4,6 billion dollars (4 billion in 2004 – 2007- m and 600 million in 2008 – 2011-m).
If we consider the nomenclature of anti-aircraft missiles delivered to the states of the Middle East region in 2004-2007, then the largest number of Russian products falls on anti-aircraft guided missiles (5160 units), Tanks and self-propelled artillery mounts (260), armored combat vehicles (260), supersonic combat aircraft (30), helicopters (30). In 2008-2011, the range of such deliveries to the region was as follows: anti-aircraft guided missiles (3480 units), tanks and self-propelled guns (50), armored combat vehicles (130), submarines (2), supersonic combat aircraft (30), others airplanes (20), helicopters (30), surface-to-surface missiles (50), anti-ship missiles (110).
In the UAE, Russian armaments are dominated by BMP-3 (the fleet of these vehicles is about 1000 units and requires upgrading) and the Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile system (ZRPK) (ordered by 50 units, delivery is scheduled for completion in 2013).
The developer of this ZRPK, the Tula Instrument Engineering Design Bureau (KBP), OJSC expects to demonstrate in two or three years a deeply modernized version of this complex. According to Deputy Director General of KBP Yuriy Khozyainov, in two or three years, a fundamentally new “Pantsir” should be created with increased detection range, interception and altitude. At the same time, he stressed: "While we do not disclose the characteristics of this complex, they are being worked out." According to Khozyainov, the Emirates, with whom the design bureau is currently implementing the contract for the supply of 50 ZRPK Pantsir-S1, are showing interest in the new development of the Tula enterprise. It is not excluded that the Emirati party may make a request for this complex under the option available in the existing agreement on “Shell-С1”.
In general, according to Rosoboronexport OJSC, around 20 countries are interested in acquiring the Pantsir-С1 ZRPK. The fulfillment of contracts for the supply of these complexes to two more countries from the regions of the Middle East and North Africa continues, the decision was made to purchase it by Brazil.
While many European states are conducting large-scale reductions in armored combat vehicle parks (BBMs) due to the absence of direct threats to their borders, they continue to increase and modernize their armored vehicles in the Middle East. In particular, the number of parks of main battle tanks (MBT) in some countries of the Middle East is such that it is impossible to ensure their technical level in accordance with the latest standards. In this regard, a number of companies offer these countries the best in terms of cost-effectiveness of the MBT modernization program.
Egypt continues to co-manufacture with the company General Dynamic Land Systems of М1А1 Abrams tanks at a tank factory in the suburbs of Cairo. Iraq receives from USA 140 ordered M1A1SA Abrams, Saudi Arabia is upgrading its fleet M1A2 to M1A2S. The UAE is armed with Leclerc tanks and military repair and recovery vehicles (BRAM) in the number of 436 units, recently received special upgrading kits from the French company Nexter to support the actions of these BBMs in urban operations.
In the Middle East, there is a large fleet of T-72М1 tanks manufactured by OAO NPK Uralvagonzavod (UVZ), and therefore the Russian manufacturer has developed and tested a modernization kit, which can improve armor protection, increase mobility and firepower of these machines. Along with this, the UVZ is promoting the newest version of the T-90CM tank to the region, which during IDAX-2013 took part in daily dynamic demonstration shows.
To expand the production of tank support vehicles (BMPT), Ural developers are considering the possibility of upgrading a certain part of the T-72 tank fleet in the Terminator BMPT. In particular, in September of the current year, Uralvagonzavod will be presenting the Terminator BMPT in a new version based on the upgraded T-2013 tank as part of the armament salon in Nizhny Tagil Russian Expo Arms 72. According to Oleg Sienko, General Director of UVZ, a modern version of this vehicle is being developed for modernized T-72 tanks. The new "Terminator" is close to the existing look, but has a different concept. With almost the same weapons he will have a smaller crew. As explained by the head of the UVZ, this approach was adopted on the recommendation of our potential buyers, who have large fleets of T-72 vehicles and limited funds.
"Terminator" is designed to combat the tanks and other armored vehicles of the enemy, as well as to repel attacks of helicopters and low-flying aircraft. It is equipped with missile launchers with a firing range of up to five kilometers. In addition, guns were installed on the BMPT to combat lightly armed targets and manpower of the enemy. Also, the machine is armed with two stabilized remote-controlled automatic grenade launchers AG-17D. In the ammunition "Terminator" included ammunition, unified for all models of combat vehicles of Russian production.
In principle, this BMPT will be used to combat the terrorist threat, since it can be used in urban settings when liquidating gangs in buildings and other structures.
The first export customer of “Terminator” was Kazakhstan, which was supplied with three BMPTs last year. Currently, the Kazakh Ministry of Defense is considering the possible additional purchase of these machines.
Having put the UAE armies in 90 for about a thousand BMP-3, the Russian side is counting on the modernization of this fleet of combat vehicles. Approximately 300 of them is in service with the National Guard, which decided to modernize the 135 BMP-3, while the ground forces are only considering the question of upgrading their 700 such machines. At present, the prototype of the upgraded BMP-3 in the Emirates is undergoing the final stage of testing. It implemented five modernization proposals from 17, which were developed and proposed by Abu Dhabi, the Russian side.
Alexey Losev, deputy general director of the Tractor Plants concern, said that the upgraded BMP-3 for the United Arab Emirates will be equipped with an air-conditioner, a power unit, automatic target tracking, a loading mechanism for anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), a smoke removal system and an electronic prompter. “As part of the contract, all the improvements have already been mounted on the first machine. Now we are waiting for the last wishes of the customer - the Emirates side. As soon as we eliminate the comments, the modernization of the remaining 134 machines will begin, ”said Losev. According to the terms of the contract signed in 2011, all modernization work must be completed in a year and nine months.
The Russian side also supplies ammunition to weapons systems previously purchased by the Emirates. During the work of the IDEX-2013 salon, a contract was signed with the Tula KBP for the purchase of ammunition for 472,7 million dirhams (about 130 million dollars). This agreement provides for the delivery of four thousand 100 caliber "Arkan" millimeters for the infantry fighting vehicles BMP-3 for the Emirate army. The contract is for three years, and in the first year the Emirates will receive one thousand shots, and the remaining three thousand shots in the remaining two years. Currently, KBP implements a long-term contract with the UAE for the supply of 10 thousands of “Arkan” controlled shots for BMP-3 with the rate of 650 shots per year. The 9М117М1-3 “Arkan” rocket included in the sending shots at any course shelling angles reliably hits M1A1, Merkava-3, T-2, and more secured systems, and the same code for the system, and the TX84 and more-secured systems that make it easier for you to use the same code to use the same code that has been used in the system’s keyboard and the T-1 and T-2, and more securely, and the same code, and the more effective code for the system that has been used to make it into the system. firing angles over 30 degrees.
The market of the Middle East and North Africa as one of the promising areas for the promotion of its products is considered by JSC Concern PVO Almaz-Antey. According to the head of the concern delegation at IDEX-2013, the high interest of manufacturers and exporters of weapons and military equipment from various countries to the salon in Abu Dhabi is due to the presence of a fairly steady demand for military products from the states of the Middle East region. This aspect takes into account Almaz-Antey, in the marketing activities of which great importance is attached to the promotion of products on the local market and the development of long-term cooperation with the region. On the basis of the modern high-tech products presented at the salon, it is possible to create a reliable echeloned system for protecting a country or an individual area from various types of air targets (threats), which makes the concern’s projects complex in nature.
Nevertheless, it remains to be regretted that, having a very wide range of high-tech products that meet the needs of the countries of the region, the concern did not make a special presentation for foreign journalists covering the salon and did not receive additional publications in leading foreign military-technical publications that would provide additional information support for the export component of the concern and to some extent retorted the actions of other players in this market.
Competitors are not asleep
Unlike Almaz-Antea, the American company Lockheed Martin on the first working day of the salon organized for journalists a vivid presentation of its new control system, communication, coordination and information support of the C4I air defense system Diamond Shield, which it promotes to the Middle East region. With this complex, ground, sea and air forces and air defense systems can be integrated into a single network. Information support of the system is carried out from many sources with the help of modern equipment, which minimizes reaction time and optimizes response to the threat, as well as planning operations and monitoring.
Built on technologies developed for the NORAD, US Air Force and a number of other customers, Diamond Shield has an open architecture that makes it possible to use electronic components on the market, as well as to modernize and implement various additional improvements. The system is able to integrate with civil air traffic control (ATC) schemes, process large data arrays and various scenarios, and is equipped with four-dimensional visualization techniques with decision-making algorithms. "Diamond Shield" can be integrated into the Lockheed Martin air defense systems, which use anti-aircraft guided missiles that hit air targets with a kinetic collision with a HIT (Hit-to-Kill) target.
According to the company's specialists, this is about the Patriot complexes with the PAC-3 MSE antimissiles, which, after two successful tests in the 2012, will soon go into mass production. These missiles began to be shipped to the UAE last year. In 2011, the Emirates signed a contract for the purchase of a missile defense system at the THAAD theater of operations, which can intercept ballistic targets in the extra-atmospheric portion of the flight path. THAAD and PAC-3 systems are ordered by Qatar, and Saudi Arabia is also interested in them. Kuwait made a request for the purchase of an air defense system PAC-3.
To provide air defense at lower altitudes, Lockheed Martin is developing a more compact weapon - the Extended Area Protection System (EAPS) protection system, which provides for the introduction of HTK technology into the counter-assault unguided missiles and CRAM (Counter Rockets and Mortars) mines.
The French shipbuilding company DCNS (Direction des Constructions Navales Services) presented at the cabin the head patrol ship of the coastal zone “L'Adroit” of the class “Gowind”. A feature of this show in Abu Dhabi is that the ship was built at its own expense for this company, which then transferred it to the French Navy for three years of operation for testing and evaluation. The Govind program can be considered an innovative form of cooperation between the French government and a private shipbuilding company. The ship was created at the expense of DCNS and more than 50 companies-subcontractors, 11 of which have supplied free-of-flight equipment and are counting on the success of the construction program of the OPV family. This will allow them to further participate in this project and realize a significant part of the equipment produced on the naval technology market.
According to the developers, over the three-year period, naval seamen will be able to fully appreciate the design and technological innovations implemented in the project of the Govind class ship, which will perform operational tasks for protecting fish resources and ensuring safety in the water area. At the same time, DCNS was able to promote this class on the world market and acquire very serious arguments in negotiations with potential buyers of naval equipment, in fact having a lead ship in the French Navy.
For successful promotion to the foreign market, Govind has a number of innovative technologies, including a bridge with a circular view, an inclined mast with sensors of a circular review, the possibility of hidden deployment of airborne sabotage boats in less than five minutes, ensuring the actions of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and robotized surface vehicles. All of these innovations are designed to optimize the actions of the maritime, sabotage and border shipborne border services. Ships of this class will also be equipped with information and control technologies developed by DCNS. These are, in particular, the satellite communication system SATCOM and other communication channels that enable Govinda to operate in the global maritime intelligence network. Acting remotely, he also has the ability to provide an adequate response day and night in the fight against asymmetrical threats. A ship of this type with a displacement of 1500 tons can be autonomously navigating for three weeks, has a cruising range of eight thousand nautical miles at a speed of 12 knots. The length of "L'Adrua" - 87 meters, maximum speed - 21 node, the design provides accommodation for a crew of 30 people and 30 passengers.
The French Navy intends to demonstrate the capabilities of the new ship in solving various tasks in the marine area - from constant round-the-clock surveillance to fighting pirates, conducting counter-terrorist operations, regulating fishing in the economic zone, intercepting drug trafficking, protecting the environment, carrying out humanitarian missions, conducting search and rescue , ensure safety at sea. The presence of two replaceable crews, replaced every four months, will allow organizing the operational use of the ship. Every year, L'Adrua will be at sea for at least 220 days.
Prospects for Rosoboronexport
As the IDEX-2013 show showed, the countries of the Gulf region, the Near and Middle East, and North Africa are interested in acquiring high-tech weapons systems for all types of armed forces. First of all, these are combat aircraft and helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, armored fighting vehicles, air defense systems, warships of various classes, rocket armament, and small arms. All this range of military equipment is available to enterprises of the Russian defense complex and is offered by Rosoboronexport to foreign customers to equip national armies.
If we talk about military-technical cooperation between Russia and the United Arab Emirates, it may be given additional impetus following the next meeting of the Eurasian-Russian intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation, which will be held in May this year in Moscow. During this meeting, the work over the past year will be summed up and the request of the Emirates for the provision of the latest military technology will be considered. According to the head of the Russian delegation at the IDEX-2013 arms salon, deputy director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation and co-chairman of the intergovernmental commission from the Russian side, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, within the framework of the commission’s work, the appeal of the Emirates side, voiced by the heir to the Russian national pavilion, will be considered Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He stressed that the United Arab Emirates wants not only to buy finished military products, but also to invest in its production. In addition, the Emirates side is interested in obtaining the latest military technologies that Russia has.