In recent years, Russian military exports have been growing steadily. The question arises: at the expense of what, and what are the future prospects of Russia against the background of increasing competition in India, as well as losses in the markets of the countries of North Africa and the Middle East?
Indeed, since 2001, Russia has steadily increased its arms exports. In particular, according to official data, in 2012, Russia exported weapons worth 15,2 billion dollars (absolute record for the post-Soviet period) against 13,5 billion dollars in 2011 (10,4 billion dollars 2010, 8,5 billion dollars in 2009, 8,35 billion in 2008 year, 7,5 billion dollars in 2007 year, 6,5 billion dollars 2006 year, 6,126 billion dollars in 2005 year, 5,778 billion dollars in 2004 year, 5,568 billion dollars in 2003 year, 4,8 billion dollars in 2002 year, 3,705 billion dollars in 2001 year, 3,68 billion dollars in 2000 year, XNUMX billion dollars in XNUMX year billion dollars in XNUMX year).
According to the general director of Rosoboronexport, Anatoly Isaykin, in 2012 the export structure became more balanced by the types of equipment supplied. The largest export volumes of military products accounted for aviation equipment, its share was 37%. At the same time, the export of land and military equipment of land forces increased to 27%. At the same time, the shares of naval equipment and air defense equipment increased to 18% and 15% of fulfilled contractual obligations, respectively. The export of other PVN samples was 4%. In general, the distribution by types of equipment in the structure of Russian exports is in line with global trends. Rosoboronexport supplies of military products in 2012 were made in 60 countries.
As a merit of Russia, it should be noted that high results in the 2012 year were achieved with almost complete loss of the Iranian market, complete loss of the Libyan market, disruption of part of supplies for Syria (one example is the repaired Mi-25 helicopters, which is only the tip of the iceberg in parts of possible short delivery weapons Syria, especially in the second half of 2012, as well as the actual ousting of Russia from the arms market in Saudi Arabia by the United States of America.
According to TSAMTO, taking into account the cessation of all current and future programs, the loss of profit of Russia on the Iranian market is about 13,5 billion dollars, on the Libyan market - about 4,5 billion dollars. Unrealized contracts with Saudi Arabia are estimated at 4,5 billion dollars. That is, only in these three countries, the loss of profit of Russia in the medium term is estimated at about 22,5 billion dollars. Of course, these figures are indicative, since not all promising programs, even with a favorable development of the situation, would ultimately lead to the conclusion of firm contracts (first of all, this concerns programs with Iran and Saudi Arabia). Nevertheless, they take into account the real volume of programs planned for implementation with these countries.
As for Iraq, in the perspective of the completion of the period of the American occupation of this country, Russia is just beginning to “enter” this market on a large scale. In recent years, Russia has supplied only military helicopters to this market (with the permission of the US administration). Now Iraq makes its own decisions about who to buy weapons from. The first “swallow” was the announced package agreement worth 4,2-4,5 billion dollars. These contracts have not yet entered into force, work on them continues. It is obvious that the United States will do everything possible to prevent the conclusion of Iraq’s deal with Russia.
How did Russia manage to achieve a very sharp increase in exports over the past two years, despite such large-scale losses?
At firstIt should be noted the expansion of the range of modern weapons offered for sale. Optimism inspires the high competitiveness of many samples of exported Russian POS.
Rosoboronexport associates the strengthening of its position with the prospective promotion of Su and MiG fighter jets, Yak-130 combat trainers, Mi and Ka helicopters, anti-aircraft missile systems and S-400 Triumph systems on the world market , S-300VM Antey-2500, Buk-M2E, Tor-M2E, Shell-S1, MANPADS Igla-S, frigates of project 11356 and Cheetah 3.9, submarines of project 636 and Amur-1650 ", boats" Firefly "and" Lightning ", modernized tanks T-90S, BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles and vehicles based on them, Tiger armored vehicles, and Kornet family ATGMs.
For reference: according to official data, in 2012, the year Rosoboronexport received and reviewed 1877 foreign customers. According to the results of this work, 1309 contract documents for the export of defense products were signed. Compared to 2011, the volume of contracts signed increased by more than 2,5 times. In 2012, the amount of new contracts for aviation equipment increased by 1,9, by ground forces for ATC - by 2,9, by means of air defense - by 2,1 times, by naval technology - by 7. In 2012, the countries of South-East Asia and the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 43% of the total supply of defense products, the region of the Middle East and North Africa - 23%, the region of South America –18%, CIS - 12%, countries of Africa south of the desert Sahara - 1%, in Europe and North America - 3%. Rosoboronexport CEO A.Isaykin presented this data at a press conference on the results of 2012.
SecondlyIn the face of the loss of large markets for Russian military products, primarily Iran and Libya, Rosoboronexport promptly resolves the issue of expanding the geography of Russian arms exports.
In particular, at present, the share of the CIS countries in the supply line of Rosoboronexport MPP is 12% (previously this figure was 5-6%). The increase in sales is due to the growth of cooperative ties.
The volume of military-technical cooperation with China significantly increased: last year China accounted for 12% of the total supply of Rosoboronexport, which exceeds the previous figures more than twice (5%).
Russia confidently entered the arms market in Latin America (Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico, Ecuador), strengthened its positions in several African countries (Uganda, Angola, Ghana, etc.). Discusses promising programs from South Africa.
Good prospects exist in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. The new customer was Mongolia. Algeria is a major importer of Russian arms in North Africa, in the Middle East region - Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates.
It should also be noted the expansion of cooperation with the United States and NATO as a whole as an organization for the supply of helicopter equipment, primarily for the Afghan army being formed.
It is noteworthy that during the exacerbation of the situation in Mali, the leadership of this country turned specifically to Rosoboronexport on the supply of small arms, although France assumed the brunt of responsibility for restoring order in Mali.
Undoubtedly, India will remain the largest market for Russian defense products in the foreseeable future. Relations with New Delhi in the sphere of military-technical cooperation are of particular importance for Moscow. India is the only country with which Russia has a long-term program for military-technical cooperation, designed for the 10-year period from 2011 to 2020. Cooperation in the sphere of military-technical cooperation of Russia and India has the character of a strategic partnership. Cooperation between Russia and Vietnam, with which in recent years a very large volume of contracts has been concluded, also goes to the same level of mutual relations.
ThirdlyRussia began to more actively use the practice of issuing state loans for the purchase of Russian weapons. Of course, this has a positive effect on the increase in exports of defense products. As an example, we can cite the recently adopted decision on the allocation of Bangladesh state credit worth 1 billion dollars for the purchase of Russian weapons.
Fourthly, a greater focus on the creation of joint ventures for the licensed production of Russian technology. This is beneficial to customers of the Russian military equipment as it allows you to create additional jobs and develop your own defense industry. Increasingly, Russia is moving to a higher level of cooperation - this is the joint development of advanced weapons and military equipment (one of the most prominent examples is the Brahmos cruise missile program with India).
Joint development of military hardware, the creation of joint centers for the repair, maintenance and promotion of Russian equipment to the markets of third countries, as well as technology transfer programs are the most promising areas of Russian cooperation with foreign countries. Only on the basis of 2012, about a dozen such agreements were concluded.
FifthlyThis is the revitalization of work on the modernization of military equipment previously supplied to foreign customers. Russian defense industry has developed a large number of proposals in this segment. This applies to all types of technology. In some segments of Russia, here it is necessary to wage a tough competition with Israel and a number of Eastern European countries, which enter the market with their proposals, without having the appropriate permission from the developer of the equipment.
At sixth, significantly increased the volume of contracts for service and repair of previously supplied equipment. Service of previously supplied equipment makes a significant contribution to the total volume of Russian military exports. This applies, among other things, to the countries of Eastern Europe, which are now members of NATO. The new authorities of Libya will come to this, since no one except Russia will be able to maintain the fleet of Soviet-Russian military-military vehicles made by Tripoli in combat condition (although the volume of these contracts is unlikely to be significant).
Seventh“Rosoboronexport” began to actively develop the space direction, first of all, we are talking about military and dual-purpose satellites, as well as services for their launching into orbit. Moreover, services for the removal of military satellites are also offered to Western countries.
Eighth, the work on the delivery of special weapons to special units of law enforcement agencies, including such work with Western countries, has intensified significantly.
The problem of "shortage" of contracts with countries in the region of North Africa and the Middle East
All of the above in aggregate made it possible to significantly increase the volume of exports to 2011-2012, and to provide a groundwork that allows us to count on a positive trend in the growth of exports of anti-virus equipment in the short term.
However, despite the above measures taken by Rosoboronexport, the losses incurred in the markets of a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa will not go unnoticed for Russia and may affect the slowdown in the dynamics of growth in the export of anti-terrorist equipment in the medium term.
Acceptable level of arms supplies to countries in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011-2012 it was possible to support mainly at the expense of previously concluded large contracts (up to the so-called “Arab Spring”). In particular, according to official data, the region of the Middle East and North Africa accounted for 23% of Russia's total military exports in 2012. Most of the Russian military exports in 2011-2012. in the countries of this region led to large arms shipments to Algeria (however, for the most part, the delivery programs have now been completed, that is, new large contracts must be signed with Algeria to support the dynamics of exports). Significant contribution to the total volume was also made by the supply of arms to Syria (until the actual blockade by Western countries of the transport routes of arms to the lawful authorities of Syria). Large programs in the last two years were implemented with Jordan, and planned arms supplies to Egypt continued. Military-technical cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait was carried out in somewhat smaller volumes. A significant contribution was also made by the supply of helicopters for the new army of Afghanistan (US funding). Helicopter shipments were also made to Iraq.
Short-term short-term deliveries to the countries of North Africa and the Middle East as a result of the loss of the Iranian and Libyan markets and the displacement of Russia from the Saudi Arabia’s market will be compensated by the growth rate of supplies to other regions of the world, including through the measures taken by Rosoboronexport, which were listed above.
A completely different situation may occur in the medium term, when even these measures may not be enough. For this period, the existing “shortage” of the portfolio of orders in North Africa and the Middle East can reduce the growth dynamics of Russian arms exports as a whole, since the overwhelming part of large promising programs with Iran, Libya and Saudi Arabia provided for the supply of weapons in the medium term.
It was said above that only in three countries (Iran, Libya and Saudi Arabia), the loss of profit of Russia is estimated by TSAMTO at 22,5 billion dollars. Such huge losses cannot be compensated for by strengthening positions in other regions (especially considering the limited budgets for the purchase of weapons in many countries and the recession in the global economy that has begun), which may affect Russian military exports in the medium term, since almost half of the current total portfolio of orders of Russia for arms exports (according to official data - about 46 billion dollars).
Therefore, in order to maintain a positive trend in the growth of arms exports in the medium and long term, Russia needs to ensure its “full-fledged” return to the markets of North Africa and the Middle East.
At the moment, it can be stated that as a result of Russia being squeezed out of the arms market, the countries of the Middle East and North Africa region have significantly weakened the geopolitical influence of the Russian Federation in such an important region of the world.
From the point of view of preserving Russia's geopolitical influence in the region, Syria is of particular importance. In this country, Western countries (first of all, the United States) have chosen a completely different tactic than in the case of Libya. There was direct aggression, here, without having achieved a consolidated solution in the UN Security Council, with the active assistance of the monarchist regimes of the Gulf countries, primarily Saudi Arabia, terrorist groups inside the country and foreign mercenaries are funded. The emphasis has been placed on depleting the regime of B. Asad, including due to the gradual destruction of the military infrastructure - military facilities, bases and depots. Moreover, the practice of double standards is obvious - condemning terrorism in their own countries, gangs are being encouraged to overthrow unwanted regimes in other countries.
Even before the aggression of the Western coalition against Libya, it was obvious that various types of weapons and military equipment, primarily MANPADS, RPGs and small arms, could be brought into the hands of terrorists (primarily MANPADS) from the plundered warehouses of the army of Gaddafi, which It was further confirmed by both military experts and at the level of the political leadership of the countries that participated in the aggression against Libya.
With Syria, the situation is much more dangerous due to the fact that there are significantly more weapons in the military stores in this country. In addition, it is more technologically advanced than in the case of Libya. In this regard, it would be more logical for the Western countries to stop financing this “gangster” orgy, since in the future it may become sideways for the Western countries themselves in terms of increasing terrorist danger.
Another aspect that directly affects the interests of Russia is the fact that Syria was supplied with weapons without the right to transfer them to third countries. In this regard, when the situation evolves according to the worst scenario, Russian “know-how”, for example, the Bastion PBRK technology, may fall into the hands of foreign intelligence services, which is absolutely not suitable for Russia in terms of ensuring its security.
Gangs, funded by Western countries and the monarchical regimes of the Gulf countries, have already largely destroyed the infrastructure in Syria (residential sector, industrial enterprises and military facilities). With the further dragging of the conflict, even if B.Asad remains in power, the country will not be able to repay loans, and this applies not only to the military-technical sphere, but also to other sectors of the economy.
If the legitimate authority is overthrown, chaos in the country will lead to an even more uncontrolled spread of arms into the hands of terrorist groups, with all the ensuing consequences. The armed opposition is too heterogeneous and the fundamental contradictions between the separate groups arise already now.
Among the largest programs that are currently implemented with Syria, it is worth mentioning the delivery of several divisions of the Buk-М2Е system (estimated, 18 combat vehicles) and 36 ZRPK Pantsir-С1, modernization of the OBT T-72 fleet to the level of T -72М1, delivery of two PBTB Bastion-P, a large batch of aircraft armament, repair of the fleet of MiG-23 fighters, modernization of several MiG-29С fighters, delivery of Igla-1 MANPADS as part of the Streletz launch modules, training equipment for helicopters Mi-17 and Mi-24 and a number of other programs.
Among the promising projects were discussed the possible purchase of diesel-electric submarines, MBT T-90С, various types of combat surface ships, a number of other weapons, as well as the modernization of the C-125 air defense system.
Currently, contracts for the supply of XG MUMNUMX / M24, 29 Yak-2UBS and other vehicles to 36 fighters are underway with Syria, but now they are suspended because of the actual blockade of transport routes by Western countries.
Blocking the supply of Russian weapons to the legitimate authorities of Syria from the point of view of international law is nonsense. Due to the fact that the UN Security Council’s embargo on arms supplies to Syria has not been announced, the question of the illegality of such a blocking should be put to the Russian leadership in the relevant international organizations, including the UN, since “by itself” this situation cannot be unlocked, especially in conditions of active arms supplies to the Syrian opposition by Western countries, which are indeed illegal and constitute a flagrant violation of the norms of both international law and the sovereignty of Syria. In this regard, blocking the supply of Russian weapons to the legitimate government of Syria can be described as “international piracy”.
The total amount of current and future projects (programs are considered that were under discussion) with Syria is estimated at about $ 3,5 billion dollars.
In the event of the loss of the Syrian market, the total “shortage” of potential deliveries of Russian weapons to the countries of the region will increase to 26 billion dollars (taking into account losses in Iran, Libya and Saudi Arabia).
From the point of view of ensuring its geopolitical influence in the region for Russia, the preservation of the item of material and technical support of the Russian Federation is of key importance. fleet in the Syrian port of Tartus. The MTO point in Tartus is the only reference point of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea.
With the loss of Tartus, the Russian naval grouping on a permanent basis in the Mediterranean Sea will become problematic (plans for such deployment have been much spoken about lately at the level of Russia's top leadership).
If, as a result, the actions of the armed opposition financed by foreign countries lead to the violent overthrow of the legitimate authorities in Syria, the next predicted step will be the US and Israeli military operations against Iran, which will complete the logical chain of change of power in the countries along the Libya-Syria-Iran axis.
In terms of Iran, Russia needs to solve two serious problems.
The first concerns the issue that could lead to additional costs for Russia as a result of joining the UN Security Council resolution imposing an arms embargo on Iran.
Six months later, after Russia refused to deliver the C-300 ZRS to Iran, Tehran filed a lawsuit to the Arbitration Court of Geneva on 13 on April 2011. The total amount of the claim of Iran is about 4 billion dollars. If Russia loses in court, the amount of losses in the sphere of military-technical cooperation with the countries of the region will increase to 30 billion dollars. And it will not be the loss of profit, but direct payments to the plaintiff in the amount of 4 billion dollars.
Here, all efforts, primarily through the Foreign Ministry, should be directed to Iran withdrawing its lawsuit. If this does not happen, it is necessary to prove in court that the C-300 systems were part of the nomenclature of weapons prohibited for export to Iran according to the UN Security Council resolution.
Despite the importance of solving this problem, a much more significant strategic task is the adoption of all preventive measures at the level of the leadership of Russia and the Russian Foreign Ministry to eliminate possible US and Israeli aggression against Iran under the pretext of the implementation of Tehran’s military nuclear program.
The United States, a number of other Western countries and Israel suspect Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the cover of a peaceful atomic program. For its part, Tehran states that its atomic program is aimed solely at meeting the country's electricity needs.
It is necessary to do everything possible to resolve this issue through diplomacy. Russia in this regard, taking into account trusting relations with Iran in the part of the “peaceful atom”, should play a key role in resolving the issue.
The military solution of the Iranian “nuclear problem” is unacceptable for Russia, since it brings the “conflict” zone closer to the borders of Russia. Iran has a land border with Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the Caspian Sea has direct access to Russia.
General assessment of the current position of Russia in the region
In the Middle East, Syria is currently the largest importer of Russian weapons. The three leaders in the import of Russian weapons in this region also include Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Russia has a good position in the market of Jordan. Relatively low-cost programs are carried out with Qatar and Kuwait (mainly for the repair of previously supplied equipment).
Cooperation with Iran is now continuing on those weapons systems that are not prohibited by the UN Security Council resolution. This is a very limited range of weapons and the value of these supplies is extremely small.
Turkey made only one-time deliveries of Kornet-E ATGM.
Active cooperation with Israel in the field of military-technical cooperation is excluded, since Tel Aviv is focused on arms purchases in the United States and Germany. In addition, Israel and Russia have diametrically opposed approaches to the issue of resolving the situation in Syria and Iran.
In Egypt, Russia has not lost anything. Contracts with this country remained in force, although their execution shifted somewhat in time.
Russia has a significant loss in terms of lost profits as a result of an unstable domestic political situation in the Yemen market.
With Tunisia, where power also changed, Russia did not carry out military-technical cooperation.
In terms of future prospects, it should be noted that the resumption of contacts with the new Libyan government is hardly possible, in any case, in the short term. The United States and Western countries, after normalizing the situation, will not allow Russia into this market. And he is very promising, since the new army will have to be reequipped almost anew, which implies the conclusion of large contracts. Russia can only rely on contracts for maintaining the previously supplied equipment in combat readiness (the amount of this equipment remaining in maintainable state has been significantly reduced as a result of the military operation against Tripoli of the countries of the Western coalition).
With Yemen, after normalizing the situation, it is quite possible to continue cooperation in the field of military-technical cooperation, although this country has a very limited military budget.
As a stable partner of Russia in the Middle East, Jordan can be considered.
Turkey, as a result of Ankara’s tough stance against Damascus, is unlikely to make a decision in the ongoing tender for the purchase of long-range systems worth several billion dollars in favor of Russia.
Algeria’s arms market, which is currently the only market for Russian weapons in North Africa, has been fiercely competitive. In particular, France, Germany and a number of other countries received large orders.
In the market of Morocco, Russia will be very problematic to build on the success achieved several years ago. This market was monopolized by the USA and the Netherlands.
In general, it can be stated that the two regional markets (Middle East and North Africa), which ranked second and third in the structure of the balance of military exports of the Russian Federation for the previous 8-summer period, are largely lost for Russia. This applies to the markets of Iran, Libya and Yemen. The United States actually squeezed out Russia from the market of Saudi Arabia and a number of other countries of the Persian Gulf, as well as from the market of Morocco. Syria’s market remains a big question. In addition, due to the exacerbation of the situation around Syria for political reasons, the prospective programs of Russia and Turkey are being questioned.
In this regard, Russia's success in the arms market of Iraq, which until recently was fully controlled by the United States, can be described as an important victory. Despite the fact that promising contracts with Iraq only to a small extent compensate for the losses of Russia in other countries of the Middle East and North Africa, their significance lies in the fact that they can be viewed as a work of Rosoboronexport from scratch with the countries of the region. This gives a chance that the same work “for the future” after the normalization of the situation can be continued with other countries of the Middle East and North Africa region.
One of the major promising programs could be a proposal with the Jordan to the countries of the Middle East and North Africa RPG-32 "Hashim".
The promotion of multiple rocket launchers to Kuwait and Qatar is possible, as well as the continuation of armored vehicles with these countries.
With Egypt, it is possible to continue work on helicopter-related topics and air defense systems.
Of course, it is necessary to do everything possible and impossible in order to preserve Syria in the sphere of Russia's geopolitical influence.
If the international aspect is able to resolve the issue of the Iranian “nuclear program”, the next logical step will be to intensify work, primarily through the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation, to lift the arms embargo to Tehran (although at the moment it seems highly unlikely), and in the future on the restoration of military-technical cooperation with Iran in full. Moreover, if it is hypothetically assumed that such a situation will become possible in the future, Russia will face tough competition with China in the Iranian market.
In addition, in the perspective of the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, it is necessary to significantly expand work with this country. Moreover, in order to ensure geopolitical interests of Russia, it is necessary to step up work with Kabul in terms of free transfer of weapons or practice preferential supplies of military hardware, taking into account the extremely limited military budget of this country and, at the same time, its key geographical position in terms of ensuring Russia's security from the south.
In general, to ensure the geopolitical interests of Russia in the region of the Middle East and North Africa, it is necessary to maintain in its sphere of influence, at least, Syria and Algeria (including as major customers of Russian weapons). In the future, it will be quite possible for Russia to regain its positions in the markets of Iran (in the event of a settlement of the Iranian “nuclear program”), Iraq, to strengthen its positions in Afghanistan. It is possible to expand cooperation in the future with Jordan, Egypt and Yemen.
A significant expansion of the already existing level of cooperation in the sphere of military-technical cooperation with the monarchies of the Gulf countries is hardly possible. This is due to the squeezing of Russia from these markets by the United States, as well as the policy adopted by the monarchical regimes of the Persian Gulf countries to overthrow the B. Assad regime in Syria, primarily from the leadership of Saudi Arabia, including through the financing of armed formations that lead full-scale fighting against the Syrian government forces. Most likely, cooperation with these countries as a whole will remain at the current level. Nevertheless, the expansion of Russia's presence in the markets of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait is quite possible.
Turkey may become a big problem in the future for Russia, which is actively trying to involve Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in the sphere of its geopolitical interests, expanding cooperation with these countries in the military-technical sphere.
In general, it should be noted that Russia needs to significantly intensify its work in the markets of the countries of North Africa and the Middle East to ensure both its geopolitical interests and the restoration of positions in the arms markets of these countries. Without a full-fledged return of Russia to these markets, the growth of Russian military exports in the medium term is hardly possible.