On October, 27th Rosoboronexport CEO Anatoly Isaykin held a press conference for Russian and Moscow-based international journalists. The reason was the Rosoboronexport 15th anniversary to take place on November 4th - Russia's national holiday.
According to Isaykin the company made a substantial progress in defense export starting from a figure of around USD 2 billion in 2000 to hold a level of USD 13.2 billion in both 2013 and 2014.
Despite Western sanctions due to efforts of Rosoboronexport itself and a number of other Russian companies the national defense export will hit another record in 2015. Through its history Rosoboronexport concluded contracts with 116 countries on total amount of USD 115 billion. The existing portfolio exceeds USD 45 billion. With a lion’s share of the Air Force products as 41% teamed by 27% on the Army products, 15% on Air Defense systems and 13% on the Navy material. The geographical break-down makes the following figures: 42% of ROE export goes to Asian-Pacific, 37% to Middle East with 9% each to Latin America and CIS nations. Two largest export customers – India and China – teamed with 8 more nations make up 70-80% of the company revenue. Neither Western sanctions nor a Ukrainian ban on cooperation with Russia made a serious affect on the defense export contracts.
“Practically we found solutions to replace Ukrainian or other previously imported products, mainly from France and Italy, this or that way to be over schedule on all the existing deliveries”, mentioned said adding that sanctions hurt more those nations who implied them on Russia.
The top selling products are Sukhoi and MIG combat aircraft, Yak-130 combat trainer, Mil helicopters, submarines and surface combatants, all type of air defense, various armored vehicles, guided missiles among the others. Recently Rosoboronexport started offering complex security solutions on 10 different projects including border protection, megapolis security, mass meetings and refugees handling etc.
The company pays strong attention to establishing service centers and providing upgrade and after sales support running a spare parts catalogue with over 3 million items.
Talking about Middle East Isaykin claimed that all the Russia’s contracts with Syria have been within the international legal frame work but refused to disclose any details due to the bilateral agreement. He stressed that despite the so-called ‘Arab spring revolutions’ Rosoboronexport extended its cooperation with a number of Middle East countries including Iraq and Egypt. In case of official request from Egypt Rosoboronexport will be eager to offer a batch of Ka-52K helicopters as well as other Russian equipment being destined for Mistral-type LHD.
Mr. Isaykin has been confident that legal governments in the region will not allow Russian made weaponry (MANPADS in particular) to become spread over terrorists but he didn’t exclude that some limited numbers may be lost through combat operations.
He mentioned that both Saudi Arabia and UAE have been evaluating a variety of Russian weaponry but real contracts would require much more time. The Pantsyr –S1 SHORADs which is on strong demand by a long row of nations can be developed with financial support from UAE to be the first swallow of its kind.
Mr. Isaykin mentioned that a contract for long-range air defense to the Islamic Republic of Iran will be a long-term but successful story. The Iranian side will cancel a court appeal once a new contract is signed. The terms and specification of the ADS to be delivered could be settled shortly.
Talking about Asian nations Mr. Isaykin mentioned that the new “Make in India” policy opens new possibilities for the bilateral strategic partnership as Russia is going further in technology transfer to India than any other nation. He also confirmed that China became a maiden customer for the latest S-400 long-range air defense and that negotiations for a batch of Su-35 fighters are on the way. He didn’t specify any other prospect customers for S-400 as the system is among the top priorities for the Russian Army re-equipment plan.
Mr. Isaykin concluded that Rosoboronexport creation as a sole defense trade state mediator15 years ago was a wise decision killing competition among the Russian companies. Rosoboronexport succeeded to unite national efforts in defense export to secure Russia’s second place on the world market for many years.