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Feb. 15, 2005
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Russia Has Something To Offer
// To the Arab countries
arm exhibition
IDEX 2005 exhibition is taking place in Abu Dhabi. Viacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy head of the Federal Service on the military and technical cooperation with foreign countries, told Kommersant that Russia considers the countries of the Northern Africa and Middle East as promising from the point of view of volumes of the purchased armament.

The current exhibition is the biggest in the history of its existence. 905 companies from 50 countries take part in it. There are 40 Russian companies under the sign of Rosoboronexport. KamAZ, inspired by the success in Qatar, has a stand of its own. The factory is intended to come into the UAE market with its army all-wheel drive trucks. However, two days before the opening, while testing the track for run show one of the trucks got out of order. The winner of Paris-Dakar rally, who was in the drivers seat didnt suffer. But the truck did. Due to the unsuccessful lending after the jump over the obstacles the front axle run out of order. They failed to repair it, so only tow trucks participated in the show.

So, the 15 years cooperation of Russia and the UAE brought us some $1.5 billion. Russia got more than a billion of dollars for 600 infantry combat vehicles BMP-3. The cooperation can be treated both positive and negative. Thanks to the UAE Russia got a new jeep Tiger. The experts of GAZ factory invented the car for the UAE army some years ago [see Kommersant of March 23, 2001]. Its called Nimr in the UAE and Jordan. In Russia it has the name GAZ-5621 [Tiger]. It is accepted for service in the Russian Army. The first 50 jeeps should come to the troops of the Northern Caucasus military district.

Another example: while exploiting BMP-3, supplied to the UAE, they were dissatisfied with the air-conditioning system. They tried to modernize the vehicle without concordance with the producer. But it turned out that the vehicle lost its ability to float. To keep the balance they had to put sacks with sand on the armour. After that, that the UAE asked Russia to modernize the vehicle.

Yestrday, the representative of Rosoboronexport Nikolay Dimiduk commented on the Tula Design Office of the instrumentation that had made a deal on elaboration of antiaircraft artillery complex Pantsir-C1 [Shell]. Breaking up of the contract on the elaboration of the complex is harmful for Russia.-he said. In 2000 the UAE ministry of Defense let a contract with the Design Office of the instrumentation that cost $734 million. According to the contract, the design office shall elaborate and supply 50 Pantsirs by 2006. This contract is the biggest one that the design office had signed. The UAE prepaid $100 million. However, while the elaboration the design office found possibility to realize new engineering solution. The UAE was offered a new complex that took more time for elaboration. It agreed with the change of terms and was ready to pay extra money. As a result, according to the new terms the first complexes should be delivered next year. In three years the army will be supplied with them.

However, Moscow is planning to stick to the reached volume of sells of the Russian weapon selling it not only the UAE, but also the countries of the Middle East and the Northern Africa. Last year Morocco bought 112 antiaircraft rocket-cannon complex tunguska-M1 [$100 million]. Moscow is negotiating with Algeria that wants to buy 49 MiG-29 fighters, 18 Su-30MKI fighters, 80 training MiG-AT and antiaircraft defense C-300PMU-2. Russia also negotiates with Libya on the purchase of some Tu-22M3E and C-300PMU-2 and Buk M1-2. Besides, Russia has activated the negotiations with the countries of the Persian Gulf on the establishing a complex system of antiaircraft defense. The system is to cover Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrein and Quatar. The financing of the elaboration should be on principles of parity. Now Rosoboronexport offers to modernize Osa-AKM complexes that Jordan, Algeria, Syria and Libya have.

As Kommersant also learned Syria sold Iran 18 old Tunguska and bought 12 new Tunguska-M1 for $100 million. Yemen got a set of BMP-2D and tanks T-72. Now its getting MiG-29-CMT. Finally Oman appealed to Russia. As far as Kommersant is informed they want to buy the missile launcher of PG-10. Though Dzirkalin was at a loss to comment on the cooperation to Kommersant, he still said that Russia considers the countries of the Northern Africa and Middle East as promising from the point of view of volumes of the purchased armament.
Ivan Safronov, Abu Dhabi

All the Article in Russian as of Feb. 15, 2005

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