It seems that the West has decided to use the political rift with Russia for a counter-offensive on the arms market, where recently Russian companies have emerged with visible successes. So in the course of last summer’s scandal when the UK authorities denied visas to 160 members of the Russian delegation before Farnborough-2014 Airshow, it was decided for Russia to be excluded from participating this time in the "land-based" DSEI-2015, which will be held in September in London. How will Russia respond? It seems that the answer to this question was already been given by the president of Russia Vladimir Putin. January 27, at the commission on military-technical cooperation with foreign states meeting he called for "not stopping" and "looking for new markets."
The call was picked up quite quickly. S.Shoigu paid a visit to our old friends in Latin America, and industry representatives demonstrated their achievements at an expo in India. Now they are preparing to further strengthen their presence in the markets of the Middle East at IDEX, which will be held February 22-26 in the UAE.
A “brigade” of 350 Russian industrial leaders and clerks headed by the Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov is heading to the Persian gulf shores to promote the interests of the domestic defense industry. The goal for the Russians will be to showcase their latest defense products to partners and potential customers and to signing new contracts.
"The Middle East is one of Russia’s priority markets where we hope not only to establish presence but also to continue an active expansion. IDEX – one of the biggest events, the largest exhibit space where Russia can present the best defense products in a modern format. Now we are bringing more than 700 products to UAE including a full-scale sample unit of self-propelled anti-tank system «Khrizantema-S» and an export version of Ratnik combat gear for the Russian army. These are the products in which our regional partners are showing increased interest. These will be world premieres,"- said Sergey Chemezov. – The Corporation is entering a major new market while expanding its presence in a strategically important region."
In addition to already mentioned «Khrizantema-S» and the export Ratnik gear, a Russian amphibious assault rifle capable of firing on land and under water, the newest T-90MS tank equipped with a computerized fire control system and an electromagnetic protection system, air defense systems: S-300VM, Pantsir-S1, Buk-M2E, and many other products will occupy 35,000 square meters of space. All guaranteed to get audience’s attention.
These audiences may be from Iraq, which is purchasing in a wide range of Russian military products including attack helicopters, armored vehicles and air defense systems, or from Egypt which here is actively developing military-technical cooperation with Moscow after General el-Sisi coming to power.
There are also no doubts in mutual interests between delegations from Russia and Jordan, which has long been developing cooperation with Russia. After the Kingdom declared a war on ISIS, the interests could come together even closer. Let’s remember that Amman has already signed a number of major arms contracts with Russia, the most significant of which being the one to develop and produce hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher RPG-32 Nashshab, jointly with Rostec’s company NPO Bazalt.
And, of course, the exhibition host – the UAE – is in the same list of countries, which has quite a history of relations with Russia. Just remember the fact that in difficult times for the Russian defense industry it was the UAE who became the first buyer of Pantsir-S1 air defense systems, which can be rightly called a world bestseller today.
Responding to a question about the current state of relations with the United Arab Emirates, Sergey Chemezov said that "with this country a mutually beneficial cooperation has been developed, which is based on mutual trust. Not only we supply finished products here; we are actively trying to work, as they say it, "on the spot". Today together with the UAE company "Tawazun" we are considering a possibility of organizing production of ammunition in the UAE and organizing supplies of artillery systems developed by NII Burevestnik from Nizhny Novgorod.
Speaking of civil projects, Sergey Chemezov particularly pointed to the success of such Russian companies as Russian Helicopters and KAMAZ. Since 2009, Russian-made helicopters for civilian use have been serviced in the Middle East region, where the total fleet of Russian-made helicopters exceeds 500 units (about 17%). Also, KAMAZ trucks have been supplied to the region for many years.
Let’s hope that the fruits of the Russian "openness" will result in new contracts. While details of the Russian plans are not yet disclosed, the collective mood of the Russian delegation gives hope that some good news will come next week from the sizzling-hot UAE to longing-for-the-spring-sun Moscow.