Russia continues to be one of the largest arms exporters in the world, with its foreign deliveries reaching another record of $13.2 billion in 2011, according to Mikhail Dmitriev, the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation. This is $3.2 billion more than in 2010 and almost four times higher than in 2001 when Russia managed to export weapons worth only $3.7 billion.
Traditionally, most of Russia’s defense exports go through the government-owned Rosoboronexport arms trade broker. In 2011 this company delivered arms worth $10.7 billion (81% of total exports). The other $2.5 billion were shipped by 21 other companies that are permitted to export defense products.
Last year Russian weapons were delivered to 65 foreign countries. Dmitriev says India continued to be the largest recipient, since 25% of all Russian arms exports went there. The other top clients were Algeria (15% of total exports), Venezuela and Vietnam (10% each).
About 50% of defense exports were aircraft and airborne weapons while land weapons took 25%, naval ships 10% and air defense systems 10%. The country’s portfolio of foreign defense orders now stands at more than $40 billion, said the government official. This is less than a year ago, when the order book peaked at $45 billion, but is higher than in 2009. Nevertheless, Dmitriev expects that Russia will continue to increase its arms exports to reach the level of $13.5 billion in 2012.