|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Apr 26, 2017 08:05 AM EDT|
(Photo : TASS) Russian-made aircraft engine being maintained.
Close to half of all of all the money made by Russia from its arms exports in 2016 wasn't derived from selling sophisticated surface-to-air missiles systems; modern main battle tanks or rugged assault rifles but came from a very surprising source -- aircraft engines and hardware.
These mundane but very essential components of any air force accounted for over 45 percent of the $15 billion Russia earned from all its arms exports in 2016, said Vladimir Drozhzhov, Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation (FSVTS), the government agency regulating military-technical cooperation issues under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defense.
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"As for the type of armaments and military equipment, the Russian aircraft hardware enjoys the greatest demand, as in the previous years, and makes up 45% of the entire export volume," said Drozhzhov.
The demand for Russian weapons has been quite stable in the past two years (2015 and 2016), he noted.
He said the annual volume of the export deliveries of Russian armaments and military hardware amounted to about $15 billion in 2016 "and we forecast about the same figures for the next year (2017)," Drozhzhov pointed out.
Because Russia is short of cash on account of crippling Western economic customers, "Russia is ready to offer foreign customers flexible schemes of settlements," he said.
Drozhzhov's remarks contradict statements made recently by Russian president Vladimir Putin who said Russia's weapons exports are growing, and this growth is largely due to the effective use of Russian weapons in Syria.
Putin also said interest in Russian weapons has been growing around the world, which can be proven by the increase in the volume of contracts.
"This is largely a result of the more effective use of our weapons in real combat conditions, including the anti-terrorist operation in Syria," said Putin.
"This opportunity for gaining a firmer foothold on the world market of armaments should not to be missed."
He revealed that Russian defense companies are almost completely loaded with orders from the Ministry of Defense so they have been facing difficulties in fulfilling orders related to military cooperation with other countries,
Putin, however, failed to mention that Russia's arms exports sales are growing at an insignificant rate. Russian arms exports have remained flat since 2014.
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