Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rosoboronexport eyes new contracts with foreign customers at MAKS 2009

The Rosoboronexport State Corporation intends to sign a number of new contracts on delivering Russian-made arms and materiel to foreign partners in the near future. Corresponding negotiations will be held in the course of the MAKS 2009 air show to be held in Zhukovsky outside Moscow from 18 until 23 August, 2009.

MAKS 2009 is organised by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, while the Rostekhnologii State Corporation is the general partner. The Rosoboronexport State Corporation will perform a special mission of the general sponsor of the MAKS 2009 air show.

Despite a certain impact of the global financial crunch on every sphere of interstate relations, including defence cooperation, we are sure that meetings to be held at MAKS 2009 will yield specific future results in the form of contracts, i.e. cold hard cash for national defence contractors, Rosoboronexport Deputy Director General and head of the delegation Alexander Mikheev said. We expect to sign corresponding contracts with a range of Latin American and Arab states in the very near future.

At the present time India, Venezuela, Algeria, and Malaysia are the heaviest buyers of Russian combat aircraft and special Air Force equipment (in excess of US $2 billions worth of hardware were exported to these countries in 2008). Indonesia, Libya, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile and other Russias partners in defence cooperation pay much attention to re-equipping their respective national air forces as well. According to Rosoboronexport they have expressed considerable interest in such cutting-edge Russian combat aircraft as Su-35, Su-30MKI (MKM), Su-30MK2, MiG-35, MiG-29K (KUB), MiG-29SMT, MiG-29UBT, Yak-130 and MiG-AT combat trainers, various Mil- and Kamov-family helicopters and air defence systems.

Most export versions of aircraft of interest to potential foreign customers will be exhibited at MAKS 2009 as real prototypes: participants in and guests of the air show will be able to both touch these stunning aircraft and watch their aerobatics. Russian enterprises will also display simulators of certain aircraft for guests of the air show to appreciate their flight performance and familiarise themselves with their armament, first and foremost, precision-guided missiles and bombs.

MiG-35 and Su-35 4++ generation multi-role fighters are the best products the Russian MiG Aircraft Corporation and the Sukhoi Company have to offer to foreign customers respectively. These combat aircraft feature outstanding aerodynamic characteristics, state-of-the-art phased array radars and advanced guided munitions.

The Su-35 super-manoeuvrable fighter is fitted with Russian-made avionics only.

Experts have recently shown a constant interest in the new Russian Yak-130 combat trainer, which is to complete the tests and enter service with the Russian Air Force later this year. The aircraft will be employed to train pilots for Su- and MiG-family fighters, including cutting-edge Su-35s and MiG-35s, as well as for fifth-generation fighters in the future. Given excellent flight characteristics, the electrical fly-by-wire system, and the advanced glazed cockpit, the Yak-130 ensures efficient and safe basic training of pilot trainees, as well as advanced training of manoeuvre unit pilots. In addition to that the Yak-130 can carry out air strikes in the course of low-intensity conflicts.

MAKS 2009 will exhibit almost the entire range of Russian helicopters. Mi-family helicopters will include Mi-35 and Mi-35P combat transports (both baseline versions, and modifications, equipped with an infrared thermal imaging system and avionics), Mi-171Sh and Mi-17N troop carriers, and the Mi-26T, the worlds heaviest-lift transport helicopter.

The Zhukovsky air show will host almost all cutting-edge Kamov-family rotary-wing aircraft, including the Ka-50 Hokum attack helicopter and its modifications, the Ka-31 AEW helicopter, the Ka-28 shipborne ASW helicopter, the Ka-27PS shipborne search-and-rescue helicopter, and Ka-32 and Ka-60 multi-role helicopters.

Experts will also be able to get extensive information on Russian Ka-226, Ansat, Aktai, and Mi-34S light multi-role helicopters.

Russia will also have on display the following air defence systems: the S-300VM (Antei-2500) and S-300 PMU2 Favorit mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, capable of killing stealth-technology targets; the Buk-M2E multi-channel medium-range SAM systems, capable of simultaneously engaging 24 targets, approaching from any direction, at a range of up to 50 km; the cutting-edge Tor-M2E SAM system, capable of simultaneously destroying both air-to-surface precision-guided munitions (PGM), and their platforms; the Igla-S man-portable air defence system (MANPADS), the Nebo-SVU mobile radar, etc.

Experts will undoubtedly be interested in modern Russian aircraft and helicopter engines, avionics laboratory test equipment, flight data acquisition, processing and analysis systems, and training aids, which reduce flight crew training costs several-fold, cut down the training period 1.5- to two-fold, and husband service lives of expensive aircraft.

Among other things, meetings and negotiations to be held at MAKS 2009 will focus on building airfields, establishing service centres and an integrated after-sale services system, as well as licensed-production and assembly facilities.

Another key item on the upcoming agenda covers the problem of unauthorised modernisation of Russian- and Soviet-made fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. For instance, a number of East European entities, lacking special training, are engaged in this business, which results in frequent flight accidents. The Russian side is obviously unsatisfied with the situation at hand and intends to hold corresponding negotiations. Rosoboronexport believes that aircraft should be upgraded by their designers, who have the required technologies and skills. Flight safety should not be jeopardised by either aircraft manufacturers, or operators.

Due attention will also be paid to discussing proposal, envisioning payments for arms exports and services rendered in the form of counter purchases of corresponding national products or resource development quotas. The circumstances being what they are, such mutual exchanges seem to be attractive for certain states.

I am sure that thorough preparations for upcoming meetings and negotiations and our efforts in arranging lucrative deals for our partners will enable us to successfully discharge every task, planned for the MAKS 2009 air show, head of the Rosoboronexport delegation Alexander Mikheev emphasised.


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