Very interesting report about Russian arms export in 2012-2013 from Moscow Defense Brief
Identified Russian Arms Export and Import Contracts and Deliveries in 2012
Russian arms exports reached a record 15.16bn dollars in 2012, up 1800m dollars on last year’s figure It indicates a third consecutive year of real growth for Russian arms exports. The rouble fell 5.7 per cent against the dollar in 2012 (from 29.39 to 31.09 roubles to the dollar), so the rouble-denominated revenues of the Russian arms exporters have increased once again, both in nominal and inflation-adjusted terms.
The size of the Russian arms exports portfolio as of the end of 2012 was 46 bn dollars, of which Rosoboronexport, the state-owned arms exports intermediary, accounted for 36bn. 1 Rosoboronexport says 17.6bn dollars worth of new contracts were signed in 2012.
Below you will find a summary of the key Russian arms deals we have managed to identify based on open-source information.
Based on open-source information we have identified 7.9bn dollars worth of deliveries, which accounts for 56 per cent of the 14bn dollar figure announced by the government. Another 1bn dollars or so out of these 15bn can be attributed to deliveries of spare parts, instruments and components.
Just like in previous years, aerospace hardware was by far the biggest segment of Russian arms exports in 2012 — 50 per cent of identified deliveries. Naval equipment came second at 30 per cent; air defense and ground weaponry were third and fourth, at 14 and 6 per cent, respectively. The real proportion of ground weaponry (as opposed to the proportion of deliveries we have managed to identify) is probably higher than that, owing to large unidentified transfers to the CIS countries, Venezuela and Algeria.
In terms of export destinations, India remained the largest buyer of Russian weapons (40 per cent), followed by Algeria (14 per cent), Vietnam (10 per cent), China (5 per cent) and Azerbaijan (5 per cent). The Top 10 also includes Venezuela (5 per cent), Syria (4 per cent), Afghanistan (4 per cent, with Afghan contracts being financed by the United States), the UAE and Burma (3 per cent apiece). The CIS countries accounted for about 500m dollars worth of Russian arms exports (4.2 per cent), which represents a significant growth on 2011.
Breakdown by weapons category
Aerospace. We estimate that Russia made 3.93bn dollars worth of deliveries in the aerospace segment in 2012, down from 4.82bn in 2011. 3 The Su-30 family of fighter jets was the biggest-selling product within that category, with an estimated 34 fighters worth 1.711bn dollars delivered in 2012. That includes 16 Su-30MKI fighters shipped to India (6 finished fighters and 10 assembly kits); eight Su-30MKI(A) to Algeria; eight Su-30MK2V to Vietnam; and two Su-30MK2 to Uganda.
Russia also made large deliveries of new and upgraded MiG fighters in 2012, worth an estimated 500m dollars. This is a very respectable if not record-breaking figure. It was achieved mostly thanks to the transfer of the first four MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based fighters to India under a 200m-dollar contract for 29 aircraft signed in 2010.
Russian contractors also made deliveries under an Indian contract for upgrading 63 MiG-29 fighters to the MiG-29UPG specification; three aircraft were transferred to the customer in 2012. 6 RSK MiG delivered a further six MiG-29B/SE fighters to Burma 7 , and completed the upgrade of Peruvian MiG-29 jets to MiG-29SE spec. 8 We also believe that at least three MiG-23MLD fighters were repaired in 2012 under a Syrian contract.
One of the key developments of 2012 was the resumption of exports of Russian aircraft to China. Although the contract was for just seven Il-76MD transports from the Russian Air Force’s surplus, the signing of the deal signals a new phase in Russian-Chinese arms trade. 10
There is some information available about the repairs of aircraft for foreign customers at Russian facilities, including at least one Kazakh An-72 transport, and three Indian Il-76MD aircraft.
We have managed to identify a large proportion of helicopter deliveries in 2012. We estimate those deliveries to have been worth 1.444bn dollars, thanks mainly to large orders for Mi-17V-5 transports placed by India, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and China. India took delivery of 27 helicopters (worth 440m dollars), Azerbaijan 16, Afghanistan 12 (214m dollars), and China eight. Helicopters of the Mi-8/17 series were also supplied to Egypt (at least six), Indonesia (six), Mexico (three) and South Sudan (two).
New Mi-24/35 attack helicopters were delivered in 2012 to Azerbaijan (12 Mi-35Ms) 12 and Brazil (six Mi-35Ms). Burma received four Mi-35P helicopters from Russian army surplus. At least four Syrian Mi-25 helicopters and six Peruvian helicopters of the same model underwent repairs at Russian facilities.
For the sixth year running China was the only buyer of finished aircraft engines under stand-alone contracts. In 2012 Beijing took delivery of 24 D-30KP-2 turbofan engines (worth 65m dollars) 14 and an estimated 60-plus AL-31F/FN turbofan engines (220m dollars), which are used on the J-10, J-11 and Su-27/30 fighters.
Air Defense. Identified deliveries of air defense weaponry remained more or less flat at 1.08bn dollars. The most notable event of the year in this segment was the completion of deliveries under an Algerian contract for two batteries of the S-300PMU2 SAM systems and an undisclosed number of the Panstir-S1 gun-missile air defense systems. Russia also continued to supply the Buk-M2E SAM system 15 and the Pantsir-S1 to Syria. Final shipments under the Syrian contract for the Pantsir-S1 were probably dispatched in 2012, although it is possible that the last few systems will be shipped in 2013 because by mid-2012 only 30 per cent of the systems had been delivered to the customer. In another development, Russia suspended deliveries under a (previously unannounced) Syrian contract for the S-300PMU2 systems. 16 Another identified recipient of the Pantsir-S1 in 2012 was the UAE, which took delivery of an estimated 12 systems.
Other large transfers include the delivery to Belarus of the second Tor-M2E battery (consisting of four vehicles). 17 the market price of one battery is believed to be more than 100m dollars, but Minsk was probably charged the same low price that Russia’s own army pays for these systems.
We believe that Russia continued deliveries of the S-125 Pechora-2M SAM system and the ZU-23-2 light AA systems to Venezuela under a package of contracts signed in 2009. There are also reasons to believe that Brazil continued to receive the Igla-S man-portable SAM systems.
Russia has probably completed deliveries under an Egyptian contract for Tor-M1 SAM systems; shipments were made in 2011 and 2012. We also believe Cairo received Shilka-Strelets gun-missile systems under a 2007 contract.
Ground weaponry. We have identified 510m dollars worth of deliveries in the ground weaponry segment in 2012, down from 840m in 2011. Russian officials have said, however, that overall exports of ground weapons in 2012 may actually surpass the previous year’s levels. 18
The T-72/T-90 family of main battle tanks remained the biggest-selling product in this category. Algeria appears to have been the main recipient of newly-made T-90SA tanks.
Venezuela took delivery of the last 57 tanks, worth an estimated 185m dollars, under a 2009 contract for 92 T-72s upgraded to the T-72B1V spec; the tanks come from the Russian army surplus. 19 Mongolia received 50 used T-72A tanks which had undergone pre-sale repairs but no upgrades. 20 Russian contractors were also working on T-72 upgrade orders placed by Algeria and, in all likelihood, Syria. Kazakhstan took delivery of a further three TOS-1 heavy flamethrower systems and three BMPT support vehicles built on the T-72 platform. 21
Large deliveries were also made in the missile and artillery weapons segment. Venezuela received at least six Msta-S 152mm self-propelled howitzers, 13 Nona-SVK 120mm self-propelled gun-mortars, and 24 Grad MLR systems. Meanwhile, the deadline for the completion of a new facility which will make the AK-103 assault rifles was pushed back to 2013.
Deliveries of light armor were made to Venezuela (at least 16 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles and about 30 BTR-80A APCs); Kazakhstan (30 BTR-82); Bangladesh (at least 20 BTR-80A); Mongolia (40 BTR-70M from Russian army surplus); Azerbaijan (BTR-80/80A); Kuwait (BMP-3) and Congo (GAZ-2330 Tigr armored vehicles).
In Jordan, specialists continued to work on a new facility which will produce RPG-32 Hashim grenade launchers; completion was expected before the end of 2012. 23 Uganda received new shipments of the Kornet-E anti-tank missiles. Uruguay took delivery of a small arms batch worth 1.2m dollars.
Finally, Russia supplied trucks to Mongolia and Uruguay, and 10 B12 bulldozers to Vietnam. 25
Naval weaponry. We have identified 2.34bn dollars worth of deliveries in this segment, up sharply from 740m in 2011. The largest known recipient of Russian naval systems was India, which took delivery of two Project 11356M frigates (worth 1.04bn dollars) under a 2006 contract; a Project 971I nuclear-powered attack submarine (900m dollars) supplied under a lease agreement signed in 2004; 26 and an upgraded Project 877EKM diesel-electric sub (80m dollars).
Another large recipient was Vietnam, which took delivery of the last two Project 10412 Svetlyak patrol boats under a 2008 contact for four such boats (120m dollars).
Finally, Russian contractors upgraded a Project 1234E small guided missile corvette and a Project 1159T light frigate under an Algerian contract worth 200m dollars.
Guided missiles. This particular segment remains a significant part of Russian arms exports — although, just like in previous years, the dollar value of these contacts has not been disclosed. We believe, however, that air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles — almost all of them made by Tactical Missiles Corporation — remained the biggest-selling products in this category. To the best of our knowledge, in 2012 recipients included India, Algeria, Uganda, Vietnam, and possibly China.
We also believe that Russia continued to export ship-based anti-ship missiles (Uran-E and Club, the latter being an OKB Novator design) to Azerbaijan, Algeria, India and Vietnam. India received missiles made under the joint BrahMos program, in which the Russian partner is NPO Machine-Building.
Spare parts, instruments and components. We estimate that exports in this category remained flat at about 1bn dollars. 30 Sukhoi probably remains the single largest exporter in this segment. There is no accurate data for other companies’ sales, but they clearly constitute only a fraction of Sukhoi’s figures.
Others. This category includes sales of the RD-180 liquid-fuel rocket engines for America’s Atlas III and Atlas V space launchers. Exports of these engines have been ongoing for many years, but the number of units supplied in 2012 has not been disclosed.
India remained the largest Russian defense customer in 2012, accounting for 40 per cent of all deliveries. It received more aircraft (Su-30MKI and MiG-29K/KUB fighters, and Mi-17-V5 helicopters) and naval weaponry (Project 971I nuclear-powered sub, Project 11356M frigates) than any other buyer. Algeria retained its second place in the ranking with 14 per cent of all deliveries; in 2012 it received eight Su-30MKI(A) fighters and a batch of T-90SA tanks. Vietnam remained third at 10 per cent, having received eight Su-30MKI2 fighters and two Svetlyak patrol boats. China came fourth with 5 per cent of deliveries thanks to large contracts for Russian aircraft engines, Mi-171E helicopters and Il-76MD transports. It is important to note, however, that China’s real share of Russian arms deliveries is probably much higher than this ranking (based only on identified deliveries) would suggest.
Azerbaijan ended up in the Top 5 of Russia’s biggest defense customers in 2012 with 5 per cent of deliveries. Mi-17 and Mi-35M helicopters and light armor made up the bulk of the Russian exports to that country.
Venezuela accounted for another 5 per cent of Russian arms exports. In 2012 the country imported ground and air defense weaponry under a large package of contracts signed in 2009, including T-72B1V tanks, Grad MLR systems, BMP-3 infrantry fighting vehicles, BTR-80A APCs, Nona-SVK self-propelled artillery, Msta-S howitzers, etc.
Uganda became a large buyer of Russian weapons only recently; in 2012 it accounted for 4 per cent of Russian exports. Deliveries to that country included Su-30MK2 fighters and T-90S tanks.
Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for about 7 per cent of Rosoboronexport’s deliveries in 2012.
The overall list of recipients of Russian weaponry included 55 countries in 2012. Russia had ongoing military and technical cooperation programs with more than 80 countries around the globe. 32 After a pause, Ukraine resumed imports of Russian weaponry last year, although the contract for the 2A42 30mm automatic cannon was relatively small. 33 The number of Russian defense customers fell slightly compared to 2011, but it is still safe to say that for several years running the geography of Russian defense exports remains highly diversified.
According to aggregated media reports, 15.6bn dollars worth of new contracts were signed in 2012 up sharply from 3.69bn dollars in 2011. The government’s official figure for the value of contracts signed last year is 17.6bn, suggesting that 80 per cent of the 2012 contracts have been identified. This is a record high; the indicator stood at only 60 per cent in 2011, 65 per cent in 2010, and 45 per cent in 2008 and 2009.
Aerospace remains by far the biggest category of Russian arms exports, accounting for 73 per cent of identified new contracts signed in 2012. It is followed by air defense systems (16 per cent), naval weaponry (6 per cent) and ground weaponry (5 per cent).
India remains by far the biggest customer, accounting for 48 per cent of new contracts, followed by Iraq (27 per cent), China (12 per cent) and Vietnam (5 per cent).
Breakdown by weapons category
Aerospace. We estimate that Russia signed 11.7bn dollars worth of contracts for aerospace weaponry in 2012.
The largest of the identified new contracts was a 2bn-dollar Indian order for 42 Su-30MKI fighters. 34 Another relatively large contract was signed with Belarus, which bought four Yak-130 combat trainers. 35 The deal was another success scored by the new Yak model, but the price offered to the Belarusians was probably not much higher than what the supplier charges Russia’s own armed forces.
About 4.8bn dollars worth of contracts were signed for Russian helicopters, which is double the figure for planes. The largest order, worth 2bn dollars, was placed for 36 Mi-28NE attack helicopters by Iraq. 36 India signed a 1.3bn-dollar contract for 71 Mi-17 helicopters. China became the third-largest customer in this category after placing an order for 52 Mi-171E helicopters worth 624m dollars. 38 Other buyers include Afghanistan (10 helicopters, with the contract financed by the United States); Sri Lanka (14 Mi-171Sh), Nigeria (about 10 Mi-17/171); Ghana (six Mi-17); and Argentina (three Mi-171E).
Several large contracts were signed for aircraft engines, China and India being the two big buyers. New Delhi placed orders with UMPO for a total of 970 AL-31FM turbofan engines, worth 2.65bn dollars; 920 of those engines are to be assembled in India under a Russian license by 2030. 40 China continued to buy Al-31F turbofan engines (140 units made by Salyut, worth 700m dollars) and D-30KP-2 turbofan engines (184 units made by Saturn, worth 500m dollars). 41
There were also several new customers for Russian aircraft engines in 2012. Poland bought four RD-33 turbofan engines from RSK MiG (including two new engines and two used ones, worth 21m dollars) for its MiG-29 fighters. 42 Equatorial Guinea placed a 10m-dollar order with the Perm Motor Plant for four PS-90A-76 turbofan engines, which will be fitted on an Il-76TD transport.
Finally, at the end of 2012 India and Russia finalized a contract for joint development and manufacture of 216 Brahmos air-launched supersonic missiles for the Indian armed forces. The deal is worth over 600m dollars.
Naval weaponry. Vietnam ordered two more of the modified Project 11661E Gepard-3.9 light frigates (previously the contract was thought to have been signed in 2011). The ships, worth an estimated 700m dollars, will be made at Zelenodolskiy Gorky Plant. 45 This was the single identified Vietnamese contract in 2012. Algeria placed a 200m-dollar order for upgrading a Project 1234E small guided missile corvette, and a Project 1159T light frigate. The ships will be upgraded at Severnaya Shipyards.
Air defense weaponry. There was a single officially announced contract in this category: Iraq ordered 48 Pantsir S1 gun-missile systems worth 2.2bn dollars.
Ground weaponry. An estimated 769m dollars worth of contracts was signed in this category in 2012. The largest was a package of Indian contracts for armor-piercing ammo, and Invar and Konkurs anti-tank guided missiles, worth at least 600m dollars. 48 Indonesia signed a 100m-dollar contract for 37 BMP-3F naval infantry fighting vehicles. 49 Small batches of the Tigr armored vehicles were sold to Congo and Nicaragua. Kazakhstan bought 90 BTR-80A APCs, and Azerbaijan several Skorpion LShA B and Skorpion LShA light armored vehicles.
India accounted for 48 per cent of all new Russian arms export contracts signed in 2012. New Delhi placed orders for aircraft engines, Su-30MKI fighters and Mi-17V-5 helicopters. Iraq was the second-largest buyer with 27 per cent of all new contracts; the country ordered large batches of the Mi-28NE attack helicopters and the Pantsir-S1 gun-missile systems. China, which continued to buy large numbers of aircraft engines and Mi-171E helicopters, came third with 12 per cent of all new contracts, followed by Vietnam and Afghanistan (5 and 2 per cent, respectively). Vietnam finalized a contract for Project 11661E light frigates, while Afghanistan signed another contract for helicopters (12 Mi-17V-5). Sri Lanka ranked sixth with 2 per cent of all new contracts signed in 2012; the country bought 14 Mi-171E helicopters. About 700m-800m dollars worth of new deals were signed with CIS countries in 2012 (2 per cent of the total). The potential of the CIS market is estimated at 1bn dollars.
In February 2012 it was reported that Russia and Vietnam intended to launch a joint project later that year to develop a anti-ship missile based in the Russian Kh-35 Uran design. It was said that production facilities for the new missile would also be ready before the year’s end. 52 No details were released about the type and modification of the missile, or about the cost of the project.
In June 2012 Rosoboronexport and France’s Thales Optronics signed an agreement on the production of Catherine XP new-generation thermal imagers in Russia under French license. 53 the imagers will be made by the Vologda Optics and Mechanics Plant.
In July 2012 Rosoboronexport signed an agreement with Selex, Galileo, and Selex Elsag (divisions of the Finmeccanica group) on cooperation in the development and manufacture of a patrol aircraft. The new plane will be based on one of the existing Russian designs. It will be equipped with Italian-made communication, navigation, identification and weapons systems, including torpedoes made by WASS (another Finmeccanica division).
In October 2012 Rosoboronexport and Spain’s Navantia shipbuilding company signed an agreement to install Russian weapons systems on Avante-type patrol ships destined for exports to third countries. 55 The third country in question appears to be Venezuela, which is currently negotiating a contract with Navantia for a batch of Avante ships in addition to the eight it has already ordered.
Outlook for 2013
More than 30 Su-30 fighters will be delivered in 2013 to foreign customers, including India (about 30 Su-30MKI assembly kits) and Indonesia (at least two Su-30MK2).
Russia will continue deliveries to India of MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based fighters, with an estimated five to 10 aircraft to be shipped in 2013. There is also a possibility that work on the project to upgrade the remaining 57 MiG-29 fighters to the MiG-29UPG specification for the Indian Air Force will commence in India itself.
The largest deliveries of helicopters will be made to India (about 38 Mi-17V-5), China (at least 20 Mi-171E), Azerbaijan (at least eight Mi-35M attack helicopters), and Afghanistan (about 10 Mi-17V-5). Finally, there is a likelihood of the first Mi-28NE attack helicopter deliveries being made to Iraq and/or Algeria.
In the air defense segment the biggest deliveries will probably be made to Algeria and Iraq, which have placed orders for the Pantsir-S1 gun-missile system. The largest shipments of ground weaponry (T-72 tanks, BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, BTR-80A APCs, etc) will be made to Venezuela, Indonesia and the CIS countries.
There will be some important transfers in the naval weaponry segment in 2013. Russia is expected finally to deliver the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier to India. The Indian Navy will also receive the third Project 11356M frigate. Vietnam will take delivery of the first Project 636 diesel-electric submarine built under a 2009 contract. As a result, in 2013 the value of shipments in the naval weaponry segment will not be far behind the traditional biggest-selling category in Russian arms exports, i.e. Aerospace systems.
The high baseline level of arms export deliveries achieved in 2012 means that no major growth is expected in 2013. The figure will probably remain flat at 14bn dollars. Given that Russia has about 40bn dollars worth of outstanding export contracts (of which the aerospace segment accounts for 11bn), that level can be sustained for another three years.
We expect Russia to sign several large new weapons deals in 2013, including an Algerian contract for another two Project 636 diesel-electric subs 56 ; a Chinese contract for Su-35 fighters 57 , and an Indian contract for another three Project 11356M frigates. 58 Vietnam is likely to place an order for the Bastion anti-ship system 59 , and Uganda for another six Su-30MK2 fighters. 60 There is also a reasonable likelihood of new contracts being signed with Pakistan, including orders for 12 Mi-171 transport helicopters and several hundred RPO-A Shmel man-portable rocket flamethrowers.
It cannot be ruled out that Russia will manage to resume arms exports to Libya, which was lost as a defense customer in 2011. It has been reported that the new Libyan government is showing interest in buying spare parts to repair previously supplied Russian weaponry. 62
There have been several media reports claiming that in 2013 Russia may enter negotiations with Equatorial Guinea on contracts for a broad range of ground weaponry and aerospace systems. The chances of these negotiations yielding results are thought to be fairly high. 63
Finally, Russia hopes to win Indian tenders for light helicopters (Russia is offering the Ka-226T model) and man-portable SAM systems (Igla-S). The winners are expected to be announced in 2013.
In 2012 Russian arms imports reached 100m dollars 64 — but the change of leadership at the MoD is expected to have serious consequences for the Russian imports policy. Some projects have already been revised or scaled back, including the production under license of the Iveco LMV M65 (Rys) light armored vehicles. The Russian manufacturer, 172 nd Central Auto Repair Plant, made an estimated 57 vehicles in 2011-2012. In late 2012 it was reported, however, that the Russian partner was in talks with Iveco about reviewing the previously agreed numbers of vehicles to be made in Russia, and the level of their localization.
Russia continued cooperation with Ukraine on warranty and designer supervision for the R-36M2 ICBMs. The Ukrainian partners in the program are Yuzhnoye (Pivdenne) Design Bureau and Yuzhmash (Pivdenmash) Production Company. As of March 2012, the program covered 55 R-36M2 missiles, and cost about 10m dollars. 66 Also, Moscow and Kiev have reviewed the terms of the Russian lease of the NITKA carrier-deck simulator in Crimea. In 2012 Russia began to pay for the lease in cash. This replaces the previous in-kind payments arrangement under which Russia supplied spare parts for Soviet-made weaponry.
First practical steps were made in 2012 to implement the Russian Navy contract for two Mistral-class helicopter-carrying assault landing platforms. The first ship in the series, the Vladivostok, was laid down at STX France shipyards (owned by the DCNS concern) in February. In October the Baltic Shipbuilding Plant in Russia started making the aft section of the ship’s hull. It was also reported in 2012 that Russia had chosen French-made L-CAT type twin-hull fast landing craft (EDA-R) for use in the docking chambers of the ships.
The Russian Navy is planning to buy an aerial reconnaissance and observation set based on the Gorizont (Horizon) Air S-100 unmanned helicopter for use on a trial basis. The UAV is made by OAO Gorizont in Russia; it is essentially a version of the Siebel Camcopter S-100 model designed by Austria’s Siebel.
RSK MiG has signed a contract with France’s Thales for TopSight helmet-mounted sight and display systems. These will be used on the 24 MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based fighters ordered by the Russian Navy in 2012.
Finally, there were plans to buy 12-10FMX40 refueling truck tankers for the Russian Army. The tankers are based on the Volvo FMX chassis. 71
Identified Russian Arms Export and Import Contracts and Deliveries in 2012