Many Middle Eastern countries have expressed increased interest in Russian military hardware, including armored vehicles and aircraft, at last week’s Gulf Defense & Aerospace (GDA) exhibition in Kuwait, the Deputy Head of Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said Thursday.
“At Gulf Defense & Aerospace (photo), we represented Russia's military-industrial complex in all segments of the arms market. Significant interest was expressed in Russian wheeled and tracked armored vehicles, combat helicopters and planes, military transport aircraft and combat training aircraft, different classes of air defense systems,” said Sergey Goreslavsky, who headed the joint delegation of Rosoboronexport and Russia's state hi-tech corporation Rostec at the event.
Rosoboronexport is offering its “Complex Defense Systems” package around the world, the Deputy Director added. The package includes a wide range of products for urban security, counter-terrorism, facility protection, border protection and natural disaster cleanups, he explained.
In November, the Dubai Airshow took place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where customers from the region showed interest in Russian air defense systems and aerial military technology, according to a Russian delegate at the event.
Egypt, Iraq and Syria have been Russia's traditional customers in the Middle East, while Saudi Arabia has begun to show interest in Russian defense systems more recently.
“The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have been buying Russian weapons ever since the 1992 Soviet breakup, receiving large numbers of BMP-3 armored vehicles and Smerch multiple rocket launchers. Moreover, the Emirates have also ordered a number of Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile and artillery systems. With this in mind, it would be safe to assume that their interest in getting such weapons from Russia will remain strong in the years to come,” Konstantin Makiyenko, Deputy Director of Russia’s Strategy and Technology Analysis Center told reports in Kuwait.
“Disappointed about the security guarantees offered to them by the US, the Gulf monarchies had recently been looking for alternative suppliers of defensive weapons,” he added.
“They view Russia, which has proven itself as a reliable partner, as a primary supplier of such weapons,” Makiyenko concluded.