Everyone knows about russian weaponary,
Reliable, cost effective and "battle proven"
Gone are the days where the Soviet government subsidized the defence industry and made massive orders for military equipment. Gave massive sum for
RnD. While now is the new era of independent arms sales and arms fairs
Her tradtional market of arms sales like india have now decide to be a more indegenious route or instead wanting to do it herself like the joint
development and self production. And china which has also stopped buying new russian equipment and is now concentrating on building up and
"iindigenising" her equippment while the Other countries like algeria, syria, Iraq(LoL) are all now so poor they cannot buy this equipment. The
Soviets sold equipment to these countries but it wasn't in hard currency but in batter deals which were bought higher than market prices. eg Cuban
While russian equipment is still competitive in the third world they are becoming more expensive and less sophiticated compared to western weaponary.
It is not just Russian, American and European suppliers anymore. More countries are seeking to make joint ventures and own the production lines and
self produce russian equipment. Now what is the current state of russias RnD research?. What the russians are really doing is modiflying Soviet era
weapons with western technology. All the new improvments like the T-90, Su-35s, and new ships all benifited from acess to western technology
The T-90 is actually the T-72BM with a new name. A sheep in sheeps clothing. This was done to improve the image of the T-72 after all the losses of
T-72 in combat like chechnya and iraq. While the parts in both tanks is similar in design but are not compatible. The T-90 ustilzes a lot more
advanced technology and a better sensors and is all round superior. But it is one example of a old tank that has just been modifled to seek export
Current sales are india which has brought 124 T-90 tanks and is assebliing the rest. While the russian army has brought the grand sum of between
100-300 according to different sources. While in 2005 the russian military only ordered 17. The T-72 had tremendous export sucess serving in 28
armies. While the T-90 being a more capable tank has not reached anywhere close to these levels. My conclusion is people already know what these tanks
are and rather go for a cheaper solution while the higher upper class countries which would likey buy this equipment choose western or european
The Su-35 is a post-soviet design which is one of the most capable fighters ready for export and a very very cheap price compared to her comtempories
like the Eurofighter or the rafale has not seen one sale. The russian airforce has not shown interest in buying this fighter ethier. While her
predecessors like the Su-27 and Su-30 have been ranking up huge export sucess while being and less bang for a than a Su-35 and being less advanced
they still are not being showned interest in. While again the more upper class markets are still a western owned region, like The middle east, Europe
and Asian countries which rather opt for western equipment rather than newer russian equipment.
The russian defense industry are now surving on export orders and to be more competitive they need more RnD funding to be more competitve when the
western onsluahgt led by the Americans with their F-35 enters the aircraft market. The russians at this point do not have a prototype to match the
F-35 on a cost effectivness graph. The mikoyan MFI 1.42 projet led to the 1.44 aircraft. While being claimed to be a advanced platform it did not
finish development and was cancelled because of the lack of funds. While the new project PAK-FA has not even finished the design phase. It has hugley
impossible schedule to perform(first flight in 2010). And according to media reports has only recieved something like 1/10th of the projected funding
The plan is to be a heavy fighter like the F-22 but only cost as mush as the F-35. The downfall of the 1.42 project was the lack of funding on the
wooping 70million price tag. Here is the projected image of the PAK-FA
In reailty this is a Make or break project for russias avation industry. When the F-35 starts mass production you will be seeing the sales of the
Soviet era fighters down like a stone. If this suceeds then it will be a major benifit for russia as the F-35 as of now is still on the protected
aircraft list with only selected nations getting them.
Her naval ships are just re-vamped soviet designs which are still none the less are best in catergory. But russia has not designed a major post-soviet
In reality the russian economy has improved and has registered a straight 6%+ growth for the last 7 years. But this figure is still only at $1.535
trillion. compared to frances $1.816 trillion, Germanys $2.446 trillion Indias $3.678 trillion chinas $8.158 trillion and americas $12.37 trillion .
Its economy cannot fund major military projects and keep its economy growing. Its defence budget is about 1/10 of americas and the JSF project will
cost more than the russians can spend. You need economic growth along with RnD spending to compete and the russians have the protentional for it but
it will take time. According to some reports the Big american compaines like Boeing Microsoft and lockheed martin brought them over and now are
Even if the russians go to india or china for funding they dont want to be the second fiddle and will want part of the contract or a joint development
which leads to less money the russians make off exports. But the indians have got their MCA and other things they have control of plus american
technology access so would they want to fund a huge program if they are already offered the F-35?
China was never a player in the PAK-FA or MFI project and only wanted to buy technology nd not to buy actual aircraft. Recent reports by chinese
avation sources have produced photos that claim china is producing her own F-22 class aircraft so the PAK-FA wouldn't be a big possibilty. Her
airforce is not looking to russia to buy upgrades for her russian aircraft and her navy is building her own ships and the eariler russian purchases
which were rumoured to be stop gaps have been proven by the lack of future purchases to only be stop gap meaures.
So will the russian defence industry survive?. Will it just be selling designs and contacts instead of pyhiscally exporting thieir own aircraft?
EDIT: Usual spelling mistakes
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[edit on 25-1-2006 by chinawhite]