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Wednesday, December 22, 2010     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Moscow's top three military clients: India, Venezuela, Algeria

MOSCOW — Russia's state-owned arms export agency Rosoboronexport has listed Algeria as its third-leading client after India and Venezuela.


Rosoboronexport said Russian defense projects in Algeria comprised a major portion of the $38 billion in Moscow's orders backlog.

"Major buyers of Russian air systems are such countries as India, Venezuela, Algeria, Malaysia," Rosoboronexport said.

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In a recent statement, Rosoboronexport cited Algeria's purchase of the Russian-origin Su-30MK fighter-jet and Yak-130 combat trainer. Under an $8 billion modernization package launched in 2006, the North African state has ordered both aircraft, with the Su-30 replacing the older MiG-29 fighter.

In July 2010, Rosoboronexport said Algeria has also been a leading client of air systems and munitions. The agency said these sales comprised more than 50 percent of Russian defense exports.

"Joint research and development, system production and upgrading activities, including those implemented on behalf of third countries, are most important lines of business conducted by Rosoboronexport," Rosoboronexport official Sergei Kornev said. "Indeed there are still things we must learn, but at the same time there are lots of Russian technologies in which our partners are interested."

Officials said Algeria has been negotiating with Russia for co-production and technology transfer as part of the modernization package. They said Rosoboronexport has been examining options for joint production and assembly over the next five years.

"In recent years increased priority has been given to cooperation with leading foreign manufacturers, especially as regards new joint research and development projects," Rosoboronexport said. "International cooperation allows Russian enterprises to satisfy to the maximum extent growing customer requirements, and to acquire new technologies."

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