19 Sep 2018 10:53

Russia signs over 20 arms contracts with sub-Saharan countries in past 2 years - Rosoboronexport

PRETORIA. Sept 19 (Interfax) - Russia has signed over 20 arms contracts with sub-Saharan countries in Africa over the past two years, according to Rosoboronexport head Alexander Mikheyev.

"We have entered into more than 20 contracts with them over the past two years alone. We believe that the regional market of weapons and military hardware will be demonstrating a steady expansion trend in the coming years," the company press service quoted Mikheyev's words to Interfax.

Countries of the region have been offered all-inclusive cooperation, Mikheyev said. "We are offering partners not just the delivery of end products but also the proper logistic support throughout the life cycle, personnel training, and facilities to provide maintenance and repairs of our products. We are discussing the possibility of licensed production of Russian weapons and military hardware in the territory of some countries," he said.

There are a number of objective factors for sub-Saharan countries' demand for weapons, such as the spreading of international terrorism and Islamic radicalism, and the remaining threat of sea piracy, Mikheyev said.

Rosoboronexport is an umbrella for all Russian exhibitors at the Africa Aerospace & Defense show. The company presents over 280 types of military products made by Russian defense plants.

"We are expecting foreign delegations to be enthusiastic about Russian products for ground forces, such as BTR-80A and BTR-82A armored personnel carriers and Tigr special police vehicle. As for air defense systems, Pantsir-S1 air defense missile and artillery complex and Verba and Igla-S MANPADS are very popular with African countries. Various kinds of patrol ships are on display for representatives of regional navies," Rosoboronexport said.

In turn, law enforcement agencies of sub-Saharan countries are keen on security systems, which will enable them to prevent and clean up the aftermath of illegal activity, Rosoboronexport said.

"Hence, the exhibition presents modern small arms, weapons and technical gadgets for special units, and equipment for protecting the border and critical facilities," it said.