Michaletos Ioannis
(RIEAS Junior Analyst, Coordinator for the World Security Network Foundation Southeast Europe Office)

Copyright: www.rieas.gr

Russia is traditionally one of the largest defense producers in the world, with an array of high technology armaments for land, air and naval operations. Over the past few years Russia was capable on securing multi billion USD transactions with states such as Algeria (1), India (2), Libya (3), China (4) and Iran (5). Moreover its newest technology is aiming in providing bolstering capabilities in smaller countries that do not have the financial capability of acquiring complex and expensive military systems. The article outlines some key Russian products that are commercially available and have more or less constructed the backbone of the Russian export marketing strategy.

KORNET-E is a mobile anti-tank missile system with a 152mm caliber and a HEAT type missile head (6). Kornet has also a secondary missile head that will neutralize the reactive armor capabilities of any type of tank or armored vehicle. Kornet is directed to the target with the technique known as "Laser beam rider". Thus the missile is able to gain an extremely high speed pace and leaves few chances for the opponent to escape destruction. Further, Kornet could be also used in the naval defense. Also the ability of this system to operate using a thermobaric (7) missile head means that a strike from a Kornet becomes a mega-blast against any type of defense, including fortified buildings or any type of heavy defense.

The Pantsyr (8) is an anti-aircraft system that is mobile operated on a vehicle. It has two 30mm machine guns, 12 surface-to-air missiles "Laser beam guided". The radius of the system exceeds 20 Km and it could hit any type of airspace target, like airplanes, helicopters, UAV's and missiles. Its radar has the ability of surveying 100 simultaneously and locking 20 of those. Under certain modifications it could also be used one dual role, an air and naval protection one.

Amongst the Russian electronic warfare systems, two important ones are the Rosa-E and the Ranet-E ones (9). The first one is a high power lazer operated system that could neutralize hostile radars up to 500 km distance. It could also be installed in aircraft or heavy helicopters.  The second system is designed to neutralize attack systems that use electronic signals, up to the distance of 10 Km. It provides 360 degrees coverage and has installed anti-meters for added protection.

The armored vehicle BMP-3M (10), is the most advanced system of its kind. Its features include armored combat room for heavy protection of the personnel, automatic reload system and the use of anti-tank missiles. Moreover the radius of its 100 mm barrel is up to 7 km with the use of the appropriate bomb. This particular vehicle options for the use of different missiles and contains high-tech communication equipment and satellite ones. The BMP-3 has the ability to trespass rivers, lakes with a pace of 10 km per hour, whilst in land its maximum speed reaches 70 Km.

The Smerch system is a Multiple Rocket Launcher system that is armored with 12 300mm rockets (11). The radius of those exceeds 70 km and reach up to 90 Km under a different version. The main advantage is the use of thermo baric warheads that constitute a tremendous attack against enemy forces. In a sense a 12 rocket full scale attack against any target equitable to a mini-nuclear attack due to the intensity of the heat wave that annihilates any opponent in a radius of hundreds of meters t least.

The amphibious aircraft BERIEV Be-200 (12) is a multipurpose plane that operates digital cockpit, and modern avionics systems made by the American corporation Allied Signal Aerospace. The plane needs a 950 meters airstrip in order to take off or 1,300 meters water runaway. The BERIEV is capable in landing into sea level with a 1, 2 meters wave, and the minimum depth of the sea, should be at least 3 meters.
The maximum speed for the aircraft is 710 Km per hour and its main advantage is the lengthy radius of 3,600 km that is capable of performing; retaining though an extra hour of fuel in its deposits.  The capacity of BERIEV allows it to transfer 12 tones of water along with 65 crew members fully equipped.

The missile system Germes (13) is a 12 missile launcher system that can be installed into a fighting jet, or even a military truck. The missiles added have a radius from 15 Km and up to 100 Km. the system with the use of its weapons can penetrate any armory up to 1 meter of homogenous steel cases. It is suitable to be interconnected with UAV's and serves for a multipurpose defense or offense tactic that relies to agility and the use of powerful one-strike impact.

The above systems are a sample of the production of the contemporary Russian defense industry that is targeted for exports virtually across the world and any army capable of acquiring them. The major markets for the Russian defense exports are China, India, Iran, Syria, Algeria, Libya, as well as Korea, Vietnam, Greece, Cyprus, UAE, Peru, Malaysia and Venezuela.


(1) http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/04/4a183e57-5ac6-4e4b-ab6e-f9ce326e0a90.html
Article by the Radio Free Europe on the selling of Russian weapons to Algeria

(2) http://mondediplo.com/2007/01/02india
Article by the Monde Diplomatique on the selling of Russian weapons to India

(3) www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/congress/2002_hr/meng0725.htm
Report by the Global Security Organization on the arms procurements of Libya from Russia

(4) http://www.faoa.org/journal/ru-prc.html
Report by the Foreign Area Officer Association on the Russian arms exports to China

(5) www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,177566,00.html
News coverage by the Fox Channel on the Russian arms exports to Iran

(6) www.defense-update.com/products/k/kornet-e.htm
Report by the Defense Update Online around the KORNET-E system

(7) www.defensetech.org/archives/000747.html
Article from the Defense Technology Online explaining the use of thermobaric weapons

(8) www.army-technology.com/projects/pantsyr/ 
Presentation by the Army-Technology Online on the Pantsyr system

(9) http://defence-data.com/current/page12535.htm
Report by the Defense Systems Daily on the electronic warfare Russian systems

(10) www.army-technology.com/projects/bmp-3/ 
Presentation by the Army-Technology Online on the BMP-3 vehicle

(11) www.armyrecognition.com/Russe/vehicule_artillerie/BM-30/Smerch_Russie_description.htm
Presentation of the Smerch system by the Army Recognition Online

(12) www.beriev.com/eng/Be-200_e/Be-200_e.html
The official website of the BERIEV Be-200

(13) milparade.udm.ru/security/31/024x.htm 
Presentation of the Germes missile system by the Military Parade Online

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