Russia boasts of arms export surge

Jan. 22, 2013 at 1:28 PM

MOSCOW, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Russian military sales to foreign clients have expanded despite past concerns about the quality of defense equipment, an official said.

Alexander Fomin, director of Russia's Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service, said military sales by Russian companies surpassed 2011 figures of $13.2 billion, when Russia was the No. 2 arms exporter after the United States.

"The volume of arms exports has reached $15.16 billion, according to preliminary calculations," he was quoted by state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

Fomin said the Russian armed services have seen exports triple in revenue since 2003.

Russia's client base includes Syria, which has put it at odds with the U.N. Security Council seeking to find a solution civil war there.

Fomin refuted allegations that Russian military products were inferior to other arms exporters. The Algerian government in 2007 refused a Russian shipment of MiG-29 fighters after complaining of their quality.

"We have been issuing fewer licenses to replace or repair exported products, which is an encouraging trend," he said.

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