Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Despite U.S. sanctions, Russian arms sales are on pace to match 2018's export revenue of about $13.7 billion, the head of Russia's state-owned defense export company said Monday.
Sergei Chemezov, chief executive officer of Rostec, said at the Dubai Air Show that Russia has confirmed sales of $11 billion so far this year, and expects to end 2019 with between $13.5 billion and $13.7 billion in defense-related exports.
He acknowledged that Rosoboronexport, the country's arms agency, must accelerate its work until the end of the year to meet the goal.
"We have two months left, so November and December." Chemezov said. "Overall, the sanctions, well, you can hear the results of Rosoboronexport, they're sort of self-explanatory. Last year, Rosoboronexport supplied military technology that was a record in Russian economic activity. This year we will have even higher, but at least no less."
The annual sales total has become a point of pride in the Russian government, a response to U.S. sanctions imposed in 2017. Russia notably sold its S-400 air defense battery to Turkey, a NATO member, this year despite pressure from the United States, which withdrew its offer to sell advanced F-35 fighter planes to that nation.
Rosoboronexport sees the cancellation of the F-35 order as an opportunity and is prepared to sell Russian fighter planes to Turkey.
"We have made our offers," Chemezov said of a possible aircraft purchase by Turkey. "So far, they are reflecting. As soon as they make the decision, we will be ready to sell both Su-35 and Su-57E." India also has purchased the S-400 package.
Russian arms were sold to 43 countries this year, a Rosoboronexport statement on Friday said.
"The portfolio of orders of the company keeps at the level of nearly $50 billion, which guarantees the load for Russian defense industry enterprises for several years ahead," the statement added.
Among the military equipment sold are Su-57 fighter planes, Mi-28NE and Mi-1712SH helicopters, the Tornado-S multiple launch rocket system and the Rubezh-ME coastal tactical missile system.