One unintended consequence of the Syria War (unintended, that is, from the point of view of the aggressors) is that Russian military hardware has found new fans, and new customers, around the world. Customers who are impressed with the performance of the Russian equipment in actual war-time conditions. Russian hardware has proved to be durable, easy to use, and relatively cheap, especially when compared with American behemoth systems. Americans are innovators, there is no doubt about that; and yet it is a familiar story that American inventiveness, in modern times, tends to focus on ornamentation and fiddly details, allegedly “smart” systems with lots of gadgets, widgets and optional “features”; but sometimes SIMPLER IS BETTER, especially in war. As is OLD SCHOOL vs new school. Also highly important for anybody producing a product, whether it’s an Espresso maker or anti-air defense systems, is good customer service. And that means respecting your customer and being there for them. Almost anything you buy nowadays at any level, you have to trust your supplier that he will be there for you any time you need parts, training, or service.
So, I have a series of stories here, all from the Ria Novosti outlet, and containing good news for the Russian Military-Industrial Complex and its bottom line. After watching the Syria shenanigans, customers are lining up to buy Russian systems. With the great prices and the proven track record, they would be crazy not to!
Let us start with this piece which, like all of today’s links, comprises various Leitmotifs within an aria sung by Mr. Alexander Mikheev, General Director of the Russian state entity known as Ros-Oboron-Export (Russian Defense Export). Reporters found Mr. Mikheev in Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia, where he was demo-ing Russian goodies at a weapons show called DSA-2018, while busy concluding contracts for sales and delivery. Quoting Mikheev: “Our work nowadays happens in complicated economic, political, and competitive circumstances. In order to preserve our position on the international arms market, Ros-Oboron-Export is working out innovative and unique propositions to our partners, including the transmission of technology. Special attention is being paid to the localization of production, and also to the post-sale servicing requirements.”
In this related soundbite, Mikheev stated that Ros-Oboron-Export signed almost 1,100 contracts in the year 2017, with 53 different nations, comprising around $15 billion dollars. Russia started to become more popular as a weapons provider partly because of the Syria War: “We are experiencing a heightened interest of our international partners, since our military technology has proved its tactical and technical characteristics in actual combat conditions, namely the Anti-Terrorist Operation in Syria. This is true of our military jets, our tanks, and our engineering-Sapper technology, not to mention our naval, air, and land systems. Yes, one could say that there is interest for all of Russian military production. Are there concrete proposals and a growth in our portfolio of orders? Yes, of course, but we can’t rush too far ahead of ourselves.”
Mikheev went on to specify that 30% of Ros-Oboron-Export’s $45 billion portfolio consists of customer orders for the air-defense and electronic radio systems. One can only imagine that interest in these systems will increase after they proved their worth in Damascus just this past weekend.
In this related piece, Mikheev gives a detailed interview, which is fairly long, and I will translate/summarize in a separate post, hopefully tomorrow.
[to be continued]