Always worth looking at SIPRI. On 31 January, it released its list of the Top 100 arms producers worldwide in 2012 and 2011.
SIPRI observed a small global decline in arms sales over the past two years. But Russia bucked the trend as “arms sales by Russian companies increased sharply, by 28 per cent in real terms.”
SIPRI provides the context for increased arms production by Russian companies that’s worth quoting in toto:
“Rapid rise in Russia due to domestic procurement plans”
“Russian companies saw a particularly large increase in estimated arms sales in 2012. Of the 6 Russian companies in the Top 100, all except United Aircraft Corporation saw increases in excess of 20 per cent, and Almaz Antei—with a 41 per cent rise—now stands in 14th place in the Top 100, the highest position taken by a Russian company since data became available in 2002.”
“Russian arms companies continue to maintain high export levels, but the increase in estimated arms sales in 2012 mainly reflects large and growing domestic sales, as part of Russia’s $700 billion 2011–20 State Armaments Plan. While there remains widespread scepticism as to whether the aims of the plan can be fully achieved, it is clear that a major increase in Russian military equipment procurement is taking place.”
“‘The Russian arms industry is gradually re-emerging from the ruins of the Soviet industry’, said Dr Sam Perlo-Freeman, Director of SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme. ‘Nonetheless, the industry is still plagued by outdated equipment, inefficient organization and widespread corruption, which will continue to limit Russia’s ability to compete technologically with the West.’”
So, it’s not just that Rosoboroneksport’s order portfolio is stuffed full. But SIPRI sees both good and bad news for Russian defense industry and production.
The top Russian firms on this year’s list are: Almaz-Antey, UAC or OAK, Vertolety Rossii (Oboronprom), Sukhoy (UAC / OAK), United Enginebuilding Corporation, UEC or ODK (Oboronprom), USC or OSK, and Uralvagonzavod.
Falling off from 2010’s list are Irkut and MiG (UAC / OAK) and the Tactical Missile Weapons (TRV) Corporation.
Some changes may be the result of data collection problems SIPRI faces.
Here’s SIPRI’s data on arms sales by Russia’s top producers.
Pretty interesting stuff. Strong and stable growth by Almaz-Antey. Steady growth for UAC / OAK and Sukhoy. Remarkable growth by Vertolety Rossii — quadrupling its sales in three years. Ditto for UEB / ODK — nearly quadrupling. Even Uralvagonzavod doubling its sales over the same period.