Russian Weapons Exports Drop Due to War with Ukraine

Russian weapons

The war in Ukraine is significantly affecting Russian weapons exports as the Russian army suffers heavy losses and is forced to provide for its troops, the Foreign Policy article reads.

As representatives of the Pentagon and US intelligence told the media outlet, Russia’s planned big-ticket arms sales in Africa are expected to take a hit. This deprives the Russian Federation of a major revenue source.

Russia has already lost thousands of pieces of high-tech equipment in Ukraine, including hundreds of tanks, planes, and helicopters, which will cause significant slowdowns in the arms deliveries into Africa.

At the same time, Russia’s main competitors – China and the USA – may become more active in this market.

According to a count by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Russia now accounts for nearly half of major arms exports to Africa, with Algeria, Angola, Egypt, and Sudan being its main clients.

“We anticipate that they’re going to have a real problem delivering equipment at the rate they’re losing equipment in Ukraine,” said a senior U.S. intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The Pentagon sees sanctions, which have already undermined the Kremlin’s ability to replenish the stocks of advanced parts such as guidance systems and microchips used in precision munitions, as serious with implications for Russia’s military-industrial complex.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, it has been repeatedly reported that the Russian Federation delays weapons deliveries to its customers. Because of this, partners break contracts and seek to replace Russian models. In particular, India stopped ordering Mi-17 and Ka-31 helicopters, and also appealed to Moscow to fulfil some contracts that apparently are critical for Delhi – the supply of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems and an agreement for the production of more than 600,000 AK-203 assault rifles.

Moreover, military experts point out that the quick occupation of Ukraine should have become a great showcase for Russian weapons, but the failures of the Russian army made this war a big anti-advertising campaign for their defence industry.

Previously, clients of the aggressor state were impressed by the work of Russian fighters in Syria, which fueled interest in their aviation. Now, amid the full-scale war, it turned out that the Ukrainian military is capable of shooting down even the flagship Su-35 with Soviet air defence systems and fighters.

In addition, the Ukrainians have made serious negative publicity about the Russian air defence systems, which do not cope well with combat drones and cannot do anything with HIMARS missiles.

As a reminder, Russia currently accounts for about one-fifth of the world’s arms sales market.

Bohdan Marusyak

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