Skip to comments.Russia Says It's Ready to Arm Saudi Arabia
Posted on 02/09/2005 4:29:17 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
Moscow is preparing its first major defense contract with Saudi Arabia, the world's largest arms buyer that has traditionally spent its petrodollars on U.S.-made weapons.
The deal is part of a strategy aimed at diversifying Russia's arms buyers away from China and India, Sergei Chemezov, general director of state-owned arms exporter Rosoboronexport, told reporters Wednesday.
Russia also signed an arms contract with Morocco last month, he said, the first since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Chemezov refused to give any details, but said that Russia is stepping up negotiations with Middle Eastern countries for jointly developing air defense systems on the basis of the domestically produced S-300, Buk and Tor-M1 systems.
"If a contract with Saudi Arabia is signed, it will be a landmark event in Russian arms exporting," said Marat Kenzhetayev, an expert with the Center for Arms Control.
From 1991 to 2002, Saudi Arabia imported $93 billion worth of weapons, Kenzhetayev said, while Morocco imported $1 billion.
In that same period of time, Riyadh signed $40 billion worth of arms contracts, of which $28 billion flowed to the United States and not a penny went to Russia, he said.
After U.S.-Saudi relations dampened following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the situation now seems to be swinging in Russia's favor, Kenzhetayev said.
While Moscow already sells arms to Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Iran, Kuwait and Algeria, a deal with the Saudis could push its neighbors Jordan and Oman to sign Russian contracts as well, Kenzhetayev said.
For Moscow, which sells arms to 59 countries, finding new customers is important as it tries to diversify away from major clients China and India, which account for 80 percent of Russian arms sales.
"We have reached the ceiling of $5 billion to $6 billion in annual arms sales abroad," Chemezov said. "We have to change something drastically."
Last year, Rosoboronexport, which mediates over 90 percent of the country's arms deals, delivered $5.1 billion worth of arms out of $5.8 billion exported by Russia as a whole.
Rosoboronexport has orders of $12 billion through 2007, but Chemezov said that this year Rosoboronexport can expect to make $1 billion less in revenues.
"The reason? Our companies cannot produce more modern weapons. [The industry] is in need of investment either from private companies or from the state," he said. "Today we sell weapons that were designed in the late 1970s and early 1980s."
Rosoboronexport plans to boost control over defense production by placing its directors on the boards of arms makers and buying stakes, Chemezov said.
Chemezov said that all sales are strictly in line with international agreements and do not violate any United Nations sanctions.
"However, if some country, including the United States, makes its own decision [on sanctions], pardon us, we are not obliged to do as America says," Chemezov said.
Last month, Israel and the United States expressed concern about the possible sale of SA-18 surface-to-air missiles to Syria.
Asked whether any such contract was discussed during Syrian President Bashar Assad's recent visit or is planned, Chemezov said: "No."
Russians arm every one who pays them few milion dollars
Translation: Saudi Arabia is preparing to do something nasty to the USA and they are changing their principle arms supplier.
Israel loves destroying Russian hardware.
There was a thread on here around two years ago suggesting that we buy the Su-27. Actually made sense. The Russkies don't make great washing machines, but they can make some pretty good planes. ;^)
Now just why would my neighbor sell the crack dealer a
Russia's Military Involvement in the Middle East
By Oksana Antonenko
Because the enemy of his enemy is you?
Like the area is not already awash with failed Russian Arms.
If I were the Saudis I would be worried about who was going to fly and shoot those things rather than buying more of them.
The pampered sons of that country are too busy chasing blond western women to actually incur any risk that might accrue to a military person. That runs the risk of having the Terrorists in their midst with a better army than the government.
Something is coming.
I suspect the Saudi military is all Pakistani, Filipino, and Egyptian...no one of Saudi background would do any of the dirty work...
AFAIK, they are well armed with the latest in American ground and air technology, a lot of it sold since Desert Storm. Whether or not they're capable of maintaining it without American aid is another question. It goes without saying that the Israelis won't help them.
Wrong. The proper translation is that the US has told Saudi Arabia that they better clean up thier act and hold elections or the hardware spiggot will be closed tight!
Net effect is the same, they are looking for alternatives - and to some degree, they are probably pretending to look so as to worry the US.
I doubt GWB gives a rip.
Now let's see -- let's logic this thing out.
Saudis don't really need arms for anything -- who is their enemy? (other than the Jews). So maybe they are BROKERING arms for one of thier buddies, that nobody would sell to directly (with exceptions as we know) -- how about IRAN ??
send article to Capt Davis
Their guts turned to water when they thought Saddam was coming for them from Kuwait.
No way, I seriously doubt they have anything planned. The Saudi's are way too dependent upon us to even think about it. They are probably preparing themselves in case we pass some legislation limiting our own arms sales to them.
That's true, the Saudi doesn't really have a military, they have mercenaries. That's why their spending more and more on short range missiles.
Their main enemy IS Iran.
Russia and France have a lot in common as far as the world stage is concerned. They both had it pretty good for a while (or so they thought), but now they're past it because they can't give up their spent government models. They're both worried about recapturing their former glory and will do anything to grab the attention of other powers provided it's A) a quick and easy way to make money, B) futile, C) insane, or D) just plain stupid.
"Something is coming."
1. Might not happen.
2. Russia wants to make money.
3. Might be a "scratch my back" deal to dampen Russian oil exports.
Their main enemy IS Iran.
I would not bet my life on that...even if appearances might leave that impression...both Iran and SA have a common enemy -- DEMOCRACY.
Saudiland needs some kind of defense against Iranian aggression. Let both them and Syria bone up on defensive armaments.
LOL!!!!! I love it!!!!
maybe they want to arm their mosques that they have here
Washing machines are machined to automotive tolerances.
Aircraft are built to much higher tolerances.
Everyone in the world knows American weapons are the best. I'd translate this article like this: Saudi Arabia is running out of money.
can ya blame them.........they've got very little besides oil, vodka potatoes and weaponry.......sad state of affairs
Arabs leaders WANT a weak military...it prevents potential coup attempts.
They spend billions on top quality armaments that rot in the sand.
They have nothing better to do with their money, and it gives them 'prestige.'
Its not a matter of appearances, its a matter of fact-with the exception of the U.S. in Iraq, Iran is the dominant military power in the Gulf, and the Gulf Arabs are worried about Iran's bid for regional supremacy. And democracy is not the Saudis' enemy because we aren't going to try to overturn the Saudi monarchy any time soon (until we limit our dependence on their oil). The internal elements opposing the Saudi regime are primarily Islamists and are not really interested in democracy either. SA is one of our biggest long-term foreign policy problems.
at least Iran is not two faced about it.....you never ever know who's side SA is on.....plus they and their Maddrasis (SP?) are the real long term problem
They loved the bars and strip joints in town, though.
We'd better do whatever we can to remain the Saudis' supplier...that way if anything happens, we can disable their weapons via remote control. (then again the Russian weapons will probably just disable themselves if ever used in a battle)
Evil incarnate dancing with the DEVIL and you thought all we had to worry about was "MESKINS" jumping the fence!
He should have done it anyway.
The Saudis have never really needed a military, sinec they have always had ours, and they don't really have one now (besides ours). Their massive purchases of arms over the years have just been a way of cementing their relationship with the US, which made some sense when they were worried about Soviet-backed threats to their rule, or later Baathist and Iranian threats.
At this point, though, the only threat to their rule is from other Saudis, so there is little reason to court US protection.
When you think about it, though, what does a country with no military do with massive arms purchases? We have always said they buried it, stockpiled it, in the desert to be used by US brigades who might arrive in an emergency and be immediately supplied from Saudi stocks.
If its buried in the desert, though, who is to say it exists? Who is to say that the "arms purchases" weren't massive bribes which purchased American military protection. Or they were underwriting "off-the-books" enterprises that wouldn't show up in the official budget. It might be significant, then, if Saudi bribes were being diversified to include Moscow's ruling elite. It may simply be a way of expressing some pique, by reducing the payoffs to their former American friends.
I know, I'm crazy.
They loved the bars and strip joints in town, though.
If they're "devout" Muslims, that should have been a major tip-off that they're up to no good. It seems that Mohammed allows them to begin indulging a bit early if they're about to earn themselves 72 virgins.
Of course, if they're not "devout", it meant nothing.
They have spent billions on their military but I would bet the IAF would destroy ninety percent of their air force before they even got a plane airborne. As for the land forces...... Let 'em buy hardware from the Russians. They have neither the will to use it nor the capability to learn how.
My question to my fellow posters - where was the stink eye when we sold F-15 and main battle tanks to the premier jihad state of murderers? I think the Saudis will soon realize that its cheaper to buy off a US Senator - American politicians have integrity when it comes to tacking bribes.
What is happening is our girlfriend Saudi is making googly eyes at Ivan in the hopes it makes Sam jealous. PS: When should you be worried? When OPEC goes Euro and the Saudi's withdraw their money from American financial institutions (I think they account for a quarter of our economy).
I ask the same question...where's the outrage when we sell them advanced weapons systems?
You mean the Saudis? I just did.
Yes...the US has sold the Saudi's billions of $'s worth of advanced weapons systems...
I don't really care...as the things they buy tend to rust in the desert.
I'm still trying to figure out why we sold them AWACS two decades ago. I wouldn't trust that with anybody but the Brits or Israelis, and I'd hedge on the latter.
I find it very funny - they are thinking about buying some arms from Russia - people here go ape and apocalyptic - America sold the Saudis BILLIONS of arms over decades - Do as I say not as I do mentality I guess. Shame on us for selling the Saudis anything of value.
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