North Africa Accounts for US$11 Billion in Russia’s Defense Exports Portfolio

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While the major clients of the US were Saudi Arabia, Australia and the UAE in 2016–2020, Russia's main customers included India, China and Algeria. / Bai Xueqi / Xinhua
While the major clients of the US were Saudi Arabia, Australia and the UAE in 2016–2020, Russia's main customers included India, China and Algeria. / Bai Xueqi / Xinhua

The portfolio of Russian defense orders from African countries is $14 billion, of which $3 billion are for sub-Saharan countries and $11 billion for North Africa, Dmitry Shugaev, the director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), told reporters during the Army-2021 forum on Wednesday.

“After the Russia-Africa summit, there was such a definite push. If we take Africa as a whole, we can talk about $14 billion in the total portfolio, if we take south of the Sahara — $3 billion in portfolio,” he said.

Russia’s main partners in North Africa are Algeria and Egypt.

Deliveries to Africa account for 30-40% of the total volume of Russian arms exports, Shugaev said.

“Our defense industry cooperation with African countries has been developing in a stable and constructive manner over the past five years. On average, the annual volume of exports of Russian military products to this region remains at the level of 30-40% of our total arms exports,” he said.

Shugaev said that in sub-Saharan Africa, the greatest demand is for helicopters of the Mi family (such as Mi-8/17 and Mi-24/35), aircraft of the Sukhoi and MiG families, Pantsir-C1 and Tor-M2E air defense systems, as well as armored vehicles (in particular, BTR-80, T-72, T-90S).

In the countries of North Africa, Russian small arms (Kalashnikov assault rifles), air defense systems, naval equipment, MiG, Su and Il aircraft, and electronic warfare are in demand.

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