Weapons exports rose 8.5% in 2003

Enterprises of the Russian Weapons Agency (RAV) increased their exports in 2003 by 8.5% as compared with 2002, Aleksandr Nozdrachev, the agency's general director, declared at a press conference today, a Rosbalt correspondent reported. Nozdrachev said more than 76% of the exports were of military equipment. Specifically, he said exports by Instrument Design Bureau rose 4.8 times, by Degtyarev Plant 2.7 times and by Uralvagonzavod 1.2 times.

Nozdrachev noted that world demand continues stable for the armoured vehicles, including tanks, made by agency enterprises, and for rocket technology. Sales of armour constituted 46.4% of total exports in 2003, he said. 'Worldwide, 41 enterprises in 30 countries, including 6 countries of our near-abroad, exported weapons and military technology in 2003,' Nozdrachev said. 'The biggest purchasers of military goods were countries of the Asian-Pacific region.' Exports there were up 13% in 2003 as compared with 2002.

The RAV general director also said non-military weapons made by 39 Russian plants and valued at USD 209.36 million were exported in 2003, as compared with USD 152.2 million in 2002. The chief categories of these exports remain vehicles, engines and hunting and other sport-related weapons and ammunition for them.

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