Russia touts arms upgrading options to Asian trade partners

Russia has quite a few arms upgrading offers to make to its Asian trade partners, Russian presidential adviser Alexander Burutin said in a RIA interview after the international Defense Services Asia (DSA) show in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, in which he had taken part. This arms show, held on a bi-annual basis, is Asia's largest and the second largest in the world.

This time around, Russia made a special emphasis on arms upgrading opportunities, Burutin said. According to him, modernization allows to appreciably raise the combat capabilities of old armaments and military hardware at just one-fifth of new equipment's price. The important thing to Moscow is not to lose its long-standing partners in Asia, Burutin pointed out.

In recent years, Russia has exported to Asia about 5,000 T-72 tanks, over 12,500 armored personnel vehicle, and a lot of anti-aircraft systems. But the number of orders for new military hardware has been going down of late, and Russian manufacturers are hoping to make up for the downturn with upgrading commissions, Burutin said.

Top officials of Malaysia's Defense Ministry, Malay Vice Premier Mohammed Razak, and a hundred and fifty local arms expert groups visited the Russian pavilion at the latest DSA show. This attests to the great interest that countries of Asia and the Pacific Rim have in Russian arms and military hardware, our interviewee believes.

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