Russia’s defense orders with Africa hits $1 billion in six months

In an unprecedented development, the portfolio of export orders for deliveries of Russian military equipment to various Africa nations has increased by approximately $1 billion since the last Russia-Africa summit that took place in October 2019 in Sochi, Russia.

According to the Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Dmitry Shugayev in the interview to Interfax news agency.

During the interview, Shugaev explained that: “Representatives of most African countries reaffirmed their commitment to developing strategic cooperation with us, including in the military-technical sphere. Many of them expressed interest in acquiring military equipment and weapons, increasing quotas for training national personnel, and in the assistance of our specialists in various kinds of consultations. But the most important thing is that since October 2019, the portfolio of African countries’ orders for Russian weapons has increased by about $ 1 bln”,

Speaking about the Russian military sales abroad generally he disclosed, that aviation forms about 45% of orders, about a third are air defense systems and around 15% is the equipment for the Ground forces. The rest is equipment for the naval and other applications.

This new information is coming on the heels of an announcement that the European country has sold defence equipment worth USD 14 billion to Africa.

Since penetrating the African defence market, ‘Africa’s orders for Russian systems amount to up to 30-40% of Russia’s defence exports…’

While “Sub-Saharan states” bought defence equipment worth USD 2 billion.


Pantsir-S air defense system prospects looks good

Head of FSMTC has also given interesting details regarding the market promotion of Pantsir-S1 air defense system. According to him, Russia has received 13 requests for Pantsir-S air defense system delivery.

Regarding the Pantsir-S system, earlier this year, Valery Slugin, chief designer for air defense systems of KBP Instrument Design Bureau (Pantsir’s developer and producer) told the TASS news agency, that Pantsir-S air defense systems during the entire period of their combat use had shot down about a 100 unmanned aerial vehicles in various regions of the world.

Algeria displays new Pantsir SM in a live fire exercise
Pantsir-S air defense system (Credit: KBP Instrument Design Bureau)

The Pantsir-S1 air defence missile/gun system is designed for air defense of military, administrative and industrial installations and areas against enemy aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, unmanned flying vehicles and precision guided weapons.

The major advantages of Pantsir-S system are the versatility of operation against aerial and ground targets; capability of firing on the move; modular design; jamming-​resistant multiband radar-optical control system; simultaneous engagement of multiply targets.

Africa’s love affair with the Pantsir-S air defense system

So far, several African countries have opted to procure the Pantsir-S air defense system to cover their aerial protection requirement.

In July 2018, during the “Sakhr 2018 exercise, the Algerian Ministry of National Defence tested the all-new Russian-made Pantsir SM Air Defense System. The Pantsir SM could be seen in the  background of the video conducting a live fire exercise.

Also, the Ethiopian military is now apparently operating at least one Russian made Pantsir S1 short range surface to air missile defense system, a video footage revealed. The Pantsir S1 SAM was displayed during an Ethiopian Defense Day celebration held at the Bishofu airbase in February.

While according to the Russian Kommersant newspaper, the Equatorial Guinea ordered for two units of Pantsyr-S1 air defence systems on March 2018.

Other users includes the Libyan National Army, which was supplied by the United Arab Emirates. In a photograph taken by the LNA, the Pantsir S1 was seen being carried by a transporter at the Jafra Air Base and the town of Gharyan under armed escort by LNA units.

Lastly, the Government of Cameroon is interested on acquiring the Pantsir-S1 air Defence missile system. This was revealed by Cameroonian ambassador to Russia Mahamat Puba Salé.

According to Russian media outlet Sputnik, Mahamat Puba appreciated the high quality of Russian military equipment, expressing the hope that Yaounde would begin to acquire it from Moscow.

Ekene Lionel

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