Monthly Archives: March 2013

Bangladesh to Buy Russian Jet Trainers

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Bangladesh is planning to buy 24 Yak-130 Mitten jet trainers on $1 billion credit from Russia, Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said.

“The purchase of Yak-130 warplanes is a very significant subject of negotiations between Russia and Bangladesh,” Rosoboronexport Deputy Chief Viktor Komardin said. He added that negotiations on Yak-130s are due to begin later this spring. Russia granted Bangladesh a $1 billion credit during the Bangladeshi prime minister’s visit to Moscow in January.

The Yak-130 is a highly maneuverable aircraft with an extended range of about 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and a maximum speed of 1,060 kilometers per hour (600 miles per hour) in level flight. It can carry a combat payload of up to 3,000 kilograms (6,600 pounds). The Yak-130 has been chosen as a basic aircraft for Russian Air Force pilot training. First deliveries began in 2009.

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Venezuela Receives Russian Armored Vehicles

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Armed forces in Venezuela have received a new batch of Russian amphibious combat vehicles. Thirteen BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles were delivered by sea to the port of Puerto Cabello. This marks the first report of an arms delivery by sea to Venezuela since the death of President Hugo Chavez in March. A Russian arms trade source said earlier this month Moscow will continue military-technical cooperation with Venezuela regardless of who takes over power after Chavez. Contracts with Caracas included deals for the construction of arms factories and servicing centers for military equipment.
Between 2005 and 2007, Venezuela inked deals to buy $4 billion worth of weaponry from Russia. The arms involved included Sukhoi fighter jets, combat helicopters, and over 100,000 light weapons, 92 T-72M1M main battle tanks, BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, and a variety of artillery systems.
According to Russian experts, Venezuela is expected to become the world’s second largest buyer of Russian weaponry after India by 2015.

Russia Is Not Supplying Weapons to Syria

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French President Francois Hollande accused Russia of violating an embargo on arms supplies to Syria. However Russia has repeatedly denied media reports that it was sending warships to Syria and delivering weapons to Damascus.

Russia’s official position is that Russia will not carry out fresh arms deliveries to the Syrian government, but is only supplying arms and military equipment under contracts signed before the civil war. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has earlier said that Russia’s military equipment supplied to Syria is intended for defense from outside aggression and cannot be used in a civil war.

During a European Council meeting, envoys of France and Britain tried to convince other European nations to ease the EU embargo on weapons supplies to Syria, but failed.

Russian Navy Conducting Drills

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The Russian Navy in the Black Sea was ordered to conduct unscheduled drills. The naval training put in motion dozens of warships, military aircraft and armored vehicles, and thousands of marines.

The drills engaged over 7,100 troops, around 250 armored vehicles, some 50 cannons, up to 20 fighter jets and helicopters and about 30 various warships. The troops and vehicles made a 500-kilometer march to assigned shooting ranges for target practice. The warships also conducted firing exercises.

The Russian naval drills came as a surprise not only to the Russian armed forces, but also for neighboring countries’ militaries as well. According to international practices, Russia remains within its rights not to inform any country about the military drills, given the large number of soldiers taking part in the war games.

Russia’s Soyuz Delivers Crew to ISS in Record Time

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Several hours after a successful docking, the hatch of the Soyuz opened and the three men successfully entered the ISS, making the journey in world-record time. Russian cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin, Pavel Vinogradov and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy have arrived  at the station in just six hours compared to the usual two-day voyage. Shorter flight time, the crew believes, will make them less fatigued and improve the performance of biomedical experiments.

The journey, equivalent to four orbits of Earth, has been recently tested by  three unmanned cargo spacecraft flights before clearing Soyuz for a the short-cut journey.

Sukhoi and Malaysia Signed Technical Maintenance deal

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Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi and the Malaysian defence ministry have signed a $100-million deal for the technical maintenance of Malaysia’s fleet of Su-30MKM fighters. The contract covers technical maintenance as well as supplies of spare parts for 18 Russian-made Su-30MKM fighters.

The Su-30MKM is a multi-role Flanker based on the Su-30MKI model and features a customized avionics package built to Malaysian specifications. Su-family fighters constitute the bulk of Russia’s arms exports.

Shoigu Expecting More ‘Logical’ Ship Repairs

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Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said it was necessary to “repair the logic” of the process by which surface ships and submarines were built and repaired. The defense minister made his comments while visiting the K-117 Bryansk Dolphin-class submarine, which for the last six years has been undergoing repairs at a floating dock.

The Defense Ministry has spent more than 250 million rubles ($8.3 million) to overhaul the Bryansk since 2008. But the money paid only for an analysis of the submarine’s status. The results of the analysis prompted the repair center to recommend spending several billion rubles more on upgrading the submarine instead of repairing it. As a result of this situation, the submarine will be transported to another facility for repairs in the summer of 2013.

South African Denel Aviation to Service Russian Choppers

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South Africa’s state-owned Denel Aviation is unveiling the first authorized maintenance and service center for hundreds of Russian helicopters operating in sub-Saharan Africa.

Denel CEO Mike Kgobe said South Africa’s and Russia’s membership in the BRICS economic forum eased the way for two years of negotiations with Russian Helicopters. Kgobe said the new facility in Johannesburg will start off servicing Mi-8 and Mi-17, both aircraft that can be used in civilian or military settings for transport or as gunships. He said Denel offers lengthy experience in the high-tech field and knowledge of the local environment.

Rosatom to Begin Reactors Licensing in the UK in 2013

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Rosatom plans to begin reactors licensing in the UK this year. Discussions on this issue have already begun. “Now we have the solutions and the necessary financial resources to prepare documentation related with the security aspects which is necessary to obtain a license,” – said Yu.Laksonen.

The project licensing in the UK will let “Rosatom” both to participate in the tender, which will be held in the country, and to provide an additional reason for the implementation of projects in other countries, especially in Europe, said the Rosatom Overseas. Great Britain plans to build eight new stations by 2025. The UK NPP has no own projects.

Industry and Trade Ministry Allocated 2.5 Billion Rubles for High-Speed Helicopter Development

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The company “Vertolety Rossii” signed a contract with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia on the development of a high-speed helicopter. Under the contract, the ” Vertolety Rossii ” will get 2.5 billion rubles for research and development works. The works are to be completed in November 2013.

” Vertolety Rossii ” reported about the beginning of high-speed helicopter development in 2009. At the same time CEO OPK “Oboronprom” Andrey Reus said that Russia’s high-speed helicopter will fly at a speed of 500-550 kilometers per hour. Such a copter was expected to be created in Russia during 5-8 years.

In 2012, ” Vertolety Rossii ” noted that the civilian version of high-speed helicopter was being developed by the Moscow Helicopter Plant named after Mil. It is planned that a special test bench for high-speed helicopter should make its first flight in 2013. In 2014, after a bench trial full-scale work on the project is planned to begin.