Russia Preparing for Bahrain Military Exhibition

Russia’s official defense import and export agency, Rosoboronexport, is preparing its display for the Bahrain International Airshow 2018.

In a press release, the general director of Rosoboronexport, Alexander Mikheev, said, “Rosoboronexport deems Bahrain International Airshow as a perfect opportunity to bring Russia’s most advanced systems and equipment to the attention of the Gulf states and let them know their unique features. Lots of the exhibited air force and air defense platforms are either second to none in the world or at least unmatched by their foreign counterparts in key characteristics.”

Russia views surface-to-air missile systems as being particularly important for Middle East buyers, as well as manned and unmanned aircraft. In terms of surface-to-air missile systems, Russia is promoting the S-400, Tor-M2E, Buk-M2E, Pantsir-S1, and Verba, a manportable system. Russia’s top fighter jet products, the MiG-29M/M2 and Su-35, will be on display in Bahrain, and the Russian Knights aerobatic team will demonstrate the Su-30SM. Rosoboronexport is also highlighting the Il-76MD-90A transport aircraft and the related Il-78MD-90A tanker. For helicopters, the Russian display includes the Mi-28NE, Mi-35M, Mi-26T2, Ka-226T, and Ka-52.

The Rosoboronexport display will also promote Takhion and Orlan-10E short-range drones, along with the Orion-E unmanned aircraft.

Despite American sanctions which aim to cut off foreign access to the Russian defense industry, Mikheev noted that “everything labeled Made in Russia enjoys a keen demand, for Russian equipment has been proven in complex combat and climatic environs at sea, in the air, and on the land.”

Mikheev added, “Lack of stability in the international situation prompts the growth of arms trade worldwide. This has also gone a long way in stoking the Gulf states’ interest in getting the most advanced and effective military equipment.”

Rosoboronexport recently confirmed that its order backlog exceeds $50 billion, with the Middle East being an important part of Russia’s sales position.

About Derek Bisaccio

Military markets analyst, covering Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa.

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