Africa’s orders for Russian weapons reach USD 14 billion

A Russian T-80UE Main Battle Tank and BMPT-72 Terminator during a live fire exercised. (Sputnik)

As various African countries battles different forms of insecurity crises, the continent has become a hotbed for major weapons developing countries.

Russia, one of the world’s leading country with an enviable military industrial complex – since the Soviet era, has indicated its interest in participating in Africa’s Socio-economic arena.

The European country has disclosed that it 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.

Presently, China is leading the pack as the most favorite weapons developing country in Africa.

Hence, Russia would need to jostle with China for the African market. For that reason, the Director of Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS) Dmitry Shugayev said during the recently held Russia-Africa summit and economic forum held in Sochi on 23-24 October, that;

Sub-Saharan African countries are interested in [Russian] fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, Pantsir-S1 and Tor-M2E air defence systems, armoured vehicles, anti-tank guided weapons, and small arms.

Dmitry Shugayev

Russia in Africa

Asides the sales of military equipment, Russia focused on the maintenance and modernisation of the weapon systems delivered to African countries.

As a result of recent terror activities, about 160 Russian military advisors were deployed to Mozambique since the end of August, especially in Cabo Delgado.

Furthermore, a recently released report reveals that Russian technicians are providing the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar with technical assistance on weapons repair and upgrade.

Nigeria is interested in purchasing Russian helicopters, planes, tanks and other military equipment.

Comparably, over the years, China has gained a foothold in Africa, since 2008, countries in Africa collectively purchased around 21 per cent ($3 billion since 2008) of China’s overall arms exports. And both Chinese and African officials promised to increase that figure.

However, African countries are gradually building there own military industrial complex, countries like Egypt, Algeria, South Africa and Nigeria are on the forefront of weapons development in Africa.

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