Moscow (AFP) Feb 27, 2011
Russia could lose almost $4.0 billion in arms export contracts to Libya after Moscow joined other world powers in slapping an arms embargo on Moamer Kadhafi's regime, a report said on Sunday.
The Interfax news agency quoted a military source as saying that Russia had a swelling order book for contracts from Libya worth $2.0 billion while negotiations had been in progress for deals worth $1.8 billion more.
"Among the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, Libya is one of the main buyers of Russian weapons," the source, which was not identified, told the agency.
"As of today, contracts for military hardware of around $2.0 billion had been agreed with Libya.
"Work on contracts for aviation equipment and air defence was also in the final stage. These were valued at $1.8 billion," the source said.
Russia was initially slow to echo Western condemnation of Kadhafi amid his bloody crackdown on an uprising but on Saturday it joined other UN Security Council members in ordering an arms embargo against Libya and other sanctions.
Another report last week said Russia could lose a total of up to $10 billion in arms sales from the wave of unrest currently destabilising regimes in north Africa and the Middle East.
Without confirming the figures, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov confirmed Moscow was deeply troubled by the potential impact of the Arab revolts on its weapons exports.
"We are really alarmed by this. We would like contracts that were signed and (military) arrangements to be implemented," Serdyukov said in the city of Orenburg, quoted by Interfax
A number of Arab countries experiencing the turmoil could review approaches to military-technical cooperation, he added.
The Interfax source recalled that Libyan Defence Minister Yunis Jaber had gone on a major spending spree during a January 2010 visit to Moscow, signing 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion) worth of deals including for six Yak-130 military planes.
Meanwhile, Libya had also been expected to become the first foreign buyer of Russia's new Su-35 fighter and a contract worth $800 million for 12-15 planes had been ready for signing, the source said.
A range of other contracts for helicopters and missile systems were also being discussed.
Libya had also shown great interest in Russia's new S-400 missile defence system, its T-90S tanks, submarines and rocket launchers, the source said.
The Soviet Union had delivered a huge amount of military hardware to Libya before the collapse of the USSR, including 350 fighter jets between 1981 and 1985 as well as 4,000 military vehicles and tanks.
As well as its economic value, Russia's arms deals with the Middle East was also a crucial component of its bid to reassert its clout in the region which waned after the collapse of the USSR.
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Boeing wins massive US air tanker contract
Washington (AFP) Feb 24, 2011
US aerospace giant Boeing on Thursday won a massive contract to supply aerial refueling tankers to the Air Force, defeating European rival EADS in a long and tortuous contest. Announcing the first part of a contract worth more than $30 billion, the Pentagon said: "Boeing was a clear winner." The US firm is now tasked with delivering 18 aircraft by 2017, but the contract is expected to gr ... read more
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