Although Russia's defense industry underwent through a difficult period in the 1990s, Russia has managed to cope with hardships and achieved significant success in the production of weapons, Andrei Koshkin, a military analyst and head of the Sociology and Political Science Department at the Russian Plekhanov Economic University, told Radio Sputnik.
"I think that in future — under the condition of a proper development policy for the defense industry and the armed forces of the Russian Federation — this success and the demand in the arms market will become sustainable. And the national security of our state will be increased," Koshkin said.
The latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released on Monday indicated that Russia bolstered its arms sales by 3.8 percent in 2016. Russian companies are ranked third among world defense contractors, accounting for 7.1 percent of global arms sales.
Koshkin believes the increased demand for Russian arms and military equipment is quite logical especially following its victory in Syria over Daesh (ISIS/ISIL), the largest terrorist organization in the world.
"This was a shining example of the fact that our armament and military equipment meets the highest requirements in the arms market," the military analyst highlighted. Additionally, Russian specialists could train those interested in using Russia-made weapons, he said.
The SIPRI Top 100 report shows that global weapons trade is on the rise after five years of steady decline: It was 1.9 percent higher in 2016 than in the previous year and totaled almost $374.8 billion. For comparison's sake, the recent figures demonstrate an increase of 38 percent since 2002, when the institute started releasing its surveys on global arms trade.
The American military industrial complex is ranked first with a combined total of $217.2 billion in 2016. According to the institute, arms sales of US companies grew by 4 percent in 2016, due to "US military operations overseas" and "acquisitions of large weapon systems by other countries."
Weapons sales by companies in Western Europe in 2016 remained stable at a total of $91.6 billion with a 0.2 percent year-on-year increase. However, the UK and Germany have demonstrated an upward trend of 2 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.
The combined sales of Russian defense contractors amounted to $26.6 billion in 2016.
"The major economic difficulties experienced by Russia in 2016 have contributed to a slowdown in the rate of increase in the arms sales of Russian companies," SIPRI senior researcher Siemon Wezeman said, as quoted by the institute's official site.
The institute outlined five Russian companies with significant sales growth among 10 firms listed in the SIPRI Top 100. "The highest ranked Russian company in the SIPRI Top 100 for 2016 is United Aircraft Corporation, which is placed 13th," the report said, stressing that the company's sales skyrocketed by 15.6 percent compared with 2015.
The views and opinions expressed by Andrei Koshkin are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.