Although feeling the pressure from aircraft manufacturers in China spitting out passable knock-offs of its own designs, Russia will maintain its second place position behind the U.S. in global fighter sales at least until 2013, according to a Moscow think tank.
Russia sold 476 fighters worth $27.7 billion from 2006 to 2009. That number is expected to double in the next four years with the global demand for Sukhois and MiGs rising to nearly 200 planes a year. India is the top buyer of Russian fighter jets. Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport says Russia could sign its first contract for the export of the Su-35 Flanker-E by the end of the year.
Russia has begun to restrict the export of some advanced aircraft components, mostly engines and avionics, to China, as Chinese manufacturers steal market share away by offering Russian knock-offs at far less cost. China currently sits in third place in terms of aircraft exporters, followed by Britain, Sweden and France.
-- Greg Grant