SHAH ALAM: ROSTEC Corporation – the state owned Russian company established to promote the country’s civil and defence exports – recently conducted a presentation of naval products to the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) officials.
Among others Rostec representatives highlighted the latest and greatest Russian naval products from guns to the offshore patrol vessels (OPV) and frigates.
Not much details have emerged from the presentation but it is unlikely an order from the RMN and MMEA are expected soon.
For the record, both the RMN and MMEA have not procured any major naval products from Russia although the marketing had started back in the 1990s. Among the items Rostec would really like Malaysia and its neighbour, Indonesia, at present, to take up is the Beriev BE-200 amphibious aircraft which could be used for fire fighting.
Beriev claimed that the amphibious water bomber was more capable than MMEA’s own Bombardier CL-415s.
Russia had promoted the Kilo class submarines and the various frigates, corvettes and OPVs to meet the RMN requirements but the service had chosen Western designs instead. Its aerospace products have had better luck in Malaysia with both the MIG-RAC Mig-29 and the Sukhoi Su-30MKM in service with the RMAF. Bomba also operates four Russian made Mi-17 helicopters.
The Army also operates a number of Russian products from the Igla MANPADS and the Metis M-ATGMs. It also operates the Polish-made PT-91M MBT and its engineering variants, which was derived from the Russian T-72 MBT.
Despite the lack of success in the naval products category, industry sources said Rostec will continue to market the products as part of its overall effort to engage the Malaysian Armed Forces. Regionally , Vietnam is currently the biggest user of Russian naval products.
It recently received the fifth of the six Kilo class submarines it ordered from Russia back in 2009. The sixth Kilo-class submarine is expected to be delivered later this year. It is likely that the submarines are the same variant which was offered to Malaysia before the Scorpenes were ordered from DCNS.
Apart from the submarines, Vietnam also operate a sizeable number of Russian made vessels from corvettes to missile boats, some of which were built in the country by local shipyards.
Indonesia reportedly will also buy two Kilo class submarines from Russia.
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