Procurement: Russians Unleash the Lease Weapon


December 18, 2005: Russian arms exporters are looking for financial aid from the government so that expensive military gear (like fighter aircraft) can be offered for lease, as well as purchase. Russian arms exports are running at about six billion dollars a year, and being able to offer equipment for lease would increase sales still further. But this would require the ability to finance the leases. The government is expected to cooperate, as it was these exports that kept many key Russian defense companies going through the 1990s, when there were practically no orders from the Russian armed forces. Now the Russian military is buying again, and the more money the defense companies can get, the more they can put into developing the next generation of weapons. When the Cold War ended in 1991, Russia basically lost a generation of military research and development. Some development projects were kept barely alive, but not much new research was done. There is still a chance for the Russians to stay up-to-date in military technology, especially since they have now adopted more efficient Western manufacturing and business practices.


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