TechDubai Airshow 2023 ends in disappointment for the Russian delegation with no deals

Dubai Airshow 2023 ends in disappointment for the Russian delegation with no deals

Russian fighter Su-35S
Russian fighter Su-35S
Images source: © The text "OAK" is already in English so there is no need for translation.

11:58 AM EST, November 30, 2023

The Dubai Airshow 2023, one of the world's biggest airshows, concluded in a significant disappointment for the Russian contingent. Although they showcased their latest and highly advanced aircrafts, not a single new contractor was willing to push through with a deal. This adds to the mounting evidence of diminishing interest in doing business with Moscow, particularly with India's decisions causing grave implications.

As reminded by journalists and analysts specialized in military affairs, the altered approach of many nations towards trading with Moscow was already conspicuous during the Dubai Airshow 2021. In that event, Russian delegates laid the groundwork for transactions amounting to $1.3 billion. However, back in 2017, they flaunted contracts worth $10 billion. This year's edition of the Dubai showcase yielded zero profits. As reported by The Moscow Times, "The Russian state corporation did not announce the signing of any contract."

No buyers for Russia's flagship airplanes

Despite their promotion of premier aircrafts, the Russians garnered no interest. Among the promoted machines were the heavy transport aircraft Il-76MD-90A, designed to carry loads up to approximately 66 tons in a cargo hold around 11307 ft³. Also promoted were helicopters Ka-32A11M and Mi-171A3, the fighter aircraft Su-35S, and a variety of missile and rocket systems, including S-350 Vityaz.

The Dubai Airshow 2023 merely reiterated the stark disparity between expectations and reality concerning the Su-35S. This fighter, commissioned for the Russian Air Force in 2014, is a recent modification of the Su-27, which first took flight in the late 80s. Despite weighing nearly 19 tons and equipped with twin engines, with capabilities to attack ground and maritime targets and vectoring technology to enable exceptional manoeuvrability at low speeds, it has still failed to attract foreign customers (apart from China, which has a contract in place).

"Russian weapons rank among the world's best, as plainly observed on the Ukrainian battlefields," said Vladimir Artakov, Deputy Director of Rostec. However, Western journalists beg to differ. As convincing evidence, they underline the absence of any parties interested in starting negotiations. They speculate that potential customers are deterred not only by the questionable quality of Russian solutions, but also by the prolonged delivery dates due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

India also refrains from trading with Russia, Iran remains an ally

To some, Russia's status as an active aggressor is reason enough to pull back from trading with it. Additionally, certain nations are endeavouring to build their own technologies. Decisions from India, which has been one of Russia's chief trading partners for countless years, are striking Russia hard. India recently announced its withdrawal from deals involving Il-38SD aircraft and Russian tanks.

India has also decided against signing another contract for the S-400 anti-aircraft systems, opting instead to develop a similar-expertise weapon that allows for targeting at distances up to 217 miles.

The only nation continuing to trade with Moscow is Iran. The recent agreement involves the purchase of Su-35 fighters and Mi-28 assault helicopters. As a Russian ally, Iran openly discusses its military supplies from Russia, which are later utilized in the war in Ukraine.

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