Top 5 new Russian export weapons named
Russia’s state arms exporter has named its top five new weapons, citing the attention they’ve got on the international market. They range from assault rifles to an upcoming 5th-generation fighter jet, and sophisticated drones.
The list, compiled by the arms exporter Rosoboronexport, was furnished by the company’s director general Alexander Mikheev on Thursday.
Sukhoi Su-75 ‘Checkmate’ jet
The upcoming Sukhoi Su-75 ‘Checkmate’ fighter jet took the top place. The soon-to-be-produced aircraft was showcased at the MAKS-2021 and Dubai air shows. The plane is a single-engine 5th-generation fighter jet, expected to be capable of operating unmanned, and touted as able to engage both aerial and ground targets with sophisticated weaponry.
Another selling point touted by the state exporter is the jet’s attractive price tag, which is expected to be some $25-to-$30 million per unit – nearly two times lower than its main competitor, the US-made F-35 fighter.
Orion-E surveillance & attack drone
A new Orion-E drone, unveiled at the MAKS-2021 air show in July, has also apparently sparked interest among potential buyers, according to Rosoboronexport. The new variant of the Orion is said to have turned the machine into a full-fledged surveillance and strike UAV, capable of striking ground targets with missiles and bombs, as well as surveilling from high altitudes.
The drone also boasts the capability to engage aerial targets, according to test footage issued by the Russian military earlier this month.
TOS-2 multiple rocket launcher
Another new weapon on the list is the TOS-2 ‘Tosochka’ multiple rocket launcher, which fires 220-mm unguided projectiles with thermobaric warheads. The system is a successor of the TOS-1 system, classified in Russia as a “heavy flamethrower.”
Unlike the original variant, which was mounted on a tank frame, the new machine comes with a wheeled chassis, which is said to make the system more mobile and versatile.
New Kalashnikov AK-19 rifle
The new variant of the iconic Kalashnikov assault rifle, the AK-19, has also made it onto the list. While retaining its recognizable look, the AK-19 comes with an adjustable stock, assorted rails for additional equipment and all the bells and whistles a modern firearm is expected to incorporate.
The assault rifle has been created specifically for export, coming chambered in 5,56x45 NATO round. The Russian arms exporter has already secured the first international contracts to supply the new rifle, the country’s officials said earlier this week.
S-350E anti-aircraft system
Russian-made anti-aircraft systems, which remain among its top-exported weapons, have also been featured, with the new S-350E making it onto Rosoboronexport’s fresh list.
The system, which has already been adopted by the Russian military, was showcased abroad for the first time this year, debuting at the Dubai Airshow in November.