Russia and Israel in the Paris air show – growing competition

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11270576_sThe Paris Air Show will emphasize the growing competition between Russia and Israel in some segments of the market. An Israeli source told the joint I-HLS Defense Update coverage team.

While the early impression is of smaller presence of U.S and other delegations , Russia’s military firms will use the show to demonstrate its capabilities.

The Yak-130 light attack jet, Kamov KA-52 attack helicopter and Sukhoi Su-35 fighter will all be flying at the show, marking the first time since 1999 that Russian fighters will be on display at Paris. That show ended in near-tragedy when an Su-30 crashed during maneuvers, with the pilots ejecting just above ground level.

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The Su-35 is particularly interesting, as Paris is the fighter’s first public appearance abroad. A heavily modified version of the Su-27 with new engines and advanced avionics, the Su-35 comes with 12 weapon stations and can carry a weapons load of 8,000 kilograms, according to company data.

AUS&R 180x250Reports have compared the Su-35 to the F-35 joint strike fighter. But if Russia expects to compete in the same markets, it may be disappointed, said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group.

The Su-35 market is “the same as the Sukhoi market has always been, which is India, China and some other, more marginal countries,” he said. “The idea that it would be an F-35 competitor any more than the Su-30 was is a bit ridiculous.

“That doesn’t mean it isn’t a good plane,” Aboulafia said. “In terms of being a strategic rival to the F-35, absolutely, but in terms of commercial competitor for the same markets, I can’t imagine any overlap whatsoever.”

The benefit of a Russian appearance is “very understandable,” said Mark Gunzinger, a former Pentagon official and now senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments told Defense News.

“Foreign military sales are very important to them,” he said. “They have some good technologies, they have some good engines.

They have low observability, and they want to sell a lot of equipment. So why shouldn’t they show up to Paris?”

According to Defense News Russia’s visit to Paris comes as the Russian arms industry draws renewed attention around the globe — though not necessarily for positive reasons.

In late May, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad indicated that Russia may deliver S-300 air defense missile systems to Syria, providing his embattled regime a high level of protection from Israeli or American airstrikes. The move drew international criticism.

While Putin later said no decision had been made on transferring the systems, the director of Russia’s MiG told media that a Syrian delegation was in talks to purchase more than 10 Russian fighters.

The Israeli experts told the Show coverage team that in some fields like air defense, radars , EW systems and others the Russian industry is present in new markets “is some of them in direct competition with Israeli companies” he was not ready to specify but it is known that Russia is very active in India a huge potential market for Israeli defense companies.

By:  The I-HLS – Defense update Show coverage team