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Arms Exports to Top $9Bln in 2010

Orders for Russian arms exports will hit a new post-Soviet record this year when they exceed $9 billion, a senior military official said Tuesday.

"Judging how the first half of the year has gone, the plan [to reach a new record] will be fulfilled," Alexander Fomin, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, said at an airshow in Farnborough, England, Interfax reported.

Russian arms exports totaled $8.5 billion last year, and analysts have said the industry may have reached its limit.

Projections for 2010 have included the sale of some 40 fighters of the Su-27-30 Flanker family, Moscow-based military think tank CAST said this year.

Final deliveries are expected to be made on the Indian deal for 16 carrier-based MiG-29K fighters. Russia will also start delivering the contracted 80 Mi-17V-5 helicopters to India.

Venezuela, Washington's main foe in Latin America and Russia's newfound friend, received a $2.2 billion loan from Moscow in 2009 to be spent on weapons. The only known contract is for 92 upgraded T-72M1M main battle tanks.

Russia's sole authorized arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, accounted for $7.436 billion of Russia's 2009 defense exports, up from $6.725 billion in 2008, CAST has said.

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