Russian conventional arms transfers since 1991 : implications for U.S. Naval Forces
Harmon, Neil Andrew
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This thesis analyzes the Russian Federation's conventional arms transfers since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Russia looks to the sale of conventional arms as a promising source of capital income and a viable method to maintain its state defense industry. Due to a substantial decrease in sales volume, the international conventional arms market has become extremely competitive over the last decade. This competitiveness has driven exporters, including Russia, to offer latest technologies employed in such advanced weapons as supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, acoustically quiet submarines, and fourth generation fighter aircraft. The continued worldwide proliferation of advanced Russian conventional arms will remain a major concern for the United States Navy in the foreseeable future. Navies throughout the world, in particular China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), are aggressively purchasing Russian advanced naval equipment and related technologies to improve their maritime capabilities. The United States Navy, accordingly, will increasingly encounter and possibly be engaged by advanced Russian conventional arms within the decade. Initiatives which curtail proliferation and minimize the impact of these weapons on regional stability should be implemented, thereby, reducing the potential threat to forward-deployed naval forces. The United States needs to strengthen current policies including the Wassenaar Arrangement arms control agreement, continue U.S.-Russian cooperative efforts in converting Russia's defense industry, and maintain a viable naval presence in the Western Pacific to counter the PLAN's modernization program.
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