LE BOURGET, October 25 (RIA Novosti)
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Russia and Italy have held renewed discussions on joint development of small conventionally-powered submarines, Russia's arms export company Rosoboronexport said at the Euronavale defense show on Thursday.
"We continue to discuss this question with our Italian colleagues," said Rosoboronexport's Deputy Director Ivan Goncharenko said. "The talks are just at the level of exploring ideas, general approaches, but they are taking place."
A contract was signed between Russia and Italy in 2004 for development of a conceptual project for a conventional submarine, with a design displacement of 1,050 tons for use in tropical conditions, near islands and in deep and shallow waters.
Russia currently operates one type of conventionally-powered submarines, the Project 877 (Kilo class) with the Project 636 (Improved Kilo class) in production, with a displacement of around 2,300 tons surfaced.
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The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.