GABORONE, Botswana — A top executive of state-owned Russian air defense systems manufacturer United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation (UIMC) said the company is in the final stages of negotiating the sale of one Acacia-E automatic aerospace defense system to Algeria.

In a wide-ranging interview, UIMC executive board member Andrey Riznyk told the Itar-Tass news service in Moscow that the company hopes to sign an agreement of sale with Algeria within the next month. He said the Algerian deal will be the first outcome of the company's aggressive marketing drive of the Acacia-E to old and new customers in Asia, the Middle East and South America.

"We are now in the final stages of signing a contract with Algeria for the supply and delivery of this (Acacia-E) system, and we hope to sign it this December,Riznyk said.

He defined the Acacia-E as a sophisticated airspace defense system that gives operators a tactical edge over competitors because it performs several roles while making battlefield decisions that achieve the overall goals of self-defense.

"This is a control system primarily for use by air forces in aerospace defense and aircraft defense and its export version is known as Acacia-E. ... It can observe and analyze situations over a wide areas and can track up to 200 targets simultaneously, describing full target details. It even makes autonomous decisions such as whether or not to fire on specific targets," Riznyk said.

The executive said Malaysia and Brazil have also expressed received solid expressions of interest in the Acacia-E from . UIMC, he said,is in the midst of an aggressive marketing campaign and will take the Acacia-E system for demonstrations in five out of 14 prospective customer countries in Asia, the Middle East and South America.

"We are also negotiating actively with our traditional customers India and Vietnam, and we have been contacted by Malaysia and Brazil who are are also keen to have the Acacia-E system," Riznyk said. "We are also considering 14 prospective customer countries which may be interested in purchasing this system. More specifically, we are going to take Acacia-E for a demonstration to Brazil, India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China and Vietnam."

The Algerian Air Force already operates four Russian-made batteries of the S-300 PMU2 system ordered in 2006 to replace the aged S-125 (SA-3) aerial defenses. The North African country also has a pending order of four more S-300 PMU2 systems. The systems were ordered as part of a $7 million arms package that also included at least two kilo-class submarines and several Sukhoii-30 multi-role fighter jets.

Algeria also is yet to take delivery of 22 SA-22 Pantsir-S mobile air defense systems ordered from Russia in 2010. The Pantsir-S unit is a sophisticated, mobile and autonomous air defense weapon that deploys 12 surface-to-air guided missiles and two 30mm air defense automatic guns. The tracked system is considered effective in giving aerial cover to mobile forces and in the defense of strategic assets and sites.


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