Thales Partners with Russia on Weapons

There’s an interesting post over at RCW’s Compass blog on the new memorandum of understanding signed between the French defense giant Thales and the Russian state arms exporter Rosonboronexport to jointly manufacture and sell arms to third parties, beginning with a focus on naval applications.

It should be noted that an international industrial group Thales is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of defense products. In 2008, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the company delivered its products to customers in the amount of more than $9.3 billion, taking tenth place among other top defense corporations in sales volume. Memo to Pentagon: Thales also actively participates in supplying technology and products to NATO countries, so how exactly will its cooperation with Moscow affect French military relationship with Washington? Especially given how much Russia and US compete on the global arms market? Anyone?