The United States of America is world’s largest exporter of fighters; it holds nearly half of the market. Russia is second largest exporter, followed by China, France, UK and Sweden. Moscow sold three times more fighters than all European makers combined, largely due to better quality/price ratio of the Sukhoi and MiG products.
Meantime, Russia’s share in the global market for fighter aircraft decreased from 40% in the period of 2000 to 2004 inclusive down to 30% in that of 2005 to 2009. The percentage is for sheer number of aircraft delivered to customers worldwide. Absolute income in dollar terms grew substantially over the given period: the buying nations tended to purchase more heavyweight and expensive Sukhoi fighters of the Flanker series. At the same time, Russian fighters are often less expensive compared to US and European analogues. This means Russian makers earn less than their Western counterparts on “per-aircraft” basis.
Russia has managed to save positions in India despite very competitive market environment in that country. India has been buying combat aircraft from Europe, and is considering US and European designs for future acquisitions. Today, New Delhi tops the list of customers for Russian combat jets with large orders for the Su-30MKI multirole and MiG-29K/KUB deck fighters. India is followed by Algeria, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
The biggest lost that the Russian manufacturers suffered in the past five years is that of China. Beijing used to import Sukhoi Su-27SK and Su-30MKK/MK2 jets in great numbers. By 2005 China had been the largest importer of Russian fighters, but recently disappeared from the list of buyers completely.
China has been boosting export of its own products. With 90 sales, Beijing is way down Moscow, but the gap is expected to be closing in the current decade. The Chinese industry has developed very promising J-10 and FC-1 light fighters. These are now in service with Chinese and Pakistani air forces respectively, and available on the market.