Vietnam is eyeing a major defense shift as it seeks to reduce its reliance on Russian arms and launch a push to export locally made weapons, officials and analysts said, with possible buyers in Africa, Asia — and potentially even Moscow.

The Southeast Asian nation is one of the world's 20 biggest buyers of weapons amid on-and-off tensions with China, with an annual budget for arms imports estimated at about $1 billion and set to grow, according to GlobalData, a provider of military procurement intelligence.

Most of that money has historically gone to Russia, which was for decades Vietnam's main supplier of weapons and defense systems. That made Vietnam one of the top buyers of Russian arms, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which tracks global military expenditures.