Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The rumors about my death have been greatly exaggerated...

Remember last week, everyone was talking about the collapsed of the Sino-Russian Su-33 deal and it's implication on the Chinese aircraft carrier program, well, as it turns out, the soap opera continues.........

An update from Janes (Here)

Negotiations for the sale of Sukhoi Su-33 carrier-capable combat aircraft to the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) are still continuing with both sides interested in coming to a final agreement, Russian industry sources have told Jane's.

With that, I bring you the quote-of-the-day:
"It is almost like a series of waves, you could say. They come to us with a high level of interest, asking a lot of questions, then their interest seems to fade into the background and then sometime later - the next wave - they are back with more questions again
Which makes you wonder; are they negotiating on a state-of-the-art carrier fighter or an old used car like a 1999 Toyota Corolla?

For those who believe conspiracy theories... News about the negotiation broke down was released on March 10th, J-10B surfaced on the net few days later and the negotiation continues. Now, I really want to see if the new J-10B prototype comes with a arrestor hook.

Here is the report from last week.
Russian-Chinese Su-33 fighter deal collapses - paper
13:58 | 10/ 03/ 2009

MOSCOW, March 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has refused to sell its Su-33 carrier-based fighters to China over fears that Beijing could produce cheaper export versions of the aircraft, a Russian daily said on Tuesday.

The Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper said that China and Russia had been in negotiations on the sale of 50 of the Su-33 Flanker-D fighters, to be used on future Chinese aircraft carriers, since 2006, but that the talks collapsed recently over China's request for an initial delivery of two aircraft for a "trial."

Russian Defense Ministry sources confirmed that the refusal was due to findings that China had produced its own copycat version of the Su-27SK fighter jet in violation of intellectual property agreements.

In 1995, China secured a $2.5-billion production license from Russia to build 200 Su-27SKs, dubbed J-11A, at the Shenyang Aircraft Corp.

The deal required the aircraft to be outfitted with Russian avionics, radars and engines. Russia cancelled the arrangement in 2006 after it discovered that China was developing an indigenous version, J-11B, with Chinese avionics and systems. The decision came after China had already produced 95 aircraft.

This time, Russia refused the Chinese offer even after Beijing had offered to buy 14 Su-33 aircraft, saying that at least 24 jets should be sold to recoup production costs.

However, the Moskovsky Komsomolets said that the Su-33 deal may be reviewed later because China desperately needs carrier-based aircraft to equip its first indigenous 48,000-ton aircraft carrier, due to be built by 2011. Beijing has also announced plans to build a nuclear-powered aircraft-carrier by 2020.

Chinese media recently quoted China fleet commander Adm. Xu Hongmeng as saying: "China will very soon have its own aircraft carrier."

The Su-33 is a carrier-based multi-role fighter, which can perform a variety of air superiority, fleet defense, air support and reconnaissance missions. The aircraft entered service with the Russian Navy in 1995 and are currently deployed on board the Nikolai Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.

Russian Su-33 naval fighters are significantly cheaper than any similar foreign models, such as the French Rafale-M, or the U.S F-35C or the F/A-22N Sea Raptor.

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