RusData Dialine - Russian Press Digest
October 23, 2006 Monday
Russia lands on a Chinese aircraft carrier
Konstantin Lantratov; Alexandra Gritskova
Kommersant, No 198/P, p.17
Beijing may buy Russian-made Su-33 jetfighters
Russia's state exporter of weapons, Rosoboronexport is completing
negotiations to ship to China up to 50 Su-33 jet fighters for a total
worth of $2.5 billion. If the deal is ever clinched, it will be the
second biggest contract for export of Russia's armaments.
Till late this year, China will buy in Russia two Su-33 jet fighters
on trial for the aircraft carrier that is currently constructed. The
deal value is around $100 million, sources close to negotiations
said. Bound by the very tough confidential agreements on military
cooperation, Rosoboronexport doesn't comment on the talks.
But the sources say the contract will be sealed in December in
Beijing. The aircraft will be constructed by Komsomolsk-on-Amur
Production Association and tested by China at the ground range and at
Varyag aircraft carrier that was acquired in Ukraine in 1999 and
which construction is being completed now. Russia uses Su-33 only at
Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.
China intends to come up with its own aircraft carrier by 2010,
equipping it with foreign jets. But it will probably attempt to
design its own variant of Su-33 by using Russia's technology.
The agreed option provides for delivery of 12 more Su-33 jets. The
consignment may widen to 48, stepping up the budget to $2.5 billion.
Should it happen, it would be the second biggest military and
technological contract of Russia, trailing in size only the
$3-billion agreement for Su-30MKI license assembly in India.
"Theoretically, China can make aircraft. They have mastered license
assembly of J-11, the actual Su-27SK. The question is how much it
will cost and how efficient it will be in operation," said Konstantin
Makienko, an expert of Strategy and Technology Center.
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