Thursday, December 11, 2008

Russia, China to strengthen ties in military aircraft production

With China's own 5th generation in the world, China might not take this offer.

Russia, China to strengthen ties in military aircraft production
12:21 | 10/ 12/ 2008

Print version

BEIJING, December 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and China are set to boost cooperation in the sphere of combat aircraft production, the director general of Russia's Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer said on Wednesday.

"China is one of the main customers for our [Russian] aircraft and today the Chinese Air Force has in service over 200 of our Su-27 Flanker and Su-30 Flanker-C jet fighters," Mikhail Pogosyan said.

Pogosyan is on a visit to China with Russia's Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and is attending the 13th session of the Russian-Chinese mixed commission on military and technical cooperation.

Pogosyan said that the commission is set to discuss the further development of cooperation in the sphere of aircraft production and particularly the licensed production of Su-27 and Su-30 planes in China.

China has acquired 76 Su-27SK fighters from Russia since 1992, and bought a license for production of another 200 planes in 1995, in a deal worth $2.5 billion. However, the 1995 agreement did not include the transfer of avionics and AL-31F turbofan engine technology, and the Chinese manufacturers had to rely on the Russian supply of these systems.

Pogosyan also told Chinese journalists that Russia would soon sign a contract with India to jointly develop and produce a fifth-generation jet fighter.

"We plan to begin flight tests [of the fighter] as early as in 2009," he said.

The Russian-Indian advanced multirole fighter is being developed by Sukhoi, which is part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), along with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), under a preliminary intergovernmental agreement signed in October 2007.

Russia and India will simultaneously develop two versions of the combat aircraft - a two-seat version to meet the requirements of India's air superiority policy, and a single-seat version for the Russian Air Force.

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