Saturday, April 11, 2009

Russia-China military deals worth $16 bln since 2001

MOSCOW, April 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russian-Chinese military-technical cooperation totals $16 billion since 2001, but the Chinese share of Russian arms exports is decreasing, the head of Russia's arms export monopoly has said.

"In the past 15 years, China has been one of our major customers, buying up to $2.7 billion-worth of Russian-made weaponry. The value of Russian-Chinese military-technical cooperation since 2001 totals $16 billion," Rosoboronexport's general director Anatoly Isaikin said in an interview published on Friday with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta government daily.

Russia has sold China Su-27 and Su-30 fighters, Kilo class diesel submarines, and air-defense systems, among other types of weapons and equipment.

However, the official said the Chinese share of Russian arms exports decreased to 18% last year, and could drop to 10-15% in the future for a number of reasons, including Russia's expansion into other arms markets.

He said Russia was unfazed by the prospect, because the sales volumes remained relatively high.

"After all, sales volumes [to China] are still high, averaging $1 billion a year," Isaikin said, adding that Russia's first arms deal of this year was signed with China for the delivery of more than 100 jet engines for the Chinese J-10 fighter.

Military analysts believe, however, that Russian-Chinese military cooperation has been overshadowed by Russia's concerns that China may use Russian technology to produce their own copycat versions of military equipment.

For instance, 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.

Russian Defense Ministry sources earlier 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.

Solovtsov said both countries were making efforts to resolve existing problems.

"We signed an agreement in December last year on the protection of intellectual property in the sphere of military-technical cooperation," the general said, adding that mechanisms to implement the provisions of the document would be developed in the near future.

He also said that China would continue to buy military transport aircraft and aircraft engines from Russia, and was also interested in air-defense systems and naval equipment.

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20090410/121053007.html

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