Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pakistan to get Chinese AEW&C aircraft ZDK-03 later this year

ZDK-03 is based from Yun-8 transport plane.

Pakistan has received its second Erieye radar-equipped Saab 2000, and will also accept its first Shaanxi ZDK-03 airborne early warning and control system aircraft before year-end.

Islamabad has four ZDK-03s on order, with deliveries due to start later this year, say air force sources. The type is a new variant of the Shaanxi Y8 AEW&C aircraft designed specifically for Pakistan.

The Chinese aircraft is powered by four turboprop engines and has a greater range than offered by the Saab Microwave Systems Erieye, the sources say.

The air force recently received its second Saab 2000 surveillance aircraft, and anticipates that it will receive its remaining two in the second and third quarters of this year.

Islamabad signed a mid-2006 contract for Erieye radar-equipped Saab 2000s

Pakistan's move to source AEW&C aircraft from both China and the West is indicative of its strategy to refrain from being overly reliant on any one ally. The USA imposed military sanctions against Pakistan from 1990 to 2005 in response to its testing nuclear weapons.

The air force's current fleet includes Lockheed Martin F-16s, Dassault Mirage III and 5 fighters, Chengdu F-7s and JF-17s; a new type developed jointly by China and Pakistan.

In terms of military transports, Pakistan flies Lockheed C-130s, but also operates Ilyushin Il-78 tankers.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

China seeks Soviet technology from other states in Former Soviet Union

Soviet Secrets Still For Sale

China, which has bought several billion dollars worth of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, has approached Belarus about getting a better deal on spare parts and maintenance services. How can this be? Because the Soviet Union distributed its defense plants throughout its territory, many of these factories ended up in foreign countries, when the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991. Belarus inherited some S-300 manufacturing capabilities, which it continues to operate. This gives China another opportunity to take advantage of the murky patent situation that resulted from the demise of the Soviet Union. While the new countries (that were once part of the Soviet Union) owned the weapons plants, the question of who owned the intellectual property (the patents on the weapons produced) is still not nailed down.

Thus, while Russia has been a major victim of China's program of stealing military technology, other countries have been more willing to share Russian military technology. This provided China with many more opportunities to get Soviet military technology without having to deal with Russia (which is quite unhappy with China's plundering ways.)

Even Belarus, the former part of the Soviet Union that is most closely allied with Russia, has been eager to peddle Soviet military technology to China. Former Soviet factories in Belarus manufactured heavy trucks for transporting and launching large ballistic missiles. Thus Belarus is selling components and technology to assist China in building a transporter for its four ton DF11 ballistic missile. The Chinese WS2400 8x8 heavy duty truck used to carry the DF11 is very similar to Russian models. So the new interest in S-300 components and services sales is welcome in Belarus.

Ukraine, which has frosty relations with Russia, has been exporting engines for China's K8 jet trainer, as well as engines for Chinese helicopters. Ukraine is also willing to sell technology, and send personnel to teach the Chinese how to build it. The Central Asian nations that were formerly part of the Soviet Union have also sold Soviet military technology to China.