Overblog
Suivre ce blog
Editer l'article Administration Créer mon blog
19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 19:35
Why Would Russia Sell China Su-35 Fighter Jets?

 

November 19, 2013 By Harry Kazianis - thediplomat.com

 

Given China’s history of stealing Russian defense technology, Moscow’s thinking is hard to understand.

 

Truthfully, the state of Russia-China ties gives me a headache.

First, I understand the rationale for both sides to develop large agreements for natural resource sales—it’s clearly in both of their national interests. China needs them (having a majority of the imported resource that powers your economy, namely oil, go through narrow straits that could be blockaded is probably not a good plan), Russia wants to sell them (what else does Russia have to sell these days). However, military sales of Moscow’s best equipment, even as a report from the Want China Times suggests is still being negotiated makes little sense, well…at least for Russia that is.

As I have stated on several occasions, Russia has a number of reasons to hold off selling even one of its most capable jets to China. Readers of Flashpoints are familiar with the tale of Russia’s last large jet sale to China, the SU-27. When Russia’s defense industry was on its back in 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, China purchased US$1 billion worth of the then-advanced fighter. Plans were laid for an expansion of the agreement for up to 200 jets to be sold, with large quantities to be assembled in China.  The deal then fell apart after the first 100 or so jets were delivered when Moscow accused Beijing of essentially replicating the jet and prepping it for resale under the renamed J-11 and J-11B. China has allegedly copied at least one other fighter jet of Russian origin, the SU-33, renamed the J-15.

For their part, Chinese officials denied such allegations. According to a piece in the Wall Street Journal back in 2010, Zhang Xinguo, deputy president of AVIC, tried to claim the jets were not a copy.

“You cannot say it’s just a copy,” Zhang declared. “Mobile phones all look similar. But technology is developing very quickly. Even if it looks the same, everything inside cannot be the same.”

In a piece for the People’s Daily, Chinese officials would also defend the J-15, the alleged copy of the SU-33.

Geng Yansheng, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, explained, “The world military affairs have an objective law of development. Many weapons have the same design principle and some command and protection methods are also similar. Therefore, it at least is non-professional to conclude that China copied the aircraft carrier technology of other countries only by simply comparison.”

The deal that is being considered now, at least according to the report mentioned above, sounds similar to the SU-27 sale.  According to WCT, “Beijing sought a promise from Moscow to set up a maintenance center in China as part of the contract” and that “Chinese experts must be able to maintain and repair Su-35 fighters with training provided by Russian advisers.”

Effectively, Russia would be giving up a tremendous amount of technical knowledge and knowhow to China with very little safeguards to stop a repeat of the SU-27 incident. While Russia would gain a large sale for its arms industry, thinking long-term – and recalling the fact that Russia-China relations historically have not exactly been a model of peace and prosperity – Moscow might want to think twice about such an agreement.

For China, there are a number of reasons such a deal would be attractive. China has documented issues producing fighter jet engines, and even the ability to take apart and dissect Russia’s latest military wares would be of use. And for all the talk of 5th generation fighters, America is the only nation so far to deploy such a craft, with various well-documented glitches along the way. A more traditional craft could be of great value to Beijing while it perfects a stealthier fighter for the future. Also, considering the long range of the SU-35, such a plane would be of great value to loiter over disputed territories in the East and South China Sea for extended periods of time. Indeed, if Beijing buys into all the talk about Air-Sea Battle (ASB) being all about deep strikes on the Chinese mainland, an advanced fighter jet to defend the homeland does not seem like a bad investment in the long term.

For Russia, the risks seem obvious. Competing against your own technology in the lucrative arms trade is never a good thing. While a deal today might be profitable, the loss of multiple future deals to cheaper Chinese copies could be a disaster tomorrow.  Also, today’s friendships could give way to tomorrow’s geostrategic challenges. Russia and China’s interests might not always align so closely. It would be a pity if Russia someday were forced to consider squaring off against military technology it sold to Beijing, either directly or against Chinese sales to some future adversary.

There is however one possibility that Russia could be banking on for China to behave this go around: it has the option of cutting off oil supplies if Beijing does not play nice. The question is, considering the fact that a large amount of Russia’s overall budget is backed by oil revenue, even if China decided to make the same choice and again play copycat, would Russia be in a position to make such a move?

Partager cet article

commentaires

Présentation

  • : RP Defense
  • RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact

Recherche

Articles Récents

  • Chronique culturelle - 24 Nov.
    24 novembre 1977 : premier vol du Super Etendard de série 24.11.2016 source JFP 24 novembre 885 : début du siège de Paris par les Vikings. Très actifs durant le IXè siècle, les Vikings ont pris l’habitude de remonter les fleuves du Nord de la France pour...
  • Sortie en librairie le 21 novembre du livre LÉGIONNAIRE
    source MAREUIL EDITIONS Pour la première fois, un ancien officier de la Légion et un Légionnaire donnent la parole à 64 de leurs camarades. Pendant 2 ans, Victor Ferreira a rencontré près d’une centaine de Légionnaires à travers le monde en leur posant...
  • Brazilian Navy H225M Naval Combat Configuration
    17 nov. 2016 Airbus Helicopters Helibras and Airbus Helicopters have opened a new chapter in the history of the H225M multirole utility helicopter with the official presentation of the first aircraft in naval combat configuration. More info Helibras and...
  • Chronique culturelle - 17 Nov.
    La Bataille du Pont d'Arcole - Horace Vernet 17.11.2016 source JFP 17 novembre 1794 : début de la bataille de la Sierra Negra (Espagne) « opposant les troupes des généraux de Pérignon et Dugommier à celles du général espagnol de Carvajal. Cette victoire...
  • Le CEAM présente le CEILDT - Centre d’Expertise et d’Instruction des Liaisons de Données Tactiques
    15 nov. 2016 CEAM Petit clip de présentation sur le Centre d’Expertise et d’Instruction des Liaisons de Données Tactiques (CEILDT). Petit clip de présentation sur le Centre d'Expertise et d'Instruction des Liaisons de Données Tactiques (CEILDT).
  • Audition de M. Marwan Lahoud, président du groupement des industries françaises aéronautiques et spatiales
    photo Aseemblée Nationale 9 novembre 2016 Commission de la défense nationale et des forces armées - Compte rendu n° 15 Présidence de Mme Patricia Adam, présidente — Audition, ouverte à la presse, de M. Marwan Lahoud, président du groupement des industries...
  • Chronique culturelle - 15 Nov.
    Jean Gabin, chef de char du Régiment Blindé de Fusiliers Marins 15.11.2016 source JFP 15 novembre 1315 : bataille de Morgarten (Suisse actuelle). Convoités à la fois par la Bavière et l'Autriche, les Cantons suisses (Uri, Schwytz et Unterwald) donnent...
  • Chammal : les artilleurs appuient les forces irakiennes
    10 nov. 2016 Ministère de la Défense Opération Chammal : les artilleurs de la Task Force Wagram appuient les forces irakiennes et participent à la sécurisation des zones conquises aux alentours de Mossoul. Opération Chammal : les artilleurs de la Task...
  • Chronique culturelle - 10 Nov.
    La bataille de Tolbiac, toile marouflée, Panthéon de Paris, France - Joseph Blanc (1846-1904) 10.11.2016 source JFP 10 novembre 496 : bataille de Tolbiac (Zulpich - Allemagne actuelle). Le roi Clovis écrase les Alamans près de l'actuelle ville de Cologne...
  • Chronique culturelle - 9 Nov.
    Bataille de Coulmiers - Prise d'Orléans - 9 novembre 1870 09.11.2016 source JFP 9 novembre 1799 : coup d'Etat du 18 brumaire . Le général Bonaparte est porté au pouvoir par un coup d'Etat qui dure jusqu'au 11 novembre, mettant fin au Directoire et initiant...

Categories