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Oct. 23, 2006
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Russia to Deliver Su-33 Fighters to China
Russias 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 Russias 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 doesnt 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.

All the Article in Russian as of Oct. 23, 2006

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