World Bulletin/News Desk
In the midst of heightening tensions with Japan over the disputed Diaoyutai islands (called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China), China is still negotiating with Russia to import more advanced weapon systems with which to equip its air force and navy, writes Vasiliy Kashin from the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in an article for the Moscow-based Military-Industrial Courier.
Kashin said that China is still the second largest market for Russian-built weapons systems after India. In 2011, Russia sold weapon systems worth of US$1.9 billion to China. Rosoboronexport, the state intermediary agency for Russia's exports and imports of defense-related and products, stated that this increased to more than US$2.1 billion in the year 2012, Want China Times reports.
Of the US$17.6 billion worth of contracts signed by Rosoboronexport, 12% of them are from China. Since 2012, Beijing has signed new contracts worth US$1.3 billion with Russia. Among them, US$600 million is for 52 Mil Mi-171E helicopters, along with another US$700 million for 140 Saturn AL-31F engines to equip China's fourth-generation fighters such as the Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30, and the Shenyang J-11B/BS, J-15 and J-16.
Kashin said that China is still negotiating with Russia over four additional contracts. First, China hopes to introduce 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters from Russia. Equipped with the L-band active electronically scanned array radar, the Su-35 will be able to increase the aerial combat capability of the PLA Air Force in any potential territorial conflict against the Japan Air Self-Defense Force over the East China Sea.
In addition, China plans to introduce the S-400 surface-to-air missile with the capability to cover the airspace of Taiwan and Japan from Russia. It has a range of 400 kilometers which can be used to defend China's coastline against potential air strikes launched by the United States Air Force and the Republic of China Air Force from Okinawa and Taiwan. However, China and Russia have not reached any consensus yet about how many missiles China will get and when the missiles will be supplied.Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2014, 16:54