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Russian Su-35 to be Sold Despite China’s Risks

Written by on Thursday, January 31st, 2013

The saying, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me” certainly applies to the Russian arms export policy when it comes to China and intellectual property rights (IPRs). With exports of the Sukhoi Su-35 languishing to foreign customers, the Russians buy cialis usa have entered into negotiations with the Chinese to purchase 24 of their fourth generation fighter despite the risks of giving away technology and the IPRs of the aircraft.

Over a decade ago, the Chinese paid Russia $2.5 billion for a license to assemble 200 Su-27s at the Shenyang Aircraft Company in China. Then in 2004, China suddenly canceled the contract after only having completed 105 aircraft and three years later unveiled their exact replica of the Su-27 Flanker that they called the J-11B. The theft of technology by the Chinese was greatly contested by the Russians and marked a suspension of export sales to China for many years. But with declining sales of the Su-35 and a rising industrial base by the Chinese, the Russians have decided to once again risk loss of technology and reverse engineering practices by the Chinese to secure a customer. The Su-35 looks like the Su-27 Flanker from the outside but combines improved maneuverability thru the use of composites in manufacturing and a new fly-by-wire system. Further improvements include the Zhuk-27 Pulse Doppler radar that can track up to 15 targets at once and a new cockpit with upgrades to displays. In addition, the Su-35 has a more powerful engine, which some analysts believe is the reason the Chinese are interested in the purchase so they can either use the engine in their own stealth fighter development or use the technology to build their own engines.

Bottom-line, the cash-starved Russians undoubtedly understand the risks involved with the sale to the Chinese but with an ever-growing Chinese technology base, their days of selling military equipment to the China may quickly be coming to an end and for that reason, the sale almost seems logical.

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