Naval Air: Ukraine Powers Chinese Carriers


April 6, 2009: China is working closely with Ukraine to supply key components for the aircraft carriers China is building. Ukraine supplied many components for Russian carriers back in the days of the Soviet Union (which Ukraine was a part of). Now independent, Ukraine is eager to find customers for local manufacturers that can produce carrier components. Russia is no longer building carriers, despite talk of restarting that program.

Last year, Chinese officials visited Ukraine and inspected the naval aviation training facilities that were built there before the Soviet Union dissolved. Ukraine wants to use those facilities to establish an international center for training carrier aviators.

A major Ukrainian product the Chinese are interested in are ship engines, especially the large ones a carrier would require. Chinese gas turbines are not all that efficient and reliable. The Ukrainian UGT-16000 and UGT-25000 turbines, developed from the DT-59 they have been making since 1975, are major competitors for General Electric models used in large ships. Ukrainian firms build a number of other world class components for large ships, and China is looking to acquire equipment, and technology. Ukraine is aware of the fact that the Chinese steal technology, but right now Ukraine needs the business, and China needs the turbines.

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