Murphy's Law: China Plunders Russian Military Technology

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October 9, 2007: Russian military equipment manufacturers have concluded that China has illegally copied the Fregat M2EM naval radar, and many other high tech items. Despite growing pressure from manufacturers, the Russian government is still trying to decide what to do about it. The 12 ton, two decade old M2EM system is fitted to most recent Russian warships. The radar scans 360 degrees to a max range of 300 kilometers and max altitude of 100,000 feet. The Sovremenny class destroyers Russia sold to China contained Fregat M2EM, and with that, China proceeded to copy the technology and build its own version. Several other radar systems on the Sovremenny were also copied. These copied systems have shown up on the new Chinese Type 054A frigates, which entered service in 2005. It took the Russians a while to realize that the radar, which looked like the M2EM, was actually a functioning copy. China got its first Sovremenny in 1999, and took about four years to duplicate the M2EM. The Russians were surprised at how quickly the Chinese moved with this. At the same time, China was buying M2EM radars form their larger warships. Those sales have stopped. China denies any copying took place, and insists that any similarities between their radar and the M2EM are coincidental. That's the standard Chinese response. This sort of copying was learned from the Russians, back when the Soviet Union still existed. The Soviet copying was so blatant that, sometimes, design flaws or irregularities were also faithfully copied. China shows no signs of halting this widespread and blatant theft of technology.

 


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