Procurement: Russia Screws China

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January24, 2007: Russia has decided to side with India over whether China will be allowed to install Russian RD93 jet engines in export models of their new JF17 jet fighter. China buys RD93 engines from Russia, and wanted to install 150 of the engines in JF17s being built for Pakistan. To further complicate matters, Pakistan has invested money and technology in the development of the JF17. Pakistan thought Russia would give China permission to export the RD93 equipped aircraft. If only because China was such a large customer for RD93 engines (originally designed for the MiG-29). Until quite recently, China believed the Russians would relent. But apparently India played hardball, and demanded that the Russians forbid the export of the RD93s from China to Pakistan. India is a major customer for Russian weapons, including cooperative development deals. The Russian decision puts China in a difficult position, as the Pakistanis had invested $150 million in the development of the JF-17, and will now have to find a new engine if they want to get their 150 aircraft. That won't be easy, and will be expensive.

 


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