Procurement: China and Pakistan Go To Market

Archives

September 8, 2006: Pakistan and China have been have so far failed in their two decade effort to produce high-tech weapons for export markets. So far, the effort has produced the Al-Khalid tank (a souped up version of the Russian T-72), the F22P frigate (a 2,600 ton warship with mediocre anti-air/ship/submarine weapons) and the FC17 fighter (an F-16 wannabe, with about half the performance.) All of these systems sell for about half what Western equivalents go for. But customers are apparently more concerned with performance.
These joint development deals were not set up just for exports, but to take advantage of other benefits. Pakistan, for example, h as more recent experience in mechanized warfare. In fact, China has not fought a major campaign in over fifty years, and only two minor ones (mountain warfare with India in the 1960s, and some border battles in the jungles with Vietnam in 1979). China has done some air and naval skirmishing with the Taiwanese, but nothing as intense as what the Pakistanis have gone through as recently as 1999 (another mountain battle, with India). China has more money and industrial infrastructure than Pakistan, and this has helped Pakistan build up its military-industrial capabilities. .
Back in the 1980s, when the two countries began this co-production deal, apparently they believed that Pakistan's stature in the Moslem world would provide a marketing advantage. Alas, the end of the Cold War, plus the spectacular performance of U.S. weapons in the 1991 Gulf War, made "cheap and simple" a much harder sell.
The end result is that China is getting some more arms exports. But it has long been exporting to Pakistan. The real winner is Pakistan, which gets to build up its arms production capability.

 


Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close