Procurement: Russia Tries To Serve Two Masters

Archives

August 16, 2007: Russia has again changed its mind about using Russian made engines in Chinese made JF-17 jet fighters that Pakistan has already paid for. Earlier this year, Russia announced that none of the 500 Russian RD-93 jet engines China is buying could be exported to a foreign country. This was a problem, as China needs those engines for the 150 JF17 fighters it is building for Pakistan. What makes this particularly nasty is that Pakistan has invested $150 million in the development of the JF17. Pakistan thought Russia would give China permission to export the RD93 equipped aircraft. After all, China was such a large customer for RD93 engines (originally designed for the MiG-29), and those 500 RD93 engines are worth $1.25 billion.

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. China is a big customer for Russian weapons as well, but India buys more stuff, and is seen as less of a future threat to Russia than China.

But it gets more interesting. China has been developing a similar (apparently identical) engine to the RD93, the WS-13. Actually, this effort is being aided by Russia, which is selling China technology needed for the manufacture of key engine components. Russia isn't happy about this, because they don't want competition in the low cost jet engine market. Then again, China has a history of stealing technology it cannot buy, so the Russians are making the best of a bad situation. China says the WS-13 is nearly ready for service. Maybe, maybe not. Building high performance military jet engines is difficult, and China has had problems mastering this kind of stuff. Not that they will not eventually acquire the skills, but if they don't, they could just ship RD93 equipped JF17s to Pakistan and say that the aircraft are using WS-13s.

China shipped two RD93 equipped JF-17s to Pakistan last March, and informed the Russians that, according to the their interpretation of the 1992 RD-93 contract, China could re-export the RD-93 engines. The situation sat, unresolved, until this month, when the Russians said that they believed that the 1992 contract was quite clear about China needing Russian permission, and China didn't have it. The Russians were playing hardball, at the behest of the Indians. Apparently, India is expected to use this RD-93 veto to get Pakistan to offer up some appropriate in the current peace talks between the two countries. India would particularly like Pakistan to turn over a number of Islamic terrorists who have killed Indians, and then taken refuge in Pakistan.

 


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