Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Russia blocks engine shipment to China, may hit J17 program

The head of Russia's MiG and Sukhoi aircraft design bureaus has stopped further export of RD-93 engines to China, citing use of the engines in J17/ FC-1.

Pravda, in a report earlier this week, said Mikhial Pogosyan sent an official letter to Russia's defense export enterprise Rosoboronexport, saying he made the decision because China's FC-1 jet fighter, which has been using the RD-93 engines, is a competitor to the MiG-29.

"Russian engineers are facing a tough choice: either to refuse from the contract (with China) worth $3.75 billion or lose African and Asian markets," Pravda wrote. "China's FC-1 does not have the advantage over Russia's MiG-29 from the point of view of performance but it is much cheaper: $10 million versus $35 million.

"Beijing plans to sell not less than 1,200 copies of Su-27/30 and MiG-29 with a lethal discount for the Russian market," it said.
Pravda explained the $3.75 billion figure represented total engine purchases Beijing indicated it could make from Russia in coming years.

The immediate contract Pogosyan is said to oppose would deliver 100 RD-93 engines to China. Russia and China signed its first contract for the jet engines in 2005. A contract for 100 engines was to have been signed last May.

China's FC-1 apparently sells for about $10 million, compared to Russia's MiG-29, which carries a $35 million price tag.

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