So, Nezavisimaya Gazeta has apparently come out with an article today saying that Russian exports to China is nearing collapse unless more advanced weaponry are offered. By going through the following articles,
and a bloomberg news article
Which are not the original, but apparently took important parts of the original, the problem reside in Russia not offering China hardware such as su-33, fast attack nuclear submarine, multiple launch system, Ka-50 and license to build several weapons under license.
I think we already know that su-33 have been ordered and a couple of them probably have been delivered to China already. Fast attack nuclear submarines are not really allowed to be exported and I don’t think China would be interested in loaning Akula with the more advanced 095 SSN project ongoing. As for Ka-50, kamov mentionned a while back to Kanwa that China was not interested it, that’s why it cooperated with the Europeans on the WZ-10 project. And as for building weapons under license, I think China is already getting all they want in terms of su-27 and Mi-171 (one of which got assembled in China contrary to Richard Fisher’s Russian sources). I’m not denying that there are weapons that Russians are denying China. Tu-160 is one good example of such. However, it seems that China has access to pretty much everything it needs. And currently, the problem is that the IL-76 issue is not resolved. Russia obviously believes that it can get away with this due to the European arms embargo, but China has so far stood firm on the issue. And when this stalemate does end, China will still have a shopping list of Russian hardware that it will purchase. After all, Russian systems are still relatively cheap and more mature than their Chinese counterparts. China does have a philosophy of going for the good-enough, ready made and not necessarily state of the art systems. Anyhow, it would be interesting to see how this plays out.