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Russia Concerned about China Copying Russian Weapons

Voice of America quoted a statement from an official in charge of intellectual property protection at a Russian technology group. He said that China has been copying Russian weapons and equipment on a large scale, from aircraft engines to Sukhoi fighters and from carrier-based aircraft to air defense missile systems and to portable air defense missiles. The official said that even the short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system Pantsir-S1 (NATO reporting name: SA-22 “Greyhound”) saw its copycat in China.

China has been a major buyer of Russian weapons and equipment for many years. Piracy is also a major problem in military and technical cooperation between the two countries. In the past two or three years, Russia’s major arms trading projects with China have included the Su-35 fighters and S-400 air defense missiles. However, China has purchased a very limited number of these weapons. Military analysts believe that the main purpose of China’s procurement of these weapons was imitation.

The Military-Industrial Courier, a weekly Russian newspaper, has published a long article saying that China developed the J-11B fighter on the basis of the Su-27 fighter aircraft and it also developed the J-15 on the basis of the carrier-based aircraft Su-33. The Xian H-6 bomber also comes from the Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 bomber. Furthermore, the armored fighting vehicles that started to equip the Chinese army in 2012 are also reminiscent of the two models of infantry fighting vehicles from the Soviet Union and Russia. China’s Yuan-class conventional-powered submarine also uses Russian technology.

Zvezda (Red Star), a Russian state-owned nationwide TV network that the Russian Ministry of Defense runs, has published a long story, detailing how China has been copying Soviet and Russian weapons and equipment since the 1950’s. The report said that 95 percent of current Chinese weapons and equipment have elements from Soviet or Russian weapons.

Source: Voice of America, December 15, 2019