Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chinese Firm Denies J-10 Deal With Iran



Dubai Air Show

Chinese Firm Denies J-10 Deal With Iran


Beijing-based China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corp. (CATIC) has denied media reports that Iran and China were discussing the sale of Chengdu J-10 “Vigorous Dragon” fighters to Tehran. Both CATIC and Chengdu Aircraft Industry are owned by China Aviation Industry Corp (AVIC). A CATIC representative at the Dubai Air Show denied the story, stating that it was a “fabrication” and “not true.”

A Russian media report in October stated that the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company had agreed to buy 24 J-10 fighters for around $1 billion between 2008 and 2010. The J-10 entered service in the Chinese air force in 2006 and 90 of the projected 250 fighters have been delivered.

Andrei Chang, defense analyst for the Hong Kong-based Kanwa Information Center, stated that it was unlikely that “Russia would allow the Chinese to promote the J-10 with AL31F engines.”

The Russian Lyulka-Saturn AL-31F engines also power China’s Su-27 and Su-30 fighters. However, the Chinese are working on an indigenously developed WS-10A turbofan engine for the J-10. It is unclear how far development has progressed.

CATIC refused to elaborate on its overall potential market in the Middle East. However, the CATIC booth displayed models and brochures for the K-8 basic/advanced fighter-attack aircraft trainer, the L-15 advanced jet fighter trainer, Y-12E turboprop aircraft, FTC-2000 advanced/lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT), JF-17 Thunder new-generation multirole fighter co-developed by CATIC and the Pakistan air force, and two helicopters, the Z-9H410A multi-purpose civil helicopter and Z-11 light multipurpose helicopter.

According to the brochures, the Y-12E and the K-8 have imported engines, Pratt & Whitney PT-6A-135A and Honeywell TFE-731-2A turbofan engines, respectively. The Y-12E brochure states the aircraft has both civilian and military applications. CATIC refused to comment on reported plans by Pakistan’s Aeronautical Complex to equip the JF-17s with the French-made RC400 radar and the MICA air-to-air missile.

CATIC was established in 1979 and is jointly owned by China Aviation Industry Corp. I (AVIC I) and AVIC II. CATIC has 7 specialized companies and 10 regional subsidiaries in China, plus 56 overseas branches. CATIC has subcontracts for parts and components manufacturing with Boeing, Airbus GE, Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, Snecma/Safran, Honeywell and Rockwell Collins.

“As a company authorized by the state to sell aviation products, CATIC has exported many aviation products including fighters, attackers, bombers, trainers, transports, general aviation aircraft, helicopters and the attached weapons, airborne equipment, ground equipment, components and parts and associated services,” stated a CATIC press release. China has a long history of producing fighters, including the F-8II and F-7MG.