Russia to supply Chinese FC-1 fighter engines

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Russia's Chernyshev Machine-Building Plant is to supply 100 RD-93 turbofan engines to China for its FC-1 light fighter under a $267 million deal, and negotiations are continuing for a further 500, according to a report in the Russian business daily Kommersant.

A reported clause in the deal will prevent the engines being sold on to other countries, with this intended to prevent deliveries of the FC-1 to Pakistan, China's development partner in the FC-1 project and a regional rival to Russia's traditional ally India.

China installed three RD-93s – heavily modified variants of the Klimov RD-33 that powers RSK MiG's MiG-29 fighter – in prototype FC-1s during a trials programme that ran from 2002-3. Chernyshev has previously produced Saturn AL-31F turbofan engines in kit form for China's Sukhoi Su-27SK multi-role fighters, and hopes to produce the same system for Beijing's developmental J-11 fighter. China is meanwhile assessing Phazotron-NIIR's Zhuk fire-control radar for possible integration with the FC-1.