Sino-Russian talks are under way for a possible procurement of over 50 Sukhoi Su-30 multirole fighters by China, along with the transfer of Su-30MKproduction technology.

According to Russian aerospace trade company Aviaexport "-Moscow will simply have no other way out than to transfer the technology" because China insists it will place a large order only if it is linked with technology transfer.

So far, Russia has exported the Su-30 only to India, in the specially built MKI version which will have thrust-vectoring engines in later batches.

The Su-30 may be armed with a new air launched derivative of the Raduga 3M80E supersonic ramjet anti-ship missile which was cleared for export to China earlier this year.

The KNAAPO Aviation Industrial Association in Komsomolsk-on-Amur is to deliver two shipsets of Su-27SK parts to China this year, along with manufacturing equipment.

These aircraft will be the first of up to 200 Su-27s to be assembled by Shenyang Aircraft under the $1.5 billion, 15-year licencing agreement, which Aviaexport says will eventually allow China to design and manufacture its own variants of the aircraft, once the initial contract has been fulfilled.

Sukhoi is to supply 30% of the content of the Shenyang-built aircraft, including the engines and avionics. The production licence does not allow export of the aircraft.

Between 1992 and 1996, China bought 38 Su-27SK single-seat fighters and 12 Su-27UB two-seaters as part of a $1.7 billion procurement deal.

Source: Flight International