China Plans to Buy More Destroyers from Russiagreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
Tuesday, March 7, 2000 China Plans to Buy More Destroyers
By Simon Saradzhyan
Having already clinched a deal to buy a pair of Russian-made destroyers, China plans to procure two more secondhand models of the advanced ships to further strengthen its naval grouping pitted against Taiwan in a deal priced around $500 million, officials said Monday.
Officers of the Chinese navy will arrive in Russia next month to discuss technical specifications of the Project 956E destroyers, an official at the Severnaya Verf shipyard in St. Petersburg said.
The Severnaya Verf official, who declined to be named, said Monday in a telephone interview the contract could be signed in June or July with the ships to be delivered sometime late this year or next year.
Tor-M1 air defense systems from the Kupol Mechanical Plant in Izhevsk, Central Russia, will also be delivered to China in lieu of Russia's state debts, a sen ior official at the Kupol plant said Monday in a telephone interview.
The official, who declined to be named, said the deliveries of Tor-M1 will be completed by the end of this year in accordance with a contract that the Chinese side clinched with Rosvooruzheniye back in 1997.
The official would not say how many of Tor-M1 systems will be delivered.
According to Konstantin Makiyenko, deputy head of the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, some 14 of these systems will be shipped with each priced at around $20 million.
The shipyard official said it will be engineers of the St. Petersburg shipyard as well as officials from St. Petersburg-based Severnoye Project Design Bureau who will discuss upgrades to the destroyers. The contract, however, will be signed by Russia's Moscow-based state arms exporter, Rosvooruzheniye, he said.
One of the two destroyers has already arrived at the St. Petersburg shipyard and is waiting for upgrades while the other one is yet to be decommissioned by the Russian Navy.
Reached by telephone Monday, Rosvooruzheniye spokesman Ivan Skrylnik and chief of the Severnoye bureau Vladimir Yukhnevich refused to comment on the pending deal.
The Severnaya Verf official said both ships will most definitely have their weaponry control systems overhauled.
The ships will also probably have their original set of supersonic Moskit (NATO code: Sunburn) anti-ship supersonic missiles replaced by a less capable export version of the same missiles, she said. Each set consists of eight mosquitoes missiles that could be fired two at a time. Eight missiles fired from four destroyers in one salvo can destroy a total of two cruisers and six destroyers.
It "could not be ruled out" that the Chinese navy will want more powerful Yakhont missiles instead of Mosquitoes. Also, U.S. defense companies are already busy developing interceptors that would be capable of intercepting Moskits, the official said.
China has already received one of the two Project 956E destroyers this year in accordance with the 1997 contract signed with Rosvooruzheniye. The second destroyer is to complete testing this summer and leave for China by mid-November, the Severnaya Verf official said.
The Chinese Embassy's press secretary, Gum Dzhin Wei, could not be reached by telephone Monday.
Neither the Chinese nor Russian side would disclose what one Project 965E destroyer is priced at, but independent experts say the price is around $500 million, a new piece with a secondhand model being some 50 percent cheaper. Ruslan Pukhov, head of CAST, said Monday in a telephone interview that the two secondhand destroyers will cost China a total of $500 million.
Pukhov said purchase of two more Project 956E destroyers will allow the Chinese navy to further strengthen its naval groupings against Taiwan, but definitely not enough for a naval blitzkrieg against Taiwan.
-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), March 07, 2000
Pretty sure bet this story was planted with the reporter. The big question is who decided to put the story out. Probably someone in the Chinese government, is my guess. Just a bit more pressure, applied without fingerprints.
-- Brian McLaughlin (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 2000.