Pakistan Ready To Russian Arms

The Pakistani Defense Ministry is to make a decision by the end ofthe month on the purchase of Russian Mi-17 transport helicopters. Pakistan also has plans to get Chinese J-10 fighters with Russian engines. Pakistan is ready to renew direct military technical cooperation with Russia, to which India is opposed.

The purchasing department of the Pakistani Defense Ministry willannounce the results of a tender for the delivery of ten Mi-17transport helicopters this month. The ministry wants only that model ofhelicopter, and insists that the provider have certification anoriginal producer. Only OAO OPK Oboronprom in Ulan-Ude fits that bill.That company provided Pakistan with three of the same helicopters lastyear. A Pakistani delegation will visit that enterprise in the comingweeks, and see the Kazan Helicopter Plant and the Klimov Plant in St.Petersburg.

Since India is a long-time Russian strategic military-technicalpartner, Russia has limited its sales to Pakistan to multipurposeequipment. In post-Soviet times, Russia has supplied about 50 Mi-8helicopters and its modernized version the Mi-17. Now Pakistan issuggesting direct military technical ties.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz commented that “Russia is a world power and we look at it as a global player. I suggest that global players should never make their relations with one country dependent on relations with another.”

The Russian government will soon have to decide on the re-export of Russian airplane engines to Pakistan again.
Islamabadwill soon sign a contract with Beijing on the purchase of 36 J-10fighter jets (otherwise known as FC-20) for delivery by the end of next year. Expertssay the deal will cost Pakistan around $1.5 billion. The planes will beequipped with AL-31FN engines made by the Russian MMP Salyut. Last month, Beijing reached an agreement with Moscow of 150 RD-93 engines to Pakistan by China. That deal was approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin personally.

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