Russian Aircraft Carrier Ready for Indian Navy

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The rebuilt Russian Kiev Class aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya completed the last of her tests on engineering, propulsion and flight operations systems September 20 and is now ready for official handover to the Indian Navy under her new name, INS Vikramaditya which will take place in an official ceremony in November 2013 at Russia’s Sevmash Shipyard.

746175The aircraft carrier “Vikramaditya” (formerly “Admiral Gorshkov”), which the Russian side intends to give the Indian Navy on November 15, will arrive in Mumbai in February next year, said Deputy General Director of Rosoboronexport Viktor Komardin during the first naval show NAMEXPO-2013.

“Fifteenth of November we deliver a ship, and then it goes to India. <…> We expect that by February, “Vikramaditya” will arrive at the port of Mumbai,” he said, noting that on the way to India aircraft carrier should go to 14 ports.

Gorshkov as built was a hybrid aircraft carrier/heavy missile cruiser with massive SSN-19/P-700 Shipwreck anti-ship missile launchers affixed to her bow rather than flight deck space. The flight deck of Gorshkov was patterned after the angled landing deck of conventional aircraft carriers where Soviet KA-25/27 Kamov helicopters and YAK-38M Forger VTOL jet fighters very similar in appearance to the British Harrier jump jet were launched and recovered.

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1024px-Naval_Ensign_of_India_2001-04.svgThe Indian Navy requirements however, were for a conventional ‘through deck’ aircraft carrier where the entire top deck was utilized for launch and recovery of supersonic jets. Part of the contract with Russia was for Gorshkov to be rebuilt according to Indian Navy design modifications. The forward missiles and gun mounts were removed and a ‘ski jump’ installed to give the ship a STOBAR capability.

After nine years India is finally to take delivery of the ship. The negotiation of the sale, redesign and reconstruction of the ship account for most of the delay, however there were engineering issues with the ship ranging from a miss-estimation of needed internal cabling and in Jun 2012 by a major engineering problem surrounding ‘earth-friendly’ materials used to insulate the ships boilers, causing another year of delay.

MiG-29KUB.tVikramaditya is now ready however and is to be officially handed over in Nov 2013 at the Russian Sevmash Shipyard to her Indian Navy crew. Her air group is expected to consist of 16 MIG-29K Fulcrum fighters as well as KA-28 anti-submarine (ASW) helicopters and KA-31 airborne early warning (AEW) helicopters. Thought had been given to equipping the carrier with the US Navy E-2 Hawkeye for airborne early warning; however that would have required catapults in place of the ski-jump configuration.

The carrier does retain the originally designed ‘island’ configuration and with space for further development of more modern command & control capabilities which would put Vikramaditya on a par with comparable sized carriers of France and Britain’s forthcoming Queen Elizabeth Class carriers.INS-Vikrant.t

Soon to follow entrance into service will be the INS Vikrant, designed and built entirely in India and similar in size and air group to INS Vikramaditya. Each ship will be the core of a battle group defending each of India’s two coasts. In wartime, the ships would defend the coasts and India’s maritime trade, or carry up to 30 warplanes each in ‘strike mode’ against targets on land or at sea.

Medvedev to Visit Russia Arms Expo-2013

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The Russian Prime Minister visited the ninth exhibition of domestic and foreign weapons, which opened a day earlier near Nizhniy Tagil. This year, more than 300 representatives of the largest companies in the defense industry from 20 countries brought together to showcase its cutting-edge models of equipment and ammunition.

1367286466_46Cooperation with foreign partners has become an important element in the national defense industry. For example, Dmitry Medvedev observed Russian armored cars “Tiger” fitted with the fighting units of the French company Nexter. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin reminded that the GAZ Group is producing now a family of combat vehicles on the basis of the “Tiger”, which can withstand even heavy armor using its anti-tank guided missile systems.

172111_original “In the arrangement with “Cornet” one machine destroys a tank company with an efficiency of 0.9,” Deputy Prime Minister told.

“It was supposed to be tank battles in Russia?” Medvedev asked.

“I assume that everything should be just in case,” answered Rogozin.

“In that sense – yes,” the Prime Minister agreed with this argument.

 The exhibition dedicated to tracked armored vehicles was a benefit event of the Ural Engineering. The Prime Minister inspected the T-72 tanks in different versions, as well as an improved T-90C, having now an active armor on board. Dmitry Medvedev caught an eye of amour sandy color untypical for Russia, more suitable for the regions of Asia and Africa, where Russian defense enterprises have a lot of regular customers.

The highlight of the Uralvagonzavod program, acting this year as an exhibitor, was the fighting vehicle fire support BMPT -72 “Terminator 2”. The BMPT-72 is an extensive modernization of the world-famous T-72 main battle tank, also produced by Uralvagonzavod. Compared with its predecessor – the BMPT – the BMPT-72 has an improved fire control system and better turret weapon station protection.main14609224_2e19f9d3b187c738443c895a18137bee

“The key advantage that the BMPT-72 gives to all the counties that operate T-72 tanks is that they can promptly and at minimal cost upgrade their armies to an ultra-modern level, and enhance capacity, mobility, protection and armament without purchasing new high-cost machines,” Uralvgonzavod said in press release prior to the Nizhny Tagil show.

The BMPT-72 is armed with two 30-mm cannons, two 30-mm grenade launchers, four launchers for 130-mm Ataka-T anti-tank guided missiles, a 7.62-mm machine gun, and two 81-mm smoke grenade launchers.

20130926-383BDC5E524A5ECB-0-0-AD3EB4C3-5AE7ECE5A1BB9984“The major part of the presented machinery is already close to go into serial production,” said Dmitry Medvedev.

First of all, the Prime Minister expects from the exhibition in Nizhny Tagil a good package of contracts for Russian defense enterprises. “I hope that in result we will obtain a sufficient amount of funds for industry retrofitting,” he said at a meeting with the governor of the Sverdlovsk Region Yevgeny Kuyvashev.

Russian Mediterranean Fleet to be Expanded thanks to Moskva and Yamal Warships

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The Russian Moskva warship has arrived to lead Russia’s naval task force in the Mediterranean Sea, said a fleet spokesperson.

1379675595_251354“The Moskva missile cruiser has joined warships in Russia’s task force in the eastern Mediterranean following a voyage from the Atlantic Ocean,” Capt. 1st Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachev said.

“The cruiser hosts the headquarters of the operational command of the task force, which includes warships from the Black Sea, Baltic and Pacific fleets,” Trukhachev said.

The Moskva arrives fresh from a tour-of-duty in the Atlantic, which started on July 3, during which it practiced firing at surface and aerial targets, he said.

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Russia has been increasing its naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea since it announced in December it would establish a standing task force there to protect its interests in the region.

Initial statements by Russian Defense officials did not explicitly attribute this to the ongoing civil war in Syria, but on Sept. 5, the Kremlin chief of staff said that “given the presence there of amphibious landing ships, they are intended for a possible evacuation of Russian citizens.”

Russia’s naval task force in the eastern Mediterranean currently comprises 10 warships: the guided-missile cruiser Moskva, the destroyers Smetlivy and Admiral Panteleyev, the frigate Neustrashimy and the assault landing ships Nikolai Filchenkov, Peresvyet, Admiral Nevelskoi, Minsk, Novocherkassk and Alexander Shabalin.

The Black Sea Fleet assault landing ship Yamal is expected to join Russia’s Mediterranean Sea task force by the end of September.

YAMAL-RussianNavy-flickrThe large landing ship, Yamal, is set to depart from the port of Sevastopol, Ukraine by the end of the month.

The Yamal’s crew has completed preparations for relocation to the Mediterranean Sea,” Captain Vyacheslav Trukhachev, the Black Sea Fleet information chief told ITAR-TASS news agency. “As part of the preparatory period, the ship has performed several drive outs, which included target practice on sea and land.”

The Yamal will represent the country at the annual ‘Russian Weeks’ forum in Greece, which this year will be hosted by the Ionian Islands.

The Yamal vessel, which has been in service since 1988, is designed for landing operations and the transportation of military personnel and cargo. It’s able to carry up to 250 troops and 10 tanks.

The mounting pressure around Syria has seen naval forces both friendly and hostile to Damascus building up off the country’s coastline.

Russia’s Pacific Fleet flagship, the Varyag missile cruiser, which left Vladivostok Wednesday on a tour-of-duty in the Indian Ocean, may join the Mediterranean task force later this year, if necessary, Navy sources told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

Russian-Belorussian Troops to Begin Common Drills

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More than 20,000 of the Russian Interior Ministry’s internal troops have been put on alert in preparation for upcoming Russian-Belorussian exercises, a senior ministry official said Tuesday.

2008030101The troops will conduct a series of territorial defense exercises in several Russian regions in preparation for the Zapad-2013 (West-2013) maneuvers, said Deputy Interior Minister Nikolai Rogozhkin, who is also chief of the internal troops.

The missions will include counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency operations as well as the reinforcement of sensitive installations in emergency situations, the official added.

6343On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, supreme commander-in-chief of the nation’s armed forces, ordered a new series of snap checks of the military as well as civil services, including transportation, to begin the next day at 10 a.m.

“This time, alongside the Armed Forces’ preparation for the Zapad-2013 (West-2013) drills, comprehensive checks will also be conducted at the Interior Ministry’s internal troops, as well as in a number of civilian structures: the Transportation Ministry, the Energy Ministry and the Novgorod Region administration,” Putin said.

The Zapad-2013 two-stage strategic military exercises, involving rapid-reaction units from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), will take place in Belarus and Russia from Friday to September 26.

Vyacheslav Usik, a spokesman for the Russian General Staff, said earlier that Belarus would send 10,400 servicemen, which will also include some 60 aircraft and helicopters and up to 250 combat vehicles. Moscow and Minsk held similar large-scale military exercises in September 2009.

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July this year observed unprecedented maneuvers in the Russian Far East testing the Far East and Central Military Districts’ combat readiness. The drills involved more than 160,000 servicemen, 130 aircraft, 5,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 70 Pacific Fleet warships, five Russian armies, the Third Air Force, Air Defense Command and strategic aviation. The Defense Ministry has said that such snap inspections will be conducted regularly.

Sea-Based Space-Defense System will be created in Russia

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Russia is developing a sea-based system, which will be deployed in international waters. The system will become an integral part of the Russian Navy.

The construction of the new sea-based missile-defense system has been entrusted to Almaz-Antey, the arms manufacturer that also produces the S-400 ‘Triumph’ missile defense system.

img17_8215_rsz951“This task has been definitely set for the military-industrial complex,” Anatoly Shlemov, the head of national defense orders for Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation, told RIA Novosti.

Almaz-Antey is not working alone on the planned system, Shelmov said, without specifying additional details about the top-secret project.

pic_1358288255Earlier this year, Roman Trotsenko, the President of the United Shipbuilding Corporation announced At the St. Petersburg Economic Forum that the USC would begin construction in 2016 of a series of six nuclear-powered destroyers armed with high-tech missile- and space- defense system.

Trotsenko called the warships “benchmarks of Russian space defense in the World Ocean,” but refused to comment further on the plans.

As it begins introducing the new S-400 system, Almaz-Antey is also finishing its S-500 ‘Prometheus’ system, which features space-defense capabilities. The S-500 is expected to be deployed in 2017, and will most likely arm the destroyers in project.

S-400_001Previously, Almaz-Antey elaborated the S-300 system for naval use, creating the S-300 Fort F and Fort FM for the Russian Navy.

The S-500 will supposedly able to engage targets in low earth orbit flying at speeds of up to 7 kilometer per second – the highest speed achievable by a ballistic missile at its highest trajectory in space.

The S-500’s capabilities are expected to exceed those of the US Aegis Combat System, but a point-by-point comparison is impossible until the S-500 is completed.

The backbone of the Aegis Combat System – the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) – is a closely guarded top secret, though the Missile Defense Agency of the US Department of Defense once published information announcing that the SM-3 can intercept targets flying at a speed of 3.7 kilometers per second.

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The latest versions of the S-300 can engage targets flying at speeds of up to 2.8 kilometer per second; the S-400 can intercept targets at 4.8 kilometer per second.

defaultA warship equipped with Aegis Combat System has a 190-kilometer range, and can intercept targets in low earth orbit up to 180 kilometers and detect objects at distances of up to 320 kilometers.

The S-400 can hit air targets at distances of up to 400 kilometers and detecting them from as far away as 600 kilometers.

The Aegis Combat System is currently used by the US, Australian, Japanese, Norwegian, South Korean and Spanish navies.

Russian Armata Tank to Enter Testing in November

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The prototype of Russia’s next generation Armata main battle tank is ready for testing, which will begin by November, the head of the Russian Tank Forces said.

33a4ea844e3d162dda0d5d07b0a609ed“The prototypes will be unveiled soon at an exhibit in Nizhny Tagil, and their tests will kick off within a month or two, I believe,” Lt. Gen. Alexander Shevchenko said on Echo Moskvy radio.

637410The biannual Russian Arms Expo will run in the Urals city in September 25-28 this year. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in July that the country’s leadership will get a sneak preview of the new tank during the arms fair.

An unmanned version of the Armata main battle tank is also on the cards, Shevchenko said.

The Armata is a new Russian main battle tank project. This new MBT is currently under development. It’s development commenced in 2011. The whole project is being kept in high secrecy. The Armata was developed as a replacement to the cancelled T-95. First mock-up is expected to be revealed to Russian military officials in 2013. Official sources report, that the Armata might enter service with the Russian Army in 2015. Currently Russian Army operates T-90, T-80 and T-72 main battle tanks, that become out-dated.

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The Armata is possibly it will be based on a modified hull of the latest T-90MS. It is expected to have a similar layout to the cancelled T-95 with unmanned turret and crew seated in a separate armored capsule. The Armata will have a Malakhit explosive reactive armor of new generation. Also it will be fitted with new Afganit active protection system.

It is reported that Armata will be armed with a 2A82 125-mm smoothbore gun, mounted in unmanned turret. This gun has improved ballistics comparing with a 2A46M gun of the T-90 MBT. It will be completed with an autoloader. This tank is likely to be capable of firing gun-launched anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary rounds.

The Armata MBT will be fitted with new fire control system. It will have a hunter-killer capability. The tank will be also equipped with a battlefield management system.0-angar-Ps_01.jpg.896x604_q90

It is reported that the Armata will have a crew of two or three men. Crewmembers will be seated in a well-protected armored capsule, separated from automatic loader and ammunition.

This new main battle tank will be powered by an A-82-2 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1,200 hp. It is a new generation engine that is much more compact than previous Russian tank engines.

The Armata is planned to become a new platform for the whole host of armored vehicles. Self-propelled artillery system, heavy IFV, armored recovery vehicle, engineering vehicle, self-propelled air-defense vehicle and other support machines will be based on this platform.

Shevchenko said on Friday that prototypes are already created for an Armada-based main battle tank, heavy infantry fighting vehicle and armored recovery vehicle.

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The combat platform, named after a 14-century Russian cannon, is being designed since 2009 by the state-run corporation Uralvagonzavod, headquartered in Nizhny Tagil.

Armata-based vehicles will be a match for their existing NATO counterparts and even excel them in certain areas, Shevchenko said, without elaborating.

Not much is known about the upcoming Armata battle tank, tentatively scheduled to enter military service in the Russian army in 2015. Shevchenko also said that all standing alert units of the Russian army will switch to two types of main battle tanks – the T-72 and the T-90 – by early 2015. The move will complete the tank unification program in the Russian military, which utilized 40 models of 10 different battle tanks in 2008, he said.

Russia to Deploy “Star Wars” Missile System in 2018

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Russia has announced plans to deploy the S-500 air defense missile weapon system by 2018. The S-500 system can hit targets in space and has a range of 500 kilometers, approximately 310 miles.

Bondarev_ViktorInterfax news agency reports the S-500 air defense missile weapon system will be ready for deployment by January 2018. The announcement was made by the commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, Lt. Col. Viktor Bondarev. Bondarev said, “We can now say we can make this system. It will hit ballistic and aerodynamic targets. It will have an excellent range of some 500 km,” reports Interfax.

2404835154c3c563f1238fThe S-500 air defense system is an upgrade from the most advanced anti-aircraft and anti-missile system currently in use, the S-400 Triumph, has a range of 400, reports Agence France-Presse. According to an anonymous source speaking to Interfax, the S-500 will be able to target threats from space and will be able to protect the entire country as an anti-aircraft and anti-missile system. The AFP article cites an even earlier deployment timeline, with the “star wars” missile system ready for use by 2017.

Russia is developing more and more effective missile defense systems for use as a deterrent while opposing plans by the United States to build a missile defense shield in Europe, reports AFP. The U.S. announced changes to the missile shield, eliminating interceptors that could target long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles, in March, reports the New York Times.1374340371_92_generated

Currently, the S-400 is in limited use but Russian President Vladimir Putin said last year that Russia’s armed forces would acquire around 28 S-400s over the following decade.

The S-300 is the most widely deployed missile system available in Russia and there has been concern over the country’s weapons contracts with Syria.

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According to the AFP, Russia is planning on fulfilling their contract to deliver four S-300 air defense systems to Syria. While Russia’s decision has caused concern, the earliest the contract would be fulfilled would be mid-2014 as the Russia cites the instability of the region as a major factor, reports Russia Today. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Izvestia pro-Kremlin daily that all Syria’s contracts with Russia were being fulfilled.

MAKS-2013 Top 5 Innovations

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We present a selection of five of the most interesting innovations from the Russian Military Industrial Complex exhibited at the show in Zhukovskiy in Moscow Region.

A radar system for a Night Hunter

defaultRadio-Electronic Technologies exhibited the NO25E radar system, which has no analogue in Russia and will be installed in the Mi-28N Night Hunter helicopter. The principle quality of the new radar system is that the receiving array for the transmit/receive module is located above the helicopter’s rotor blades.

On a combat mission and away from shelter, this radar allows the Night Hunter to remain undetected providing the crew with all the necessary information with split-second timing.

The Tu-214R: One of the most secret aircraft in Russia

28490As part of the airshow, one of the most secret aircraft in Russia — the Tu-214R — was revealed to the general public for the first time ever. This radio-electronic and optical-electronic intelligence aircraft was developed back at the end of the 2000s and is based on the Tu-214 passenger aircraft.

Experts think that the Tu-214R should become an alternative to the Il-20M, which has been in service with the Russian army for 40 years.

On the first day of MAKS-2013, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu inspected the Tu-214R personally. Earlier it was announced that the Ministry of Defense was not planning to purchase the reconnaissance aircraft, because of claims relating to its technical characteristics. It is not yet known if the ministry’s position will change in view of Shoigu’s inspection of the aircraft.

Mobile aerostat systems

full_0808_sh1The Dolgoprudny Automation Design Bureau presented mobile aerostat systems that were 645 square feet and 860 square feet in volume. They are intended to monitor given geographical areas.

Any cargo up to 33 pounds in weight — such as communication relay stations, analytical equipment, film cameras and thermal imaging equipment, depending on the requirement — can be attached to them and lifted to an altitude of 1,000 feet. If necessary, these aerostats can be used for military purposes.

These systems can be loaded onto any vehicle with a payload of up to 3 tons and taken to any geographical location. Using mobile aerostat systems to examine forests for fire hazards, or for prolonged monitoring of the condition of specific assets, works out much cheaper than using aircraft or helicopters.

The first prototype sample of the Ka-62

ka-62_maks-2013.tThe company Russian Helicopters demonstrated the first prototype sample of the new, multi-role, Ka-62 helicopter to visitors at MAKS-2013. This helicopter is fitted with the latest avionics, while the airframe and more than half the blades are made from polymer composites.

In the long term, this helicopter can be made compatible with the European satellite navigation system Galileo.

The Ka-62 is intended to carry 12–14 passengers in a cabin or a 2.5 ton load on an external winch system. These helicopters can be used in the petrochemical industry or to carry out rescue operations. It is expected that certification of the Ka-62 will be completed by the end of 2014, while the first batch of helicopters will be delivered to partners in 2015.

The Vityaz (Knight) air-defense missile system

049057052056049057054052The air defense company Almaz-Antey displayed the new S-350E, medium-range, air-defense missile system. The new generation system works in conjunction with all-aspect radar and a command post based in a BAZ (Bryansk Automobile Plant) vehicle.

Armament includes medium-range missiles used in the S-400 air-defense missile system, as well as short-range missiles.

In the long term, the Vityaz should replace the obsolete S-300, in particular, and supplement Russia’s multi-layered, missile- and air-defense system, of which the new S-400 and S-500 systems will also be a part.

Russia Leads Swing Fighters Market

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Russia’s Center for the Analysis of the Global Arms Trade said, when calculated in volume terms, Russia was the market-leader for the supply of swing fighter jets for 2009-2012, according to figures from Russia’s arms exporter Rosoboronexport.

In that four-year period, Russia supplied 224 new jets valued at about $9 billion, the center said in a statement on its website Tuesday.

However, the center noted Russia cedes its market-leading position to the US if combat aircraft sales in that period are calculated in terms of value, not volume.

su30_04Russia has enjoyed most of its combat aircraft sales success in Asia in the last decade, winning orders from India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, but has also broken into the South American market with a deal to sell Su-30 fighters to Venezuela. Most of the aircraft ordered have been Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 series jets, but some MiG-29 fighters and Yak-130 combat trainers have also been sold, Rosoboronexport notes.yak130_kp

MiG fighter jet maker has signed two additional contracts with India worth a total $55 million, the corporation said Wednesday. They are part of a general contract with India’s air force.

Under the first, $43 million contract, a servicing center will be established in India for maintenance and repair of Zhuk-ME on-board radars, MiG representatives said.

The second, $12 million contract provides for the creation in India of a servicing center for modernized MiG-29UPG fighter jets.

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6866Russia will deliver six MiG-29K Fulcrum “generation 4++” fighters to India this year as part of a 2010 contract for 29 planes worth $1.5 billion, MiG CEO Sergei Korotkov said at the MAKS-2013 international air and space show.

The center said it expects Russia to maintain its leading position through 2016, based on predicted sales that include a potential deal with China for 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters (South China Morning Post reported a preliminary deal signed in December 2012), a new contract with Vietnam for 12 Su-30MK2s inked last week, and a possible deal with Syria for 24 MiG-29M/M2s.

The current situation in Syria, where a civil war has been raging for two years and over which now hangs the specter of international intervention, could affect this last deal, the center conceded.

Looking at the period to 2016, counting both deliveries that have taken place and those that are expected, the center predicts that Russia will retain its leading position thanks to manufacturers Sukhoi and Irkut (operating now under one holding company) – ahead of America’s Lockheed Martin, China’s Chengdu Aircraft Company, and America’s Boeing.