Copies of some Soviet weapons, the Chinese armed his army

Weapons 05/01/20 Copies of some Soviet weapons, the Chinese armed his army

China is not the first decade is to develop competitive weapons. However, in China prefer not to invest in costly and time consuming project and is ready to borrow technology from other countries, including Russia.

to Steal, it’s alright

Recently the American publication The National Interest published an article which stated that China’s military power owes much to industrial espionage – a long-ingrained habit of stealing other people’s technology from Russia, United States, other countries and pass them off as your own. This allowed Beijing to actually stand on a par with Moscow and Washington in the production of modern weapons.

Indeed, since the 1950s, China has actively adopted the experience of the tank building, rocket production, aircraft construction and production of various types of weapons from their elders of the Soviet Union. Many in China were made under Soviet license, but something due to the lack of permitted access to technology was openly stolen and copied. How can you not remember about the failure of Khrushchev to give or sell to Beijing drawings Intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles. Later, the Chinese still got the information they need (obviously using the staff of the design Bureau of the United States and the Soviet Union) and assembled their first rocket.

However, there are the Chinese issues and models of equipment and weapons, which they produced under license from the Soviet Union. Speech, for example, about the fighters J-6 and J-7, produced on the basis of MiG-19 and MiG-21, the bomber H-6, which is similar to the Tu-16 or the machine Type-56, copied from the Soviet AK-47. These examples of Soviet equipment was made after the license expires, but their creation was attributed to achievements of defense industry of China.

However, director of the Center for analysis of strategies and technologies, Ruslan Pukhov, quietly refers to the fact that piracy in China of foreign military hardware. He drew attention to the fact that not stealing from “losers”, and the leaders such theft is tantamount to admitting that Russia was and is in the forefront of countries involved in production of defence products.


In March 1969 between the Soviet Union and China broke out armed conflict over a tiny island the island, located on the Chinese side from the main channel of the Ussuri river. During the fighting the Soviet armed forces used four of the T-62 that was going to throw on the ice for the final expulsion of units of the PLA from the island. However, once the armored vehicles rounded the island, they were met with heavy fire Chinese masked battery.

Three tanks had time to turn around and retreat to a safe distance, but the head car was hit and its crew killed. As a fighting machine was stuffed with modern electronic equipment, including night vision devices and gun stabilizer, the Soviet military tried to evacuate using the tractor, however, the tank is tightly frozen to the ice. In the end, decided to drown the machine, breaking the ice around the mortar fire. T-62 has safely gone to the bottom.

the Resourceful Chinese still pulled a tank on land, attached to it by means of divers cable. Within a few months, the Chinese engineers cog for cog dismantled and studied the miracle of Soviet technology. The result of this work was the release of the new tank WZ-122 for the PLA, which was the full copy of the T-62. According to experts, a copy of which is much inferior to the original.


Soviet heavy jet bomber, the T-16 was designed in the Tupolev design Bureau in the early 1950s, and literally within three years after the start of its operation in the USSR, the license to build this machine has gained the China. The first Chinese copy of the T-16 was flown on 27 September 1957 with a new name – Xian H-6.

In the late 1950s there was a deterioration of Soviet-Chinese relations, which is reflected in joint projects. It deprived the Beijing, which needed modern bombers, the opportunity to learn from the Soviet experience of aviation. However, Chinese designers have found a way out. Having studied all the documentation on the Tu-16, they started to create their own machines.

In 1964, experts from the Xian Aircraft Company was ready to introduce a new model of H-6A, which, in fact, presented a slightly modernized version of the Tu-16 with Chinese filling. Due to the lack of supply of engines from the Soviet Union China engineers had to begin producing its own jet engines, which, although copied the Soviet model, but inferior to them in reliability.


When it comes to Chinese military industry is often not easy to determine the license is the product of or copied. Usually first one or another type of armament or equipment produced under license, began parallel development of the Chinese counterpart, completely copy a foreign model.

it happened with a light supersonic Soviet frontline fighter MiG-21, which in 1961 Moscow sold Beijing a license to restore damaged relations with China. However, in 1964, deprived of scientific and technical support of the Soviet Union, based on Soviet blueprints of the Chinese built aircraft Chengdu J-7, which, of course, ranked by its own merit.

the su-27, su-33

Even more clearly, the Chinese method of copying was evident in the production of multi-role fighters su-27 and su-33. In 1992 China became the first country outside the former Soviet Union, which has adopted the su-27. But in 2003, China refused to renew the license on the plane and started to manufacture their own copies, and was heard in the address from Russia charged with piracy.

the fourth generation Fighter J-15 was originally consideringI own the development of Shenyang aircraft Corporation, although in reality it is a copy of the Russian deck fighter su-33 purchased from Ukraine. According to military expert Vasily Kashin, Moscow refused to sell these fighters to China for fear of leakage of technology. Today su-33 one of the main fighters of domestic aviation.

However, the Chinese are quite critical about this aircraft, calling it due to low efficiency of the take off from Chinese aircraft carriers “flutter fish”. Among the drawbacks of the su-33 the leadership of the PLA called him a heavy weight and a system of folding wings. Now in Beijing intend to invest more in order to adapt the fighter to suit your needs. The plans of the PLA to produce at least 1200 of these machines.


In 1998 China bought from Ukraine is another example of the Soviet defense industry – the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser (TAVKR) “Varyag”, which rusted in the port of Nikolaev. Ship cost Beijing only $20 million First cruiser under the new name of “Liaoning” had planned to use as a floating entertainment center, but then decided to donate the PLA Navy.

In 2011, Taiwan has accused China that it is based on a Soviet ship is going to build its own aircraft carrier. Indeed in 2016, has confirmed that China is completing the construction of the aircraft carrier Type 001A project, which largely repeated the design as the former aircraft-carrying heavy cruiser “Varyag” and the aircraft carrier of the Russian Navy “Admiral Kuznetsov”. In April 2017, the aircraft carrier was launched.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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