Avi­a­tion, space co­op­er­a­tion to ben­e­fit China and Rus­sia

Global Times US Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Yang Sheng

Strength­ened China and Rus­sia co­op­er­a­tion in avi­a­tion and space tech­nolo­gies, in­clud­ing he­li­copters and rocket en­gines, will ben­e­fit both coun­tries which have strong com­ple­men­tar­i­ties in th­ese ar­eas, ex­perts said, while warn­ing that it will take more mu­tual trust be­tween the two gov­ern­ments to see full ben­e­fits.

China and Rus­sia have made progress in talks to pro­duce a new model of heavylift he­li­copters. The two sides have reached a con­sen­sus on tech­ni­cal terms, split­ting up re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, and a roadmap to im­ple­ment the project, said Huang Chuanyue on Wed­nes­day, deputy chief en­gi­neer of Avi­copter, the he­li­copter arm of the State-owned Avi­a­tion In­dus­try Corp, the Xin­hua News

Agency re­ported.

Avi­copter and Rus­sian He­li­copters agreed to co­op­er­ate on the project in 2015. A year later, the two gov­ern­ments signed a deal, giv­ing the project the go-ahead, Huang said at a he­li­copter in­dus­try fo­rum in the city of Tian­jin.

Huang said the new he­li­copter will be made pri­mar­ily to meet the needs of Chi­nese clients. The he­li­copter will be de­signed with a take-off weight of 38 tons, with in­ter­nal cargo ca­pac­ity of 10 tons and an ex­ter­nal sling ca­pac­ity of 15 tons.

“It will be able to fly over plateaus higher than 3,000 me­ters and ma­neu­ver among moun­tains … and the he­li­copter will be fit­ted with aero­engines on par with those on Rus­sia’s Mi-26,” Huang said.

“In the avi­a­tion sec­tor, China and Rus­sia can co­op­er­ate in many ar­eas. Apart from he­li­copters, which are a short­com­ing in China, the two are also co­op­er­at­ing in other ar­eas like the C929 wide-body pas­sen­ger jet,” said Song Zhong­ping, a Bei­jing-based mil­i­tary in­dus­try ex­pert.

“Rus­sia has ad­van­tages in ar­eas like en­gine and body de­sign, while China does well in avion­ics and fi­nanc­ing, so the co­op­er­a­tion will be sus­tain­able and it will im­pact the global air­craft mar­ket and shake the West’s sta­tus in this field,” he noted.

Lu­nar ex­plo­ration

In aero­space, China and Rus­sia look set to sign a co­op­er­a­tion treaty for 2018-2022 in Oc­to­ber. Ac­cord­ing to news site cri.cn, the co­op­er­a­tion will cover ar­eas like rocket en­gines, Earth-sens­ing tech­nol­ogy, special ma­te­ri­als, satel­lites, and ex­plo­ration on the moon and deep space.

“China and Rus­sia have unique ad­van­tages in aero­space. Rus­sia has great ad­van­tages in rocket en­gines – even the US im­ports rocket en­gines from Rus­sia, as in the Soviet days, it had al­ready gained valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence on run­ning and de­vel­op­ing a space sta­tion,” Wang Yanan, chief ed­i­tor of Aero­space Knowl­edge mag­a­zine, pre­vi­ously told the Global Times.

China is pro­gress­ing steadily on space sta­tion de­vel­op­ment and lu­nar ex­plo­ration, and China has a sta­ble and sus­tain­able fi­nan­cial base, so th­ese will bring great po­ten­tials to Sino-Rus­sian aero­space co­op­er­a­tion, Wang said.

Sino-Rus­sian co­op­er­a­tion projects will also be open to other coun­tries. Ac­cord­ing to TASS, cor­re­spond­ing mem­ber of the Rus­sian Acad­emy of Cos­mo­nau­tics An­drei Ionin be­lieves that “con­sid­er­ing the Western sanc­tions im­posed on Rus­sia,” new po­ten­tial part­ners should also in­clude, in the first place, other BRICS coun­tries “and also, pos­si­bly, In­done­sia, the UAE, Viet­nam, Iran and oth­ers.”

How­ever, the co­op­er­a­tion on ex­plo­ration might not di­rectly lead to co­op­er­a­tion on ex­ploita­tion and us­age, since this needs re­ally high mu­tual trust, Wang added.

China’s lu­nar plans are more am­bi­tious than the US in the 1960s. China’s goal is not merely send­ing peo­ple to land on the moon, but will pre­pare for ex­ploita­tion and even the con­struc­tion of a lu­nar base, so this will link to the strate­gic in­ter­ests of the coun­try, Wang said.

“Fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion de­pends on the po­lit­i­cal and strate­gic mu­tual trust be­tween th­ese two ma­jor space pow­ers,” he said.

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