IRAN – CHINA
Israeli technology in Tehran’s new military planes
Iran signs a deal with China for the purchase of 24 fighter planes built with Israeli technology. Contract is worth a billion dollars with delivery set for 2008-2010.
Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Iran is to buy Chinese military planes built with Israeli technology, Novosti reports. According to the Russian news agency Tehran signed a deal with Beijing to buy two squadrons of J-10 fighter planes.
The 24 aircrafts are based on technology and components provided to China by Israel following the cancellation of the Lavi project in the mid-1980s. The engines of the J-10 are Russian-made.
The total cost of the planes is estimated at US$ 1 billion, and delivery is expected between 2008 and 2010.
The estimated operational range of the aircraft, with external fuel tanks, is 3,000 kilometres, which means Israel falls within their range of operation.
In the 1980s, Israel Aircraft Industries, along with U.S. firms, developed a multi-role aircraft that was considered the most advanced of its type at the time.
Following the development of a prototype, the Reagan administration stopped funding for the project, bringing about the cancellation of the joint venture.
Israel then began selling some of the systems it had developed to various countries, including China.
Some analysts expressed criticism at what they called Israel's “short sighted” and lax export policies.
This is not the first time Israeli components were part of weapons systems aimed at Israel. Some reports claimed that China sold Saudi Arabia long-range missiles containing Israeli know-how.
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