Russian rocket and space and defense enterprises plan to buy batches of electronic components from China worth some $1 billion in the next calendar year, the newspaper Izvestia reported on Wednesday.
"We are working with the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation [CASIC]. The institutions comprising it have already provided us with several dozens of items that are either a direct alternative, or have slight alterations, of those elements that we cannot buy due to the sanctions imposed by the U.S.," a source close to Roscosmos told Izvestia.
The technical documentation is now being translated and the products are being tested to determine if they meet the stated characteristics in terms of susceptibility to temperatures, vibration and impact of heavy charged particles, the source said.
Russia plans to buy several billion dollars worth of such products from China in the next 2-2.5 years, until the Russia industry begins manufacturing electronic components of the necessary nominals in the space (radiation-resistant components) and military (for use in military systems) categories.
Representatives of 12 institutes developing and manufacturing electronic components in the CASIC structure will arrive in Moscow on August 18 to take part in a specialized seminar for Russian manufacturers, the source said. A similar seminar will later be conducted in St. Petersburg, the source said.
"The seminar is organized in cooperation with Roscosmos, the company Reshetnikov Information Satellite Systems, and the St. Petersburg firm Epsilon, which has recently received official partner status from a company conducting foreign economic activities in CASIC," the source said.
Reshetnikov Information Satellite Systems has confirmed the information on the upcoming visit by the Chinese delegation and the preparations for a seminar.
The office of the United Rocket and Space Corporation has expressed an interest in the development of cooperation with China.
"The corporation is ready to work with all manufacturers of electronic components who can make competitive offers in terms of quality, supply time and price. Possible cooperation with China is especially vital in connection with the sanctions that have been imposed," Igor Burenkov, information policies director at the United Rocket and Space Corporation, told Izvestia.
According to Izvestia, Russian companies purchased some $2 billion worth of electronic components from the U.S. annually before summer 2013. The Americans turned a blind eye to the supply of electronic components for Russian dual-purpose goods. The relations aggravated after Russia refused to extradite Edward Snowden. After that scandal, the U.S. refused to sell Reshetnikov Information Satellite Systems elements for the spacecraft Geo-IK-2. Now, the billions may go to Chinese manufacturers.
However, the source told Izvestia Russian companies are currently not getting refusals from European suppliers of electronic components.
"The Europeans are currently supplying everything without problems, with the exception of digital analog transformers. The purchase of digital analog transformers requires a special license from a European authority. However, there are no problems with that either, we are buying European products, including from ST Microelectronics, a leading European producer of electronic components," the source said.
Andrei Ionin, a leading analyst with Glonass, said he believes the establishment of large-scale cooperation with Chinese manufacturers may become the first step towards the formation of a technological alliance with the BRICS countries.
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