There was a time not long ago when Chinese defense companies exhibiting at international defense shows would provide no information about their products to journalists, or for that matter, even customers.
A model of a new fighter aircraft or an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on display would come with no brochure and no placard indicating even the name. It was a curious experience to ask about a model of a new weapon system only to get shrugs from Chinese representatives who appeared just as baffled by its appearance at the airshow as the journalist. Journalists would take a picture and move on, assuming that boxes of brochures in the back room of the booth would be reshipped back to China unopened.
It was a public relations disaster for Chinese defense companies to spend enormous amounts of money for booths/chalets and allow for no dialogue about their products. It was a mystery most likely explained by China’s history of opaque behavior and the fear of losing face.
This week’s Singapore Airshow was a little different. The China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corp. (CATIC) displayed the supersonic Hongdu-built L-15 Falcon attack/fighter/trainer (AFT) aircraft armed with new weapon systems not seen outfitted on the Falcon before. It even included a brochure, if you asked nicely, but even then badgering often came into play.More at Defense News.
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