What Kind Of Weapons China Copies From Soviet Union ?

For decades, China has been developing competitive types of weapons. However, in the Celestial Empire they prefer not to invest in expensive and time-consuming own projects, but to borrow ready-made technologies from other countries. Or simply stole their technology by hacking their system . The fresh example is J-20 which based on MiG 1.44 . But we will discuss on J-20 in a another article , in this article we will discuss the chinese weapons which is complete based on USSR Machine , they just changed the color and rename it and put their own logo . Afterall no one cam beat our fellow Chinese in copy,  Hmm Great work China….

Stealing shamelessly

Recently, the American analytical publication The National Interest published material stating that China’s military might owes much to industrial espionage, a long-rooted habit of stealing other people’s technologies from Russia, the United States, and other countries and passing them off as their 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 tank building, rocket engineering, aircraft manufacturing, and also the production of various types of weapons from its senior comrades from the USSR. Much in China was produced under a Soviet license, but some due to a lack of authorized access to technology was openly stolen and copied. How can one not recall Khrushchev’s refusal to donate or sell to Beijing drawings of an intercontinental ballistic nuclear missile. Later, the Chinese still obtained the information they needed (apparently through the staff of the US and USSR design bureaus) and assembled their first rocket.


In March 1969, an armed conflict broke out between the USSR and China over the tiny Damansky Island, located on the Chinese side of the main channel of Ussuri. During the clashes, the Soviet armed forces used four T-62 tanks, which they were planning to throw on ice for the final expulsion of PLA units from the island. However, as soon as armored vehicles circled the island, they were met by hurricane fire of a disguised Chinese battery.

Three tanks managed to turn around in time and retreat to a safe distance, but the lead vehicle was hit, and its crew died. Since the combat vehicle was stuffed with modern electronic equipment, including night vision devices and a gun stabilizer, the Soviet military tried to evacuate it with a tractor, but the tank tightly froze to ice. As a result, they decided to drown the car, breaking through the ice with mortar fire. T-62 safely went to the bottom.

Resourceful Chinese still pulled the tank to land, attaching a cable to it with the help of divers. For several months, Chinese engineers screw-by-screw dismantled and studied the miracle of Soviet technology. The result of this work was the release of a new tank WZ-122 for the PLA, which was a complete copy of the T-62. According to experts, a copy that is much inferior to the original.


Xian H-6

The Soviet T-16 heavy bomber was created at the Tupolev Design Bureau in the early 1950s, and literally three years after it began operating in the USSR, China acquired a license to build this machine. The first Chinese copy of the T-16 took off on September 27, 1957, with a new name – Xian H-6.

In the late 1950s, there was a deterioration in Soviet-Chinese relations, which affected joint projects. This deprived Beijing, which needed modern bombers, of the opportunity to adopt the Soviet experience in aircraft manufacturing. However, Chinese designers have found a way out. Having studied all the documentation for the Tu-16, they proceeded to create their own machine.

In 1964, experts from the Xian Aircraft Company were already ready to present a new model of the H-6A, which, in fact, was a slightly modernized version of the Tu-16 with Chinese filling. Due to the lack of supplies of engines from the USSR, the engineers of the Celestial Empire had to urgently start production of their own turbojet engines, which, although they copied Soviet models, were inferior to them in reliability.


Chengdu J-7 of PLAF

When it comes to the Chinese military industry, it is often not easy to determine whether it is licensed or copied. As a rule, at first one or another type of armament or equipment was produced under license, in parallel, the development of the Chinese analogue, which completely copied the foreign model, began.

This happened with the light Soviet supersonic front-line fighter MiG-21, which in 1961, Moscow sold Beijing a license to restore shaky relations with China. However, in 1964, having lost the scientific and technical support of the USSR, on the basis of Soviet drawings, the Chinese built the Chengdu J-7 aircraft, which, of course, were considered to be their own merits.

Su-27, Su-33

J-16 Which is based on su-27 and su-33

Even more vividly, the Chinese copying technique manifested itself in the production of multi-role fighters Su-27 and Su-33. In 1992, China became the first country outside the former USSR to adopt the Su-27. But in 2003, the Celestial Empire refused to renew the license for the aircraft and began to produce its own copy, for which they heard Russia accused of piracy.

The fourth-generation fighter J-15 was originally considered to be the own development of the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, although in reality it is a copy of the Russian carrier-based Su-33 fighter purchased from Ukraine. According to military expert Vasily Kashin, Moscow refused to sell these fighters to China, fearing a technology leak. Today, the Su-33 is one of the main fighters of domestic aviation.

Nevertheless, the Chinese were quite critical of this aircraft, calling it “fluttering fish” because of the low efficiency of takeoff from Chinese aircraft carriers. Among the shortcomings of the Su-33, the PLA leadership called it a heavy weight and a wing folding system. Now in Beijing, they intend to invest more in order to adapt the fighter to their own needs. The PLA plans to produce at least 1200 such machines.


In 1998, China bought another sample of the Soviet defense industry from Ukraine – the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser (TAVKR) Varyag, which rusted in the port of Nikolaev. The ship cost Beijing only $ 20 million. At first they planned to use the cruiser under the new name Liaoning as a floating entertainment center, but then decided to transfer it to the PLA’s Navy.

In 2011, Taiwan accused China of planning to build its own aircraft carrier based on a Soviet ship. Indeed, in 2016 it was confirmed that the construction of the Type 001A aircraft carrier, which largely repeated the design of both the former Varyag TAVKR and the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier of the Russian Navy, was being completed in China.

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