Chinese activity drives new high-tech Russian offerings in Asia

Rosoboronexport, the Russian state defense product exporter, displayed the P-18-2 Prima radar system at the Aero India 2021 show alongside several other platforms and products, notably Surface to Air Systems (Pantsir, Viking, Buk and Tor), Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (CUAS) and Electronic Warfare products. The specific list of products is indicative of the regional market being driven by increased Chinese activity and assertiveness, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The new upgraded P-18 is of particular interest as it is a modified VHF radar for detection of systems with signature management, which is significant as it uses the widely proliferated P-18 as its base. It is clearly an upgrade directed at more advanced threats in the aerial domain.

Anthony Endresen, Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Though Russia and China are clearly fostering a closer partnership, Chinese activity in the region is a clear driver for the regional interest in more advanced Russian weapons systems. The Aero India 2021 debut of the P-18-2, which has been developed to detect aerial platforms with more advanced signature management (colloquially referred to as stealth), is a clear example of needs being driven by developments in Chinese technology. Realistically this system is being marketed in the region as a consequence of increased Chinese aerial activity, including in the area of Unmanned Aerial Systems. Russia is putting out its stall as the C-UAS and Counter-Stealth provider in the region judging by these offerings.

“The identification of these fields as key regional market opportunities for Russia is indicative of the advances China has been making in these areas and the increasingly assertive posture China is adopting in the region.”

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