Chinese and Iranian vendors pitched their military technology at last week’s Army 2022 defense expo held near Patriot park in Moscow, Russia.
For its part, China showed off a variety of defense products to Russian officials and the general public, including armored vehicles, military ambulances, the JF-17 fighter jet equipped with the Russian RD-93 engine, and the J-31 jet, an analog of the Russian-made Su-57.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the Chinese stand during the expo, which took place Aug. 15-21. Russia has shown a general reluctance to buy foreign-made military equipment.
However, one Russian company, Intellect Machine JSC, presented a grenade launcher attached to a Chinese-made robot resembling a dog. Russian media reported the robot, made by Unitree Robotics, is available for purchase through the Chinese online retailer AliExpress.
China’s presence at the expo was primarily symbolic, a defense industry insider told Defense News.
“Before, at every [Russian] military exhibition, you can see Chinese people with cameras [taking note of what’s available]. But today, the Chinese less needed to buy Russian weaponry since they have many of their own based on Russian designs,” the source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to foreign media.
An Iranian vendor showed off guided bombs, the Saba-248 medium-lift helicopter and the Mohajer-6 drone, most of which were mockups. Although Russian media praised the Mohajer-6, there is no official report about the county buying the drone.
U.S. national security adviser Jacob Sullivan claimed in July that a Russian delegation visited Iran at least twice to see its locally made drones.
An Iranian exhibitor told journalists visiting the booth that Russia has expressed interest in purchasing Iranian technology to provide satellite images of cities, adding the product can be used for both civilian and military purposes.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported on its website that it signed 36 contracts involving 24 defense industry companies at the Army 2022 expo, totaling 525 billion rubles (U.S. $9 billion).
The ministry also noted it expects to get more than 3,700 samples of military equipment.