Chinese companies boost presence at LAAD exhibitions

13 April 2017
China's CPMIEC presented a low-cost air defence system at this year's LAAD exhibition. Chinese companies have been boosting their presence at the show in recent years. Source: Reuben F Johnson

Chinese export companies have been increasing their participation in Latin American Aerospace and Defence (LAAD) exhibitions over the past several years: a development that was also noticeable at this year's event, held on 4-7 April in Brazil.

In an effort to create a collective, corporate image, firms such as Poly Technologies, China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation (CPMIEC), and China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Corporation (CSOC) have been exhibiting at the LAAD show and other events under the umbrella logo of 'China Defence'.

This label is not the name of a registered business entity but rather a "made for export" branding that "strives to make the Chinese industry look more like a Western defence company instead of what it really is: a Soviet-style government entity that controls arms sales for the benefit of its own pocket," a US-based analyst of the Chinese defence industry told Jane's on condition of anonymity.

At this year's LAAD show the 'China Defence' exhibitors were looking to show that the Chinese weapon makers are capable of meeting the defence needs of all South American nations.

However, most of their showcased products were particularly geared towards the defence needs of Brazil, in particular anti-ship missiles, short-range mobile air defence systems, submarine and surface ship designs, torpedoes and satellite-launch services.

Representatives of Poly Technologies and other Chinese companies are concurrently working in both Brazil and Portuguese-speaking African nations in a bid to "build the kind of 'south-south' defence trade that Brazil has had with South Africa", said a Chinese industry representative.

One of the lower-cost air defence systems already sold to Africa and currently being offered by CPMIEC to the South American market is made up of several mobile radars, the RDN-1 command and control unit and a vehicle fitted with several manportable surface-to-air missiles.

The company also offers a full-spectrum of radar options, including the HK-JM 'anti-stealth' surveillance radar, the 3-D LD-2/JSG100 surveillance radar and the LD-JP target acquisition radar: the centrepiece of an anti-theatre ballistic missile system.

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