Chinese aviation giant establishes defence branch

By Xinhua,

Beijing : China’s largest aircraft maker, Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), has opened a defence branch in Beijing that will take over most of the military-related business of building combat aircraft, including China’s own third generation fighter J-10.

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The defence branch will primarily develop and make training aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles.

It will also conduct research and manufacture business jets as well as sell its products internationally, a statement released by AVIC Thursday said.

The defence branch, an integration of various departments within the corporation, will be an independent accounting unit of AVIC with total assets of nearly 50 billion yuan ($7.35 billion).

The company has approximately 60,000 employees and a rough annual sales revenue of 30 billion yuan ($4.4 billion).

It has also exported more than 1,000 aircraft overseas and cooperated with foreign aviation makers to develop civilian planes.

“We are trying to become world’s leading defence products supplier by expanding our overseas market for export,” said Wang Yawei, general manager of the defence branch.

According to Wang, the branch will promote AVIC’s L-15 Falcon, a supersonic training aircraft, and FC-1 Fierce Dragon, a light-weight multipurpose fighter, for export.

As for civilian products, AVIC is determined to develop, build and, if possible, export corporate jets.