Russian military officeres smuggling anti-submarine weapons to China (?)

Does this story make sense on its face?

Russia’s Chief Military Prosecutor said an attempt to smuggle anti-submarine missiles and aviation bombs was foiled in the Navy. The weapons were meant to be later sold to China.

Sergey Fridinsky said Wednesday that several Navy officers and businessmen were going to smuggle 30 missiles and 200 bombs to Tajikistan. He said criminal cases had been launched against them.

The arms are worth $US 18 million. A prospective buyer was waiting for the weapons in China.

Navy General Staff confirmed the information. According to Navy’s Deputy Commander Igor Dygalo, the smugglers were trying to disguise the arms as outdated munitions.

The ring was busted together by the Navy, the Federal Security Service and the Military Prosecutor’s Office

China already has the CY (Chang Ying / 长樱 / Long Tassel) series of anti-submarine missiles (RAND PDF). While the Russians do have the SS-N-14 and SS-N-16 series of anti-submarine missles, would this be something that China actually needs? I know that China purchased several air-craft carriers from Moscow after the fall of the Soviet Union (I even visisted one, and took pictures). Did China never get around to buying an anti-submarine missle to reverse engineer the technology? I would think that if China really wants anti-submarine missles, there are Chinese factories with Chinese workers (whose profits line the pcoket of Chinese officials) more than happy to do so.


The Kiev, in Dock in Tianjin, China

Without knowing anything about the mysterious world of anti-submarine missile smuggling, it seems more likely this is part of the fallout to the sinking of the Chinese ship “New Star” by the Russian navy. (The surviving Chinese sailors have now gone home to China.)

Tangentially related:

EU: Russia should stay out of Belarus
Russia: EU and US should stay out of Moldova
Russia: US should stay out of Kyrgyzstan
Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan: US welcome

3 thoughts on “Russian military officeres smuggling anti-submarine weapons to China (?)”

  1. Hmmm. Is it possible this has nothing to do with the specific weapons systems in question?

    I’m trying to imagine for a second what would happen if I were a CIA station cheif in a central Asian country and was approached by an asset who said that he could get me either Russian or Chinese weapons of the highest quality. I’m farily certin that the U.S. doesn’t need any Chinese or Russian weapons, since our stuff is better, but I would still consider taking his offer just to find out how bad security is in either place.

    If there are Russian “businessmen” and naval officers working together to smuggle high tech weapons out of Russia and into central Asia, China should want to know and $18 million seems like a relatively inexpensive way to find out.

  2. The US does buy enemy weapons sometime to examine and evaluate them.

    Also, jsut because the trade was to be done in China, it doesn’t that a different actor could have been doing the buying. Like Iran. Or North Korea.

  3. It seems that at least some Russian admirals were involved in this [1].

    If China had the opportunity to (a) Russian admirals to (b) commit treason, certainly it would have jumped on that opportunity. Having both a carrot and stick relationship with high-ranking officials in the Russian navy would make a lot of sense.

    The survivors of the ‘New Star’ are back home [2], by the way.

    [1] http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1461523.php/Top_Russian_Navy_officials_suspected_in_arms_smuggling__Roundup__
    [2] http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-02/25/content_10891858.htm

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