The maker of China's new stealth fighter plans to team up with a small California firm for what would seem like mission impossible: bidding for US defence contracts, a report said Friday.
China Aviation Industry Corp, or AVIC, is in talks with US Aerospace Inc about joining forces to seek contracts for projects that could include supplying helicopters used by the US president, the Wall Street Journal said.
The idea appears far-fetched. Previous Chinese moves to enter strategic US sectors have been thwarted after arousing intense political opposition.
That is sure to occur if any Chinese involvement in the defence industry is suggested, especially given growing US concern about China's expanding armed forces.
A prototype of China's first stealth fighter -- the AVIC-produced J-20 -- made its maiden flight last month, shocking observers and underlining the rapid development of China's military capability (veja o vídeo do J-20 abaixo).
The plane, unveiled during a visit to China by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, is seen as a future rival to the US Air Force's F-22 Raptor, currently the world's only fully operational next-generation stealth fighter jet.
AVIC is discussing with US Aerospace the possibility of offering the AC-313 -- China's largest domestically produced helicopter -- for the next generation of aging Marine One helicopters, which are used to transport the president, the report quoted sources as saying (veja o vídeo do AC-313 abaixo).