China is trying to sell two submarines to Egypt that are cheaper than vessels being offered by Germany, industry sources told Reuters, as Beijing looks to expand weapons exports beyond its traditional customer base in Asia.
Beijing has sought to undercut Western submarine makers on price and by offering attractive export-credit terms for sales in Asia, the sources said.
It has won deals with Pakistan and Bangladesh so far.
China displaced Germany as the world’s third-largest arms exporter, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in March, though nearly 70 percent of those weapons went to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
An Egyptian military source said China had offered to sell submarines to Cairo.
“We are studying it, but it is not an easy decision,” the source said.
Two industry sources familiar with the matter said Cairo wanted two more submarines after ordering an initial two from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) of Germany in 2011 that are set to be delivered in 2017. TKMS has been in talks with Egypt for the additional two, they said.
Chinese submarines are built by Wuchang Shipbuilding, which is part of state-run China Shipbuilding Industry Corp.
China and Egypt have long had friendly ties, and China supplied Egypt with four Ming-class diesel-electric submarines in the 1980s.
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