Carbon fibre is a specific composite technology that is a lightweight filamentary material. Currently, there are fewer than 20 prominent producers of carbon fibre globally with the leading producer being Toray Industries in Japan. Europe and the United States also have various smaller producers of carbon fibre. As a material, carbon fibre has a number of properties that make it viable for both civil and military end uses. These properties include corrosion resistance, which is useful in uranium enrichment applications, and ability to sustain uniform tension, making it popular for a variety of aerospace applications, just to name a few. China, in particular, has been working to indigenize carbon fibre production but has struggled as a result of technology, expertise and material challenges. China’s lack of indigenous capability to produce the highest grades of carbon fibre is a key chokepoint for the country’s military advancement. As a result, countries should consider carefully whether to export carbon fibre production equipment to China where the equipment would raise the country’s capability to develop higher performance carbon fibre. Additionally, countries should examine what steps can be taken to control the provision of expertise and know-how to these production facilities (i.e., China’s efforts to recruit foreign staff to run carbon fibre production facilities). While efforts have been made in an attempt to acquire foreign expertise in carbon fibre production, the PRC still lags behind in both volume and mechanical property off the produced carbon fibre. While this does give them the flexibility to use indigenously produced carbon fibre for some applications, carbon fibre with advanced properties still remains a chokepoint technology because of its applications to a variety of the PRC’s strategic sectors. As of September 1, 2022, the Chinese entity Zhongfu Shenying announced they have produced indigenously the T-1000 carbon fiber for aircraft and missiles. According to the company, the carbon fiber material is of the same level as the T-1000 from the Toray Corporation of Japan. If truly indigenously produced, this would be a significant breakthrough for the PRC and could result in other indigenous capabilities in aerospace and space sectors. Specifically, the J-20 Chinese fighter jet could have a next generation with stronger carbon fiber. The designation of T-1000 is a reference to carbon fiber applications prioritizing tensile strength and tensile modulus with main applications in aircraft bodies, missiles, and other vehicles. By contrast, an M-series carbon fiber is utilized for applications in spacecraft. Take Aways Both Russia and China are reliant on the international marketplace for composite materials, albeit to different extents. Russia lacks the ability to produce high end PAN-based carbon fibre, production equipment, and equipment to use it in applications, such as winding machines. China similarly lacks these, although Chinese companies claim to be able to manufacture modest quantities of industrial-grade PAN carbon fibre. Both countries are likely to seek carbon fibre from the international marketplace for use in their strategic programs. This includes efforts to acquire it from distributors. China is particularly focused on indigenization of carbon fibre production and is likely to seek production equipment and expertise from abroad. Such cases should be referred to national licensing authorities. Footnotes  This is based on internal CNS research which sought to identify all commercial producers of pan-based carbon fiber.  https://inf.news/en/military/13e0f7fd30ae10f5fc9a36cff83e5adb.html  Ibid.