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China Signs Deal With Russia For 150 Fighter Jet Engines—- Report

Russia’s top jet engine-maker has signed an agreement to supply over
100 high powered engines for China’s new fleet of fighter jets, but
Beijing is yet to ratify the deal as it is apparently miffed by some
stiff conditionalties of the deal, a media report said.

“The contract will involve 140 to 150 engines, but it has not been
confirmed by authorities in Beijing,” Alexander A Drozhzhin, the head of
press for SALUT, a top Russian company that manufactures engines for
the Su-27 aircraft, regarded as the fourth generation fighter aircraft
was quoted as saying by China’s state-run Global Times.

According to US media reports, the Russian state arms exporter,
Rosoboronexport (ROE), announced in July a sale of 123 SALUT-made
AL-31FN turbofan engines to China for USD 500 million.

The engine is a variant of that used in the Su-27 and Su-30MKK/MK2
fighter jets and is designed to be used on China’s single-engine J-10
fighter jet, Drozhzhin said.

The reported deal involves the third series of the AL-31FN, which have a
maximum thrust of 12,500 kilogrammes and 2,000-hour service life.

The AL-31FNs currently used on China’s J-10s have 11,700-kilogramme thrust and 1,500-hour service life, he said.

China’s air force development made headlines earlier this year after
news about the prototype J-20 stealth plane emerged. However, aircraft
engine design and manufacture have been lagging behind, the newspaper
said.

China, which has not got much of technological access to both US and EU
aviation technology due to restrictions, is developing a range of new
planes including the stealth version, but the engines for the most of
these planes were still being imported from Russia and Ukraine, mostly
case-by -case.

According to defence analysts, the Chinese, who are masters of reverse
engineering technology, were bogged down with Russian and Ukraine
insistence they should be used only planes and not for reproduction.

It is the same case with the JF-17, being jointly produced by China and
Pakistan as the engines for it were being sourced from Russia.

Pakistan plans to get 250 JF-17 in the next few years. About 50 planes
were produced last year and China has assured handing over another 50
this year.

Since 2009, China used Taihang engines, developed and produced by the
Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), have been fitted to the
double engine J-11 fighter jets, its J-15 carrier-based variant and an
upgraded version of the J-10 single engine fighter.

Lin Zuoming, President AVIC said it had taken 20 years to develop the
Taihang, a Chinese engine and that work on the engine was progressing
very well. 

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