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Xian JH-7B Fighter Bomber Has New Homegrown Engine


China has installed an
indigenous engine in its Xian JH-7B fighter bomber. The plane has been
designed to be difficult to detect, reports Huanqiu.

A Xian JH-7B that has carried out test flights has been powered by
the LM6 turbofan engine designed specifically for the aircraft which
boasts more powerful thrust than the country’s latest WS-10A engine. The
LM6’s air intake has been designed to be less visible and its exterior
is coated with materials that can absorb electromagnetic waves. The
engine is undergoing fine-tuning in preparation for mass production and
the fighter bomber will be installed with new avionics and may use an
active phased array radar

Xian JH-7B fighter bomber
Xian JH-7B fighter bomber

The development of the plane began as early as 1974 after a battle
against Vietnam in the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. The
incident prompted Beijing to decide to develop a supersonic all-weather
aircraft that could be used by both the navy and air force. Development
was slow, however, since a suitable engine for the aircraft could not be
found and other countries were unwilling to sell advanced engines to
the country.

The Xian JH-7 was China’s first aircraft capable of mid-air
refueling. Its advanced JH-7A variant has seen service with three navy
battalions and three air force battalions.