China was probably trying to interest Brazil in its first first generation carrier-based fighter, the J-15, during the Zhuhai Air Show held in November last year, according to a March 6 report in Kanwa Defense Review, a Chinese-language military magazine based in Canada.
The model of the J-15 fighter displayed at the air show was equipped with a WS10A Taihang turbofan engine designed by Shenyang Liming Aircraft Engine Company. While China equips most of its fighters with Russian engines, the designer of the Taihang said that the engine will be reliable enough for export. J-15 fighters could be operated from the flight deck of the Brazilian Navy’s Clemenceau-class aircraft carrier, the Sao Paulo.
|J-15 Flying Shark|
A military cooperation agreement may be signed to enhance the relationship between the People’s Liberation Army Navy and the Brazilian Navy. As Brazil is still constructing its first nuclear-powered submarine, the SNB Alvaro Alberto and China may assist in training the crew. China could also benefit from the experience of the Brazilian Navy in operating an aircraft carrier and carrier-based aircraft.
A source from Beijing also told the magazine that China is pushing for the sale of the S20, the export version of the Type 039A submarine conventional-powered submarine, to Brazil. However, Brasilia did not confirm the rumors. China is continuing the improvement of J-15 fighters, as a steam-powered catapult will be installed on board China’s future aircraft carrier, so stronger landing gear will be needed for the carrier-based fighter.