China’s J-20 Fighter Likely to Replace Russian AL-31F With Homegrown Taihang Engines

  • Our Bureau
  • 08:41 AM, September 8, 2017
  • 8354
China’s J-20 Fighter Likely to Replace Russian AL-31F With Homegrown Taihang Engines
Taihang Engine displayed at a show in China (Image: People's Daily)

China is likely to make use of its home grown engine for its J-20 fighter jets replacing the Russian AL-31F engines.

"It is necessary for the J-20 to use homemade engines. This way, the fighter jet will be completely developed and manufactured in China," Huang Jun, a professor at Beihang University was quoted as saying by Global Times Thursday after photos of Taihang surfaced online during a J-20 aircraft show.

A report released by thepaper.cn on Wednesday said the new engine is the Taihang based on its appearance on the online photos.

According to the report, the insufficient supply of the Russian engines could have led to the change, since orders for the homemade engine also come from overseas, while the price of the Russian engine has been increased from $3 million to $ 5 million each.

"The Taihang engine's performance is nearly as good as the AL-31F. However, being new, the Taihang lacks the maturity of the Russian one," said Huang.

The report added it is much more complicated to change the engine of the fourth generation of J-20s than the second and the third one due to adjustments to the fourth generation's air inlet and engine compartment, among others. 

The J-20 is expected to undergo another engine change with the homemade WS-15, which is currently being developed, said the report of thepaper.cn.

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