14 May 2012

Is China About to Get Its Military Jet Engine Program Off the Ground?

Gabe Collins and Andrew Erickson, Is China About to Get Its Military Jet Engine Program Off the Ground? China Real Time Report (中国事实报), Wall Street Journal, 14 May 2012.

Tensions in the South China Sea—most recently with the Philippines—and Beijing’s unease about Washington’s renewed strategic focus on Asia are likely to strengthen calls from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for more modern fighters and strike aircraft. Russia has historically supplied the high performance military jet engines that power these craft. However, China’s defense industry is working hard to become capable of mass producing Chinese-made military jet engines in order to end dependence on Russia, give China maximum strategic flexibility, and begin to compete with Russian-made combat aircraft in export markets. …

For detailed analysis, see the following two China SignPost™ Deep Dive reports:

Gabe Collins and Andrew Erickson, “A Chinese ‘Heart’ for Large Civilian and Military Aircraft: Strategic and commercial implications of China’s campaign to develop high-bypass turbofan jet engines,” China SignPost™ (洞察中国), No. 47 (19 September 2011).

Gabe Collins and Andrew Erickson, “Jet Engine Development in China: Indigenous high-performance turbofans are a final step toward fully independent fighter production,” China SignPost™ (洞察中国), No. 39 (26 June 2011).