J-10 Thread IV

Discussion in 'Air Force' started by Jeff Head, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. Xsizor
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    Xsizor Junior Member
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    I'm sure this has been posted before. Just for a quick brush up...
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. asif iqbal
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    asif iqbal Brigadier

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    So finally after the Flankers J10C has indigenous engine
     
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  3. Tam
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    Tam Captain
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    Quite possibly. I do tend to see it as a backup and a bargaining card for the next time they negotiate with Saturn-Lyulka for buying the next batch of engines. The thing is, I see the buying of the specialized AL-31FN engine from Russia as a political tool for China to keep good relations with Putin and Russia. Its not unusual for China to use purchases as a political tool, and I would put the S-400 and the Su-35 purchases in that category. By helping to subsidize Russian engine manufacturers, it makes it easier and cheaper for the Russians to make their next generation fighters. So this is an important point for the Russians. China in turn gets all sorts of political benefits such as access to Russian oil and gas, and someone watching their back in Central Asia.

    WS-10 would have been ripe for use with the J-10 for some time now. It is politics that prevents this and politics will prevent it again. Do you know the Russians built an entirely new plant just to make these engines for the J-10? Breaking this bond will put many Russians out of work and unhappy.
     
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  4. Xsizor
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    Xsizor Junior Member
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    If Russia invested into an entire production line for AL-31 series for J-10 then it's their bad luck. I think China should delink its Aeroengine manufacturing ecosystem ( which has not even matured to a full spectrum ecosystem meeting all of PLA demands yet,tbh) from Russian or any foreign state geopolitics.
    1. Russia never allowed China to have a manufacturing line for AL-31 series. It said NO when China's engine programs went through a rough phase ( 2000 - 2015). Could have had some arrangements akin to that between Indian and Russians. The Russians allowed India to have a manufacturing line for AL-31FP for their MKI.
    2. Russian engines are unreliable when contrasted with Western products. Whether it be French Turboshafts or North American/British Turbofans... the Russian products were/is inferior. Why China continue to depend on Russia's powerplants is beyond me ( especially as of 2019, when China is not exactly "cash-strapped").
    3. A J-10 crashed in Tibet last month. That J-10 had Russian AL-31 series engine. Why should China risk its increasingly complex and expensive fighter air-frames to damage and disintegration when it has in possession an engine that is more reliable? ( WS-10 failing is very rare - as per open source information, anyways).
    4. China should be having a great relationship with Russia. There are no arguments there. But China needs to have a strong local engine manufacturing and innovation base too. That base gets harmed when China invests in a foreign production facility.
     
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  5. Tam
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    Tam Captain
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    I see the points, but it is up to XJP to decide this. This is linked to a political high level. China needs Russian gas, oil and mineral imports. It even doing Russian soybeans. In return, Russia also opens up its markets to China. Huawei doing the Russian 5G for example. That's a big territory to cover.

    Even if Russia did not allow China to have a manufacturing plant, they opened up a maintenance center in China to allow all AL-31F and FN engines to be overhauled and maintained there.
     
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  6. Xsizor
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    Xsizor Junior Member
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    I don't want to derail the thread into geopolitics or energy security discussion. But China can support Russia in many other fields. Example : ShipBuilding , Telecommunications, Information Technology, Automobiles, Heavy Machinery ...the list is huge.
    Why exactly compromise on Aeroengines? Why can't Russia divert the profits it had made in its collaboration and coordination with China on the many fields that I listed above? They could divert some of that Profits into their own Aeroengine Manufacturing base? Russian Sukhois and Migs have never lost their appeal ( to the contrary, the potential buyers keep Increasing - Turkey is the latest). That means more Aeroengine business ?

    China must delink/ decouple from Russia on Aeroengines. There will be growing pains. But that has to be endured. WS-10 series should be adopted into more J-10s and Flankers. Even if WS-10 ends up having a lower reliability score than AL-31( a hypothetical scenario), China should keep on pushing ahead.
     
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  7. asif iqbal
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    asif iqbal Brigadier

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    A good discussion guys even although off topic

    but I agree why should China compromise on engines for trade with Russia

    So China is compromising a core technology for soyabeans ? Big no no
     
  8. Tam
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    Tam Captain
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    You need to ask Xi Jing Ping and the Politburo on that. As far as anything to do with Russia or things that involve the international level, including arms sales and purchases, they have the final say on that, whether contracts will be continued or not.
     
  9. manqiangrexue
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    manqiangrexue Captain

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    I don't think it's about China compromising its own engine technology and making sacrifices there for the privilege of business and alliance with Russia. Rather, this is China's way of throwing its Russian ally a financial lifeline for its military so it can continue to make weapons that challenge China's rivals for their mutual interest. On top of that, it's always good to have a look at the inner workings of other people's designs; I don't think anyone can say that Russian engines already have nothing to offer China. As long as China doesn't stop or stymie its own engine tech development to become reliant on Russia again, it is fine, and indeed things do not look that way now. It looks more and more like Russia's privilege to sell engines to China.
     
  10. ougoah
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    ougoah Senior Member
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    Some are missing the main point of concern. Exactly how much cost is it to be purchasing Russian AL-31? Some against the whole "investing in Russia" idea are assuming that all funds going into AL-31 purchases could have benefited domestic industry. This isn't necessarily true. Perhaps domestic industry funding and procurement is already at maximum. Any extra dollar going into them is not going to go as far as the last dollar. The utility equilibrium has been reached.

    We know production rates was/is one bottleneck at least for WS-10. Almost all frontline PLAAF fighters use the WS-10 / AL-31 variants. So orders are basically at a maximum. Sure they can build more production lines but this is coming in a time when PLAAF is researching 6th gen and want WS-15 on its J-20 and if J-31 ever becomes anything, it'll be using WS-19. Flanker types production is about as fast as the WS-10 production and PLAAF isn't that interested in amassing thousands of flankers at the cost of 5th gens and other important assets. So expanding production is not planned and quite possibly slowing it down may be the plan in the coming years. Shifting to newer and better things.

    Only recently it seems CAC has been installing WS-10 on the newest J-10 production fighters for PLAAF squadrons. This may be used as a political tool or not but we know AL-31 is a good enough engine and if domestic industry doesn't really require any more funding to survive (they're SOE anyway) or funding to access resources for R&D (again SOE so no worries there) then the whole theory that investing in Russian engines is bad for China is a fallacy. The balance sheet isn't quite as simple as this. If the benefits of going Russian i.e. political favour, supporting an ally and friendly MIC who could in future develop some very useful things that you haven't been able to etc, exist even in minute quantities, then it could all be very much worthwhile particularly when state owned engine developers and builders simply don't need to supply all future J-10 to continue improving and progressing their technology.
     
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