China’s ‘Engine Problems’: Despite New Technology, Beijing Remains Heavily Reliant On Russia For J-20 Fighters

It has been widely reported for years that China is capable of cloning foreign technologies for domestic usage. According to several media claims quoting experts, almost every Chinese fighter plane such as J-20 Fighters  is based on stolen or reverse engineered designs.

For years, China has been attempting to produce a capable native fighter aircraft engine. For its J-20 stealth aircraft, China has substituted Russian engines with domestically produced WS-10 engines. However, according to several sources, these indigenous engines still fall short and do not deliver enough thrust when compared to Russian engines.

Despite China’s huge gains in securing crucial military technologies that helped manufacture its stealthy J-20 and J-31 aircraft, China continues to underperform in jet engine production due to Russian technological secrets. China’s problems in this area are due to a lack of native expertise rather than a lack of resources allocated to the effort.

The Chinese defence industrial complex is relatively new in comparison to Russia, which inherited the Soviet Union’s defence manufacturing backbone. Many Chinese scientists, engineers, designers, and production managers are still in their twenties and thirties, which explains why they lack apprenticeship training and decades of specialised experience. Beijing hired Russian experts to operate inside Chinese industries to fix the problem.

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