Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
WASHINGTON – China’s ambitions to develop reliable fifth generation jet fighters may be hampered by technology deficiencies in developing jet engines that can provide reliable, sustained performance over long periods before having to be overhauled, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
This problem for China has been a long-standing issue and has seen the Middle Kingdom seek elsewhere for critical jet engine hot-section technologies and production of critical engine turbines that will give engines the ability to keep aircraft operational longer in between down times for overhaul.
Right now, the Chinese are relying on the Russians for much of their advanced jet engine technology, but they, too, historically have had similar problems.
Many of the aircraft China has today come from Russia, complete with technology deficiencies that will make it a challenge for China to develop reliable engines for their J-15 and newest stealth, fifth generation fighter, the J-20.
Already, there are indications that production of the J-20 has been slowed.
Meanwhile, U.S. export controls designed to help protect these critical technologies have been long decontrolled or remain subject to limited controls, posing the potential that, combined with Chinese engineers who learn about Western standards, China eventually will be able to develop a technology base from which to develop more reliable jet engines.
The fact that China still hasn’t perfected the technologies to extend operational times of their jet engines has grabbed the attention of Chinese leaders at the highest levels.
They see that bureaucratic barriers have been a major factor in China’s lag in building high-performance jet engines, forcing the Chinese to rely on Russian engine technology.
However, Moscow is reluctant to sell its high-powered engines for the J-20 that would allow it to maintain supersonic flight without using afterburners.
High performance jet engine expertise resides mostly in the U.S. and West Europe, with Russia being a distant third, according to analysts.
Not only are China’s engine production facilities at great distances from each other, but the organizational structure to produce the engines is spread among various branches of the People’s Liberation Army, where some research entities are in competition.
Until the Chinese leadership is able to overcome these major deficiencies, Chinese engine production will only power a small percentage of its overall jet aircraft fleet for the foreseeable future.
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