China will create its own aircraft engines copying alien
At the end of August, President Xi Jinping called for accelerated R&D in the field of aircraft engine building in order to strengthen the Chinese aircraft industry. An important organizational step towards this strengthening was the creation of the China Aircraft Engine Corporation - Aero Engine Corp of China (previously aviation Engines were handled by the Aviation Industry Corp of China).
As the resource Defense-aerospace.com stresses in this connection, despite the incredible successes achieved by China in the field of science, technology and industrial production, aircraft engines remain one of the few areas in which the country lags behind the leading aircraft-building powers. Currently, only five countries (and all of them are members of the UN Security Council) are capable of producing turbofan engines with afterburner functions such as those installed on the best fighters in the world - American F-22 or Russian Su-35.
At the same time, the most advanced aircraft of the People’s Army of China, such as the J-10 fighter or Y-20 transporter, are completely dependent on Russian engines. Even the J-20 - the first Chinese aircraft built using stealth technology - used an engine from Russia for test flights.
According to the plan under the general title “Will be produced in China by 2025 year”, the production of aircraft engines is one of 10 industrial industries that are of critical importance for the country, and therefore will be fully supported by the government. Thanks to the success of its own engineers and designers, China has already manufactured WS-10 Taihang turbofan engines, which are installed on some J-10 and J-11 type fighters. However, according to experts, it is still too early to say whether they are powerful enough and reliable enough to replace imported engines. It is known that one of the main problems to be solved by Chinese designers is to create engines that are capable of providing the aircraft with a flight at supersonic speed for a long time.
So, China intends to become a great aviation power, which is unthinkable without advanced engine-building. But what is the source of the potential greatness of the Middle Kingdom in this area? The answer is simple and simple - intellectual “piracy”.
A classic example is the Su-27. At first, China bought a small number of these fighters from Russia. Then he seemed to be going to produce them from Russian components, but he collected only 105 machines from the planned 200. It soon became clear why: the Chinese simply copied this plane and began its production without license. Actually, the Chinese there was only the name J-11В, engines, weapons and instrument equipment.
Moreover, as experts note, if in 1960s, Chinese copies of Soviet military equipment were obviously more primitive than originals, then J-11В, judging by the available data, according to its tactical and technical characteristics, it is almost as good as Su-27. And J-15 is a Chinese copy of the Su-33, which is the ship version of the Su-27. Due to similar “reincarnations”, Russia, according to a report by the British Royal Society of Aeronautics, has postponed supplies to China of the latest version of the Su-35. Beijing’s desire to buy only 24 vehicles of this type, but at the same time - a large number of spare engines, caused the Russian authorities fear that in this case China intends to copy the fighter. And above all - its engine.
As the deputy director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, Alexander Khramchikhin, notes, Beijing has long been abhorrent to the blatant theft of technology, in which it has been very successful. For example, there are no data indicating that Russia has ever sold China directly to Smerch multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) or a license to manufacture them. Nevertheless, the Chinese Army first appeared MLRS A-100, very reminiscent of the "Tornado", and then PHL-03 - a complete copy of this system.
The self-propelled artillery installation of the Tour 88 (PLZ-05) is very similar to the Russian Mstu, which has also never been exported to the PRC.
Russia has never sold a C-300 anti-aircraft missile system license to China, but this did not prevent the Chinese from copying it under the name HQ-9. The Chinese BMP ZBD04 is extremely similar to the Russian model BMP-3, and the C-602 cruise missile is similar to the Russian X-55 cruise missile.
There are reasons to be offended by China and the United States. Chengdu J-20 The Black Eagle has a large number of similar and completely copied elements from the Russian 1.44 and fifth-generation F-22 and F-35 Russian fighter jets that have not completed the test. And the Chinese regional aircraft ARJ-21 is a reincarnation of the American DC-9 airliner, released in the middle of the 1960-s for medium-length lines.
"Scientifically," what China does, reproducing samples of foreign technology, is called "reverse engineering." Any product is taken, completely disassembled, every detail is carefully redrawn, and the resulting drawings are then transferred to the production workshops, which begin to produce this product under the Chinese brand. At the same time, as noted in the above-mentioned report of the British Society of Aeronautics, "reverse engineering at such a high level implies a high degree of technical competence." But China has invested a lot of manpower and resources in research and technological infrastructure, which is a prerequisite for creating a world-class aerospace industry.
But, oddly enough, in the “reverse design” carried out by the PRC, there are also positive sides, and for the very manufacturers whose products China “designs back”. Managers of foreign aircraft manufacturing companies that have joint ventures with China unanimously express concern about the theft of this technology by this country. And at the same time, they note: including for this reason, their companies need to constantly create new technologies in order to maintain a competitive advantage over Chinese products. So, the “reverse design” practiced by China involuntarily stimulates scientific and technical progress in the field of aviation.
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