China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force has received Chengdu J-10 jets powered by indigenous engines for operational service.
ICYMI, this photo published on the website of China’s state radio broadcaster is confirmation the Chengdu J-10C powered by the indigenous WS-10B turbofan is in PLAAF service, suggesting China has sufficient confidence in the engine to use it on single-engined types pic.twitter.com/NHGkxVeQWV
— Mike Yeo 杨启铭 (@TheBaseLeg) May 11, 2021
Images posted by China National Radio of a PLAAF live-firing exercise at an unspecified location show J-10C Vigorous Dragons with the distinctive exhaust nozzles of the WS-10B Taihang turbofan engine, marking the first time the WS-10 has been officially seen on an operational J-10.
The confirmation of J-10s powered by an indigenous engine represents a key milestone for China’s aviation industry, and it suggests China is now satisfied by the performance and reliability of the WS-10.
China has been testing the engine on the J-10 since at least 2011, with the engine seen on J-10B and J-10C test bed aircraft belonging to the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, although the engines were not seen on production aircraft until the fourth production batch of J-10Cs in 2019.
China has had troubles with the design and manufacture of fighter engines over the past decade or so. Despite having used the WS-10 to power the twin-engine Shenyang J-11 and J-16 jets since around 2010, the country has continued to use imported Russian AL-31 engines to power the Shenyang J-15 carrier-borne fighter and earlier batches of J-10s.
China is also continuing work on indigenous engines, with a J-10B test bed version fitted with a stealthy, thrust-vectoring WS-10B performing at the 2018 Zhuhai Airshow. It is also developing the WS-15 engine for its stealthy Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon and the WS-10 high-bypass turbofan for its Xi’an Y-20 airlifter.
Beijing continues developing its military capability in every possible direction, be it hypersonics, submarines, surface warships, ground forces and every other potential field of contention with the United States.
Its modernization efforts appear to be paying off, unlike the Pentagon’s modernization plan which, according to recent reports is so bad that it threatens to put Washington on the back foot by the middle of the 2020s.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- A Light Slap: Honeywell Fined For Sharing F-35, Other Secrets To China
- Chinese Liaoning Aircraft Carrier Conducted Naval Drills Near Taiwan, Sailed Between Disputed Diaoyu Islands