China, Russia Jointly Develop Large Aircraft for Military, Civilian Use


A man takes picture of the model of a widebody jet, which is planned to be developed by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) and Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) at an air show, the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Brenda Goh

A man takes picture of the model of a widebody jet, which is planned to be developed by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) at an air show, the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Brenda Goh

Reuters provide quite much information about the 50-50 joint venture between China and Russia to build a wide-body airliner with 280 seats in its report “China, Russia take step closer to new long-haul jet”, full text of which will be reblogged below later.

However, Reuters is ignorant of some quite important information that I provided in my post “35-ton Thrust Russian Engine for Russia-China Joint Wide-body Airliner” on June 21.

Reuters says that Western analysts regard the joint venture as “a politically-driven initiative that will be difficult to pull off and is likely to carry a high price tag”.

I pointed out in my post that it, in addition, is militarily-driven as I said in the post:

As it can stay in air for a long time and has plenty space inside, it will be an ideal platform for new generation of AEW&C aircraft. Other major military use of the large aircraft using the engines (referring to the world most powerful engine Russia will develop for the aircraft. See my quote later) will be aerial tanker. It is expected that there will be a wide range of use of the engine in warplanes.

Reuters says in its report, “A key decision will be what engines to use. Industry sources speculate the jet could use Western engines.”

I said in my post:

Russia Today website says in its report that Russian Deputy Chairman for Defense Industries Dmitry Rogozin told reporter on June 20 that Russia has begun development of a powerful engine with 35 tons (343 KN) thrust for the large long-range wide-body airliner that Russia and China are jointly developing.

The engine will be the most powerful in the world, more powerful than that used on Boeing 787-10 with 340 KN thrust.

As for division of labor between the two countries that Reuters regards as a “potentially tricky issue” as it takes two decades for Europe’s Airbus two decades to resolve, I said in my post based on what Rogozin told reporter on June 20:

Russia will be in charge of building the engines while China, the body of the airliner. Russia will build an engine plant for the airliner while the airliner will be assembled in China.

Readers used to get information about China unavailable in other media will not be surprised that I am better informed than Reuters.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters report, full text of which can be viewed below:

China, Russia take step closer to new long-haul jet

By Brenda Goh | ZHUHAI, China Wed Nov 2, 2016 | 7:55am EDT

China and Russia took a step closer on Wednesday to the joint development of a long-haul jet to challenge Boeing (BA.N) and Airbus (AIR.PA), displaying a model of the unnamed plane that would compete with Western rivals.

State-owned planemakers Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) [CMAFC.UL] and United Aircraft Corp (UAC) of Russia said they had started the hunt to find suppliers, as they presented a mock-up of the wide-body jet at Airshow China.

Neither firm gave details on financing or technical specifications for what Western analysts call a politically-driven initiative that will be difficult to pull off and is likely to carry a high price tag.

China opened the show on Tuesday in the southern city of Zhuhai with a brief flypast of its J-20 stealth fighter, in a demonstration of military clout.

Both countries are currently developing smaller narrow-body jets to compete with the best-selling Airbus and Boeing types.

Guo Bozhi, general manager of COMAC’s widebody department, said a 50-50 joint venture based in Shanghai will start operations this year.

First announced in 2014, the project has so far been slow to materialize. The firms have said they want conduct a maiden flight in 2022 and begin deliveries in 2025 or later.

Western industry analysts consider the target challenging, but more realistic than recent aircraft programs that sought results in 5-7 years and came in late.

“A wide-body jet is an extremely complicated product, which will require a lot of skills (to develop) and require broad industrial knowledge,” Guo told reporters. “China and Russia each have their own advantages.”

Descriptions accompanying the model showed the firms ultimately envision three variants, based on a basic version that will seat 280 and have a range of up to 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles).

SUPPLIER SEARCH

The decision to base the venture in Shanghai was a “mutual decision”, Guo said at the event, attended by COMAC Chairman Jin Zhuanglong, UAC’s Chief Executive Yury Slyusar and Russia’s Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov. Guo declined to say how much each party had invested in the project.

A global effort to assess potential suppliers is now under way, said COMAC, which is separately pushing its own C919 narrow-body passenger jet towards a long-delayed maiden flight, now aimed for the end of 2016 or early 2017.

U.S. firms Honeywell (HON.N) and United Technologies Corporation UTC.N said on Wednesday they discussed the China-Russia jet with COMAC officials at the airshow, without commenting on the nature or subject of the contacts.

“We will choose suppliers who have rich experience in development, whose products are competitive globally, and who can continually guarantee quality from the development stage until the planes go into operation,” Guo said.

A key decision will be what engines to use. Industry sources speculate the jet could use Western engines.

Another potentially tricky issue will be how the work should be divided, a subject which caused years of wrangling at Europe’s Airbus, which began in 1970 as a consortium of nations and took more than two decades to make a significant impact.

Though a 50-50 JV, analysts view the Chinese side as being the more influential in the project.

The firm’s Shanghai headquarters tells “where the balance of power is going to be and that reflects the size of the Chinese domestic market,” said Sash Tusa, analyst at London-based consultancy Agency Partners.

(Editing by Kenneth Maxwell; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

Advertisements


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s