Ukraine to Help China Make Advanced Aircraft Engines

Ukrainian AI-222-25F afterburning turbofan that has already been installed on China’s L-15 prototype. photo

In its report “FIRST AIRCRAFT ENGINE ASSEMBLED IN CHINA USING MOTOR SICH TECHNOLOGY COULD BE SHOWN BY LATE 2017 – KUBIV” on May 23, says Ukraine and China will set up a joint venture between its PJSC Motor Sich (Zaporizhia) and China’s Beijing Skyrizon Aviation Industry Investment Co. Ltd. to use Ukrainian technology to produce aircraft engines.

China can make advanced fighter jets but cannot equip them with advanced Chinese or imported aircraft engines. It has an urgent need to import engine technology but no one is willing to provide until Ukraine is willing to provide now.

Ukraine on the other hand needs funds to improve its aircraft engine technology. The report says that China will provide US$250 million for PJSC Motor Sich’s modernization. says in its report “Ukrainian first prime minister visit a mystic place: Perhaps very good for Chinese aircraft engine industry” on May 23 that after attending the One Belt One Road summit, Ukrainian First Vice Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv visited a Chinese private aircraft engine producer in Chongqing, China and reached agreement with China for the establishment of an aircraft engine joint venture to provide China with Ukrainian aircraft engine technology.

Ukraine has helped China build aircraft carriers and world largest air-cushioned landing crafts, but refused to provide China with its aircraft engine technology in spite of China’s repeated requests. The establishment of the aircraft engine joint venture means the further strengthening of the strategic relations between Ukraine and China so that Ukraine is now willing to provide China with the best of its military technology.

China has allocated 100 billion yuan (USD160 billion) for development of advanced aircraft engines to meet its urgent need for advanced aircraft engines to equip its stealth fighters J-20 and J-31. The joint venture will greatly facilitate China’s achievement of that goal.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on and’s reports.’s report is in Chinese and a summary translation of it is given in the post. Full text of it in Chinese can be viewed at while that of’s report is reblogged below:


23 May , 2017

KYIV. May 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The first aircraft engine assembled in China under Ukrainian technologies within the framework of strategic partnership between PJSC Motor Sich (Zaporizhia) and China’s Beijing Skyrizon Aviation Industry Investment Co. Ltd. could be demonstrated by late 2017, Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv has said.

During a briefing held in Kyiv and dedicated to the results of a recent visit of the Ukrainian delegation to China to participate in a high-level dialogue within the framework of the “One Belt. One Road” forum, the deputy premier highlighted the agreements achieved on Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation in the aircraft engine industry, saying the creation of aircraft engines production in Chongqing under Ukrainian technologies is “one of the priorities of the government.”

“Skyrizon and Motor Sich will create a joint venture for production of aircraft engines using Ukrainian technologies in China’s Chongqing. We want in 2017 to show the first engine that will be assembled at this plant,” Kubiv said.

He also welcomed the plans of the Chinese side envisaged by the cooperation program to invest $250 million in the modernization of Motor Sich, noting that the implementation of the program of Ukrainian-Chinese strategic cooperation in the field of aircraft engine building will strengthen the positions and influence of the Ukrainian aviation industry in the world market.

F-35 Simply Unable to Attack Chinese Homeland

Supercomputers play a vital role in the design, development and analysis of almost all modern weapons systems, said a report by the National Security Agency-Energy Department based on an assessment of China’s new supercomputer called the TaihuLight. Photo by: David Mercer

Some people boast F-35’s network function to share information with other F-35s and believe F-35s can penetrate China’s air defense by J-20 that is designed to dominate Chinese airspace. I have pointed out in my previous post that for J-20 network with its ground command center is much more important as there is China’s supercomputer there to analyze information not only from J-20s but also China’s ground and navy’s air defense system and give instruction to J-20s to hit F-35s before F-35s have enough time to analyze the information from their network.

F-35’s computer is but a child’s toy compared with the supercomputer in China’s ground command center.

Now, US military expert Bill Gertz’s article “Chinese supercomputers threaten U.S. security” on May 3, not only confirms my opinion but even quotes a recent report of joint National Security Agency-Energy Department study as saying, “China is eclipsing the United States in developing high-speed supercomputers used to build advanced weapons, and the loss of American leadership in the field poses a threat to U.S. national security.”

Now, its Chinese supercomputers that threaten the US instead F-35s threatening China!


“Supercomputers play a ‘vital role’ in the design, development and analysis of almost all modern weapons systems, including nuclear weapons, cyberwarfare capabilities, ships, aircraft, communications security, missile defense, precision-strike capabilities and hypersonic weapons, the report said.”

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Washington Times’ report, full text of which can be viewed at

China’s J-20 Has Longer Range with 4 Massive External Fuel Tanks


The following is the full text of’s article “China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter Photographed Toting Massive External Fuel Tanks: The J-20’s range just got longer and its flexibility enhanced” by Tyler Rogoway:

China’s stealthy J-20 fighter-interceptor program continues to gain steam, with deep avionics integration work underway and even reports the jet is already deployed in a semi-operational state. Now the aircraft has appeared in a totally new configuration, toting a quartet of massive auxiliary fuel tanks (aka, drop tanks or “bags”) under its usually clean wings.

Chinese military fan’s J-20 photos. Credit: ELEPHANT

The J-20 is designed to capitalize on glaring holes in American air combat capabilities. This primarily includes US tactical air power’s lack of range and its dependence on force-multiplying assets like tanking, airborne early warning and control, data-fusion and other lumbering and potentially vulnerable aircraft. China building a stealthy fighter-interceptor that can range far from the mainland and work to pick off these enabling support aircraft, as well as other fighters, is tactically sound. On a larger level, the J-20 works as an anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) weapon, pushing out the PLAAF’s anti-air reach while also bringing a whole new level of capabilities to the flying force’s tactical aircraft inventory.

All this fits into China’s overall A2/AD strategy, which aims to deny an opposing force the ability to operate within hundreds, or even thousands or miles of the Chinese mainland—far enough that many of said enemy’s offensive military capabilities are automatically neutered. But executing long-range combat air patrols or stalking an enemy’s vulnerable force multiplier assets are not the only ways such an aircraft could be put to use. Outside of possible secondary air-to-ground, air-to-surface and suppression/destruction of enemy air defenses roles, the J-20’s advanced avionics can be leveraged to benefit lesser platforms within the air-to-air realm.

If the photos are legitimate, and they appear to be, by adding auxiliary fuel tanks, the J-20 will be able to fly even further than it does today, not just for ferrying operations, but also for air sovereignty missions, just like F-22s do in Alaska. Additionally, the ability to haul thousands of pounds of fuel externally will allow the J-20 to loiter for long periods of time, during which time the aircraft can act as a sensor node and “quarterback” for other aircraft Chinese tactical aircraft. Once again, this is a tactic the F-22 pioneered to some degree, as even after its magazine runs dry, Raptors are often kept on the scene to direct other coalition aircraft not just towards the enemy to assist in kills, but away from them as well.

Although cumbersome external fuel tanks sap the J-20’s low observable (stealth) qualities and maneuvering performance, it is likely that they can be jettisoned along with their pylons in a similar manner as the F-22. This allows the aircraft to recapture a large degree of its low observability, and is clearly useful if increased kinematic performance is needed. The tanks will also allow J-20s to reach stations hundreds of miles beyond what they are capable on external fuel alone. They will make the J-20 more independent of aerial tankers for certain missions, and even with four tanks, the J-20’s baseline internal weapon carriage capability is not disturbed.

F-22A test aircraft during external tank/pylon jettison tests (USAF)

It is also becoming increasingly evident that for some missions the J-20, or a least a portion of them, are likely to carry weapons under their wings. In particular, China’s new and nearly telephone pole sized very long-range air-to-air missile that is in development. You can read all about this missile here, but it certainly will not fit in a J-20’s weapons bay. That does not mean the J-20 won’t have great use for it, quite the contrary.

J-20s working cooperatively are the perfect team to put such a weapon to use. For instance, a devision (flight of four) J-20s could work in two sections, one section of two jets in stealth configuration, and the other two carrying four long-range air-to-air missiles. The stealthy pair can venture forward to quietly (electronic emissions silent) obtain targeting information while the J-20s carrying the long-range missiles can act as weapons magazines, leveraging the targeting data obtained from their stealthy wingmen. These are similar to tactics being developed by the USAF for the F-15 and F-22 air dominance team. For instance, the stealthy J-20s can use their passive sensors (electronic support measures and infrared search and track) to silently stalk targets far in front of the non-stealthy configured J-20s. Meanwhile the other non-stealthy J-20s operating many dozens of miles to the rear can use their radars freely, providing enhanced situational awareness to the stealthy J-20s ahead by sharing their radar “picture” via data-link. In doing so these non-stealthy configured J-20s also act as bait, drawing in enemy fighter aircraft, and leaving them vulnerable to ambush by their stealthy and silent counterparts. You can read more about these types of tactics here.

One of the latest images of the J-20 to come out of China showing an increasingly missionized aircraft (Chinese internet)

Although similar tactics can be realized via the interoperation between China’s Su-27 derivatives and J-20s, the J-20’s sensor suite and level of sensor fusion is supposedly a leap ahead anything else in the PLAAF. Most importantly the J-20 is built to work among its own kind above all else. Training is also simplified by keeping these tactics “in house” at least until the aircraft has many more years to develop and synergies with other PLAAF platforms are identified, tested and regularly trained for. Even then, a Flanker does not have the ability to blow off its external stores and instantly become much harder to detect, all the while still be armed with internal short and medium-range weaponry.

Basically, seeing the J-20 tanked up gives us evidence of a potentially more flexible combat aircraft than we have known in the past, and it will be interesting to see other stores begin to appear under its wings. It is also another reminder that the J-20 is rapidly maturing and will soon become a front-line reality within the PLAAF. And this is just part of China’s stealth aircraft revolution. With a medium weight fighter also in the works—flying in its second and much more refined form no less—as well as a stealthy bomber program underway, the PLAAF of today is likely to be unrecognizable from what it will become a decade from now.

Source: “China’s J-20 Has Longer Range with 4 Massive External Fuel Tanks”

Note: This is’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

Stealth fighter soon powered by local engines

The J-20 stealth fighter at an air show in Zhuhai last November. Photo: Xinhua

By Zhao Lei ( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-03-13 07:33:24

A domestically developed engine will soon power the nation’s latest stealth fighter jet, according to a senior scientist working for Aero Engine Corp of China.

“It will not take a long time for our fifth-generation combat plane to have China-made engines,” said Chen Xiangbao, vice-president of the AECC Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials. Chen, also a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was referring to the J-20 stealth fighter.

“The engine’s development is proceeding well. We also have begun to design a next-generation aviation engine with a thrust-to-weight ratio that is much higher than that of current types,” he said. Thrust-to-weight ratio is considered the top indicator of an aviation engine’s capability.

Source: China Daily “Stealth fighter soon powered by local engines”

China to Be Leader in Military Aviation Technology

The J-20 stealth fighter at an air show in Zhuhai last November. Photo: Xinhua

The Two Sessions of China’s NPC and CPPCC offer the best chance to interview China’s top military scientists and engineers. On March 7, carried a report by China Aviation News on its interview with Yang Wei when he was attending CPPCC session in Beijing.

Yang Wei, a CPPCC member, is deputy director of China Aviation Industry Science and Technology Committee and China Aviation Research Institute, a top aviation research expert.

Due to the confidential nature of China’s military industry, Yang has difficulty to talk about it, but he says, “The issue is whether our adversaries adjust the targets of their equipment in accordance with our equipment or the contrary in future developments of world aviation equipment industry. There is no doubt whatsoever that we will never cease development of new equipment.”

According to Yang there is a long-term plan for China’s aviation industry within China’s ambitious goal of “Made in China 2025”. It does not simply mean manufacture by China but innovation and creation of advanced products. In that perspective, the development of J-20 stealth fighter is but a minor target.

According to Yang’s description, China has passed the “dark forest” into bright sunshine. He says, “The one who has the power to speak in innovation in science and technology will be the rule setter.”

Yang means that China has passed the stage of adjusting its weapon development according to what others have innovated. Now it is the time for China to innovate weapons to make others adjust their weapon development accordingly.

Source: “J-20 is but a minor target: development of new equipment will not stop” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

China’s J-20 stealth fighter joins the People’s Liberation Army air force

The J-20 stealth fighter at an air show in Zhuhai last November. Photo: Xinhua

State media highlights nation’s most advanced stealth fighter coming into operation

China’s latest stealth fighter, the ­J-20, is serving in the People’s Liberation Army air force, according to state media.

Military insiders said the appearance of J-20s in the air force was meant as a warning to Japan and South Korea, which are expected to buy US F-35 stealth fighters now that China has equally advanced warplanes.

Video footage aired by CCTV yesterday showed J-20 fighters alongside PLA Y-20 transport planes and H-6K bombers. The broadcast did not say how many ­J-20s were operational.

America’s F-35 fighter jet vs China’s J-20: which is better, cheaper, stealthier?(

The report said the new aircraft had joined joint drills with troops, rocket forces and the navy.

A source close to the PLA said the J-20s were all equipped with home-made WS-15 engines, but because the engine had not entered mass production, only a few J-20s were available for service.

“There are still a series of technical problems that need to be tackled [on the J-20], including the reliability of its WS-15 engines, [and the plane’s] control system, stealth coat and hull materials and infrared sensor,” said the source, who requested anonymity.

But with the US deploying a batch of F-35s in Japan in January, and South Korea planning to have 40 F-35s in 2018, “it’s urgent for China to show off its achievements as soon as possible”, the source said, adding that more ­J-20s would join the PLA this year.

Chinese military websites showed pictures last December of J-20s with serial numbers indicating that at least three types of the stealth jets had joined the air force since last year.

The J-20 made a two-minute public debut at the opening of ­Airshow China in Zhuhai in Guangdong province on November 1, flying over the show each day after taking off from an airfield in nearby Foshan.

Visitors were not permitted to view the aircraft on the ground, sparking speculation that the home-made aircraft was falling behind its production schedule.

The doubts were countered by air force chief General Ma Xiaotian one day after the jet’s maiden flight. Ma said development of the J-20 fighter jet would be sped up and it would be put into operation in the air force soon.

That claim was countered by air force chief General Ma Xiaotian one day after the jet’s maiden flight. Ma said development of the J-20 would be sped up and that it would be put into operation in the air force soon.

Designers of the J-20 claim the fighter represents a “big leap forward in terms of the capabilities of the PLA”.

The aircraft has a longer range, more internal fuel capacity and a larger weapons capacity than the US F-22 and F-35 fighters, the designers say.

Can you differentiate China’s J-20 and J-31 fighter jets? Taiwan’s defence minister and air force chief can’t(

Western military experts said the shape of the J-20 copies the US F-22, but that many of the internal details of the aircraft remain a mystery.

Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Dong said China’s J-20 still had a long way to go to catch up to the F-22 and ­F-35, with engine development still the core problem.

“Not only the J-20 but China’s Y-20 transport plane are facing the same problem, that the WS-18 is still not in mass production,” Wong said.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: New stealth fighter now serving with PLA air force

Source: SCMP “China’s J-20 stealth fighter joins the People’s Liberation Army air force”

Note: This is SCMP’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

F-35 Unable to Fight J-20 for Air Superiority: US Think Tank

An F-35 lightning ii completes a flyover of USS Zumwalt ddg 1000. National Interest photo.

An F-35 lightning ii completes a flyover of USS Zumwalt ddg 1000. National Interest photo.

According to National Interest’s article by Dave Majumdar on February 10, 2017, a report of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) commissioned by US Navy says that the US has to develop a new stealth manned fighter to contend for air superiority with China’s J-20.

The article says, “The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter—which are not dedicated air superiority fighters—would not be suitable to defeat advanced adversary air defenses or enemy aircraft such as the Chengdu J-20 or other Chinese fifth-generation warplanes. ‘In contrast to today’s multimission strike-fighters, such as the F-35C, the design of these aircraft would need to focus mostly on the fighter mission rather than strike, so that they would have the speed, endurance, maneuverability, and air-to-air sensor capability needed for counter-air operations,’ the report states.”

That is only natural because when the US began developing F-35, no other country has stealth fighter to contend for air supremacy with F-35, therefore there is much more emphasis on F-35’s capabilities in penetrating enemy air defense to attack enemy targets on land or at sea.

Now, China has developed J-20 specially for grabbing air supremacy from US stealth fighters. The US finds it in a poor position and is in dire need for some fighters to deal with J-20. Sad for US Navy. No worry, US Navy can ask Congress for lots of funds to develop new stealth fighters for air superiority.

The problem is that China is also spending a lot in developing fighter jets superior to US ones and so is Russia. The US has to conduct arms race in earnest with both Russia and China.

Usually, at least one of the two countries competing with the US may develop something better than US ones. If it is China, US will lose the arms race. However, if it is Russia, the US will also lose to China as Russia is willing to sell and China can afford the purchase of Russia’s best fighter jets as proved by its purchase of Russia’s so far the best fighter jet Su-35.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on National Interest’s article, full text of which can be viewed at