China launches own aircraft engine-maker to rival the West

A man looks at an aircraft scale model at the Aviation Industry Corporation of China booth during an expo in Beijing in 2015Image copyright
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China has launched its first aircraft-engine manufacturer in an attempt to wean itself off Western suppliers.

The state-owned Aero-Engine Group of China was created by combining a group of existing aircraft-engine companies, according to local media reports.

It has about 50bn yuan ($7.5bn) in registered capital and will develop both military and commercial engines.

China already makes its own planes, but has struggled for decades to develop engines that meet global requirements.

‘Strategic move’

China currently buys its commercial aircraft engines from General Electric and United Technologies’ Pratt Whitney. China’s military jets uses Russian-made engines.

President Xi Jinping called the new creation of the new company a “strategic move” aimed at developing China’s reputation as a global aviation power, Xinhua news agency said.

The Chinese government, as well as the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) and Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (Comac) are investors in the new firm.

AVIC makes military jets and helicopters while Comac produces China’s biggest domestically-produced passenger plane, the C919.



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