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Moscow Starts Developing Heavy Engine for Joint Chinese-Russian Airliner

A great strategy for Russia to get into the lucrative Chinese market

Russia has informed China about the beginning of the development of a heavy aircraft engine with a thrust of 35 tons for the Sino-Russian long-range wide-body aircraft. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told reporters on Monday after a meeting of the Russian-Chinese intergovernmental commission on the preparation of regular meetings of the heads of government that this is the key point of the project for the development of a joint airliner.

"In addition, we informed the Chinese side of the beginning of the work on Russia’s heavy aircraft engine in the thrust segment up to 35 tons, the decision on creating which was made by the Russian president recently - in May, and the necessary funds were allocated", he said. "This almost solves the problem associated with the creation of a long-range wide-body aircraft, because the plane is impossible without an engine", Rogozin added.

"There should be two engines, and not four, as now. Neither the Soviet Union nor Russia have thus far developed such a powerful engine. They are manufactured only by General Electric and Rolls-Royce yet," the deputy prime minister said. "Now this kind of engine will be developed also for this Russian-Chinese joint project", he added.

According to him, the parties have agreed that Russian and Chinese aviation companies would first of all determine the operational life of the aircraft currently used on the leading air routes.

"Why is it necessary to determine the operational life? Because we need to understand the timeframe of the emergence of a niche when the operating western aircraft are being withdrawn from service, and when the need for our own new aircraft arises. This work will be carried out within the next few months," the deputy prime minister said.

The Russian and Chinese sides signed a memorandum on the creation of a new airliner in April 2014. It was reported at that time that the new program would be one of the largest-scale international cooperation projects of the two states in the field of aircraft building and high technology.

According to previous reports, Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC) began in early 2015 preliminary design of their proposed joint 250-280-seat wide-body airliner, which Moscow now expects to enter service in 2025.

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