China makes "strategic move" to become a major power in aviation
PUBLISHED: 10:49 01 September 2016
It is hoped that the launch of China's first aircraft engine manufacturer will reduce the country's reliance on parts from Western suppliers
The new state-owned company, Aero-Engine Corp. of China, is tasked with the research, development and manufacture of engines and gas turbines for both military and commercial purposes.
“We will try to find a path along which we can make independent innovation in conducting fundamental research, making breakthroughs in key technology and producing strategic aircraft engines,” said President of the Chinese Aeronautical Establishment, Liu Tingyi.
With 50bn yuan (over £5.6bn) in registered capital and some 96,000 employees, the group is expected to turn the country into a major player in the global aviation market by reducing the need to buy foreign-made parts.
President Xi Jinping described the launch as a “strategic move”.
Currently, China does not build engines for its home-grown aircraft. The passenger jet Comac ARJ21 flies with engines made by General Electric, while the still-under-development commercial airliner Comac C919 will include engines from a US-French joint venture. Even the military jets rely on Russian-made parts to get off the ground.