According to the report of Russia media Kommersant, the Russian state-owned arms trading company Rosoboroneksport has concluded a US$300 million deal for the export of 100 modified AL-31FN turbofan engines from the Salyut Moscow Machine Building Production Enterprise to China. These engine will be fitted on the PLA Air Force’s latest indigenous J-10 fighter aircraft.
The report confirmed the earlier speculation that China had received 54 Salyut-made AL-31FP turbofan engines for a test fleet of J-10s between 2002 and 2004. Later Salyut, through Rosoboroneksport, successfully negotiated the sale of the engine for mass production of the fighter aircraft.
An official of Salyut stated that the deal, which is the latest of their deals with China, is for 100 modified AL-31FN engines worth more than US$300 million. He clearly confirmed that these engines will not be installed Russian-made fighters, but Chinese. “The contract allows us to enlarge the spectrum of our collaboration with China while avoiding ties to production only of engines of the Sukhoi family,” he said.
Salyut services and renovates engines for Su-27SK and Su-30MK2 fighters delivered to Beijing previously. A US$100 million contract was recently concluded for the delivery of parts for those engines over the next three years. It is understood that Salyut signed that contract directly, since it has a five-year license for the independent delivery of spare parts and technical servicing. It received that license in September 2002.
Experts say that the total demand of China for AL-31FN engines is 250, which could earn Russia about $900 million. Obviously, after receipt of the first lot of engines, China will sign a new contract with Salyut.
The contract with Salyut is the second within three months for the delivery of Russian engines for Chinese fighter planes. At the beginning of April, Rosoboroneksport signed a contract with Beijing for the sale of 100 RD-93 engines for the new Chinese FC-1 for $267 million. The engine was developed by the Klimov plant based on the RD-33 used in the improved MiG-29. Mass production of the RD-93 for China will be carried out at the Chernyshev plant in Moscow. Beijing's total demand for RD-93 will be about 500 pieces.
31 July 2005