China ramping J20 stealth fighter production and should have improved WS-15 engine by 2019

China’s Air Force released on its weibo social media account two pictures, which show four J-20 stealth fighter jets flying in formation.

As of 2017, it is reported that control system, stealth coatings and hull materials, and infrared sensors still have technical issues as does the reliability of its WS-15 engines.

Some prototypes use the 14-ton thrust derivative of the Russian AL-31 or Chinese Shenyang WS-10 turbofan engines as they target 2019-2020 for all J-20s to use the 18–19 ton WS-15 engine. The WS-15 will enable the J20 to super-cruise without using afterburners.

China’s homegrown powerful WS-15 engine for its most advanced stealth fighter J-20. photo

A Chinese aviation engineer told China Military Online on March 13,2017 that they are optimistic that the new WS15 engine for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft will be ready soon. The engine’s development is proceeding well. They 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.

They were still working are able to develop the two most important components in an advanced engine — the single crystal superalloy turbine blades and powder metallurgy superalloy turbine disks — but in mass production, the products’ quality is not very satisfactory.

There are online reports that China will deploy 4 air regiments of J-20 fighter jets by 2019. There are 96 fighter jets in 4 hinese air force regiments. It takes less than 3 years for China to build that many J-20s. In 2016, China had two J-20 production lines, one producing J-20 with Russian AL-31 engines and the other producing J-20A installed with China’s WS-10B Taihang engines.

A third production line has recently gone into operation to produce J-20A. As each line makes one J-20 a month, their combined production capacity will be 36 a year.

By the end of 2019, there will be a fourth J-20 production line for trial production of J-20B using China’s homegrown WS-15 Emei turbofans.

J-20B is an improved version of J-20 installed with China’s new homegrown powerful WS-15 Emei turbofans. China has already developed WS-15 all-direction vector turbofan with thrust-weight ratio of 10. The turbofan is now undergoing intensive tests and will be ready to be installed in J-20B by 2019, an improved version of J-20.

If the WS-15 meets design goals then J-20B’s cruise speed will be Mach 1.8 and maximum speed exceeds Mach 2.2. Those would equal the US F-22. China will produce 500 J-20B, more than the future total number of other fifth-generation fighter jets in Asia-Pacific.

The US F-22 was in production for 15 years (1996-2011), at a rate of roughly two per month during peak production. China would be about 23 years behind US jet and jet engine technology. China could possibly achieve in 2019 what the US had in 1996). China stole US F22 and F35 designs and technology. Around 2030, China could have 500 J20B and 100 J20 and J20A stealth fighters. The US would have 185 F22 and perhaps 1500 F35s.

About 66 F35’s will be made in 2017.

In 2021, full production rate of 150 F35s per year is planned.

The J-20 likely has inferior stealth to the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter aircraft or the F-35 Lightning II fighter. The J20 lacks thrust vectoring and is likely less maneuverable than American-made fifth-generation warplanes.

Russia has developed 99M1 to 99M4 improved versions of AL-31F, but China has also developed improved versions of WS-10, named WS-10A and WS-10B better than Russian ones with thrust-weight ratio of 9 than Russia’s 8.

China has a third-generation single-crystal blade used in WS-10B. It is reported to withstand 2000 degrees which enables engine life to be increased from 800 hours to 1,500 hours. This would be close to maintenance overhaul interval of western engines.

24 thoughts on “China ramping J20 stealth fighter production and should have improved WS-15 engine by 2019”

  1. Stolen? Right. Just like the “stolen” techs for the world’s largest and fastest wind tunnel, quantum communication and computer networks, hypersonic glider, supercomputers, and world’s deadliest laser( over 10 petawatts). All of which, strangely enough, the Chinese are ahead of everyone else. huh… this can’t be true. Since we all know it requires high levels of ingenuity and innovativeness to lead in these high tech fields, so how the heck can you be ahead of someone you are copying from? There must be something wrong here, since we all know the Chinese are not original, but copycats. Unless, of course, the Chinese have a machine that copies smarter people’s brains, like from the westerners and hindus. Yeah, that must be it. Phew, almost lost it there, the world makes sense now. But then, how did they come up with the brain copying machine……..oh, never mind..the world is becoming fuzzy again.

  2. pretty sure Brian Wang is related to Twain as he is so sure “China stole US F22 and F35 designs and technology;
    Because: The US F-22 was in production for 15 years (1996-2011);J20 using A canard design: China stole Supercomputer tech for the world top computers; China stole quantum tech from US?

    • Yeah, China stole the plan for the world’s largest wind tunnel, quantum radar, and hypersonic glider tech; all of which, strangely enough, the” thieves” , the Chinese, are leading.

  3. Russia’s propaganda campaign targeting Americans was hosted, at least in part, on American soil.
    A company owned by a man on Staten Island, New York, provided internet infrastructure services to DoNotShoot.Us, a Kremlin propaganda site that pretended to be a voice for victims of police shootings, a Daily Beast investigation has found. DoNotShoot.Us is a website run out of the Kremlin-backed “Russian troll farm,” according to two sources familiar with the website, both of whom independently identified it to The Daily Beast as a Russian propaganda account.

    • We’ve watched boneheads spend 10 months chasing fake accusations about collusion in the current admin, only to have them prove out that the collusion was actually from the ones pushing the fake narrative, and the hostility, and the hate, and the stupid goddamn hats, and the whining, and the crying, and the kicking, and the screaming, and the disrespect..
      One only needs to look to the very top rungs of the last admin to know how such a chaotic mess gets started. Weak, PC-centric minds guiding weak, PC-centric minds leads to meltdown.

      Yep, let the mud-slinging and self-loathing begin in earnest now at the DNC. Maybe we should all get out there with giant penises on our heads and pretend we’re having mental breakdowns. 🙂

  4. The Indian Air Force has demanded an end to the joint Indo-Russian stealth fighter project. senior IAF officers are concerned that the new aircraft will not meet desired requirements including stealth and cross section features. Major structural changes would be required “that cannot be met in the existing Russian prototypes,” the article notes. Consequently, “the IAF is not keen to continue with the program,” a senior IAF official said.

    • “a senior IAF official said”
      Unnamed official that doesn’t exist.
      “The anonymous IAF comments to Defense News are likely intended to strengthen India’s bargaining position vis-à-vis Russia in the current round of negotiations. It is unlikely that the IAF will scrap the fighter jet program immediately.”
      This time Igor’s argument is defeated using the very same source.
      Igor is stupid.

        • If they didn’t pulled out immediately after learning that localization will be 5% at most,they probably won’t.
          All that haggling gets is gradually worse and worse offers.
          I’m pretty sure the best offer was made back in 2013.

    • I salute you scaryjello coming clean like that. It takes guts. I hope you encourage your coworkers to do the same.

    • Ha! Now that is funny; I’m flattered. I was born and raised in NJ, am of Italian blood like many here, and I currently gross about $57/hour. Dang, this site is really going through a dry spell for interesting articles.

  5. India will buy F35s to keep the ballance. What will Russia do? SU 57 is not good enough and too expensive for Russia.

  6. powder metallurgy superalloy turbine disks

    is a bit misleading to the casual reader; the rotor ingots are “consolidated by hot isostatic pressing, followed by isothermal forging, or other combinations of compaction and working” –

    Disks are made from forgings with very fine grain size (like maybe ASTM 12-14?). Just saying that sintered powder is IN NO WAY suitable for disks that spin at 9K RPM – for clarification.

    • the chinese version did mention single crystals furnace with 1st class (+/- 3 deg C) treatment furnace. But did not mention pressing, which may be implied. Or used new technique.

Comments are closed.