China Will Now Build Aircraft Engines for the Industry
The company was registered with 50 billion yuan or approximately $7.5 billion in capital and already has over 96,000 employees.
This new company is part of a drive by China to become a player in global aviation. The company has been praised by President Xi Jinping as a strategic move according to remarks that were published by the state media.
The Chinese president added that the company would help the military in China to reduce its reliance on engines that are foreign made.
China has struggled for quite some time trying to build a jet engine of its own, and boosting this capability has been one of the country’s priorities as it seeks to increase military power.
The most recent development plan of five years by Beijing identifies domestic development and the production of engines as well as planes as one major goal.
However, that area is a difficult task to master. China has relied for the most part on technology from abroad. During the last four years, engines represented more than 30% of all imports, according to an industry report released last week.
A commercial jet from China called the ARJ21 that began flying this past June used engines that General Electric produced.
Even its C919, the commercial air carrier that China had been developing in its hope to rival Boeing, is using engines built by a joint venture between France and the U.S.
In a court in Florida, this past June a woman was convicted by the U.S. of conspiring to send jet engines for fighter jets and drones over to China.
Prosecutors in the trial said the woman had been working with a Chinese associate to purchase as well as export engines that were made by General Electric and Pratt & Whitney, which had been in a range of top military aircraft in the U.S. that included the F-16, F-22 and F-35 fighter jets.
Investors in the new company include the government of China, the Aviation Industry Corp and the Commercial Aircraft Corp.
AVIC already makes jets as well as helicopters for the military while Comac is the maker of the largest passenger plane domestically produced in China.