Saturday, January 16, 2021

Why Indian Army Needs To ‘Watch Out’ For Chinese Y-20 Aircraft As PLA Gears-Up For A Potential Battle?

China’s transport planes will augment their capacity by 20 percent soon with the indigenously-developed WS-20 engine. Military sources have told South China Morning Post that China is testing “domestically designed engines for its military transport planes”. 

TANK FOR SALE: A Grizzly Variant of Sherman Tank Goes Under The Hammer, Fetching Up To $500,000

The WS-20 engine will replace the Russian Soloviev D-30 engines, which currently power the Y-20 planes built by the Xian Aircraft Industry Corporation. The source told SCMP that the WS-20 engine is designed to give the planes a bigger lift and longer range, and has been installed on one Y-20 for testing. 

The biggest warplane in the PLA Air Force’s fleet has a range of 7,500km (4,660 miles) and a cargo capacity of 55 tons, but the manufacturers of the new engine have claimed that it would provide a capacity of 66 tonnes.

The increased capacity would enable the Chinese aircraft to transport their most advanced tank, the 58-tonne 99A. Previously tanks had to be dismantled for transport and reassembled on arrival, said military analyst Song Zhongping. 

So far, the Chinese military has been relying on Russian engines to power its jets as it struggled to produce high-quality engines for its warplanes. 

Earlier this month, the much-awaited, domestically developed engines made their first public appearance when the Xi’an Aircraft Industry (Group) Company Ltd released a photo showing a turbofan engine with a high bypass ratio. 

 

 

According to Chinese military experts, “Compared with the D-30, the Russian engine currently being used on the Y-20, the Chinese engine is much larger in diameter, and can provide more powerful thrust, uses less fuel, and enables the Y-20 to take off and land at airfields with shorter runways.”

“It will probably take three or more years to install such engines on other transport aircraft,” the sources said. Military experts are concerned if the Chinese defense industry would be able to ensure the quality and reliability of these engines. 

The Shenyang WS-20 engine is an adaptation of the WS-10A turbofan, which powers some of the PLA’s Chinese-made fighter jets, including the J-10 and J-16.

This year, an aerial tanker variant of the Y-20 was also spotted “in an apparent aerial refueling maneuver for a J-20 stealth fighter jet”, Global Times reported. The Chinese analysts have said in a report, “Combinations of the Y-20 aerial tanker with the likes of the J-20 fighter jet and H-6N strategic bomber can significantly expand the operational range of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force”.

Y-20 pilots had told CCTV that the Y-20 will have variants like the Y-20 aerial tanker and Y-20 aerial early warning aircraft. Speculations are that a new engine could also be used on these Y-20 variants. 

In September while participating in Kavkaz-2020 strategic military drills, China had deployed Y-20 large cargo aircraft for transporting heavy equipment, including infantry fighting vehicles and self-propelled howitzers to Russia for the first time. 

Featured

Why Should Pakistan Be ‘Very Worried’ By India’s New Role At The UN Security Council?

India, which has begun its stint as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2021-22, will be chairing three key UN sanctions...

Indian Air Force Chief Compares LCA Tejas With Pakistani / Chinese JF-17 Thunder

Drawing a comparison between India's LCA Mk1A ‘Tejas’ and Pakistan's JF-17 fighters, Indian Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said that the Indian jets are...

After Russian S-400, India Inks Pact With The UK To Acquire STARStreak Air Defense System

The Indian Army has moved a step closer to acquiring the STARStreak air defense system as the British company Thales and India's Bharat Dynamics...

Turkey Inaugurates New Consulate Building In Pakistan’s Karachi

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday inaugurated the country’s new consulate building in Pakistan's commercial capital Karachi. Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Cavusoglu said the...

Vietnam Beats China, India to Become Next Manufacturing Hub: Reports

Vietnam has emerged as an attractive foreign direct investment (FDI) destination in Asia by beating China and India, a report by the Economist Intelligence...