At a recent aviation investment summit in Tianjin, China, a senior official from a local aerospace materials research facility announced that China has completed development of its next-generation indigenous military aircraft engines. The official revealed that developmental bottlenecks for the WS-19 and WS-20 turbofans, as well as an unidentified next-generation engine, have been surmounted.

However, material supply chain issues for the advanced alloys that will be used in the engines’ production still need to be resolved. The WS-19 afterburning turbofan is being developed to power the Shenyang J-35, a next-generation fighter jet designed for China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy.

Meanwhile, the WS-20 is a high-bypass turbofan engine intended to power the Xi’an Y-20 airlifters operated by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. At present, the Y-20 is powered by the Russian D-30KP low-bypass turbofan, which is also used by the Xi’an H-6J/K/N bombers of both armed services.

The official also confirmed that the WS-15 afterburning turbofan is ready for mass production. The engine will be used for later variants of the Chengdu J-20 stealth fighters of the PLAAF. Rated at 181 kilonewtons, the WS-15 is expected to provide a supercruise capability for the J-20, allowing it to attain supersonic cruise speeds without the use of its afterburner, which reduces fuel consumption.

The official further claimed that China had achieved “98% localization” for the WS-10C engine that powers the J-20s currently being delivered to the PLAAF. Other variants of the WS-10 are also used in China’s Chengdu J-10, Shenyang J-11B, and J-16 fighter fleets. Although the official did not provide details on the remaining 2% input, it is likely related to components or materials that China still sources from foreign providers.