Footage shows domestic engine on China’s J-15 fighter jet

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MELBOURNE, Australia -- China appears to be installing indigenous engines in its Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark, a carrier-based fighter jet.
Footage shown on state broadcaster CCTV on Nov. 17 showed a People's Liberation Army Navy J-15 with the afterburner nozzles of the WS-10 Taihang turbofans taking off in preparation for a test flight at manufacturer Shenyang Aircraft Corp.'s facilities . have been calibrated.
This is the first time a production J-15 has been fitted with the locally developed engines. There was one occasion where the WS-10 was seen on a J-15 prototype built during the aircraft's development phase.
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Production examples of the J-15 were previously fitted with the Russian AL-31F engines. The fighter jet is the last modern domestic fighter in China's roster to be fitted with the Russian engine, succeeding the single-engine Chengdu J-10 which was fitted with the WS-10.
The use of WS-10s on the J-15s in China - and on the J-10s after more than a decade in service - suggests China is benefiting from the engine type's performance and reliability for use on riskier single-engine aircraft and aircraft carriers is confident -borne operations.
The WS-10 already powers production examples of the Shenyang J-11B interceptor, J-16 fighter jet and Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter.
Earlier reports suggested that China was struggling to overcome the WS-10's reliability and performance issues as the country grappled with larger problems developing native aircraft engines. As a result, China relied on imported Russian engines to power several of its domestic aircraft, ranging from the J-20 to the Xi'an Y-20 strategic airlifter.
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In addition to the domestic engine, China is continuing to develop the J-15 airframe based on the Russian Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker carrier aircraft. These include a new variant equipped with a catapult launch attachment on the nose gear, as China continues building its third aircraft carrier and the first to be equipped with catapults for launching aircraft.
China is also reportedly developing a two-seat J-15 for carrier-based electronic attack missions, similar to the land-based J-16D first seen in 2021.

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