JF-17 “Thunder” Block III multirole fighter aircraft conducted its maiden flight on December 15 in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, according to Chinese social media reports.
The maiden flight of the JF-17 Block III prototype reportedly took place at CAIG’s production facility at Chengdu-Huangtianba. The aircraft’s the JF-17 Block III takes off with PL-5EII short-range air-to-air-missiles (AAMs).
The press has repeatedly noted that in terms of the number of new innovations and the number of upgrades of existing equipment (in terms of aircraft construction), the constant leadership belongs to the JDC, part of the Rostec Group. Stand and flight tests “product 30” – a new aircraft engine for the 5th generation SU-57 fighter. So, at the end of July, ODK-Klimov sent from St. Petersburg to Moscow modernized RD-93 under a new name – RD-93MA.
China, together with Pakistan, has developed a single-engine fighter “JF-17” Block 1 (descendant of the license MIG-21, China has been building a “JF-17” in The Current Year, Pakistan is building a “JF-17” serially.
In 2015, China offered Pakistan to replace the RD-93 with a Chinese-made engine, but the Pakistanis refused because the RD-93 was completely satisfied with them. Now Pakistan is going to release “JF-17” Block 3, but with AFAR, updated avionics and wide-angle holographic display. The improvement of the characteristics of “JF-17” Block 3, compared to the “JF-17” Block 1, was the engine upgrade, i.e. the replacement on the RD-93MA.
What has changed in the characteristics of RD-93? Well, firstly, the engine’s thrust on the booster should increase from 8300 to 9300 kg. The combination of all innovations should improve the performance of the RD-93MA: will increase the thermodynamic parameters of the engine, increase the resource and boost thrust, and it adds features in emergency situations: the start of the engine in the air and the discharge of fuel. Well, if the case in Roscosmos is a failure, and Rostec is steadily gaining momentum, why not attach Roscosmos to Rostec?