China has launched its first aircraft-engine manufacturer in an attempt to wean itself off Western suppliers. The state-owned Aero-Engine Group of China was created by combining a group of existing aircraft-engine companies, according to local media reports. It has about 50bn yuan ($7.5bn) in registered capital and will develop both military and commercial engines.
China currently buys its commercial aircraft engines from General Electric and United Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney. China’s military jets use Russian-made engines.
President Xi Jinping called the new creation of the new company a “strategic move” aimed at developing China’s reputation as a global aviation power, Xinhua news agency said.
The Chinese government, as well as the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) and Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (Comac) are investors in the new firm. AVIC makes military jets and helicopters while Comac produces China’s biggest domestically-produced passenger plane, the C919.