Beijing: The State Council, China`s cabinet, is currently deliberating a major aircraft engine research and development project, sources revealed Thursday.
The project will require an investment of at least 100 billion yuan (about 15.93 billion U.S. dollars), a professor at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA) with knowledge of the project told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The investment would be used mainly for research on technology, designs and materials related to aircraft engine manufacturing, the professor said.
The project is currently going through approval procedures in the State Council, and it may be approved shortly, the professor said.
Participants in the project include Shenyang Liming Aero-Engine Group Corp., AVIC Xi`an Aero-Engine (Group) Ltd. and research institutes, including the BUAA, he said.
"At present, China`s aircraft engine design and manufacturing have weak links in terms of materials, key parts, manufacturing equipment, processing precision and measurements," according to another source with the BUAA who is also involved in the project.
Although the country is capable of producing aircraft engines, product performance is inadequate and mass production cannot be realized, the second source with the BUAA said.
Guangda Securities, a brokerage firm in China, said Wednesday in a report that the country will need around 3,000 aircraft between now and 2026. This will create demand for some 6,500 aircraft engines worth 65 billion U.S. dollars.