At the 2012 Zhuhai Airshow, Sergei Kornev, head of the aviation department of Rosonboronexport was questioned on Russia's role in the development of the WS-10A engine. Kornev's answer was that Russian specialists have not been briefed on its design and that Russia has never delivered AL-31F design documentation to China.
The AL-31F and its derivative, the AL-31FN are used in all J-10 and J-11 fighters with the WS-10A and derivatives being used in later versions such as the J-10B, J-11B, J-15 and J-16 alongside the AL-31F(N).
An analysis based on a number of factors, including:
- the number of AL-31 engines delivered by Russia to China
- the number of Su-27 / SU-30 aircraft imported by China
- the estimated number of J-11 / J-10 produced in China
- the estimated number of aircraft in service
- the estimated aircraft number no longer in service due to retirement etc.
- the average estimated lifespan of J-10 / J-11 aircraft
- the estimated flight hours per aircraft
- the lifespan of each engine
Almost all of the WS-10A equipped aircraft are the locally produced J-11B aircraft. None of the Russian produced aircraft have ever been equipped with WS-10A engines.
Despite some claims that the WS-10A engine is a copy of the AL-31F, the two engines have appeared side by side at airshows. The engines are relatively easy to distinguish using their engine nozzles.
J-10B with WS-10A
J-10B with AL-31FN
J-15 with AL-31F
J-15 with WS-10
J-11B with WS-10
The AL-31F to the left and the WS-10A to the right.