China aims to increase airframe development capability

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Comac has signed an agreement with China's ministry of science and technology to jointly grow the country's long-term development capability of large commercial aircraft.

The aim is to gradually develop and improve China's technological innovation capacity, and build a reputation for the country as a leading airframer.

Under the agreement, the duo will focus on meeting market demand through research and technological innovations. No further details were mentioned.

Comac has long expressed its ambitions to be a leading aircraft manufacturer, with its own range of aircraft, to compete against established players Airbus and Boeing.

It is now focusing on its ARJ21 regional jet and C919 narrowbody programmes, both of which depend largely on western suppliers.

The Chinese airframer has plans to manufacture an indigenous widebody aircraft, tentatively scheduled to be rolled out around 2025, after the C919 programme is completed.

It has also said that it plans to invest yuan (CNY) 10 billion ($1.6 billion) into the research and development of engines for passenger aircraft, to allow China to catch up with international standards and reduce its dependence on foreign powerplants.