Russian engine manufacturer Lyulka Saturn has publicly revealed a three-dimensional thrust vectoring version of its AL-31 powerplant for the first time at the recent Air Show China 98 show (Flight International, 25 November-1 December). The new AL-31FP is fitted with an all-axis thrust vectoring nozzle. Lyulka Saturn says it is particularly suitable for single-engined fighters, possibly even the Chengdu F-10.

The two-dimensional thrust vectoring variant of the powerplant powers the Sukhoi Su-37 fighter, and is to be fitted to later batches of the Su-30MKI, an aircraft type which has now been ordered by the Indian air force.

The 28,000lb-thrust (125kN) engine can be retrofitted to all variants of the Su-27 family of fighters which have digital flight control systems, such as the Su-30 and Su-35. The basic AL-31 core remains unchanged from other versions, with a modular layout and a claimed 1,000h time between overhauls.

Source: Flight International