Saturn AL-31

Saturn AL-31
Saturn AL-31 FN turbofan engine
Type Turbofan
National origin Russia
Manufacturer NPO Saturn
Major applications Sukhoi Su-27
Chengdu J-10

The Saturn AL-31 is a family of military turbofan engines. It was developed by Lyulka, now NPO Saturn, of Russia (former Soviet Union), originally for the Sukhoi Su-27 air superiority fighter. It produces a total thrust of 123 kN (27,600 lb) with afterburning in the AL-31F, 137 kN (30,800 lb) in the AL-31FM (AL-35F) and 142 kN (32,000 lb) in the AL-37FU variants. Currently it powers all Su-27 derivatives and the Chengdu J-10 multirole jet fighter which has been developed in China.




Name Description Builder Year Thrust Thrust vectoring Aircraft Status
Al-31F[1][2][3] The basic engine developed to power the Su-27 fighter Salyut, UMPO 1981 123 kN (27,700 lbf) No Su-27, Shenyang J-11, Sukhoi Su-30MKK, Sukhoi Su-30(Salyut) In service/production
Al-31FP Improved variant for the Indian Su-30MKI with thrust vectoring Salyut, HAL 2000 123 kN (27,700 lbf) Yes Su-30 MKI, Sukhoi Su-30MKM In service/production
Al-31FN[4] Improved variant for the Chengdu J-10 Salyut 2002 125 kN (28,100 lbf) No Chengdu J-10 In service/production
Al-31FM1[5] Improved version for the Russian Air Force Salyut 2007 132 kN (29,700 lbf) Yes Su-27SM, Su-30, Su-34 In service/production
Al-41F-1S (117S)[6] Advanced derivative for the Su-35 UMPO 2010 142 kN (31,900 lbf) Yes Su-35 In service/early production
Al-41F-1 (117) Advanced derivative for the Sukhoi PAK FA UMPO 2010 147 kN (33,000 lbf) Yes PAK FA prototype In service/early production

The AL-31FP and AL-37FU variants have thrust vectoring. The former is used in the Su-30MKI export version of the Su-27 for India & Sukhoi Su-30MKM for Malaysia . The AL-37FU can deflect its nozzle to a maximum of ±15° at a rate of 30°/sec. The vectoring nozzle is utilized primarily in the pitch plane.

The Al-31FP is built in India by HAL at the Koraput facility under a deep technology transfer agreement.

It has a reputation for having a tremendous tolerance to severely disturbed air flow. In the twin-engined Su-27, the engines are interchangeable between left and right. The Mean Time Between Overhaul (MTBO) for the AL-31F is given at 1000 hours with a full-life span of 3000 hours. Some reports suggested that Russia was offering AL-31F to Iran to re-engine its F-14 Tomcat air fleet in the late 1990s.


The 117S (AL-41F1A) is an upgrade of the AL-31F based on the AL-41F intended to power the Su-35BM, producing 142 kN (32,000 lb) of thrust in afterburner and 86.3 kN (19,400 lb) dry.[7] It features a fan 3% larger in diameter (932 millimetres (36.7 in) versus 905 millimetres (35.6 in)), advanced high- and low-pressure turbines, an all-new digital control system, and provisions for thrust-vectoring nozzles similar to the AL-31FP. This engine will have an assigned life of 4,000 hours and an MTBO of 1,000 hours.[8] The first flight of this engine was completed in an Su-35BM on 20 February 2008.[9] On 9 August 2010, Ufa-based company UMPO started supplying 117S engines (AL-41F1S) intended for Su-35S fighters.[10]


The 117 (AL-41F1) is a new 5th generation engine custom built for Russia’s fifth-generation stealth fighter jet PAK-FA according to Sukhoi General Director Mikhail Pogosyan. Mikhail Pogosyan has clarified that claims that fifth-generation fighter allegedly has an old engine are wrong. Such claims are made by people with limited knowledge,he said. Though most parameters of the new 5th Gen Engine remains classified General Director Mikhail Pogosyan provided some information on the new engine, The engine thrust was enlarged by 2.5 tonnes when compared with the AL-31 engine, while the engine weight was cut by 150 kilograms. That allowed the new jet to supercruise i.e. move at a supersonic cruise speed without the use of after burner. [11]

The Saturn Research and Production center made digitally controlled system (FADEC) of Project 117 Engine.The new engine produces 33,000 lbs (147 kN) of thrust in afterburner has a Dry weight of 1420 kilogram and T:W ratio of 10.5:1[12]

Mikhail Pogosyan further mentioned that this engine (117) meets the client’s (Russian AirForce) requirements. This is not an intermediate product made particularly for test flights. The engine will be installed in production PAK-FA fighter which will be supplied to the Russian Air Force and prospective foreign clients.[13]

Specifications (AL-31F)

Data from [14]

General characteristics

  • Type: Two-shaft afterburning turbofan
  • Length: 4,990 millimetres (196 in)
  • Diameter: 905 millimetres (35.6 in) inlet; 1,280 millimetres (50 in) maximum external
  • Dry weight: 1,570 kilograms (3,500 lb)[15]


  • Compressor: 4 fan and 9 compressor stages
  • Combustors: annular
  • Turbine: 2 single-staged turbines


  • Maximum thrust:
    74.5 kilonewtons (16,700 lbf) military thrust
    122.58 kilonewtons (27,560 lbf) with afterburner
  • Bypass ratio: 0.59:1
  • Turbine inlet temperature: 1685 K (1,412 °C (2,574 °F))
  • Fuel consumption: 2.0 Kg/daN·h
  • Specific fuel consumption:

    Military thrust: 0.67 lb/(lbf·h)

    Full afterburner: 1.92 lb/(lbf·h)
  • Thrust-to-weight ratio: 7.14

See also

Comparable engines
Related lists



External links

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