Wang Jianru, the new engine’s chief designer, said it is bas

d on its predecessor, which is used with China’s Long March 11 carrier rocket and

features advanced composite materials built into its casing.

He said the new engine will be used on the upgraded variant of Long March 11, enabling the new model to transport a 1.5-ton

satellite or multiple satellites with a combined weight of 1.5 tons, to a sun-synchronous orbit 700 kilometers high. The

carrying capacity of the original Long March 11 for such orbits is 400 kilograms.

Development of the new engine shows there are plans to diversify the launch portfolio of Long March 11 to turn it from a si

ngle model into a family of models to enable it to meet different demands in the launch market.

The Long March 11, developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology in Be

ijing, is a major solid-fueled carrier rocket and has been used for six flights from the Jiuquan Satellite Lau

nch Center in northwestern China. The rocket is mainly used for lifting small satellites to sun-synchronous orbit