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Some air forces in the world do not use twin-engine jets at all. For instance, Pakistan. Even though Pakistan could import twin-engine jets from China at a very cheap price, they never did that.

What is the basic disadvantage of twin-engine fighter jets over single-engine ones?

Do they cost more because of maintenance?

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  • $\begingroup$ Which planes a country decides to buy depends on their specific needs and budget. It is not as simple as "one plane is better than another" $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ First of all it's a lot safer when one engine fails if you have two. Also since the availability of engine thrust is few and far apart, sometimes one big engine isn't enough and you have to use two smaller ones. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ Also I'm not sure what twin engine fighter China has to offer at the moment. J-8 and JH-7 are pretty awful fighters. J-6 was OK at the time and was (still is?) in PAF service. J-11 and FC-31 are too expensive for PAF's budget. The only viable option is Hongdu L-15 trainer? The thing is, China only have engines at one thrust class, so PLAAF only have either twin engine heavyweight or single engine middleweight in service. There's no twin engine middleweight in PLAAF service like mig -29 and f/a-18 simply because there's no Chinese domestic engines of this class. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ Maintenance cost. Two engines mean twice as much work in engine overhauls, but the difference to single engine airplanes gets smaller as fighters get stuffed with electronics more and more. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ Twice as many engines means twice as many failures. $\endgroup$
    – MikeB
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 16:38

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