17 November 2014

China Shows Off New Stealth Fighter

Bill Savadove, “China Shows Off New Stealth Fighter,” AFP, 12 November 2014.

Zhuhai (China) (AFP) – China’s new stealth jet fighter rocketed skywards Wednesday as Beijing puts on an unprecedented display of openness — and military force — at the country’s premier airshow.

The black J-31 rose in a nearly vertical climb on take-off in Zhuhai before circling back and doing two rolls, in the aircraft’s first announced public appearance. …

Defence analysts say the J-31 is China’s answer to the United States’ F-35, though the Chinese jet lags behind the American one technologically.

The fighter’s Chinese name is “Falcon Eagle” and it is manufactured by a unit of Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC)….

… China’s air force said the display of military might at the airshow showed the intention to build a strong country. …

Defence analysts said China appears eager to sell the new fifth generation fighter abroad, also putting on display a model with a designation typically used for overseas destinations: FC-31.

“China’s defence industry wants to show the potential for export,” said Andrew Erickson, associate professor at the China Maritime Studies Institute of the US Naval War College.

Ally Pakistan is a likely first market, he added. …

Click here to see Defense News’ Wendell Minnick’s latest reporting on new systems unveiled at the Zhuhai Airshow (Airshow China 2014).