China has tested an improvised version of its stealth fighter and plans to sell it at half the price of the US variant to break Western monopoly over the high-tech aircraft. The newest version of the J-31 – now renamed the FC-31 Gyrfalcon – stealth fighter jet has conducted its maiden flight last week in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province.
This “fifth-generation” twin-engine jet is China’s answer to the US F-35, the world’s most technically advanced fighter. In the past China has been accused of copying designs from Russian fighters, and some analysts say the FC-31 bears a close resemblance to the F-35.
The new FC-31 has “better stealth capabilities, improved electronic equipment and a larger payload capacity” than the previous version which debuted in October 2012, The jet is manufactured by Shenyang Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC). China is aggressively moving to develop its domestic weapons industry, from drones and anti-aircraft systems to homegrown jet engines.
The FC-31 will become the country’s second fifth-generation fighter after the J-20, which put on its first public performance at the Zhuhai Air Show recently.
China is aggressively moving to develop its domestic weapons industry, from drones and anti-aircraft systems to homegrown jet engines.
Stealth technology allows an aircraft to be partially invisible to Radar or any other means of detection.
Fifth-generation jet fighter
A fifth-generation jet fighter is a jet fighter classification used around the world that encompasses the most advanced technology over the fourth-generation jet fighter.