FC-31 rumors: Did China find its next-generation deck fighter?

BEIJING, BM, ($1= 6.39 yuan) – In the last two days, a photo of the Chinese stealth fighter FC-31 landed on a life-size model of an aircraft carrier has been circulating in public using various social media. This photo has provoked various military experts worldwide, including China, to consider whether the second Chinese stealth fighter is not a primary candidate for Beijing’s next-generation fighter jet.

FC-31 rumors: Did China find its next-generation deck fighter?
Photo credit: The Drive

The Chinese reporter Liu Xuanzun from Global Times said the photo was unconfirmed so far. But why is the truth of photography so important? History in China remembers dozens of such cases in which Beijing used a model of the actual size of its aircraft carriers near Wuhan to test the size, range, and compatibility of the aircraft. Subsequently, the weapon or system tested similarly was put into operation.

The photo was shown in the contents of the American edition of The Drive. This publication is the real reason for Liu Xuanzun to doubt its authenticity. But if we start from the nature and specificity of writing in this American media, we are more likely to accept photography as real, because The Drive is not a news portal, but an analytical one. The Drive mainly makes its military-political or industrial assumptions based on the received material.

The installation of the FC-31 fighter could paint a bright future for this aircraft. Liu Xuanzun believes that the FC-31 and J-15 can build a mutually beneficial relationship, with the Chinese reporter making the connection between the US F-35 and F-18. The same statement was supported by Chinese military aviation analyst Fu Qianshao.

The controversial photo may also answer the question of what else a Chinese aircraft carrier will be equipped with, as a J-15 fighter and a Z-18 helicopter can be seen, and both aircraft are already in operation.

I remind you that two years ago, Beijing did the same exercise, deploying the KJ-600 reconnaissance and early warning aircraft on a life-size model of an aircraft carrier. Two years later, the aircraft made its first test flights and, according to reporter Liu Xuanzun, will soon be operational. So – the presence of FC-31 on this “fake” aircraft carrier may be the first step before the fighter gets the green light for series production.

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