Second Chinese 5th-gen stealth fighter is already flying [video]
BEIJING, ($1=6.40 Chinese Yuans) – China has a second fifth-generation stealth fighter, which in the coming years will enter service in the Air Force of the People’s Liberation Army, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing the Chinese state news agency Global Times. This is the FC-31 deck fighter, which is supposed to receive the international designation J-35.
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China reports that in recent weeks it has made the first flight of the new stealth fighter, which has passed successfully and met the set technical characteristics. Thus, after J-20, Beijing will begin to arm itself with a naval version – J-35.
Photos of the first flight of the fighter are spread on social media. It is painted in a blue-green primer. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that FC-31 or J-35 is still a prototype, as recently unveiled at the Airshow China in Zhuhai, China.
According to the available information, the fighter has the following characteristics: a mechanism for folding the wings, a sensor tower, a high-tech cockpit, and a mechanism for launching a catapult.
Rumors about the development of a prototype version of the FC-31 appeared in June this year when photos of the fighter began to spread in the media as part of the tests of the new Chinese aircraft carrier. Chinese experts refused to confirm the authenticity of the photos both then and now, but did not deny, saying that their appearance was in line with the plans and forecasts of the Chinese military command.
China has sent various signals to the international military community this year about the development of the FC-31. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds you that during the China Airshow 2021 in September, Sun Cong, chief designer of the J-15, told a news conference that “this year, people should be able to see good news about the next-generation fighter based on aircraft carriers”and “when the aircraft is ready, people will see it”.
Chinese analysts believe that this particular fighter will be the foundation for the development of the next generation fighter of the Chinese Air Force. They define the FC-31 as a competitor to the American fifth-generation F-35 fighter but do not specify what exactly it competes in – price, quality, or technical characteristics.
BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that China currently produces two aircraft carriers. Rumors among the military are that Beijing intends to start production of a third. Such a statement is supported by tests conducted on another aircraft, which should become part of the armament of aircraft carriers – KJ-600, which is an early warning aircraft. According to the American publication The Drive, this aircraft also underwent flight tests very recently.
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