J-31 Stealth Fighter to Appear At Zhuhai Air Show
(Source: China Military Online; issued Oct 23, 2014)
The Chinese defense ministry has confirmed that the J-31 fighter, which it calls “a low-end version” of fourth-gen warplane, will be exhibited at the Zhuhai air show in November, and that it will be exported by the end of the decade. (internet photo)
BEIJING --- Over 130 aircraft of various types will participate in the 10th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition to be unveiled on November 11, 2014 in Zhuhai of south China’s Guangdong province, and the J-31 stealth fighter will also appear in Zhuhai and conduct a demonstration flight, according to Nanfang Daily.

The J-31 stealth fighter is very likely to be put into mass production within five years, and has a big chance of being a carrier-borne type, said Xu Yongling, aviation expert, in an interview.

It has been just two years since the successful maiden flight of the J-31 in 2012. As a fighter under test, the J-31 is now in the primary stage of performance development.

“It is still difficult for it to give a demonstration flight, but as an export-oriented aircraft, it may showcase itself by appearing and making a sensational effect at the air show,” said Xu Yongling.

In the opinion of Xu Yongling, the J-31 is a low-end version of the fourth-generation warplanes. With China's talent and technology advantages gained from its development of the third-generation warplanes, it is possible to realize design finalization and mass production of the J-31 within five years.

The engine has been a disadvantage in the aviation technology field of China. “But this disadvantage is being made up for, and there will be good news soon,” said Xu Yongling. New products will appear in fields of high-thrust engines, medium-thrust engines and small-thrust engines in China. Such primary models as the J-31 will definitely be equipped with domestically-made engines, so that it is possible for China to cease its heavy reliance on the import of engines for its major models.

Xu Yongling also pointed out that for the carrier-borne aircraft in various countries, it is the general trend for stealth fighters to be commissioned on aircraft carriers, but the possibility of using the fourth-generation warplanes to completely substitute the third-generation ones is small. The aircraft carrier fleets mainly equipped with the fourth-generation warplanes and the aircraft carrier fleets mainly equipped with the third-generation warplanes will appear simultaneously in future.

"The J-31 is very likely to be commissioned on the aircraft carrier, but no news concerning the compatibility between the J-31 and carrier-borne aircraft technology is available now. Therefore, it is estimated that the J-31 will be commissioned on the aircraft carrier later than it is commissioned into the troops," according to Xu Yongling. (ends)



Expert: J-31 Has Export Advantages
(Source: China Military Online; issued Oct 24, 2014)
BEIJING --- Over 130 aircraft of various types will participate in the 10th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition to be unveiled on November 11, 2014 in Zhuhai of south China’s Guangdong province, and the J-31 stealth fighter will also appear in Zhuhai and conduct a demonstration flight, according to media reports.

Xu Yongling, an aviation expert, said in an interview that the Chinese fighters are renowned for its low cost and excellent technical standard. The J-31 stealth fighter has export advantages. In the future military trade market, China will no longer be the "small potato". Instead, its market share will gradually increase.

The J-31 stealth fighter had its successful maiden flight in 2012 and is still in the test phase. However, will its participation in exhibition only two years after the maiden flight reveal secrets of China’s stealth aircraft technology?

Xu Yongling said that the J-31 is likely to be positioned as an export-oriented aircraft initially. Therefore, the secrecy is not a problem. The J-31 shall disclose its appearance as much as possible in order to have a good showcase.

The current global arms export market is still dominated by the United States. Russia’s orders remain stable in the second place while arms exports from Europe are gradually improving. China is relatively weak in this field. "If Russia and Europe are entering into rivalry with the U.S. over the cake, then China can only cut a corner from the cake", said Xu Yongling. Once the J-31 is being exported, it will become a highly-competitive product in moderately-developed countries or below, along with third-generation fighters.

European countries are traditional allies of the U.S. so their military aircraft trade contains a lot of strategic and political factors. It is very difficult for other countries to intervene.

The training systems in the NATO, the U.S. and its allies are bounded together. "It is very difficult for aircraft developed by outsider countries to enter their market as the threshold is very high", Xu Yongling said.

Xu Yongling stressed that China does not want to sell fighters to western countries. In addition to traditional friendly countries such as Pakistan, there are many countries in the Middle East, South Asia and Latin America whose demand for fighters matches China’s ability to export military aircraft. Some countries are lacking imported third-generation fighters while their second-generation fighters are going to the scrapheap. They have a large demand for importing fighters.

“If China’s products can catch up with the rhythm of these countries in terms of time period and we take initiative from military diplomacy, then the possibility of having a share in the third-generation and fourth-generation fighters market in these countries remains relatively high," said Xu.

Xu Yongling believes that the Chinese fighters’ share in global arms trade market will gradually increase in the future. It is possible for China to transform from a "corner” role to an important player with strong competitiveness.

-ends-




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