China Unveils Its New Fifth-Gen F-35-Like StealthFighter
China officially pulled the curtain back on its newfifth-generation stealth fighter — the Shenyang J-31 Falcon Eagle —during a defense air show in Zhuhai, Guangdong outside of Hong KongTuesday.
The show of force comes two days into a visit to China byPresident Barack Obama for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summitmeeting of world leaders in Beijing Tuesday. The J-31 represents China’s chiefcompetitor for arms market share against the U.S.’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,from which the J-31 draws a number of extremely similar design elements.
“Experts predict that the J-31 will make rapid inroads inthe international market in the future, and will undoubtedly steal thelimelight from the F-35,” the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily reportedin August of last year, according to Reuters.
The jet features a host of stealthy, radar-evading designelements lifted from the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 multi-role fighter,including the sensor-loaded nose section, trapezoid-shaped wings, dual tailsand general styling and size — elements that will help the J-31 beef up Chineseair dominance in the East and South China seas.
In terms of becoming a more significant force in armsmanufacturing, Chinese officials believe the J-31 will be popular amongcountries banned from purchasing exported U.S.-made arms.