BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:20 P.M.) – Experts expect that the Chinese “Shenyang J-31” will make rapid progress in the international market in the future, and it could also steal the lights from the American F-35
According to the website, “National Interest”, the head of a leading Chinese defense company boasted several years ago that the Chinese J-31 stealth fighter can definitely shoot down the F-35 Lightning fighter.
Citing Lin Zooming’s, president of China Aviation Industry (AFIC), interview on state TV, National Interest said that he strongly believes the J-31 will be able to shoot down an F-35 in a dogfight.
Lin added that the J-31 will compete with the F-35 in the global market, making the second stealth fighter in China appear as a low-cost alternative to the fifth-generation American aircraft.
This fighter plane aims to provide advanced defense capabilities in close support, airstrikes and air interdiction operations, that can be used to suppress enemy air defenses.
The fighter plane is 16.9 meters long and up to 4.8 meters high, with an empty weight of about 17 tons and the maximum takeoff weight of 25 tons, the plane can perform missions at medium and low altitudes.
The J-31 stealth fighter can also be equipped with one internal cannon, two internal weapons compartments in the fuselage and three solid points of carrying on both wings, each internal weapons compartment can accommodate up to two missiles.
A model of the aircraft was exhibited at the China International Air and Space Exhibition (China Aviation Exhibition) held in Zhuhai in November 2012, and the prototype of the J-31 made a test flight during the Zhuhai Airshow in November 2014.
Long before the Zhuhai Airshow, Chinese officials began comparing the J-31 to the F-35, indicating that it could compete with the American fighter in international markets.
In August 2013, for example, the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, published an article that assumed that “the J-31 plane poses a serious threat to American arms manufacturers.”
Regarding the ability of the J-31 to shoot down US F-35s, most experts agree that it is too early to know.