Beijing’s FC-31 Gyrfalcon, an upgraded J-31 stealth fighter, set to challenge dominance of US’s F-35.

China has successfully tested its latest fifth generation stealth fighter jet. The FC-31 Gyrfalcon can carry 8 tons of weapons and is said to be worth around $70 million.
Previously known as the J-31, the twin-engine, radar-evading aircraft is still under development by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC), part of the Aviation Industry Corp of China.

The second FC-31 prototype undertook its maiden test flight on Friday, 23 December 2016.

China’s advanced radar-evading warplane would be sold at nearly half the price of its competitor. FC-31 Gyrfalcon challenges the monopoly of US-manufactured F-35, widely considered as the world’s most technologically advanced fighter jet, and is expected to be sold at about $70m (£57m).

The new FC-31 seems to have better stealth capabilities, improved electronic equipment and a larger payload capacity, said Wu Peixin, an aviation industry observer in Beijing.

“Compared with the first FC-31, there are a lot of improvements on the second prototype. Changes were made to the airframe, wings and vertical tails, which make it leaner, lighter and more maneuverable,” he said.

Fu Qianshao, an aircraft expert with the PLA Air Force, said that the new FC-31 has state-of-the-art instruments such as its electro-optical targeting system and helmet-mounted display and sight system.

He said AVIC wants to use the FC-31 to capture market share at home and abroad, but the company is making a big push to attract foreign buyers with its medium-sized stealth combat planes.

The only fifth-generation fighter jet currently available on the market is the US Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, a single-engine combat aircraft designed to perform ground attack and air defense missions.
Powered by Blogger.