The development of FC-31, the second stealth fighter aircraft created by China, is advancing at a good pace and on time, said its chief designer.
Sun Cong, chairman of the Chinese Aviation Establishment of the China Aviation Industry Corporation, said on Thursday during a press conference held in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, that one must be patient and expect good news from the project.
“In due course we will present the latest developments,” said Sun, who is also a senior researcher at the Shenyang Aircraft Design and Research Institute of AVIC.
Sun also indicated that China has never wavered in its attempts to develop and build a second series of stealth fighters after the J-20 entered the Air Force of the People’s Liberation Army two years ago.
Due to his disappearance from public view in the last two years, Sun’s comments reassure about the fate of FC-31.
The twin-engine radar fighter aircraft was unveiled in October 2012 when a prototype made its first flight, becoming, after the J-20, the second Chinese fifth generation fighter aircraft.
The FC-31 has a high survival rate, a low radar signature, advanced electronic countermeasures, strong information gathering and handling capabilities, excellent situational awareness and combat capability beyond visual range.
In addition to air combat, it can also carry out attacks against land and sea targets. And this plane has a large deposit for weapons and can carry multiple external missiles.
According to the specifications of the AVIC, the FC-31 has a maximum takeoff weight of 25 metric tons, a combat range of 1,200 kilometers and a maximum speed between 1.8 and 2,205 kilometers per hour. It can carry 8 tons of weapons and has a lifespan of 30 years.
The FC-31 will enter service in the People’s Liberation Army. This aircraft is the most recent success of the Shenyang Aviation Corporation, after the aircraft carrier-based fighter plane J-15 and the J-8 series fighter aircraft of half a century.
The J-8 was the first combat aircraft developed in the whole country that is capable of executing operations at high altitude and high speed. The series has several variants still in service within the Air Force of the EP and the Army of the People’s Liberation Army.
On the other hand, the J-15 is the spearhead of the Armada’s aircraft carrier battle group and has participated in many long-distance combat exercises over the open sea.