China unveils new fifth-generation stealth fighter

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 7:28pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 8:55pm

China tested the new J-31 fighter on Wednesday morning, becoming only the second country after the US to have two fifth-generation stealth fighters.

The test of the J-31 was a success, according to mil.huanqiu.com, the mainland’s leading military website, which also posted pictures of the aircraft.

China tested its first fifth-generation stealth fighter J-20 on January 11, 2011, the day when the visiting former US Defence Secretary Dr Robert Gates met President Hu Jintao in Beijing.

The J-20 was designed and produced by Chengdu’s Aircraft Design Institute. Its successful test surprised the world, with many asking how ADI could have developped a sophisticated plane so secretly. 

Andrei Chang, editor-in-chief of the Canadian-based Kanwa Asian Defence Monthly, said the new J-31 was a hybrid model of the US stealth fighters F-22 and F-35. It was manufactured by the Shenyang Aircraft Industry Corporation, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

Military experts said the test flight on Wednesday was only the beginning of an intentional display of advanced military technology by Beijing.