Many countries struggle with the replacement of their F-16´s, and have a hard time to pay for Lockheed´s F-35 or JSF. China´s showed its J-31 fighter, meant to offer a cheaper equivalent, writes defense analyst Wendell Minnick in Defense News.
The J-31 export revelation occurred in the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Exhibition Hall after personnel unwrapped its 1:2 model of the aircraft Nov. 10 during a preshow tour of this week’s Airshow China in Zhuhai. The placard for the model states: “FC-31 4th Generation Multi-Purpose Medium Fighter.”
Chinese fighters are designated with a “J” for fighter and “FC” for export,” and this is the first time the J-31 has been referred to as the FC-31.
Though overcast, a J-31 performed a demonstration flight during the preshow tour, as did the Russian Su-35 multirole fighter. China and Russia are expected to sign a deal for export of the Su-35 sometime later this month.
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