From its introduction, the Shenyang FC-31 in the last decade has remained obscure. This gives the idea that the People's Liberation Army Air Force and Navy have not considered it as a worthy design compared to its workhorses like the J-series derived from Sukhoi.
FC-31 Features- Is It Really Better?
The stealth will reportedly be made with a lingering engine problem. Even the J-20 has the same problem and still not in mass production, reported Finance Yahoo.
In 2020, Popular Mechanics said the Chinese version of the F-35 would be serving on either the Shandong or the Liaoning as a carrier-based fighter, having similar characteristics with the lightning II.
The FC-31's nose cone is comparable to that of the F-35, but still, it retains the flat tail and dual engines of the F-22. An Inner weapons compartments is present. The Chinese fighter's robust tricycle landing gear featuring two wheels up front is designed for carrier deployment.
J-15 "Flying Shark" strike fighter is operated by China's two carriers, Liaoning and Shandong. A J-15 is based on the Sukhoi Su-33, one of Russia's two carrier-borne warplanes of the fourth generation. China's 'New' stealth fighter FC-31 would be a massive improvement, offering a stealthy fighter both to carriers' air wings
Plans to add one more carrier call Hull 003, which will be equipped with J-35 until it is finished and launch from Chinese shipyards. Beijing wants to have six aircraft carriers, that will have the stealth planes on the decks of at least four of the six.
Bottomline: It's a No Match for the F-35
It is quite obvious that the FC-31 would not be in the league of the Lightning II, although it is a good upgrade over the J-15 that will please Chinese commanders.
The FC-31 cannot match up to the F-35, but it's better than the J-15. Its features is better compared to the F-22 or F-35.
China is pursuing a conservative approach to the perilous and pricey world of naval aviation, in which the US is the top technology leader. One example is the Super Hornet which is still a capable naval fighter.
PLAAF planners know that US superiority is years away from current technology in the Chinese army. Taking baby steps will not shock China to develop better military aviation technology.
Other Details About the FC-31 or J-31 Sleath Fighter
A photo of a stealth fighter jet at China's specialized naval research and testing center located in Wuhan, Hubei province has raised interest. The dummy appears like the Shenyang FC-31, although it has not been authenticated, noted Defense News.
China's 'New' Stealth Fighter FC-31 is the Shenyang Aircraft Company's privately financed enterprise that is not motivated by military requirements. It took flight the first time in 2012 and was marketed for export, but to no success.