China stealth jets set for unveiling?

31 Oct 201413 Shares

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Alleged image of J-16 stealth jet. Image via photo.sina.com

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Rumour has it China’s latest stealth fighter jet will be publicly unveiled at an air show in the country next month.

Pictures emerged recently of what appear to be the new jet – named the J-31 – in the southern city of Zhuhai, ahead of the 10th annual China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition held there in two weeks' time.

The Shenyang Aircraft Corporation is listed as an exhibitor at the event, but a spokesman for the air show would neither confirm nor deny to local media whether or not the J-31 will be unveiled at the event.

At the start of the month, Business Insider reported on a military race between the US and China to build the first aircraft carrier-borne stealth jets. In August, media reports in China claimed that the Liaoning aircraft carrier would house 36 aircraft, including 24 Shenyang J-15 fighters.

“The overall line-up certainly looks plausible, as the mix of helicopters and fighters is similar to how the Russians outfit their example of this carrier,” Roger Cliff, a senior fellow with the Asia security initiative at the Atlantic Council, told Defense News in September. 

“The striking thing about this carrier and aircraft line-up is that every single item is based on a foreign system. The Liaoning is a Russian-built ship fitted out with Chinese systems. The helicopters are based on Eurocopter designs. And the J-15 fighters are based on the Russian Su-33 design.”

Alleged J-16 stealth jet

Alleged stealth jet J-16. Image via photo.sina.com

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Gordon Hunt is a journalist at Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com