J-31 Shenyang Stealthy Multi Role Fighter Jet of Chinese Air Force – Gyrfalcon
J-31 Shenyang is a stealthy multi role fighter jet of Chinese Air Force. The official nickname published by SAC is “Gyrfalcon”. It is also referred as FC-31. The J-31 made its maiden flight in 2012.
The new Chinese J-31 stealthy aircraft was developed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC). It is also referred as FC-31. Development of this aircraft started in around 2008. Some sources report that in 2007 China received blueprints and other classified information of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. This data was used to build the J-31. It is estimated that this stolen classified information saved China 25 years of research and development. The J-31 made its maiden flight in 2012. Significantly improved prototype was observed in 2017.
In the West it is considered as a fifth-generation multi-purpose medium fighter. However China considers it is a forth-generation warplane. Currently only little is known about this new Chinese aircraft.
It seems that this new aircraft will reach production. Some sources report that China plans to produce about 1 000 of these stealthy fighters. Possibly this aircraft will be also proposed to export customers.
J-31 Shenyang Resemblance
The J-31 resembles a scaled-down version of American F-22 Raptor. This stealthy aircraft is smaller than the Chengdu J-20, which appeared in 2010. It is about the same size as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and has some of its features.
Prototype of the J-31 is fitted with two Russian Klimov RD-93 engines. However engines on production aircraft might be different. These are likely to be domestic engines.
The J-31 has two internal weapon bays. Each of them can carry two missiles. Also there are three hardpoints on each wing for externally-mounted missiles.
It is speculated that the J-31 might be also used as a carrier borne multi-role fighter and operate from the new Chinese aircraft carriers. Currently the Chinese government pays enormous attention to development of advanced fighter jets.