Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On Tuesday, December 16, 2014 by Luke iMan in , , ,    No comments
China's newest stealth twin-engine J-31 fighter, unveiled on Nov. 10 during a preshow tour of Airshow China in Zhuhai, have recently leaked into the media again. The fighter may be sold to potential buyers in the Middle East, as well as Pakistan, Argentina and Nigeria, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily.

The J-31 was exhibited in Zhuhai by the Aviation Industry of Corporation of China.

The J-31 has a limited fuel capacity and combat radius, features that could be defects for combat on the mainland, but for smaller countries such as Pakistan, the fighter's agility and smaller size is exactly what they would prefer, according to a report by Sina's military news portal.
Pakistan has bought weapons from China before and is eyeing the J-31, said Pakistan Air Force major general Khalid, who visited the Zhuhai Airshow for the third time and praised the J-31 as the world's best fighter, according to the report.

Pakistan's neighboring countries have already been preparing for the research and development of fourth-generation fighters, making it quite natural for the country to look for some of its own. Moreover, the price of China's J-20 fighters is twice that of the J-31. The light fighter seems a pragmatic choice, said military expert Xu Yongling. Pakistan always places military procurement from China as its top priority as the two have close ties, Xu said.

There are signs that Argentina and Nigeria will procure China's J-17 fighters, and they likely will also buy the cheaper J-31 fighters as a good combination if they can reach an agreement, said the Japan-based Diplomat.
Experts said one J-31 fighter costs around US$75 million, making it very competitive. It has already completed flight tests, relieving buyers of the extra costs for further research and development.

US media has simultaneously harped on the rising threat of China's new fighters while lambasting the fighter's quality, a contradictory mentality for a nation with some of the world's best fighter technology, said Jin Canrong, vice president of the School of International Relations at Renmin University of China.

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