China: New stealth fighter tested

Nov. 1, 2012 at 12:08 AM
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BEIJING, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- China successfully tested its second stealth fighter with experts calling it a milestone for its military aviation industry, state-run Global Times reported.

The report, quoting a witness, said after a 11-minute flight Wednesday, the fighter designated J-31 landed on a runway of the Shenyang Aircraft Corp. in northeast Liaoning Province.

The Global Times said major Chinese military news websites confirmed the maiden flight of J-31 after witnesses uploaded its pictures. It said the J-31 is the second of China's fifth-generation fighters, having tested the first one J-20, made by Aircraft Design Institute in Chengdu, was tested in January of 2011.

The two stealth fighters have made China the second country after the United States to develop two fifth-generation fighters, the Global Times said, quoting an expert.

"Just like the U.S. F-22 and F-35 fifth-generation fighters, the J-20 and J-31 will complement each other during future operations," Bai Wei, former deputy editor of the Aviation World weekly, told the Global Times.

"The J-31 is almost certainly designed with the intention to have the potential of operating on aircraft carriers, judging from its enhanced double-wheel nose landing gear and two big tail wings, which help increase vertical stability."

Bai also said the developers of J-31 might also look at export market for the plane.

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