Shenyang FC-31 / J-31 Fighter Demonstrator


Gatekeeper

Captain
Registered Member
Not sure, if you missed it, but AVIC itself posted this:

View attachment 58252

... and soon thereafter AVIC/SAC confirmed to have a new fighter under was.

I know, this is probably all too premature to be sure, but IMO it looks much more like a "go ahead" than "the project ... is pretty much dead"!
Oh. If its go ahead. It's good news. And they should have the full resource behind it. Therefore progress should be swift from now on, and we should get treated with lots of eye candy in the next few years!
 

Air Force Brat

Brigadier
Super Moderator
Not sure, if you missed it, but AVIC itself posted this:

View attachment 58252

... and soon thereafter AVIC/SAC confirmed to have a new fighter under was.

I know, this is probably all too premature to be sure, but IMO it looks much more like a "go ahead" than "the project ... is pretty much dead"!
I agree, this bird is possibly waiting for the WS-19 as suggested by mangiangrexue,,, I really do think that is the likely hold-up, they really don't want to power their newest super wazoo fighter project with an antique powerplant...
 

Viktor Jav

Senior Member
Registered Member
I think it's more than hope.

I reckon there is an eventual requirement for at least 400 J-31, which is sufficient to justify the upfront R&D costs and a separate logistical system.

From an industrial base perspective, the Chinese Air Force would want to sustain competing design institutes (SAC versus CAC).
And if SAC already has a head start with flying prototypes, they're almost certain to get the contract.
There is a few problems with this assumption:
1) The number of 400 is rather arbitrary.
2) There is little to no indication or evidence as to why the PLAAF would have a requirement for a FC-31 type fighter.
Which basically means we are merely speculating.

And whatever stealth fighter requirements that arises from the PLAAF in the future will have to be measured against the J-20, in other words if the J-20 can be modified to suit the requirements then there is no need for the FC-31 seeing as with an established fighter line the J-20 will have the advantage of lower cost production per unit and faster production time in contrast to SAC which does not.

Currently the only area that the FC-31 can possibly make a breakthrough is as a carrier fighter. But if the J-20 can be modified in the same way then the latter is dead in the water. And that is not entirely impossible, dimension wise the J-20 is about the same size as the J-15, people are rather caught up with the whole "carrier planes must be small" idea but really there is no hard evidence as to why that must be the case.
 

Jono

New Member
Registered Member
so all we need to see is a tail hook on the FC-31.:)
my humble opinion is to support 2 stealth aircrafts, for the simple reason of talent development and training.
imagine the benefits of having 2 teams of young talents competing against each other, and putting what they have learned into the 6th generation aircraft design!! of course, subject to funding and resources availability.
 

e46m3

New Member
Registered Member
so all we need to see is a tail hook on the FC-31.:)
my humble opinion is to support 2 stealth aircrafts, for the simple reason of talent development and training.
imagine the benefits of having 2 teams of young talents competing against each other, and putting what they have learned into the 6th generation aircraft design!! of course, subject to funding and resources availability.
Tail hook doesn't prove anything, lots of land based planes have tailhooks. F-22/F-15/F-16 etc.

Now if they beef up the landing gear then you know.
 

AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
There is a few problems with this assumption:
1) The number of 400 is rather arbitrary.
2) There is little to no indication or evidence as to why the PLAAF would have a requirement for a FC-31 type fighter.
Which basically means we are merely speculating.

And whatever stealth fighter requirements that arises from the PLAAF in the future will have to be measured against the J-20, in other words if the J-20 can be modified to suit the requirements then there is no need for the FC-31 seeing as with an established fighter line the J-20 will have the advantage of lower cost production per unit and faster production time in contrast to SAC which does not.

Currently the only area that the FC-31 can possibly make a breakthrough is as a carrier fighter. But if the J-20 can be modified in the same way then the latter is dead in the water. And that is not entirely impossible, dimension wise the J-20 is about the same size as the J-15, people are rather caught up with the whole "carrier planes must be small" idea but really there is no hard evidence as to why that must be the case.
Point 1
The number 400 comes from:
  1. The Chinese Air Force continuing with a fleet of 2000 combat aircraft, so 400 medium-weight stealth fighters is not unreasonable.
  2. If you look at geography, China has so many neighbours near its borders. eg. Taiwan is 200km away, Korea is only 350km away, Vietnam/India share a border etc. So a requirement for 400 lower-spec J-31 is not unreasonable.
  3. A 15 year production run at 24 aircraft per year. That is a large enough production run that unit costs and maintenance are reasonable, and can justify the upfront R&D costs. But if they were only producing 100 J-31s, it would be cheaper just to stick with additional J-20 instead.

Point 2
As for a carrier version, again, we're looking at low production numbers for a carrier variant. Call it a a maximum of 200 aircraft over the course of the next 15 years. Plus I imagine that maintenance of the J-20 stealth coatings is a nightmare due to the salt-water environment.

So I reckon there will still be a requirement for a *common enough* medium-weight stealth fighter with baked-in stealth materials between the Chinese Air Force and Chinese Navy.
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
...

Point 2
As for a carrier version, again, we're looking at low production numbers for a carrier variant. Call it a a maximum of 200 aircraft over the course of the next 15 years. Plus I imagine that maintenance of the J-20 stealth coatings is a nightmare due to the salt-water environment.

So I reckon there will still be a requirement for a *common enough* medium-weight stealth fighter with baked-in stealth materials between the Chinese Air Force and Chinese Navy.

And it would also enable to standardize the naval fleet with this type complemented by J-16s.
 

kriss

Junior Member
Registered Member
Point 2
As for a carrier version, again, we're looking at low production numbers for a carrier variant. Call it a a maximum of 200 aircraft over the course of the next 15 years. Plus I imagine that maintenance of the J-20 stealth coatings is a nightmare due to the salt-water environment.

So I reckon there will still be a requirement for a *common enough* medium-weight stealth fighter with baked-in stealth materials between the Chinese Air Force and Chinese Navy.
Even if SAC got the carrier fighter project it wouldn't be J-31 as we see now. So if you have to build a new variant anyway all those navalizing measure can be applied to both fighters.

Also where did you get the idea of this "corrosion susceptible J-20 painting" and "superior J-31 baked in stealth material" from?

The painting would likely be same for both and what on earth is baked in stealth material.
 

Top