China Tests Stealth Fighter FC-31 Gyrfalcon

2019 ias preliminary exam test series

China is aggressively moving to develop its domestic weapons industry, from drones and anti-aircraft systems to home-grown jet engines.

China has tested the latest version of its fifth-generation stealth fighter. The newest version of the J-31 — now renamed the FC-31 Gyrfalcon — took to the air for the first time.

The so-called “fifth-generation” twin-engine jet is China’s answer to the U.S. F-35, the world’s most technically advanced fighter.

The new FC-31 has “better stealth capabilities, improved electronic equipment and a larger payload capacity” than the previous version which debuted in October 2012.

Changes were made to the airframe, wings and vertical tails which make it leaner, lighter and more manoeuvrable.

The jet is manufactured by Shenyang Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC). The fighter is expected to sell for around $70 million, aiming to take market share away from more expensive fourth-generation fighters like the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The FC-31 will put an end to some nations’ monopolies on the fifth-generation fighter jet.

When completed, the FC-31 will become the country’s second fifth-generation fighter after the J-20.

Current Affairs for IAS Exam