China to reveal new progress on next-gen carrier-based fighter in 2021: chief designer
By GT staff reporters in Zhuhai Published: Sep 29, 2021 01:29 PM
China will reveal new progress on its next-generation aircraft carrier-based fighter jet this year, the maker of the aircraft said on Wednesday at the ongoing Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province.
"When the aircraft is ready, people will get to see it," Sun Cong, chief designer of the J-15, China's first-generation aircraft carrier-based fighter jet, said at a press conference at the exhibition.
"This year, people should be able to see good news on the next-generation aircraft carrier-based fighter jet," said Sun, who is also the chief designer of the FC-31, China's second stealth fighter jet.
The FC-31 has been a long-rumored candidate to become the country's next-generation carrier-based fighter since its flight performance debut at the Airshow China 2014.
If the FC-31 prototype is upgraded to suit the needs of carrier operation, it could be a top option for China's next-generation carrier-based fighter jet, Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times.
The FC-31, originally developed for the purpose of exporting, is also on display at the Airshow China 2021.
A scale model of the FC-31 is displayed at an entrance of the exhibition hall of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), together with models of a PL-15E very-long-range air-to-air missile, PL-10E short-range air-to-air missile and LS-6/250 precision glide bomb.
While refusing to make a direct comment on the speculations around the aircraft, Zhou Guoqiang, general manager assistant at AVIC, told a group of reporters in a preview visit to the exhibition shortly prior to the opening on Tuesday that the FC-31 reflects China's strength, and is a key achievement in the "20" aircraft family, together with the J-20 stealth fighter jet, Y-20 large transport plane and Z-20 utility helicopter.
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