The Chinese next-gen aircraft for aircraft carrier could be FC-31 variant

According to information published by Global Times, Chinese aircraft builders made reference to a new Chinese maritime of F-31 stealth fighter jet (also called the J-31) variant for aircraft carriers.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The FC-31 made an appearance during Zhuhai Airshow 2014

China is widely expected to develop an aircraft carrier-ready stealth fighter jet, as the US is racing China in next-generation warplane development.

Dubbed a cradle of Chinese fighter jets, the Shenyang Aircraft Co. Ltd. under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) released a statement last week on its WeChat public account and revealed its work plans for 2021.

The company aims to make breakthroughs in its fourth-generation fighter jet program by boosting related technologies, including additive manufacturing, control over surface electromagnetic defects, and automated fiber placement, so that the aircraft can be successfully developed, the statement said.

A fourth-generation fighter jet, in the Chinese context, is a stealth fighter jet comparable to the likes of J-20, F-22 and Su-57.

While the statement did not specify the name of the aircraft, it attached photos of the FC-31, the only known fourth-generation fighter jet being made by the Shenyang-based company.

It makes sense to speculate the statement is referring to an improved version of the FC-31, as the current versions are only prototypes.

The Chinese Navy needs a more advanced fighter jet on its aircraft carriers in the future, and the FC-31, when customized for that purpose, would be a good choice.

China's next-generation fighter jet is expected to come into being by 2035.

The FC-31 is a single-seat, twin-engine multi-role fighter jet catering to the demands of future battlefield environments. It is 17.3 meters long and has a wingspan of 11.5 meters, according to an info flyer by its maker Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) in 2018.

The Shenyang FC-31 provides extraordinary manoeuvrability, stealth features, and an internal weapons bay, besides superior avionics and sensors providing enhanced situational awareness, improved radar tracking and targeting capabilities and integrated electronic-warfare systems.

The FC-31 is being manufactured by Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, an affiliate of Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

The development of the FC-31 goes on, and modifications are likely to be made based on test flights, including the installation of new engines and other devices.

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