j-31 (Shenyang FC): China Fifth Generation Fighter 2024

Abdur Rahman
j-31: The stealth fighter By China

The J-31, a Chinese prototype 5th-generation stealth fighter aircraft, was first flown in 2012. Its radar-evading capabilities and supercruise capability could enhance China’s airpower and impact regional military balances, with Pakistan’s Air Force considering acquisition. There is another name j-31 is Shenyang FC-31. (j-31)

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j-31 Development

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force publicly endorsed the Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter after winning the PLAAF competition. Shenyang Aircraft Corporation established a private effort to identify potential export customers. An image of a model with the designation F-60 was released online in 2011. After photos and videos of the event leaked in June 2012, Chinese netizens called a heavily wrapped fighter aircraft airframe that was being road-transferred “the zongzi plane”. The export version is called F-60, but the local Chinese version is called j-31. (j-31)

j-31 Design Overview

At the 2012 China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, a 1/4-scale model of the J-31 was displayed, indicating an intention to export the aircraft as a backup for nations unable to buy the F-35. The J-31 airframe, which was fully funded by the corporation, was officially presented in 2014 at the Zhuhai Airshow. The aircraft’s flight displays indicated that the afterburners were engaged, but other people said that the pilot struggled to keep the nose up and that the engine bled energy. At the 2015 Dubai Airshow, AVIC made it known that it is aggressively promoting the aircraft to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and is currently searching for a partner.(j-31)

China’s aircraft carriers are anticipated to get the J-31, a carrier-based naval fighter. The plane is meant to be exported and is meant to rival the F-35. Shenyang has been pushed by the PLAN to create a carrier-compatible J-31 variant. As a potential addition to the J-31, Jiangsu A-Star Aviation Industries Company advertised their EOTS-86 infra-red search and track in 2015. The FC-31 program was awarded government funding in 2018 and is being pursued by PLAAF and PLANAF. A third version of the FC-31, including wider radome, tighter control surface alignment, and cleaner lines, was developed in June 2020. (j-31)

j-31 Imaginary Outlook

Engines and Stealth Capabilities of j-31

The engines of the prototype aircraft are RD-93s, according to Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG. China already has an RD-93-like engine installed on the JF-17; it’s called the Guizhou WS-13. China is developing an upgraded version of the J-31 named WS-13E with 100 kN of thrust. The chairman of China’s AVIC, Lin Zuoming, wants the fighter to use indigenous engines. The J-31’s installation of a WS-19 engine with a maximum thrust of 12 tons has been verified by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, bringing the aircraft’s overall thrust up to 24 tons from 18 tons. The jet can now travel at a maximum distance of 1250 km and has supercruising capability. (j-31)

A modification of the stealth aircraft J-31 is underway to minimize radar and infrared fingerprints. The aircraft is low-observable to multi-spectrum sensors and stealthy against L-band and Ku-band radars, according to AVIC officials. Its stealth characteristics will be further improved by redesigning the engine nozzles. (j-31)

Operational history and deployment of j-31

The prototype became airborne for a short while while doing a high-speed taxiing test. The prototype No. 31001 made the model’s first flight on October 31, 2012. In a ten-minute test flight with its landing gear dropped, it was joined by two J-11 fighters. Following the Advanced Tactical Fighter fly-off in 1991, China became the second country to have two stealth fighter designs undergoing field testing concurrently with the launch of prototype No. 31001 on October 30, 2012. The aircraft is still in the midst of a restricted test program, and video from more flights in February 2013 has surfaced. (j-31)

Subtypes of the j-31

A military aircraft called the J-31 is now being developed, with many versions and further advancements planned. The most well-known version is the carrier-based J-35, which has a tail hook for carrier missions, stronger landing gear, and folding wings. Pakistan is demonstrating a particular interest in the export variant (F-60), which is being offered to several nations and is intended for worldwide sales. Unconfirmed versions include the J-21 Snowy Owl, which is purported to be in development, as well as hypothetical unmanned or electronic warfare versions. Future versions of the J-31 are yet unknown, and when the aircraft goes into production and service, formal names for subtypes could appear. (j-31)

On October 29, 2021, the FC-31’s modified carrier-based version—dubbed J-35 by observers took off for the first time. It is designed to use an electromagnetic aircraft launch system and operate out of the upcoming Type 003 aircraft carrier. The naval version has a wing-fold mechanism and a catapult launch bar in addition to being based on the FC-31 second prototype. (j-31)

j-31 with Armament

General Specifications of j-31

crew one (pilot)
17.3 meters long (56 feet 9 inches)
11.5 m (37 ft 9 in) in wingspan
4 m (15 ft 9 in) in height
50 m 2 (540 sq ft) of wings
Maximum weight during takeoff is 28,000 kg (61,729 lb).
Powerplant 2 × WS-13 afterburning turbofans, each with a dry thrust of 56.75 kN (12,760 lbf) and an afterburner that can produce 87.2 kN (19,600 lbf). (j-31)

Performance of j-31

Maximum altitude speed is Mach 1.8
maximum sea level speed is Mach 1.14 (1,400 km/h, 870 mph)
combat range is 1,200 km (750 mi, 650 nmi) on internal fuel, 1,900 km (1,200 mi) with aerial refueling
The ceiling for services is 16,000 meters (52,000 feet). (j-31)

j-31 Armament


Air-to-air missiles:
12 x medium-range
Air-to-ground missiles:
8 x supersonic


8 × 500 kg deep-penetration bombs
30 x smaller bombs

Avionics of j-31

KLJ-7A AESA radar
Distributed aperture system (DAS) optical early-warning system
Electro-optical targeting system (EOTS)


We have compared this Sukhoi Su-57 vs F-35 Fighter jet. If you are interested in the comparison, you can check it out by clicking here. You can check out the fighters F-22 Raptor, Sukhoi Su-57, F-35 Lightning II, TF-X KAAN and Chengdu J-20.

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What engine was used in the j-31?

The Chengdu J-20 has used different engines throughout its development and deployment. This is Klimov RD-93.

What is the maximum speed of j-31?

J-20 has a maximum speed of Mach 1.8. This is not officially published but some online sources provide this information.

How much money was spent by the Chinese to develop j-31?

There is no proper information has been provided by the Chinese about the price of the j-31. But as per some news the Pakistan Air Force is going to buy a good number of j-31.

How many j-31s has China produced?

It’s running a process to build but no proper information has been provided by the Chinese about the production number of j-31.

Is that j-31 is a stealth fighter jet?

Yes, j-31 is a fully stealth fighter jet developed by China. It was developed as an air superior fighter that can take a great dog fight with any fighter jet in the world.

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