The president of a leading Chinese defense company boasted that China’s J-31 stealth fighter jet could definitely take down the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Appearing on China’s state broadcaster on Tuesday, Lin Zuoming, president of Aviation Industry Corp of China (Avic), the state-owned Chinese defense company that manufactures the J-31, boldly declared that “When it [the J-31] takes to the sky, it could definitely take down the F-35. It’s a certainty.”
It is widely believed that the J-31 is modeled in part off of stolen F-35 technology.
Lin went on to say that the J-31 would compete with the F-35 in the global marketplace, painting China’s second stealth fighter as a low-cost alternative to the U.S. made fifth generation jet.
“The next-generation air forces that are unable to buy the F-35 have no way to build themselves up. We don’t believe the situation should be that way,” Lin said, Reuters reported. He added, “The world should be balanced. Good things shouldn’t all be pushed to one party.”
Long before the Zhuhai Air Show, Chinese officials began comparing the J-31 to the F-35, and suggesting it could compete with the Joint Strike Fighter in international markets. In August 2013, for example, the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, carried an article that postulated that the J-31 “represents a serious threat to U.S. arms manufacturers.” It went on to say, “Experts predict that the J-31 will make rapid inroads in the international market in the future, and will undoubtedly steal the limelight from the F-35.”
As to the J-31’s ability to take down American and allied F-35s, most experts agree it’s too early to tell, although the J-31 received largely negative reviews at the air show last month. For instance, a senior U.S. pilot told USNI News at the time that, once operational, the J-31 could probably challenge America’s fourth generation unstealthy American fighters.
On the other hand, the same pilot added, “I think they’ll eventually be on par with our fifth gen jets — as they should be, because industrial espionage is alive and well.”
Full article: Chinese Official: J-31 Stealth Fighter Could ‘Definitely Take Down’ F-35 (The National Interest)