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Pakistan Eyes Chinese-Made J-31 Fifth-Generation Stealth Fighter “Soon”

The acquisition of the fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft J-31 will only contribute to expanding Chinese-made fighter aircrafts presence in the inventory of the Pakistan Air Force, following the procurement of J-10 and JF-17 jointly developed by Islamabad and Beijing.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — The Pakistan Air Force has hinted at acquiring the fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft J-31 “Gyrfalcon” or F-31 developed by the Chinese aerospace company, Shenyang Aircraft Corporation.

Speaking at a recent induction ceremony for new equipment in Islamabad Air Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu stated that the Chinese-made stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft, J-31 aircraft would soon be inducted into the country’s air force.

“Negotiations have already taken place to facilitate the acquisition of the J-31 aircraft, which will soon be part of the Pakistan Air Force,” he announced during the event.

The procurement of the J-31 aircraft will augment China’s fighter jet inventory in the Pakistan Air Force, following the inclusion of J-10 and JF-17, developed jointly by Islamabad and Beijing.

Analysts suggest that acquiring the fifth-generation J-31 aims to replace the aging American-made F-16 and French Mirage 5 fighter aircraft in Pakistan’s fleet.

If the acquisition of J-31 fighter jets proceeds, analysts believe it will shift the balance of air power in the region, potentially posing challenges for its main adversary, India.

J-31

 The J-31’s capabilities are expected to enhance Pakistan’s tactical flexibility, allowing it to operate more effectively in enemy airspace.

China, keen on promoting the J-31 for export, has established a dedicated office to attract potential international customers interested in acquiring the F-31 fighter jets.

 The J-31 made its debut at the Zhuhai Air Show several years ago, becoming China’s second fifth-generation fighter after the J-20 “Mighty Dragon,” currently operational with the Chinese Air Force.

Similar to the United States’ approach with the F-22 Raptor, China has refrained from exporting the advanced J-20 Mighty Dragon, expressing concerns about the technology falling into the hands of potential adversaries.

The J-31 is a single-seat, twin-engine, medium-sized fighter jet with powerful stealth capabilities and competitive costs.

J-31
The F-31 “Gyrfalcon” or J-31 aircraft developed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation.

 

Reports suggest that the J-31 may serve on the country’s aircraft carriers, and efforts are underway towards that end.

While detailed technical specifications remain undisclosed, the Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) has increased to 28,000kg from 25,000kg, equipped with WS-19 engines providing 12 tons of thrust.

It features two internal bays, each capable of carrying two medium-range air-to-air guided missiles, and hardpoints for various bombs and guided munitions. — DSA

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