China flies newest stealth fighter

Photos of China’s latest stealth fighter, the J-31, started appearing across aviation blogs in early October. Then reports surfaced that the J-31, built by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, completed its first test flight Wednesday morning in northeastern China.

The J-31 executed the test flight escorted by a J-11 Chinese fighter if the photos from the event are to be believed. The Chinese government has yet to put out an official statement confirming the test. Chinese military officials have kept most details about their stealth aviation program tight lipped.

(Video after the jump)

J-31 photos indicate the fighter is significantly smaller than the J-20 — the other stealth fighter the Chinese unveiled. Aviation experts have speculated the J-31 could be used more so as an interceptor or a carrier-based aircraft. Thus, the J-20 would be used as a strike aircraft targeting ships and ground targets as it could hold more missiles.

The designs of the J-31, based on a survey of the leaked photos, indicate Chinese engineers have done their homework on the F-22 and F-35 built by Lockheed Martin. Chinese officials have said they did not steal any stealth designs from the U.S. but the similarities between the J-31 and the F-22 and F-35 are pretty telling.

The video posted below is a compilation of the photos of the J-31 that have leaked thus far. The film tries to give the impression that the plane is flying in slow motion, but that was just  some handy editing skills by the person who created the video.

(mobile users please kick here for the video)

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to He can be reached at
  • brok3n

    “Chinese military officials have kept most details about their stealth aviation program tight lipped.”

    Something we have yet to do in the West to protect our own programs.

    • Citizen of the world

      Yeah, first thing we’d need to do is ban sites covering defense technology.

      • Matt

        Or provide access to many other nations, tens - hundreds of thousands of “citizens of the world” can download classified information on the f35 and send it to China. How many nations are involved again?

        • justsayin

          You make it sound like it’s as easy as downloading music. Hacking goes both ways.

          • Matt

            It is a easy as downloading music. I have read about it. So and so worker at so and so components in Australia logs in and downloads the files. Bam.

          • blight_

            Access denied
  ‘s password:

            Welcome to the Lockmart Server of Easily Stolen Items


            mget *

    • Guest

      Theres a reason why some programs are public, its to keep attention away from the more important projects

    • ken

      We don’t have to be tight lipped we let them walk right out the front door with the info.

  • Lance

    Looks like a Chinese knock off of the JSF F-35. Overall since there Stealth tech is only gen one now, new ASEA radars may still track a plane more ASEA radars are needed for upgraded to F-15 and F-22 fleets.

    As of DoD report China is 5-8 years away from fielding such planes.

    • So?

      I have two words for you: “radar equation”.

    • justsayin

      Their, not there. Read more son.

    • Stratege

      How you determined that it’s “only gen one stealth”?

  • Sepel

    Looks like the child from a F-22/F-35 love affair.

    But still, it show’s that the Chinese are rather rapidly progressing. Not even two decades ago i thought i would never see a Chinese (or even more) carrier or such advanced aircraft. Im curious what we will see in the next decades to come.

    • Sev

      Depends on what the US makes. The Chinese copy our tech

      • Menzie

        On the whole I would agree with you but this seems like a fall back position whne something may start to compete with us. Jus thow many shapes are stealthy and fly well? It seems to me if you watch the pbs nova special on the f35 design it was designed mostly by computer so that being said is a stealth shape optimally similar to the f22 f35? If so then the Chinese copied nothing.

      • citanon

        That’s the good part. I’d start worrying if one day they no longer feel any need to copy.

    • Common Sense

      Who even says that China will still be intact politically!! What always looks threatening on the outside often is hollow on the inside. The world thought Sadam Hussein’s army was beast to be dealt with….guess what, that army was defeated in 96 hours! China has issues….domestically and politically. People better start peeling back the onion to see the core…..

    • krypton

      You still haven’t really seen a chinese carrier. That one was bought from the Russians. It probably took them two years to clean out the borscht and vomit stains.

  • MckGyver

    Hmm, I recognize that design…can anyone tell me from where?

    • Ottar

      Looks like a copy of some newly tested Russian plane.

    • V.A.

      This picture was leaked to the internet over a year ago. Maybe you happened to see it?

      • krypton

        Yeah, like nothing so much as a twin-engine F35. The real question is how much of the external skin is JUST a skin.

    • joeblow

      I saw it at my local HobbyTown store.

    • Dougie Quick

      Is that the same “curious” one might have over recently diagnosed malignant tumors located in various untreatable locations of his/her anatomy? … As in “I am just really curious to understand how likely I am to survive much longer.”

  • Big-Dean

    Ok, the defense industries are either completely stupid when it comes to information security or they are letting this stuff “leak” out on purpose.

    But I don’t believe the former… :-{

    • Common Sense

      How do you know that’s the issue??? Has that aircraft been used to push china’s regional hegemony???? If not, then why??? Better start asking some basic questions before making unfounded assumptions….

    • citanon

      It’s impossible to protect the shape of an aircraft that shows up at air shows around the world and in company videos on Youtube. It’s the inside that’s important, and in this case we have no idea what’s underneath that familiar looking skin.

      • krypton

        Based on other information technology news, the idiots at LM were probably selling a video game they developed with F35 avatars in Microsoft FS, with backstories about “how we integrated the technology”.

  • MegopeepeeinyourCoke

    Maybe we can steal their design back and learn to make ours less expensive ;)

    • Paul

      Ours is more expensive because of the R and D already invested into it, Gomer Pyle.

      • Paul

        …and Gomer, it’s no stretch in common sense to realize that it’s roughly R&D divided by number of planes produced would have to equal an exuberant cost per plane.

  • Chris

    Well, if the electronics are as good as the ones that have been in my cars, that were made in China, we have no problem. BTW, China financed these with the profits from their crap they sel at Wal-Mart.

    • blight_

      If you’re in America, chances are your car was not assembled in China.

      Koreans will build their cars back home or in the US.

      Japanese companies will build them in Japan or here.

      Americans will build them in Canada, Mexico or the United States.

      Europeans may build them here in the US, or across the pond.

    • Good2ride

      Right on Chris, that’s why I shop at Wal-Mart’s cousin store, ” Hole N Da’ Wal !!! Hahaha, Wally-Mart will probably be selling the J-20 / 31 models for Christmas ??!!

  • k parks

    Thank you Bill Clinton for giving them all our computer technology,you are ONE swell cigar smoking guy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mike Force

      Remember the Republican house and Senate signed off on it.

      • Matt

        I dont “remember” that part… please provide links or other supporting information.

        • blight_

          Is the semi-partial summary of what led up to what some call “Loralgate” and others call something-or-other that had to do with Bill Clinton. /eyeroll


  • Nadnerbus

    If they can build them for less then one hundred billion million trillion dollars, maybe we should buy some.

    I would be seriously interested in seeing a capabilities sum up for this aircraft and the JSF, along with price totals for each. JSF will probably be much more capable, but man…

    • Sev

      Of course it’s cheaper. We paid for the R&D! They stole the tech from us. Hacking computers at Lockheed and stealing F35 files

  • Krypto

    Don’t worry folks, in the end the china and the men in power will suffer from the same greed and corruption that plagues our industry. And who knows perhaps infor was leaked on purpose, just to justify the next gazillion dollar super weapon.

    • sven morgenstern

      They already do!

  • brok3n

    I find it interesting that the Chinese decided to unveil its fighter on a largely American holiday, Halloween.. I guess its plane decided to dress up as an F-35/22 baby?

    I wonder.. if we stopped developing weapons, would their industry collapse?

    • Guest

      and it’s called the J-31 - J is the 10th letter of the alphabet, and 10/31 is halloween. coincidence?

  • Jakarta

    Makes me wonder, are we going to see a knock off B2 bomber like soonish?

    • blight_

      Seems only the US and the Russians maintain strategic bombers.

      • Jakarta

        In other words, China is very much more leaning towards “dirty” weaponry to hack off the advanced tech of the US/Russ, like the recent “assassin’s mace” geo-strategy.

        • justsaying

          Dirty weaponry? What does that even mean? It sounds like nothing more than meaningless buzz words.

  • tee

    With GE getting ready to build a new engine plant in China, they will soon have good engines for their J-31’s,J-20’s and J-15’s,J-11’s & J-10’s. Wait, wasn’t Gates who said the US had a 20 year lead in Technology and cancelled the F-22. China will probably be flying their J-31’s off their carrier before we can get the Junk Strike Fighter off ours. SAD, very SAD

    • Jim

      Not only do they copy our designs, but we train their engineers and factory workers.

    • blight_

      I’m digging through GE’s notes.

      As far as I can tell much of the turbine work is GE Energy building wind turbines and gas turbines for the power industry.

      Additionally, the jet engine venture is CFM, which is GE and another company.…

      More up to date note:…

      Engine in question:…

      If it’s the genx, the only production plant I can find is in Durham, NC.

  • JE McKellar

    Does their tailhook work?

    • Nadnerbus

      I loled. When they conduct carrier trials and it bolters repeatedly, we will have a little better idea of whether the tech was stolen or not…

    • Chimp

      That’s actually a good question. The J-31 has a twin nosewheel… best reason I can think of for that is CATOBAR carrier operations.

  • Chris

    Hey Blight, I said the electronics. I did not say the car was assembled in China. Check all your wiring harnesses, and other electronics. “Made in China.” BTW, the final assembly maybe the U.S. but the majority of the components are mad overseas. My CTS’s engine was made in Mexico and the transmission in France.

    • blight_

      Only because NAFTA makes it cheaper to do final assembly in Mexico than to ship a car from the People’s Republic. Call it a matter of time.

      Re the electronics, they are building to the specs provided by foreigners, who are either approving the purchase of cheapo parts at the expense of American suppliers or even going far enough to supply technical information or bootstrap their manufacturing with imported equipment.

      It won’t be long before Chinese startups build Chinese products that people over here go “hey, interesting…”

      Though chances are, it’ll be the military hardware that outpaces the civilian.

    • Guest

      my subaru is the same. final assembly was in indiana, but many of the engine components were made in japan (some of them even have labels written only in japanese)

  • So?

    Looks like an F-35 minus the VTOL handicap (single engine -> wonky side bays, must fit in LHD lift -> small “quart in a pint” design). Now it’s a matter of execution. Something tells me that even with the VTOL compromise, the F-35 will be better, but not by the margin the rah-rah brigade thinks.

    • Anon e. Mouse

      STOVL. You mean STOVL…. and apparently you have no idea how the B model lift system (which is placed where a fuel tank in the A model sits) works.

      • So?

        Yes, that’s what I meant (got my acronyms wrong), and yes the lift fan is the reason for the single fat F135, which is the reason for the awkward side bays and tubby fuselage. LM is not at fault here. They are delivering exactly what was asked for: a chimera.

  • Speedy

    Before you complain about stuff made in China, look at your own house and shed. How much of the items you own are made in your country?

    China will become “democratic” when their people want it. I heard a report a few years ago saying some economists suggest this will happen in the next few years (decade or so). IF America is still friendly towards China, they will become a great allie.

    • Ron

      China an Allie , I can tell you don’t know how Asian’s think, Al Qaida and Taliban will be our allies before that happens!!!

      • justsaying

        I was talking to some Asian guys, and they all told me a commentator on defensetech named Ron was a flaming asshole.

      • Hale

        Taliban were our allies a while back when the Soviets were still around…

  • Rio Lobo

    What did you expect? Think the Chinese have any of their own ideas? Hell no… Every fricken country out there loves to steal our technology. What I don’t understand is we have the technology to keep our secrets off the internet waves by creating our own system that bypasses the internet completely, so as to keep all our technology closely guarded and un-hackable… Come on DoD. What’s up with that?

    • cs4

      Don’t you feel proud that your country has something worth stealing?

  • The great Jessmo

    What engine will this thing use? How advanced are the chinese in AESA tech?

    • justsaying

      They’re split testing a Russian engine and the WS-13. The plan is to eventually use all Chinese engines. Same as the J-20. WS-10 vs a Russian engine.

    • So?
      RD-93 - a variant of RD-33. (F404 class). Perhaps China buying a boatload of those engines for the JF-17 was a ruse.

  • Guest

    um except it did make it into space (unmanned) and was cancelled because of that little event called the collapse of the Soviet Union. Google is a wonderful tool.

    • Prodozul

      Not to mention it was destroyed when the warehouse it was stored in collapsed.

  • Dfens

    We had 20+ years of development between the F-22 and the F-35. It’s funny how it didn’t take China 20 years between their latest aircraft. Then again, Communist countries don’t pay “for profit” companies more to drag out development. Apparently they think more highly of Capitalist principles than we do.

    • LtKitty

      Are… are you serious? Because maybe they bypassed those 20+ years of R&D by… oh, I donno… stealing our tech?

      • Dfens

        Yeah, that’s why the F-22 took so long. It was all that technology we were developing. First we had to invent composites, then we invented radar, next was the invention of stealth… Hell yeah, it wore me out inventing all that technology.

        • LtKitty

          And before that we invented fire and the wheel :P

          • Dfens

            No, I’m pretty sure that was done during F-22 development too. We had to develop the wheel before the airplane could have landing gear. It’s not like we just f’ed around for 20 years. Well, not exactly like that.

          • LtKitty

            Now we need to spend another 20 years bio-engineering more capable pilots.

          • Dfens

            No, our pilots are plenty capable. The right use of stealth is hit and run, not pulling sustained g’s in a dogfight. What we need is fast, hard hitting aircraft like the F-23, not the F-22 or the F-35.

          • blight_

            Now that I think about it, there is an interesting contradiction embedded into stealth and high-speed maneuver.

            I suspect it was because the Fighter Mafia was still in play, that there was a desire that Stealthy Ninja must also be agile Shaolin/Wudan monk.

            Bad bets happen all the time to contractors trying to play their military industrial crystal ball. Lockheed thought a smaller bomber would win. Northrop went for the bigger bomber. The rest is history.

          • Dfens

            The aircraft designers MD hired to layout the F-23 understood stealth much better than the people who ended up evaluating the competing aircraft. That’s why they opted for the IR suppression tunnels instead of thrust vectoring and gave the airplane much more speed, more weapons carrying capability, and longer legs than the F-22 had. Lockheed sold the F-22 as the ultimate dogfighter, and it only just holds its own in that regard to the Eurofighter. Of course, the great thing about being the US Air Force is you can hide your f ups behind a cloak of “national security” and it’s just like it never happened.

        • blight_

          Orville Wright started F-22 wind tunnel testing in his bicycle shop…

          • Dfens

            No doubt! The only other place I’ve seen so much bs was space station. We f around to make the dic kless CEO’s of these aerospace companies rich while they f us, f you, f their country, f our brave soldiers, f our allies. I hope burning in hell is worth it.

  • BlackOwl18E

    If this J-31 reaches IOC in China before the F-35 does in America I think all our services should sue Lockheed Martin for sucking at life.

    • joe

      Possibly the DoD should request a quote to build them under license.
      It’d be worth it to see some people’s faces.

    • Carl Gulde

      It’s not Lockheed’s fault, just as the falsely distorted price of the F-22 is not their fault. It’s the current admin’s fault (mostly, starting under sec def Gates in the last admin) for deliberately mismanaging the program, refusing to use multi yr contracting (which is how Reagan rebuilt the military after Carter’s neglect), to justify reducing the numbers and capabilities. Killing the alternate engine resulted in just that, as well as increased costs and decreased performance due to the lack of competition. When I worked at Lockheed 84-88 on the successful C-5B program, the 50 came in ahead of schedule and below cost. The Dept of the AF punished Lockheed by fining them for making too much profit on a program that was a bargain to begin with. Lockheed is the last to be blamed.

  • boswell

    It looks like a duck, but can it swim or quack like a duck? We don’t know that yet. I’ll wait and see.

  • jon

    Dont worry guys. This thing looks impressive but our pilot asphyxiation technology is decades ahead of theirs

  • Carl Gulde

    It was revealed a few mos ago (without comment by the media) that China had pilfered most of our military tech via hacking, especially our stealth stuff. It looks like an F-35 for obvious reasons; They don’t need to develop this technology, they can steal it because our security is non existent, or just buy it (J-11 from Russia, Lavi from Isreal etc) . After all, Biden said in his debate that we don’t need a front line military with heavy weapons, and we only need a few special ops guys. It’s the typical anti-military mindset of the left that has resulted in this.

    • joeblow

      Riiiight, because a few billion dollar aircraft carriers and strategic bombers would have prevented the Chinese from hacking our secrets.

      It’s the idiocy of the far-right neocons that weaken our national security.

      • LearntoRead

        I didn’t see in Carl’s post that aircraft carriers and strategic bombers would have prevented the hacking. I believe the comment is “our security is non exstent”. Which seems to be true since they are successfully hacking our systems and then producing items that look nearly identical.

      • Carl Gulde

        thank you for proving my point about the left wing Jimmy Carter naivete about defense issues. Only Democrats and liberals can equate the deliberately inflated and distorted price (by their policies) of carriers and B-2s to the total lack of security concerning our technology. Thanks again.

  • Chris

    I sense that comparing it to the Raptor may be a little premature. It is hard to determine its scale without images of the plane on the ground, but it appears smaller than the Flanker (J-11) chase plane. So, that together with how compact the wing configuration appear to be may suggest it is more to fill a role that of the F-18 and/or Fulcrum D; a mid-sized multirole. To my eye it looks more like a small F-15 with the sculpted nose and intakes of the F-35, but so far without evidence of thrust vectoring and certainly without stealth geometry having been applied to the rear of the aircraft… perhaps in the spirit of the PAK-FA, sacrificing some stealth for agility (or production given limited resources and experience.)

    For me the big questions are engines, sensors and weapon capacity. Depending on size it may or may not have the internal stores to remain stealthy on approach and carry the fight through. And of course without considerable improvements in IR/RADAR/ECM over previous known iterations for China’s aircraft the geometry may make for quite limited improvements. To be honest I don’t know that it can be called a stealth aircraft outside of the nose and intake shape. The J-20 appears to be a more interesting design in that its configuration suggests it could be used to threaten carriers. So far the J-31 is just a twin engined fighter that happens to be painted black.

    Lastly, although I appreciate everything is politics, building expensive stealth aircraft is not a viable solution for a country the size of China. To cover the entire country they will have to build hundreds more, and refit them to keep pace with counter advances and intelligence. To build them for a single carrier, or 3 or 5 just ensures a few SSN skippers easy pickings. We can be certain this aircraft will make for equally impressive photo ops when it is sliding into the ocean off of a shattered, burning deck.

    • Andrew

      I wish everything I read here was this good.

    • Chimp

      “The J-20 appears to be a more interesting design in that its configuration suggests it could be used to threaten carriers.”

      The idea that the J-20 is “huge” and “unmanoeuverable” is clearly flawed. It is *shorter* than a Flanker, and generally speaking no more “massive”. It has been observed performing extremely high rate manoeuvres, which is in line with what you’d expect from a plane with canards and a really big delta wing. It’s an air superiority fighter with limited LO characteristics, advanced avionics and extreme agility. The manufacturer of the J-20 is known for agile fighters. Their other product, the J-10, regularly beats down Flankers (local and Russian built) in aggressor events (particularly the so called “Golden Helmet” competition).

      The much discussed “anti-carrier” mission isn’t the PLAAF’s business. It’s handled by the PLANAF, which currently uses H6’s firing ASM’s, possibly a ballistic weapon (though I question the effectiveness of that idea, for a bunch of reasons) and later on some land based J-16’s and carrier based J-15’s. The PLAN also presumably fancies its latest AIP subs.

      The J-31 appears to be a private venture that the PLAAF, or the PLANAF, may eventually be interested in. I bet it’s also being built with an eye to export (Pakistan, for instance).

    • Carl Gulde

      Chris makes alot of sense and knows a good bit about this subject, unlike the more liberal commentaries that sound like Whoopie Goldberg on “the View”. But we must keep in mind that to see them sliding off of burning decks (well articulated-I enjoyed that), we have to have the forces to do it, and a single carrier battle group with two escorts (that can’t even afford to put Phanlanx or Ram CIWS on many of the Burke class escorts) may have trouble doing that w/o long range intercept ability (cough-F-14s-cough). Thanx for your post though Chris.

  • duuude

    The Chinese could very well be laughing their asses off at Uncle Sam if F-22 and F-35 were actually full of made-in-China components. Ask Lockheed Martin to confirm.

  • Tribulationtime

    Chris have a good overall view. If the question is (the biggest one): How would this plane perform in a white hot war with China?. The short answer is: China loses!!. Other question is: How the Dragoon is dangerous? answer: He has one more teeth each day. From a whole earth picture China strategic position is the same!! than Germany, Japan and CCCP. No win situation. China is locked in his own courtyard!!. Let´s figure it:

    • duuude

      English, Mother Fucker! Do you speak it???

      • Tribulationtime

        I ´m begining to belive what I not welcomed here

        • Hale

          Only because you can’t type for shit, mate. Seriously, check over your comments before you post,. You obviously have some grasp of the English language, so why don’t you just try a little harder?

    • Matrix3692

      seriously, i can’t understand what point you are trying to present in your post.

    • Matt

      I had no problem understanding your post and I enjoy reading your perspectives. Only simpletons would degrade a person’s communication skills when that person is actively trying to have a meaningful conversation. And again, only a simpleton could not have easily deciphered your original text.

      • blight_

        There’s an upper limit to where our attempts to interpret someone’s posts result in us “filling in the blanks”, at which point the question is whether or not the parts we fill in are what we want to hear or what the poster meant.

        I think the first sentence is perfectly sensible. The idioms are a little strange, since in the west dragons do not regenerate teeth, but hydras gain heads for every one chopped off. “China is locked in its own courtyard” could be interpreted as meaning China doesn’t have what people call “force projection” capability, limiting them to local projection (the “locked in courtyard”). I think it’s a fairly objective translation, but who knows, Trib may have meant something else!

  • kissmybums

    China will likely surprised everybody with a launch of their own jet engine just when the USA least expect it. Yeah the Americans always underate China.

  • TonyC

    The Chinese will copy any design they can get information about. They copied the Russian fighters in the past, to include known defects in the Russian designs.
    They probably don’t have the materials technology (yet) to build a true stealth aircraft, but they are doing the leg work torwards a true stealth aircraft. The US Air Force is a stealth enthusiast and as with any new technology, it is only a matter of time before a countermeasure is developed. The best approach will be to build cheap drones in large numbers to confuse an enemy air defense system and then send in a stealth bommber to blast holes in the enemy air defense system. That limits teh number of required stealth assets and if countermeasures are in place, limits their effectiveness.

    • Tiger

      And we know what we know today based on stuff stolen from Germany in 1945.

  • Nicky

    So how fast can anyone bet that China will export and sell Fighters like that to a third world Air force.

    • jet

      Don’t you mean a country that has been kept a third world?

      Why shouldn’t it export to third world countries?

      Where is that free market spirit?


      • Nicky

        Who knows Third world countries could one day operate Chinese made Aircraft and ships. China’s willing to sell their hardware on the cheap to third world countries.

        • Hale

          They already do. Loads of them. Especially in small arms and vehicles.

      • blight_

        Which countries are being kept third world? China certainly isn’t being /kept/ third world. We did not keep Afghanistan in the third world: comically, the US and the USSR pumped money into Afghanistan for decades, during the peaceful years. It was not want of money that plunged the post-King Afghanistan into hell.

        It’s a general axiom that people who want to rise to the top don’t always have selfless motives at hand. For every selfless soul like George Washington, there was another grafty President like Grant

  • matheusdiasuk

    Russia is US geopolitical enemy level 1. China? whatever, whatever

  • Seeking

    If you don’t have the right stuff, fake it.

  • jet

    China doesn’t really need to steal tech that it can come up with by itself. You can derive an algorithm from a full scale model using radar… like in some top secret Gobi facility. Metallurgy and composites can be exploited using the reflective/absorption qualities inherent in known materials and allow development of new materials. China has been doing this for decades in a pointed counter to enemy regimes.

  • curious bob

    just curious and kinda off topic but as far as radar goes why havent we started to try and procure a radar that doesnt look for return signals but looks instead where signals are not. i.e. where an airplane, boat, etc. would be.

    • Rational Rob

      Curious Bob, have you ever researched how radar works?

      Do you know what kind of infrastructure a radar like that would require?

    • blight_

      Stealth is not a cloaking device. It’s just holistic design of aircraft that intends to lower the radar cross section of an aircraft such that it’s difficult to detect.

  • Jim

    Well of course it looks very similar to the F-22/F-35. They got probably all their “notes” from those two programs. Our Country’s leaders are doing all this for our enemies and for our not so trustworthy “friends” like the Chinese. They can deny it all day long, but simple fact is that we no longer have things like “COMSEC”, or any other forms of security regarding our military capabilities; because our leaders want to put everything out front for so-called transparency. Remember, back in the days of WWII, there was a often stated axiom “Loose Lips Sink Ships”. Now-a-days, it should “Loose Lips KILL Aircraft, Ships and all forms of Ground personnel and their equipment”.

  • Tim UK

    Ok so we know Lockheed are the biggest cut purses out there, but how come the Chinese and Russians/Indians seem to bale to build 5th gen fighters for a tenth of the money ?

    It doesn’t add up because these are in no way even on a level with the Euro Fighter.

  • Taylor

    I don’t even think they have to hack us to get the info. Engineers and scientists publish all the latest research we fund to the internet. And we pay Chinese researchers to do the research. Then they might get the rest from the Freedom Of Information Act and magazines publishing that latest stuff. The best way to get classified information? Hire journalists to dig up the info and then publish it. Can’t go to jail for that.

  • jet

    The most obvious conclusion is that they developed it themselves…

    Considering that the j10b has a comparable RCS to the Eurofighter, it shouldn’t be beyond SAC to develop something better than the failed JSF.

  • JE McKellar

    I just put on my tin-foil thinking cap for a moment, and I wonder whether or not this plane is a result of an Israeli-Chinese partnership, much like that of the LAVI/J-10 program.

    In realpolitik terms, the IDF must realize that they need a 5th-generation fighter a lot more than the US does, as their oil-producing neighbors can eventually buy new Russian aircraft. Fearful that the JSF program might get the axe, they hedge their bets by secretly developing their own plane with the Chinese. Doing it all in China means the US can’t pressure the Israelis to cancel the project like they did with the LAVI.

    Espionage might solely account for the resemblance, but it could also be that this plane was actually designed to do exactly what the F-35A is supposed to do: replace the F-16 as a short-range strike fighter.

    Tinfoil hat off.

    • Hale

      Just don’t put on the tinfoil hat. Most here already have tinfoil skulls, no need for anymore of that.

  • Durin

    China is truely going AHEAD of US and F35, in next few years wi will see them having squadrons of new aircraft operating and US still testing oxygen/tail hook/whatever on F35

  • jet

    That’s more a rumour since there is a chronology of development from the f7 and j9 to suggest there was an evolution to the j10. They have been playing with configurations that seem to have matured in the j10. They love their deltas.

    China has an economic stake in Iran, so although they could help the Israeli’s, they might not want them to have something that would allow a first strike ability in some heavy IADS like a nuclear reactor in Iran. The Israeli’s would also deeply offend the USA who aid them the most. The USA doesn’t want them to have the f22.

    • JE McKellar

      Politics makes for strange bedfellows. China’s strategic goals are access to petroleum and development in Africa, for which they’ve developed a strong relationship with Pakistan. Israel, until the Arab Spring, was dependent on a US-backed alliance with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to keep things stable in the Middle East. The Iran rumblings are probably more for the benefit of the Saudis, who need to keep Iran in check, but can’t openly attack another Muslim county (or risk a Shia-Sunni conflict). Regardless, the real issue is the petrodollar, whether Iran’s oil exports will either prop up the USD or erode it’s value. China wins either way, since they have more USD than they know what to do with, or would be first in line for a central Asian pipeline that bypasses the usual markets.

      As for the LAVI and tech transfer, I think it’s obvious that while the Chinese are fully competent to build their own aircraft, they’re also wise enough to take advantage of any foreign help offered to them. Israeli-Chinese cooperation makes sense for geopolitical reasons, too, as they’re too far apart to have any direct conflicts, but can triangulate together to manage their respective relationships with the US.

  • jet

    Previous post was for JE McKeller…

    With tinfoil hat. :P

    • jet

      Egypt and China have strengthed ties in the wake of the Arab Spring, Morsi making a first call on them and I hear they are interested in CAC/PAC’s jf17, so it looks like the US-Egypt relationship has changed to Chinas advantage. Israel will not be happy.

      If Israel had helped in any meaningful sense with the j10 they would had to have kept it secret or risk a stern talking to from the US like when the Phalcon radar was to be sold to China. Tech transfers would not be an issue if not for the 1989 Tiananmen square incident (refuted by wikileaks cables), but it might have been the arms embargo that they wanted due to the forecast of the Chinese economy’s performance post reforms (1978?).
      Currently, the US has oversight on any military sales that Israel makes with China.

      • JE McKellar

        I don’t think China is terribly eager to replace the USSR as the 1st world’s default antagonist. They might be happy to make a quick buck selling arms to Egypt, but as long as no one’s supporting the Islamism-ization of Xinjiang, ideology doesn’t matter. They should be willing to do business with Israel as well, and a smart Israeli foreign office would try to build up enough good will with China to keep them from upsetting the balance of power. I don’t think Israel takes US protection for granted, they know they need to be prepared to handle things without us.

        But the point is taken, I don’t have any real evidence of Israeli aid, so I don’t have anything else to add, expect maybe to broaden things out a bit: What countries are really dependent on the JSF, and what options do they have if the project fails? The whole project, with it’s pay-up-or-get-out structure, might wind up being a bit of an overreach for US hegemony. If so, the J-31 could be a real challenge to the US military export regime.

  • ML S

    China has to keep up, they loaned a western country a bunch of money. All loan companies have collectors to use when the bill gets late!

  • Rob

    Wonder which stealth craft is really the least detectable.


  • Marcellus Hambrick

    Not worried about Chinese. Our liberal social programs will save us!

    • joeblow

      Something needs to be done to save us from free-market capitalism — save us from the ideology that sells our assets for profit.

  • jet

    Probably the B2 Spirit, except for visiblity, then f22, not including UAV’s. Then maybe:
    - J31
    - j20
    - PAK FA
    - JSF

    • Hale

      Wow, look at that! You pulled 6 aircraft right out of your anus!

  • NeoconBrony

    To all the people claiming that this is a copy of a US plane: you are dead wrong. The Chinese may have gotten this technology from the US, but we did not invent it ourselves. Every piece of advanced technology that the F-35 has in common with the J-31 is technology that was recovered from the wreckage of the alien spacecraft that crashed in Roswell back in 1947. Jeeze, why don’t you people fact check your statements before jumping on the China bashing bandwagon for once?

    • Rob

      Because despite saving China’s butt in WWII they very little to help us in our war against terrorism . They make deals with every group/country we sanction.

      It’s aligned with Iran and North Korea which both just give ridiculous demands to put an end to our disputes with them. Whereas all we want is international monitoring of their nuke programs.

      China would be better to align itself with us because building Stealth and carriers only sends a message that they ready themselves to fight us.

      • cs4

        Just because Iran and North Korea are your enemies does not means other countries cannot be friends with them. They can still choose their friends, can’t they? Or if you don’t listen Uncle Sam will spank you.

        1.6 billion people building one aircraft carrier and a handful of untested stealth fighters sends a message that they are ready to fight you? How paranoid are you? Or is it “You’re with us or you’re against us” crap.

      • riceball

        You’re forgetting the convenient fact that China continued their civil war after WW II and the communists won and as you might recall, that was around the time the Cold War started and the Communist Block wasn’t exactly friendly with any nation in the West. China was no exception to that and were diametrically opposed to us politically and, like Russia, saw us as one of the bad guys.

        Fast forward to today, China isn’t doing anything about the war on terrorism because, as of right now, it’s none of their business. Although China does a pretty decent sized Muslim population within their borders they haven’t been radicalized yet and I imagine that China doesn’t want to risk doing anything that might make them want to become radical. They’ve also been lucky that, so far, they haven’t had much or any terrorist attacks against them in other countries as well. I’m sure that if any of that changes, especially internally, that China will react swiftly and harshly but so far, outside of Somali pirates, they haven’t had to involve themselves.

      • blight_

        “Because despite saving China’s butt in WWII they very little to help us in our war against terrorism”

        Yes, but in 1949 the Kuomintang was defeated and fled to Taiwan.

        Then in 1972 we recognized the PRC instead of Taiwan. Go Nix!

    • Hale

      Thank you. Finally! Some truth is being posted!

  • Jose

    The Chinese crack Me up. If the jet is anything like the stuff They are exporting over here then They can expect to have a fleet of one or two time use aircraft that will be in hangers for mantenance more often than they are flying. The shortcuts They take are almost always costly.

    • Hale

      The computer you’re using is likely mostly made over there.

      China runs the world’s largest network of bullet trains, builds a third of the world’s ships, and is the third country to send a man into space. They’re not some giant T-shirt and toy factory. That would be Vietnam.

    • crackup

      You mean like the F22 and the JSF? Look who’s cracking up now, the Chinese and the American planes, no puns intended.

  • Jonah

    Available soon from Harbor Freight.


    Imagine a remote control toy airplane in a config of F-35 up front AND F-22 for the back end. Simple and cheap. Flown by the real jet beside it. There are no electronics for attack or defense, just enough to make it fly. The Western world then falls all over itsself looking and trying to decipher this new jet. Who is really laughing now?

    • ltfunk3

      Obviously not the Us taxpayer because you just described a JSF.

  • Vaughn

    Just because its externals are similar to the F-22 and F-35, does that make it a truly stealth fighter?

  • Marcellus Hambrick

    There are a lot of Chinese Americans that likely work in the US defense industry. Seeing the similarity to some of our planes make you wonder!

  • ltfunk3

    The Chinese didnt steal thier stealth technology that claim betrays and ignorance about how technology works, instead they invested hugely in the technology and now it’s paying off. Lockheed on the other hand invested hugely in political corruption and marketing and that paid off too for them.

    The idea that a country where the young just want to be on TV for 15 minutes is going to be competetive technologically with one where they want to become doctors and engineers is a joke. We chose to cede technological superiority to China and the cries that “they just stole it” are further proof that we would rather blame others then make the investment necessary to be competetive.

  • junior

    China cannot have mass production of this kind.It will hard time piece of component to produce including the automation.Only the US can do it.

    • cs4

      Given unlimited time, even a fool can crack an unbreakable lock.

  • The great jessmo

    @ltfunk3 The didn’t steal anything Just like they didn’t steal the J-11 design right?
    or the Aegis battle management system, or the B-2s engine inlet tech?

    Anyhow Im curious on how the F-35 haters will spins this.

    - The same shape as the F-35 but likely inferior machining and LO tech.
    -Same size BUT heavier.
    -Same shape but less stealthy especially from the rear.
    -Inferior in engine tech. Im not saying this based on a nationalistic agenda, Im saying this because of china’s poor record in engine tech.

    Years of people saying things like “the F-35 cant run cant turn and cant climb” and now we discover that the F-35 CAN super-cruise, and its likely this plane wont

    The F-35, while not technically a “supercruising” aircraft, can maintain Mach 1.2 for a dash of 150 miles without using fuel-gulping afterburners.

    “Mach 1.2 is a good speed for you, according to the pilots,” O’Bryan said.…

    Can we get a good counter point, rebuttle from the anti-F-35 crowd. you seem quiet lately.

    • blight_

      “O’Bryan said the F-35 is an all-aspect stealth aircraft—that is to say, stealthy from any and all directions.”

      Hey, maybe they threw in some stealth upgrades to justify the cost!

  • ltfunk3

    >Years of people saying things like “the F-35 cant run cant turn and cant climb” and now we discover that the F-35 CAN super-cruise,

    Cant fight, cant turn, but can run LOL. The JSF is a lame dog just waiting for the next president to put a bullet in it. Dosent matter who gets elected the JSF program is already dead.

    “Where are all the JSF critics when it was claimed the aircraft had superb taxiing performance” LOL

  • blight_

    After JSF crashes and burns, Lockmart will quietly recapitalize with a two-engine -A version called “Next Gen Air Superiority Fighter” that has none of the R&D costs and still costs ~90% of the -A’s flyaway, and everyone will praise them as heroes.

    It worked for Elco and the Virginia, soo…

  • Big Daddy

    If you know anything about stealth you would see right off the bat these aircraft are NOT stealth. It’s so obvious, I even wonder if they are capable of supersonic flight. Most all combat is done at a distance now with missiles.If it gets close enough it gets to the heat seeker and than guns. These aircraft have nowhere near the capabilities of even Russian aircraft which are superior. The Russians will not give them their engine technology. So yes these aircraft look good but like Iran they are paper tigers. Not as funny as an F-5 with dual tails but just a much more expensive paper tiger. Without the engines no super cruise or range, they are older engines and probably not even high performance turbofans, maybe turbojets or early versions of turbofans. Their weapons an radars are also very old designs. It’s basically something like an F-4 Phantom with a new dress on, that’s all. But the DOD will use them as threats that do not exist to get more funding for pet projects and pork of the politicians and generals so they have high paying jobs after they serve.

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      “It’s basically something like an F-4 Phantom with a new dress on, that’s all.”

      And how did you arrive at that brilliant piece of aerospace technology analysis? Enquiring minds would like to know….

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen

    • cs4

      Oh it’s not stealth because I can see it.

  • joeblow

    We in the U.S. brought this on to ourselves.

    We bought into the siren song of laissez-faire capitalism. Our CEOs shipped our jobs and technology to China in pursuit of the big fat $$$$ sign, money that they stuffed in Cayman Island accounts to escape the IRS.

    Greed is good — for China. We are the ones that made China Inc what it is today.

  • Stratege

    The copying is obvious: the aerodynamic profile, wings and DSI inlets (F-35), non-moving vertical stabilizers (F-22). Where is Chinese ideas?
    Unlike the Russia’s PAK-FA, J-31 is not an original design.

  • Stratege

    Bill Sweetman, editor for the US-based Aviation Week magazine, wrote on his blog that the J-31 is a JSF (F-35) without the constraints imposed by the requirements of the F-35’s Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant, which effectively limited the weapon bay volume and shape of all F-35 models.
    “It looks as if the engines are to the rear of the bulkhead that carries the main landing gear…the designers have been able to install long weapon bays,” he commented on the J-31.
    “If you ever wondered what a JSF (F-35) might look without those constraints, we now have a live, physical example. Unfortunately…it is Chinese,” Sweetman wrote.

    • Enforcer57

      Of course. The SVTOL is a major disaster anyway, taking a conventional design and stuffing all that crap into it. The Harrier should have been redesigned, OR they could’ve gotten the mid 70s Mcdonell-Douglass FV-12 design out that the Navy rejected; It looked like an old Cutlass, with rotating nozzles, used an A-4M based cockpit and was a mach 1.5 design. A moron named MacNamara tried this crap before with the original F-111 concept, which was designed to replace ALL fighters, bombers, for all services with one plane. We wound up with a great (though overpriced) strike fighter, but one plane doing all jobs is stupid. Ace of all trades and master of none doesn’t work, never will.

  • Rosalee

    they have the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for all the toys now

  • dbonar

    Nice photoshop. Those airplanes are not actually flying in the video. They are still shots that someone has tried to make into a motion video.

  • top dog

    H-LL, I can see it, I thought it was stealth tech. This look like just another jet painted blue.

  • #thievsagainst USA#

    They are the biggest thives just as the Russians are of US Military Technology. What a joke I hope that they have a Nuke Meltdown and wipes out half of their military. Well As for Russia they can learn from one that happen in 1989.

  • brad wheeler

    child boy will live in the year 7000 future time the plane will bea real propulsion system not floating mobile emitter. childs bank account will be 4400 every 27 days coast to coast without id check. picture of the plane wont be 3d art a real propulsion system!!!! rat6s and bunnies will owna ufo with 110,000 mile nature park antigravity orb will drop yummy food and stuff for the beloved friends

  • jdcooper

    Hopefully it works better than the last electronic iPad clone I saw in Beijing recently.
    It might LOOK like an F22, (like the Russian Buran looked like the space shuttle) but I’d bet it isn’t as capable. Now, if they build a zillion of the things………

    • Enforcer57

      Yeah, its the zillion thing htat has me worried. They can do that since it costs about a tenth what ours do. No development costs to speak of, so all funds can go to purchasing them. And they have all our money since we finance them everytime we go to Walmart or almost any store. I think Lockheed should open its own dept store chain.

      • cs4

        Your top 10% has most of your money, since they paid the Chinese peanuts compared with what they charged you.

  • Dave Runkle

    Anything that flies can be made to look as if it has advanced capabilities that it may well not have. This approach to aircraft design particularly in wartime, is almost as old as the Wright brothers, but is always employed in wartime to impress as well as intimidate. While there may be entry level electronics, composites and engine technologies, a lot more goes into the giant matrix of advanced aircraft design. There may be a little re-bar and rice paper in this one. Considering China still operates about 1500 steam locomotives, South Korea, Japan and the US may not have much to worry about for decades to come.

  • Dougie Quick

    Quantity can trump quality so often in war! Simply produce and deploy enough cheaper less effective lower quality bullets/bombs/tanks/nukes etc at a target (US) and all our ultra expensive ultra trick and high tech versions of same can be quite simply overwhelmed by sheer numbers! By spending pennies on the dollar one can deploy 50 times the force in sheer numbers totally overwhelming one’s defensive capabilities EVEN when maybe only half of the junk works as designed! Not only that but if your enemy has over a BILLION people, why they can easily lose even three quarters of their population and still have a large population left! Think about that one! I mean do their leaders really CARE about anyone else much than their own survival and standard of living? Hitler wound up confessing he hated the German people once he realized that they did not serve his needs any longer! Thankfully those Nazi egomaniacs fell prey to exactly what I speak of …they were so proud of their high tech ultra expensive high quality military machine that they were overwhelmed by things like lesser quality US and Soviet tanks which were produced in much higher quantity! How many air to air missles can each F22 defend against? Only X number is all … so 20:1 inferior Chinese aircraft lose half their planes for each kill …who cares when they cost pennies on the dollar to produce in comparison! Add to that the likelyhood that their government (who controlls their media) will have headlines read something like “Heroic Chinese fighter pilots quickly and easily blast American devils from the skies without losing a single Chinese aircraft!” But seriously I am not pessimistic because God is in control and is righteous. Anything we get, we also richly deserve and besides God Himself is going to take this whole crooked world out soon enough ..and THAT is what we ought to talk about and worry about rather than the latest greatest weapon systems!

  • ben

    I for one not worried. It takes a lot more than just tech (which is still inferior as the US stealth fighter program has a 20 year head start starting with the f117),. Where is Chinas’ force pprojection capability? They only recently joined the worlds carrier club and its not even fully operational, with tons of trials down the road. Even if they ever did catch up with force projection, they have neither the experience nor the logistical capabilities to truly e called a world power militarily. LAstly, the chinese are smart, why compete on par militarily when you can just do so economically? China gives money to te US but repayment is in the form of face and looking the other way for shit like Ugyar and Tibet

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