Sep 27, 2013
J-31 stealth fighter designed for export, says PLA admiral
While the Washington-based Strategy Page said the J-31 has the potential to become a future carrier-based stealth fighter for the PLA Navy, Zhang said it is unlikely the plane will serve aboard Chinese aircraft carriers. Unlike the J-20 designed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, the J-31 was never a development program intended for the Chinese military, Zhang said.
Like the FC-1/JF-17 Xiaolong or Thunder multirole fighter designed jointly by China and Pakistan, the J-31 will be most likely be a model intended for export to China's allies and strategic partners, which may include countries like North Korea and Iran. Chinese fighters are a much cheaper alternative to US fighters for developing countries, even those which are able to buy military hardware from the United States.