The hypothesis of a Chinese J-35 naval fighter derived from the FC-31 becomes clearer

Just a year ago, Chinese authorities hinted that their future aircraft carriers equipped with catapults would implement a naval version of the J-20 fighter which equips the country's air force. However, several Chinese aviation industry experts doubted this statement, and claimed that it would be a derivative version of the Shenyang FC-31 stealth fighter that would arm these ships. Over the month, several redundant information have come to give substance to these suspicions, even giving it a name, the J-35.

There is very little information available on the subject, and for good reason, as China is not particularly keen to make it a media subject, for the moment at least. We can only extrapolate information from the two FC-31 prototypes, one of them having participated in the Dubai Air Show in 2015. Thus, unlike the J-20, the J-35 would be a medium fighter, with a maximum take-off mass of class 25 to 28 tonnes, where the J-20, in its version operated from a land base, exceeds 36 tonnes. The J-35 would therefore evolve in the same category as the Rafale French or the American F35C, making it possible to operate more aircraft from the limited space of a hangar and an aircraft carrier flight deck. Like the French plane, it is based on a twin-engine architecture, more robust in maritime overflight, but like the American plane, it was designed for optimized stealth, even if it will probably not reach that of the Lighting II.

FC31 News Defense | Fighter jets | Military aircraft construction
The twin-engine configuration of the FC-31 / J-35 is an undeniable asset in the conduct of naval airborne operations, as the relief areas in the event of an engine problem can be relatively rare in the middle of the ocean.

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