The J-35 stealth fighter soon on board all Chinese aircraft carriers?

Until now, a majority of specialists believed that the new J-35 stealth fighter, the naval version intended for the Chinese Navy, was intended to operate from the Fujian aircraft carrier, the first Chinese ship to implement a CATOBAR configuration. , that is to say equipped with catapults and arresting lines, like the American and French aircraft carriers.

New photos from the aircraft carrier Liaoning seem to show a completely different reality. As it ends a long period of technical unavailability, the first Chinese aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which entered service in 2017 and lacks catapults, welcomed on board, for a few days, a life-size model of the J- 35, to perform numerous mobility exercises on the flight deck.

The J-35, which carried out its first flight in July 2021, due to soon begin its operational life, it is now very likely that the device will not only arm the aircraft carrier Fujian, and its sister ships to come, but also the first two Chinese aircraft carriers Liaoning and Shandong, equipped with a Skijump, and not catapults.

The J-35 stealth fighter, a promising aircraft, but still little known

Derived from the second version of the FC-31, the J-35 is still very mysterious for Western observers, Beijing having severely locked down the open sources of information that existed in the country for several years.

J-35 stealth fighter
Although close in design to the American F-35, the J-35 is a completely new aircraft, which has little to do with the American aircraft.

The following data, developed by certain recognized Western specialists, must therefore be taken with certain reservations. Thus, the aircraft would have dimensions close to those of the FC-31/2, with a length of 17,3 m, a wingspan of 11,5 m, and an empty mass of 13,3 tonnes.

It would be powered by two Chinese WS-13E or WS-19 turbojets, the latter developing 117 KN of thrust with post-combustion, or 12 tonnes, and a dry thrust of more than six tonnes. This power would allow it to have a maximum takeoff weight of 28 tons, compared to 25 tons for the FC-31, equipped with two WS-13s limited to nine tons with afterburner.

The aircraft can carry up to 8 tons of external weaponry and cargo, including two tons in the ventral hold which can accommodate, for example, 4 very long-range PL-21 air-to-air missiles, as well as 6 dart points. external transport.

This suggests that it carries more than 6 tonnes of internal fuel, compared to 4,7 tonnes, for example, for the Rafale M French. This explains the aircraft's estimated combat range of 650 nautical miles, or 1200 km, while there is no indication that it can carry external canisters to date.

The FC-31 has become the workhorse of the Chinese military aeronautical industry on the export market.

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