9 photos of the J-31, China's copycat version of the F-35 stealth fighter — here's how it stacks up

j-31 china stealth

After China’s J-31 stealth fighter made its first full-scale public appearance in 2014, observers noted its striking resemblance to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. 

And many weren’t surprised: China was thought to have stolen unclassified F-35 design information five years earlier. 

But recently, there’s been little reporting and discussion about the J-31. 

„Part of that, to my knowledge, is that the [PLA] Air Force still hasn’t bought any of them,“ Matthew P. Funaiole, a fellow with the China Power Project at CSIS, told Business Insider. 

„It was supposed to be introduced in 2018 [or] 2019 … but there hasn’t been much chatter on it,“ Funaiole added. 

Here’s how the J-31 stacks up against the F-35, and what China might do with the new fighter. 

SEE ALSO: 11 photos of the J-20, China’s first stealth fighter jet that ‚could soon surpass‘ the F-22 Raptor

SEE ALSO: Russia rips China’s J-15 fighter jet, which Beijing stole from Moscow

The J-31 had already resembled the F-35 — both are multirole strike fighters — when a scaled model of it was unveiled in 2012.

Although the J-31’s full specifications are not yet known, the J-31 and F-35 have roughly the same weight, height and wingspan.

Source: Popular Science

But the J-31 has a maximum takeoff weight of 56,000 pounds and a maximum range of 775 miles, making it lighter than the 70,000-pound F-35, and with roughly half the range.

Source: Popular Science

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Source: Business insider

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