J-31 Stealth Jet Still Needs Fifth Generation Engine To Compete With Rivals

Without a Fifth Generational Aero-Engine, the J-31, China's second fifth-generation fighter designed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, is unable to compete against Lockheed Martin's F-35, according to the Guancha Syndicate based in Shanghai.

The J-31 is currently equipped with two RD-93 engines imported from Russia. However, the Russian engine was designed for fourth-generation fighters such as the MiG-29. The thrust of two RD-93 combined cannot match a single F-135 engine on an F-35 fighter, according to the report. When compared with the two F-119 engines of F-22 Raptors, the gap is even wider. In addition, the Russian-built engines also shortened the range of the J-31.


Pointing out that the J-31 was unable to fly directly from Shenyang in northeastern China to Guangdong province in the south for the Zhuhai Airshow, the Guancha Syndicate said that the range of the aircraft is estimated at no more than 2,000km. This is only half the range of the J-11 fourth-generation fighter, designed based on the Russian Su-27. It then indicated that this is why several modifications had been revealed for the J-31, also designated the FC-31, at the Zhuhai Airshow.

During the last Zhuhai Airshow in 2012, the development of a new engine called Tianshan was announced by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China. The thrust of this new engine is estimated to be a 9,500 kilogram-force, which is much more powerful than the RD-93 which only has an 8,300 kgF. With a new design of vertical tails and aerodynamic shape, the J-31 will look more like a smaller F-22 then an F-35.


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