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US Needs New Stealth Fighters To Combat China's J-31

China recently demonstrated its second fifth-generation stealth fighter, the J-31, for the 10th Zhuhai Airshow held in Guangdong from Nov. 11-16. Dave Majumdar, an American defense expert, thus suggests in Washington's National Interest that the US must put the F-35 into service or develop new fighters to face this challenge.

China has come to realize that fourth-generation fighters such as the J-10, J-11, Su-27 and Su-30 will be obsolete when facing American fifth-generation stealth fighters like the F-22 and F-35, an official from the Pentagon said. "The price of admission for a fifth-gen war is a fifth-gen airplane and they get that," the official was quoted as saying. Many US aviators believe that the J-31 was built based on stolen F-22 and F-35 technologies and will eventually be as powerful as the two American fighters.


"I think they'll eventually be on par with our fifth-gen jets because industrial espionage is alive and well," an F-35 test pilot told the US Naval Institute. A senior official from the US Air Force said that an F-22 has a 30-to-one kill ratio versus a Su-30 or J-11 outside of a surface-to-air missile environment. When the J-20 and J-31 enter service with the PLA, even a three-to-one kill ratio advantage becomes costly.

Facing this new challenge, the official suggested those who question the need for the F-35 to rethink their logic. "They may be complex, expensive and still immature, but they are a quantum leap over every other fighter in our arsenal," said he. Believing that China will eventually make the J-20 and J-31 into perfect stealth fighters, the official suggested the United States to learn from China's commitment to upgrading its military technology.


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