New PRC Stealth Fighter Makes Test Flight

China’s second stealth fighter has made its first test flight, state media reported yesterday, in a boost to the country’s air capabilities even though the plane is unlikely to be deployed for years.

J-31 as seen by Chinese web sources.

The J-31, the second stealth plane to be unveiled by China in less than two years, flew for 11 minutes on Wednesday morning, the state-run Global Times reported, citing an eyewitness. Two Chinese-made J-11 fighters accompanied it on the flight.

Photographs posted online by Chinese military enthusiasts appeared to show the black-painted combat plane in mid-flight near the northeastern city of Shenyang. Images of the aircraft were first leaked online in September.

For our treatment of the impact of such a plane, not only on evolving PRC defense capabilities, but arm’s exports see the following:

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