J-31 aims at F-35 market

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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madrat

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Unread post26 Aug 2018, 05:12

Kyrgyzstan is another possible China flip. Russia hasn't been real keen on partnerships with former Soviet states and is losing influence over former puppet regimes with each passing moment.
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sferrin

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Unread post26 Aug 2018, 13:54

steve2267 wrote:
tphuang wrote:
I think there might be a little misunderstanding on this topic. I was actually one of the people that mentioned J-31 (or project 310 as I used to call it) was not an official PLAAF project. I'm not convinced it has officially received a J series numbers. Anyhow, it's definitely still receiving PLAAF funding. As of now, it hasn't been able to impress PLAAF enough to be officially established as a PLAAF program. But it's very important for PLA to keep the 2 factory workflow going between CAC and SAC. If CAC receives all the projects, it will be very bad for competition in China. I am under the impression PLAN has picked a design based on J-20 for the next generation naval fighter jet. At the time, it was a little surprising for me.

So my guess is that they will keep the program going and you will see more prototypes with incremental updates. They are not in a huge rush to get this into service like J-20. During the testing phase, it will probably use WS-13E at some point instead of RD-93. But the goal is to use WS-19, which is in development, for the production copy. Although I could see it entering service a little underpowered with WS-13E. Bottom line, there is not a lot of option out there for PLAAF, so I do see this as the LO fighter at some point, but PLAAF isn't going to just hand the money to SAC. They have to meet the requirements. You can see that they only produced one demonstrator + one flying prototype so far vs 2 demonstrators and many flying prototypes with J-20. SAC isn't getting the same level of funding CAC got for J-20.

I would imagine this is aimed at countries in middle east and ASEAN that would've otherwise went for Su-57. Outside of PAF, can't imagine any of China's traditional clients being able to afford this.


Meeting requirements is always a good idea when designing an aircraft.

BUT... if J-31 doesn't really have a "J-number" and is NOT an official PLAAF project, then what are these requirements it must meet?


Probably "this is what the PLA would likely be looking for" and go for the best they can do. Could be they just said, "we need to be in this business" and built a couple demonstrators. Not every airframe is the result of a requirement flowing from the mouth of the customer.
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tphuang

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Unread post26 Aug 2018, 20:13

steve2267 wrote:
tphuang wrote:
I think there might be a little misunderstanding on this topic. I was actually one of the people that mentioned J-31 (or project 310 as I used to call it) was not an official PLAAF project. I'm not convinced it has officially received a J series numbers. Anyhow, it's definitely still receiving PLAAF funding. As of now, it hasn't been able to impress PLAAF enough to be officially established as a PLAAF program. But it's very important for PLA to keep the 2 factory workflow going between CAC and SAC. If CAC receives all the projects, it will be very bad for competition in China. I am under the impression PLAN has picked a design based on J-20 for the next generation naval fighter jet. At the time, it was a little surprising for me.

So my guess is that they will keep the program going and you will see more prototypes with incremental updates. They are not in a huge rush to get this into service like J-20. During the testing phase, it will probably use WS-13E at some point instead of RD-93. But the goal is to use WS-19, which is in development, for the production copy. Although I could see it entering service a little underpowered with WS-13E. Bottom line, there is not a lot of option out there for PLAAF, so I do see this as the LO fighter at some point, but PLAAF isn't going to just hand the money to SAC. They have to meet the requirements. You can see that they only produced one demonstrator + one flying prototype so far vs 2 demonstrators and many flying prototypes with J-20. SAC isn't getting the same level of funding CAC got for J-20.

I would imagine this is aimed at countries in middle east and ASEAN that would've otherwise went for Su-57. Outside of PAF, can't imagine any of China's traditional clients being able to afford this.


Meeting requirements is always a good idea when designing an aircraft.

BUT... if J-31 doesn't really have a "J-number" and is NOT an official PLAAF project, then what are these requirements it must meet?


It's a little puzzling for me too, since this seems like the best SAC can do. I've heard about some other plans too. Including one that is a "stealth flanker", which to me sounds like Chinese version of Su-57 and just a plain stupid idea.

My guess is that PLAAF is content letting this project develop slowly in the background and wait to see how well they integrate some of the subsystems they develop based on experience from J-20 project. It won't be surprising if they wait until they have a better idea of when WS-19 can join service. So my best guess is that unless they pick up an export customer, this project will probably not get picked up by PLAAF until after 2020.
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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 04:13

tphuang wrote:
It's a little puzzling for me too, since this seems like the best SAC can do. I've heard about some other plans too. Including one that is a "stealth flanker", which to me sounds like Chinese version of Su-57 and just a plain stupid idea.

My guess is that PLAAF is content letting this project develop slowly in the background and wait to see how well they integrate some of the subsystems they develop based on experience from J-20 project. It won't be surprising if they wait until they have a better idea of when WS-19 can join service. So my best guess is that unless they pick up an export customer, this project will probably not get picked up by PLAAF until after 2020.



Honestly, at the rate that the US and her Allies are building F-35's. I don't see China taking a slow approach with either the J-20 and/or J-31. If, anything they likely will accelerate development....

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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 12:43

F-35 is a massive effort by many companies like LM, NG, BAE Systems, P&W etc. Besides that, USAF, USN, USMC (along with a number of smaller air forces) have and are putting a lot of effort into developing the aircraft. F-22 was also a rather massive effort from all parties. Development also took a lot of money. I really doubt that any modern fighter aircraft can be developed by some company alone, but would require a lot of support from a major air force and a lot of government money. So I think that either J-31 will fail pretty badly as a contender to F-35 (or even 4++ gen fighters), or it will get serious support from PLAAF and PRC. It seems like J-31 is not getting much attention currently and all efforts go to J-20.

Basically making a good looking stealth fighter prototype is pretty easy, just like YF-22, YF-23, X-35 and X-32... Ok, forget X-32 in that context :P It still took a huge amount of work and money to make F-22 and F-35 after that. IMO, J-31 is very likely about similar to X-35 but with purely 4th gen engine.
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Unread post28 Aug 2018, 17:45

If it's true China is building the J-31 solely for export, that is a MAJOR mistake IMO.

First, it tells your prospective buyers the aircraft is second rate. Sort of like when the F-20 competed vs. the F-16, and we all know how that ended. 2nd, if China wants to go toe to toe with the US, they're going to need several thousand J-31's to counter the US's several thousand F-35's.

Also, the J-20 isn't likely to see production beyond 500 airframes IMO. In fact, I'd consider that a very generous estimate, with 200 - 300 airframes a lot more likely. So if I'm reading this correctly, no Hi - Low mix for the Chinese air force/navy. And I'll echo the comments the J-20 is going to gain some serious weight if navalised. As it stands, the aircraft is under-powered and that will only be magnified after carrier compatible modifications are completed.

It may also be that China is confident in its J-10's and J-11's/15's, SU-35's ability to beat the F-35. If that's the case, then they're playing a very dangerous game. And that may be, because they have no experience in what 5th gen airframes are capable of, and how they've changed the game insofar as air to air and air to ground aviation is concerned.
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Unread post28 Aug 2018, 20:40

mixelflick wrote:If it's true China is building the J-31 solely for export, that is a MAJOR mistake IMO.

First, it tells your prospective buyers the aircraft is second rate. Sort of like when the F-20 competed vs. the F-16, and we all know how that ended. 2nd, if China wants to go toe to toe with the US, they're going to need several thousand J-31's to counter the US's several thousand F-35's.

Also, the J-20 isn't likely to see production beyond 500 airframes IMO. In fact, I'd consider that a very generous estimate, with 200 - 300 airframes a lot more likely. So if I'm reading this correctly, no Hi - Low mix for the Chinese air force/navy. And I'll echo the comments the J-20 is going to gain some serious weight if navalised. As it stands, the aircraft is under-powered and that will only be magnified after carrier compatible modifications are completed.

It may also be that China is confident in its J-10's and J-11's/15's, SU-35's ability to beat the F-35. If that's the case, then they're playing a very dangerous game. And that may be, because they have no experience in what 5th gen airframes are capable of, and how they've changed the game insofar as air to air and air to ground aviation is concerned.


The US 5th-gen fleet is going to be spread out across the globe, so the PRC may be able to achieve local numeric superiority with a much smaller fleet.

I don't think China cares about the J-20's ability to engage and destroy the F-35 so much as its ability to avoid them. Their J-20s will be going after our AEW&Cs, tankers, MPAs, UAVs, 4th gen fighters, ect. They will also try to use the J-20 to ID and track our warships so that they can be engaged by other platforms with various of stand off weapons.
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Unread post29 Aug 2018, 03:28

castlebravo wrote: ... I don't think China cares about the J-20's ability to engage and destroy the F-35 so much as its ability to avoid them.  Their J-20s will be going after our AEW&Cs, tankers, MPAs, UAVs, 4th gen fighters, ect.  They will also try to use the J-20 to ID and track our warships so that they can be engaged by other platforms with various of stand off weapons.


You got that right. They won't want to lose valuable J20s fruitlessly fighting F-35s or F-22s. They will not seek that fight they will stick to their own plans and roles.

And is anyone paying attention to how small and unsuitable Chinese carriers are for the J20? And how long and heavy a J20 is? It dwarfs the J15 Flanker derivative. J20 P:W near to MTOW must genuinely suck, could it even launch itself and fly away from a ramp? It may just make a terrific splooshing sound. Personally I think it's fanciful to believe J20s will be operating from carrier decks at any point. I do however recall seeing a photo of a 'J31' moving about upon a mockup of a Chinese carrier deck. But until the engines mature--fugetaboutit.

As for J20 being (allegedly) "navalised", this does not mean it's destined for a carrier deck. It much more likely means "marinised", i.e. made corrosion-resistant for routinely operating from places like coastal airbase and islands, thus continually operating over marine environments with high salt crystal laden air, which can eat a jet and the engine compressors fast. Three to four years and they're stuffed.

I think people have just read way too much into the J20 being marinised.

The Su34 was likewise 'navalised' but do the Russians operate it from a carrier ramp? No, despite the propaganda imagery, they never have. Maybe it's because it's too big and heavy, so its P:W sucks at near to MTOW? (Su34 MTOW=99,425lb)

Maybe such small Russian Battle-Cruisers also can't store the fuel, spares and weapons they would rapidly chew through? But the Su34 was certainly navalised for its coastal basing and role.

The J20 would be so much worse to operate from a carrier--the 'Great Dragon' fans are just dreaming.
Last edited by element1loop on 29 Aug 2018, 03:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post29 Aug 2018, 03:32

Honestly, this talk that the FC-31 (i.e. J-31) is solely for "export" is ABSURD. China needs to produce it in respectable numbers. In order to make it affordable and as a counter to the F-35.
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Unread post29 Aug 2018, 07:59

element1loop wrote:
castlebravo wrote: ... I don't think China cares about the J-20's ability to engage and destroy the F-35 so much as its ability to avoid them.  Their J-20s will be going after our AEW&Cs, tankers, MPAs, UAVs, 4th gen fighters, ect.  They will also try to use the J-20 to ID and track our warships so that they can be engaged by other platforms with various of stand off weapons.


You got that right. They won't want to lose valuable J20s fruitlessly fighting F-35s or F-22s. They will not seek that fight they will stick to their own plans and roles.

And is anyone paying attention to how small and unsuitable Chinese carriers are for the J20? And how long and heavy a J20 is? It dwarfs the J15 Flanker derivative. J20 P:W near to MTOW must genuinely suck, could it even launch itself and fly away from a ramp? It may just make a terrific splooshing sound. Personally I think it's fanciful to believe J20s will be operating from carrier decks at any point. I do however recall seeing a photo of a 'J31' moving about upon a mockup of a Chinese carrier deck. But until the engines mature--fugetaboutit.

As for J20 being (allegedly) "navalised", this does not mean it's destined for a carrier deck. It much more likely means "marinised", i.e. made corrosion-resistant for routinely operating from places like coastal airbase and islands, thus continually operating over marine environments with high salt crystal laden air, which can eat a jet and the engine compressors fast. Three to four years and they're stuffed.

I think people have just read way too much into the J20 being marinised.

The Su34 was likewise 'navalised' but do the Russians operate it from a carrier ramp? No, despite the propaganda imagery, they never have. Maybe it's because it's too big and heavy, so its P:W sucks at near to MTOW? (Su34 MTOW=99,425lb)

Maybe such small Russian Battle-Cruisers also can't store the fuel, spares and weapons they would rapidly chew through? But the Su34 was certainly navalised for its coastal basing and role.

The J20 would be so much worse to operate from a carrier--the 'Great Dragon' fans are just dreaming.


Spot on!!
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Unread post29 Aug 2018, 10:18

Honestly, this idea that the J-20 is going to be the primary Stealth Fighter for China. While, also being produced as a Naval Fighter. (i.e. Carrier Based) Is in my opinion extremely far-fetched at best. As the design will never be cheap to produce in volume. Nor, would it be well suited for Aircraft Carrier Operations. (to big among others)


My guess is the J-20 will be produced in modest numbers. Either being employed as a Air Superiority Fighter or an Interdictor. While, the J-31 will be the primary Strike Fighter of both the PLAAF and PLAN. Including in a Naval Role on Chinese Aircraft Carriers. This is very similar to the F-22 and F-35 is US Service. So, it would hardly be a surprise....
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Unread post29 Aug 2018, 12:55

element1loop wrote:And is anyone paying attention to how small and unsuitable Chinese carriers are for the J20?



Think of the Liaoning as a training carrier and the Type 001A as an interim. They're already working on the carrier after that which is suppose to be a CATOBAR, which should have no problem at all with an aircraft the size of the J-20. Even the Forrestals could handle the 80,000lb A3D and RA-5C.
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Unread post29 Aug 2018, 17:22

By this point, there is enough photo analysis done to show J-20 is not as large as originally assumed and that it's probably a little smaller than flankers, although it's denser. And they are not going to attempt a naval version based on J-20 until the engine situation gets sorted out.

I don't think anyone in PLAAF leadership thinks that J-10s and flankers are going to defeat F-35s, so it will be interesting in what they decide on as part of the lo-mix. None of the other ideas I've heard thus far sound that promising, so I do assume FC-31 will get picked up once they have a firmer grip on the engine situation. I can't see them abandoning a project that have already received this much funding and development effort. It costs a lot of money to develop 5th gen project, so most of the funding is going to get J-20 into a combat ready stage right now.

They might not be able to get it developed fast enough to sell to Russia. But I think it will be ready when countries like Malaysia or even Saudi Arabia are looking for a next generation fighter jet. Here is a question though, are concepts like silent Eagle going to be made available for export in the future? I could see that attracting export orders for countries that aren't getting F-35. At this point, the entire Su-57 project seems to be going nowhere.
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Unread post29 Aug 2018, 19:27

Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, this idea that the J-20 is going to be the primary Stealth Fighter for China. While, also being produced as a Naval Fighter. (i.e. Carrier Based) Is in my opinion extremely far-fetched at best. As the design will never be cheap to produce in volume. Nor, would it be well suited for Aircraft Carrier Operations. (to big among others)


My guess is the J-20 will be produced in modest numbers. Either being employed as a Air Superiority Fighter or an Interdictor. While, the J-31 will be the primary Strike Fighter of both the PLAAF and PLAN. Including in a Naval Role on Chinese Aircraft Carriers. This is very similar to the F-22 and F-35 is US Service. So, it would hardly be a surprise....


The J-31 has to be turned into a fully working production design first and at the moment it just seems to be a private design that is sponsored by their government to see where it goes. The J-20 is their only official stealth design and it currently suits their purpose as a long range interceptor. Remember SAMs is not going to be their primary enemy but carrier/airfield based western allied aircraft. Just because the J-31 looks like the F-35 does not mean it is going to be produced like the F-35 or even needed to be.

The other thing they are concentrating on is long range missiles of both air to air and surface to surface types so they can offset the technological superiority of western designs with longer weapons. Sometimes if life gives you lemons you just have to make lemonade.
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Unread post30 Aug 2018, 01:38

marsavian wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, this idea that the J-20 is going to be the primary Stealth Fighter for China. While, also being produced as a Naval Fighter. (i.e. Carrier Based) Is in my opinion extremely far-fetched at best. As the design will never be cheap to produce in volume. Nor, would it be well suited for Aircraft Carrier Operations. (to big among others)


My guess is the J-20 will be produced in modest numbers. Either being employed as a Air Superiority Fighter or an Interdictor. While, the J-31 will be the primary Strike Fighter of both the PLAAF and PLAN. Including in a Naval Role on Chinese Aircraft Carriers. This is very similar to the F-22 and F-35 is US Service. So, it would hardly be a surprise....


The J-31 has to be turned into a fully working production design first and at the moment it just seems to be a private design that is sponsored by their government to see where it goes. The J-20 is their only official stealth design and it currently suits their purpose as a long range interceptor. Remember SAMs is not going to be their primary enemy but carrier/airfield based western allied aircraft. Just because the J-31 looks like the F-35 does not mean it is going to be produced like the F-35 or even needed to be.

The other thing they are concentrating on is long range missiles of both air to air and surface to surface types so they can offset the technological superiority of western designs with longer weapons. Sometimes if life gives you lemons you just have to make lemonade.



Sorry, the J-31 (FC-31) is a full-fledged fighter program. Which, is supported by the Chinese Government.

J31A.jpg


J31D.jpg


J31B.jpg


J31C.jpg
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