China's new on-board stealth fighter takes its first flight

The Chinese industrial and technological machine seems to have now reached its optimal pace, as announcements and discoveries have followed one another at a frantic pace over the past few months. Just a few days after the new two-seater variant of the 5th generation fighter J-20 was observed during a driving test, and thatFractional Orbital Bombardment System Test Stirred U.S. Defense CommunityHere is a picture showing the first flight of the new stealth fighter on board of the Naval Forces of the People's Liberation Army was broadcast on Chinese social networks, removing any ambiguity on the progress of the program.

The photo showing the new Chinese fighter, temporarily designated J-35 for lack of an official name, is also the first to actually show the device. As expected, the device is clearly derived from the FC-31 Gyrfalcon from the manufacturer Shenyang, of which it takes again the appearance and the general configuration. The twin-engine aircraft has a configuration comparable to that of the F-22, with triangular diamond wings, two rear horizontal planes and two inclined tail units. Unlike the J-20, it does not have duck planes, the horizontal planes fulfilling the function of depth control. We also observe the landing gear on the photograph, a procedure after all classic during the first flights of a prototype, as well as a long probe on the nose of the aircraft, again very probably intended for the prototype and not for the serial device. The cockpit, meanwhile, appears more imposing than that of the original FC-31, much closer to the shape of that of the redesigned post-31 FC-2015, although all this needs to be confirmed by the analysis of other pictures.

Close-up of the J-35 during its first flight

This observation is not, in itself, a great surprise, since the Chinese industrial authorities themselves hinted at the Zhuhai show held in early September that the announcement of the first flight for this new aircraft should take place before the end of the year. Just like the one published almost concomitantly with new advanced aerial watch aircraft, designated KJ-600, also in flight. But the concentration of these announcements in such a short time, even as the last observations of the construction of the new aircraft carrier Type 003 show that the hull and the upper deck were now completed and closed, demonstrates a perfect mastery of Chinese planning which, obviously, will have its new 80.000-ton aircraft carrier but also its complete airborne group almost simultaneously, a extraordinary feat knowing the little experience on which Chinese engineers and planners have been able to rely in this field.

Recall that like the Chinese air forces which are simultaneously developing advanced 4th generation aircraft, such as the J-10C and the J-16, alongside the fifth generation J-20, the Chinese naval aviation plans to simultaneously equip its aircraft carriers equipped with Type 003 and later catapults, 5th generation J-35 fighters, but also a new version of the J-15 fighter derived from the Su-33, specifically adapted for the use of catapults on aircraft carriers, the J-15T, as well as on-board stealth combat drones, whose designation and the model have not yet been confirmed, but which would be derived from the Sharp Sword prototype. In addition, a two-seater version of the J-15 dedicated to electronic warfare and the removal of enemy air defenses, the J-15D, would also be in preparation, on the trail of the J-16D unveiled at the Zhuhai show this year.

The published photo of the KJ-600, the Chinese Navy's advanced air watch carrier aircraft that is intended to be the counterpart of the American E-2D Hawkeye

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