China’s top aircraft maker says its new stealth fighter has the ability to shoot down US-made F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from the sky.
When China’s J-31 stealth fighter “takes to the sky, it can definitely take it (F-35) down…. That’s a certainty,” Lin Zuoming, president of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), said on Tuesday.
Lin added that AVIC seeks to compete with the United States in new markets, particularly targeting countries to which the US will not sell military equipment as well as the countries that cannot afford the expensive F-35.
“The next-generation air forces that are unable to buy the F-35 have no way to build themselves up. We don’t believe the situation should be that way,” Lin noted.
“This world should be balanced,” the Chinese official said, adding, “Good things shouldn’t all be pushed to one party.”
The J-31 is the second domestically produced stealth fighter jet in China.
Meanwhile, a Pentagon report said stealth aircraft are important to China developing the ability to carry out both offensive and defensive operations.
The US-made Lockheed Martin F-35 has faced numerous problems since its introduction.
In May, an Aviation Week report said the F-35 is incapable of escaping Russian and Chinese radars.
Some experts say flaws in the F-35 fuel tank and fueldraulic systems have left it even more vulnerable to lightning strikes and other fire sources including enemy fire.
The production of the F-35 military aircraft has faced technical issues, cost overruns and delays.
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