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Shenyang (AVIC) J-31 Gyrfalcon (FC-31 / F-60)

Multirole 4th Generation Fighter Aircraft

OVERVIEW
HISTORY
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
DATA
Overview



The Chinese Shenyang J-31 stealth fighter is currently under development as of early-2016 - having entered flight testing.
History



Detailing the development and operational history of the Shenyang (AVIC) J-31 Gyrfalcon (FC-31 / F-60) Multirole 4th Generation Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 8/3/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
China has long since held a desire to showcase itself as a growing power to the world. Besides achieving a strong global economy, the government has spared no expense in attempting to field a technologically-savvy, numerically superior force built largely upon the works of others (Soviet-Russian/American). To that end, Chinese infrastructure has increasingly allowed local production of various components (including heavy industrial engines, combat vehicles and munitions) that have been modified to Chinese requirements over the years. Recent developments have included a main battle tank, aircraft carrier and - now - 5th Generation stealth-based fighters.

The Chinese concern of Shenyang is currently developing the" J-31" air superiority fighter in the 5th Generation mold to compete with the American Lockheed F-22 Raptor / F-35 Lightning II and Russian T-50 (PAK FA). Development of the aircraft was aided through the deliberate theft of American DoD files critical to the F-35 project and it can only be assumed that such design data has accelerated the Chinese program to an unlimited extent. Judging by the outward appearance of the J-31 prototype alone, it certainly looks a cousin to the American F-35 series currently undergoing weapons testing as of this writing (2016). China is also at work on a larger 5th Generation fighter mount known as the Chengdu "J-20" which took its first flight in January of 2011. Observers have noted the general dimensions of the J-31 is more akin to that of the smaller Lockheed F-35 Lightning II as opposed to the full-sized F-22 Raptor series. As such, performance and role are assumed similar. The J-31 is also believed to be along the lines of a carrier-based fighter that may be utilized (or at the very least trialled) on the upcoming Chinese Navy aircraft carrier. As is customary, Chinese authorities have not authenticated existence of the J-31 officially despite seemingly staged photographs "leaked" to the internet throughout 2012.

Design lines of the J-31 follow those as premiered on the F-22 with a mix of F-35 features thrown in. The fuselage, while generally tubular, sports a faceted approach with clean lines, presumable for radar reflection purposes. The single-seat cockpit is held well-forward in the design though aft of a nose cone housing the active search radar array. The single piece canopy, hinged at the rear, presents the same "dogtooth" angles found in 5th Generation aircraft of American origin. Intakes are trapezoidal as in the F-22 and aspirate a pair of Russian-inspired turbofan engines buried deep within the fuselage. The engines exhaust through conventional rings at the rear. The main wings are slightly swept along their leading edge with the usual control surfaces identified. There are a pair of all-moving tailplanes as well which should provide for improved agility. The vertical tail fins, mounted outboard of each engine nacelle, are outward-canted as in the F-22. The undercarriage consisted of two main landing gear legs (single-wheeled) and a two-wheeled nose leg (presumably reinforced for carrier operation). Many observers have begun to described the J-31 generically as a "twin-engine F-35C".

Armament options are expected to run the normal gamut of available stores in the Chinese inventory. This would include the bevy of air-to-air missiles and possible precision-guided munitions. An internal cannon is assumed. There is a large-volume internal weapons bay noted which will provide a stealth measure consistent with the F-22/F-35 family.

While a powerplant has not been officially disclosed, the Russian Klimov RD-33 and RD-93 series turbofan engines have been mentioned - the RD-93 has already been procured for the JF-17 fighter development. In either case, the powerplant will assuredly be produced locally to Chinese Air Force specifications within time if history is any guide.

The export J-31 is believed to carry the "F-60" designation.




Program Updates

November 2014 - the FC-31 was debuted in the skies over AirShow China. The aircraft is now categorized in Western publications as a "4th Generation Fighter" though some still consider it to be of 5th Generation design.

November 2015 - It was announced that AVIC expects a production-quality version of the FC-31 to fly sometime in 2019.

December 2016 - A second FC-31 prototype recorded its first-flight. Observers noted revisions to the forward fuselage, wing mainplanes and tailplanes.

November 2018 - The Chinese Navy has expressed interest in acquiring the J-31 in numbers to succeed the limited J-15 models currently in service.




Specifications

YEAR: 2023
STATUS: In-Development
MANUFACTURER(S): Shenyang Aircraft Corporation / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) - China
PRODUCTION: 2
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 55.45 ft (16.9 m)
WIDTH: 37.73 ft (11.5 m)
HEIGHT: 15.75 ft (4.8 m)
MTOW: 38,801 lb (17,600 kg)
POWER: EARLY: 2 x Klimov RD-93 afterburning turbofan engines (early) of 19,000lbf thrust; LATER: 2 x WS-13A afterburning turbofan engines (later) of 22,000lbf thrust.
SPEED: 1,367 mph (2,200 kph; 1,188 kts)
RANGE: 2,485 miles (4,000 km; 2,160 nm)
OPERATORS: China (possible)
Armament



Undisclosed. Internal cannon assumed. Support for various precision-guided munitions, air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground missiles assumed as well as conventional drop bombs. An internal weapons bay is supported.
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition
Variants / Models



• J-31 - Public Designation
• F-60 - Export Designation
• FC-31 "Gyrfalcon" - Alternative Designation; possible Chinese Air Force designation.






General Assessment
Firepower  
Performance  
Survivability  
Versatility  
Impact  


Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
MF Power Rating
70
The MF Power Rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry. The rating is out of 100 total possible points.
Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 1400mph
Lo: 700mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (1,367mph).

Graph average of 1050 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Shenyang J-31 Gyrfalcon's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (2)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
2
2

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.




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