Actually, people are able to see the FC-31, and Beijing really wishes somebody would come by to see the FC-31 — but so far, there aren’t any takers for the FC-31.
China showcased its first stealth fighter jet here on the opening day of the Dubai Air Show, but so far the fifth-generation aircraft has no customers in sight.
The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) is “in negotiations” with the Chinese Air Force to buy the multi-role FC-31, AVIC project manager Lin Peng told reporters on Sunday. Peng declined to say when a deal would be finalized.
Top company officials briefed the media on the stealth characteristics and attack capabilities of the FC-31, but did not take questions from the audience.
This is the first time the Chinese company has showcased the FC-3, also known as the J-31 internationally, although a prototype aircraft flew during the Zhuhai Air Show in China last year. Chinese fighters are designated with a “J” for fighter and “FC” for export.
FC-31 would be the first aircraft of its kind available to global customers who face US export restrictions or cannot afford Lockheed Martin’s F-35 joint strike fighter. The Chinese company is trying to pitch the FC-31 as a competitor to the JSF, but at this point it is unclear how successful this will be. The customer lineup appears to be Iran and Pakistan.
I would encourage Iran to spend all the $150,000,000,000 President Obama let them have back — every single cent of it — on these Chinese knockoffs.