Pakistan’s interest in buying Shenyang J-31 from China is a Red-Flag for India

If we believe a report lately, then Pakistan is going to buy J-31 from China. China unveiled the fifth-generation fighter featuring two-engine recently during the Zhuhai airshow. Not just one or two, but up 30 to 40 Shenyang F-31 fighters are what Pakistan Air Force (PAF)  is planning to acquire from one of its reliable allied in the world China. India isn’t expected to see their stealth fighters most likely in the next decade and with Pakistan holding their J-31 talks with China, it’s really going to vex India at some point in the near future

There are some European and Asian nations, who face US export restrictions or can’t meet the expense of the Lockheed Martin F-35. J-31 on the other hand will be a cheaper stealth fighter accessible to such countries that too within their budget. The development time-frame for this fighter has been fixed to 2016-2017. If China succeeds to manufacture these 5th-gen stealth fighters for Pakistan, then it will surely forge ahead a lot of challenges for India, who is on the other hand has told Russia it cannot wait longer for stealth fighters. Russia has been delaying the export of FGFA for years and still there is time that has put India in waiting list till 2024-2025.

This is really a matter of concern for India as their neighboring country if the deal with China gets cleared, is going to have their own stealth fighter in just a year or two. Yet, It’s no secret that since long time back Pakistan has been creating threats for India, which has pushed these two nations on the edge of war so many times in a couple of years, and with stealth being fallen in PAF’s inventory, definitely it’s going to be a red-flag situation for India.


The J-31 is a twin-rudder mid-weight and twin-engine jet with the distinctive configuration only found in 5th generation fighters like Sukhoi T-50. J-31 involves certain features found in stealth like two-piece canopy and forward swept intake cowls with diverterless supersonic inlet (DSI) bumps.

The J-31 is a smaller yet more agile fighter as compared to Chengdu J-20 that looks like a twin engine F-35C. This may be due to the fact that it might be used as a 5th-gen carrier based jet. Another feature includes the twin forward wheels which their counterpart the F-35C has to. Other features include two internal weapons bays for carrying two or three medium or long range missiles, ASM’s, and bombs, two heavy hardpoints and one light hardpoint on each wing though it lacks the capacity that F-35 has of mounting gunnery/jamming pod. Also it uses stealth coatings nothing matching like F-35’s baked-in fiber-mat stealth. The flattering fuselage of the fighter makes it fuel-efficient and adds to its pace by decreasing the drag. This leads to more air-superiority.

The following is the specifications of Shenyang J-31:

  • Crew: one (pilot)
  • Height: 4.8 m (15 ft 9 in)
  • Length: 16.9 m (55 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.5 m (37 ft 9 in)
  • Gross weight: 17,600 kg (38,801 lb)
  • Wing area: 40 m2 (430 sq ft)
  • Powerplant: 2 × RD-93 afterburning Turbofans, 84 kN (19,000 lbf) thrust each
  • Powerplant: 2 × WS-13A afterburning Turbofans, 100 kN (22,000 lbf) thrust each
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.8
  • Ferry range: 4,000 km (2,485 mi; 2,160 nmi)
  • Combat range: 1,250 km (777 mi; 675 nmi)
  • Thrust/weight: ~1
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About Udaynti Patel

Passionate blogger. Has been in love with aviation and defense sector since childhood.
  • Manik Sanson

    No cause of consern. No cause of concern. Shenyang J31 is most unreliable FGFA, just being a poorly executed n cheap copy of American F35. It is known for its in flight turbulence n instability during long range operations. They are even unreliable in short range operations. The engine is not stable n is under work for improvements. Moreover, in the latest military ideology, numbers matter not who has got the latest gadgets. India donot need to be much concerned but also not to downplay the threat. It is a bad copy nothing else. Our MMRCAs that we have to procure and manufacture here in India n Sukhois can easily tackle them

    • Udaynti Patel

      No doubt on India’s air defense but, still it’s Pakistan worthy of no trust, preventive measures should be taken to nail down any jolt by them.

      • Ronnie Serrano

        Good luck on that since the Pakistan has multiple relations with other countries definitely with not only China and U.S, but also Turkey, South Korea, and now Russia.

      • IMTIYAZ

        How will you do that russian fighters are not reliable and india cannot build its own and the west will not sell

    • d33n45hw311

      “Shenyang J31 is most unreliable FGFA, just being a poorly executed n cheap copy of American F35”

      Are you implying that the F-35 is reliable? Because engine cracks and runway torching to say the least.

    • Another Guest

      Manik Sanson

      “They are even unreliable in short range operations”.

      Are you trying to say the F-35 has better combat range/ferry range than the J-31? The J-31 will outrange the F-35A.

      Lets look at the comparisons of the two aircraft. For example.

      J-31 Falcon Eagle: combat radius, 777 mi; (675 nmi, 1,250 km). Ferry Range, 2,485 miles (2,160 nm, 4,000 km)

      F-35A Lightning or Joint Super Fail (JSF): combat radius, 678 mi (590 nm, 1,092 km). Ferry Range 1,379 mi (1,198 nm, 2,220 km).

      • Another Guest

        Manik Sanson,
        One thing I do agree it is indeed a reverse engineer of the F-35 design with wider fuselage to accommodate the two Klimov RD-93 engines.

      • Joe Schmoe

        That is a fake range estimate since it uses afterburner for even slight maneuvering… rumor is that it only makes use of rudimentary composites at best, and that has made flying with armanent a serious issue. Two things it has going for it is good shaping and a functional AESA… the rest is quickly censored by Chinese media but what we saw before the shutdowns was practically designed, but unreliable 4th gen components based upon Russian designs.

  • Lakshmikantha

    Why china is selling these to Pak knowing fully well the mindset of pak’s military establishment and the fact that Pakistan is a garrison state and has a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons with first use policy.Also what happens if jihadist element of pak’s military heads their military.If China wants to establish itself as a global leader they need to refrain from such actions which increases nuclear weapons delivery capability.

    • Udaynti Patel

      True on that

      • IMTIYAZ

        Like Arjun tank and tejas

    • Ronnie Serrano

      Pakistan and China have been allies since the late-1960’s in which they were supplied with a number of military gear since then. Also, China is responsible for helping Pakistan with their ballistic missile programs and nuclear projects for decades. Jihadist threat is been known, but the Pakistani government and military have those facilities guarded by their very trusted personal.

      • The Deaf Mute

        For China, Pakistan is an important ally because they hold terrorist beyond the border at bay. That’s why you don’t see Europe-like terrorist activities in China.

  • James Malherbe

    If the J31 is like any other Chinese product then India has no reason for concern.

  • jigsaww

    india pissing their pants now.

  • Talha_Pk

    false report Pakistan working on JF17 upgrade. it fulfill our requirements

  • Talha_Pk

    chinese electronic avionic systems are not good enough ,a cause of major concern for pakistan airforce , Pakistan want chinese hardware with western avionic systems , as they did wit jf 17.

    • The Deaf Mute

      Don’t underestimate China my friend. You can’t even build a toilet and you bad mouth China.

  • jigsaww

    time for indians to start trolling… “Tejas the mighty tejas will fry up J-31 in a click of a button”…

  • Disciple

    Doesn’t matter whether Pakistan is procuring Chinese made Shenyang J-31 or not, it will not make any difference to India. God forbid there shouldn’t be any confrontation between India and Pakistan in the near future and if there is one, the World can be rest assured that Pakistan will no longer exist after the next war as India will wipe off Pakistan from the World map.

  • Sand_Cat

    Pakistan needs to invest in getting a sane, stable, peaceful government, something it has never had since independence, with the possible exeption of a short period under Benezair (sorry about the spelling) Bhutto, who – if memory serves – was assassinated, which is Pakistan’s problem in a nutshell.
    Until Pakistan manages to join the adult world, it will remain a threat to every other nation on the planet, and NO ONE has any business selling them weapons of any kind. A heavily-armed Pakistan is sad comment on the unscrupulousness of China, the U.S., and any other country which has given military aid or moral support to their barbarities.
    I know there are some highly-intelligent and well educated Pakistanis, but most of them seem to reside in Europe and North America; those who remain at “home” are doubtless in danger for their lives on a daily basis.