China establishes office to promote exports of the FC-31 stealth fighter
Published: Feb 18, 2022 12:49 AM
A model of China's FC-31 stealth fighter jet is on display at the Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, on Tuesday. Photo: Liu Xuanzun/GT

A model of China's FC-31 stealth fighter jet is on display at the Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province. Photo: Liu Xuanzun/GT

China has established an office dedicated to promoting the country's independently developed FC-31 stealth fighter jet on the international market in an effort by the aircraft's manufacturer to actively find customers.

Facing competition from foreign counterparts, like the US F-35 and the Russian Su-75, China's FC-31 has its own advantages including advanced technology, acceptable pricing, the lack of political restrictions, and complete service, analysts said on Thursday.

In a report published earlier this week introducing Zhan Qiang, Deputy General Manager of the Shenyang Aircraft Company (SAC), under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the company said that Zhan made important progress in exploring the international arms market with the FC-31 as a key product to be offered.

Zhan organized the research resources of the SAC, transformed the company's traditional planning-oriented marketing mindset and actively explored the arms market for high-end aviation products. Zhan made good use of air shows to showcase the FC-31's technical advantages.

The FC-31 will be made into an iconic product and will provide real experience to customers, the company said.

Zhan has put together resources from the manufacturing company, the research institute and the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation to establish an office to promote exports of the FC-31 under a development tactic of "self-oriented active promoting" aimed to cultivate targeted users, according to the company.

This is also part of a plan to let the FC-31 to serve two markets, the company said, likely referring to the domestic and the international markets.

The international market of stealth fighter jets is far from saturated and the FC-31 will be very competitive, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The US' F-35 stealth fighter jet mainly targets US allies and partners, and while many countries want to procure it, they lack enough budget or face a wide range of export restrictions set by the US, Wei said, noting that Russia has revealed its new Su-75 stealth fighter, but it has yet to make its maiden flight.

"China's FC-31 is technically mature, can be fully domestically produced and enjoys advantages including high technology, acceptable pricing, the lack of political restrictions and complete service, as China can also provide a full set of airborne equipment and weapons," Wei said.

China could even have deeper cooperation with a customer by building assembly lines in the customer's country, Wei predicted.

The FC-31, China's second stealth fighter jet after the J-20, was recently put on display at the Airshow China in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, from late September to early October 2021, together with the powerful PL-15E beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile.

Reports suggest that the FC-31 will also become China's next-generation aircraft carrier-based fighter jet.

The FC-31 is a single-seat, twin-engine, medium-sized multi-role fighter jet with outstanding stealth capabilities, strong situational awareness, high maneuverability, advanced integrated logistics and good cost-effectiveness, according to the manufacturer.