FC-31 stealth fighter spearheads display of cutting-edge Chinese equipment at Saudi Arabia's 1st World Defense Show
Published: Mar 09, 2022 12:46 AM
People visit the China Defence exhibition area of the first World Defense show in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 6, 2022. Photo: Xinhua/Wang Haizhou

People visit the China Defence exhibition area of the first World Defense show in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 6, 2022. Photo: Xinhua/Wang Haizhou

The Chinese arms industry brought a wide selection of cutting-edge weapons and equipment, including the FC-31 stealth fighter jet, to the ongoing first edition of Saudi Arabia's World Defense Show in Riyadh.

China can provide finished advanced gear and also transfer technology that enables domestic development and production, analysts said on Tuesday.

A total of eight Chinese companies presented their hardware at the four-day show that started on Sunday, including the LY-80 air defense system, the SR5 multiple rocket system, the JY-27A anti-air warning radar, the Y-9E transport aircraft, electronic warfare defense system, multi-purpose unmanned boat, and multi-type drones such as the Wing Loong-2, the CH-5 and the WJ-700, Xinhua News Agency reported.

One of the high-end products, the FC-31 stealth fighter jet is also on display at the exhibition, the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) announced in a post on social media on Monday.

The FC-31 is AVIC's iconic product and the company has dedicated a unit for the aircraft's promotion and export abroad, according to a report.

Shen Yujie, general representative of China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) in Saudi Arabia mentioned that the company brought the PLZ45A4 artillery system to the show, the China National Radio (CNR) reported on Monday.

The PLZ45A4 had several customized upgrades in terms of firepower, reliability and user interface, Shen said.

CETC International Co Ltd exhibited the ZDK-03 early warning aircraft, a kind of hardware that only the US, Russia, Israel, Sweden and China have developed, Tian Yaobin, the company's general manager, told CNR.

The Chinese weapons and equipment also attracted interest from dignitaries, including the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the Prime Minister of Yemen and the Defense Minister of Iraq, who visited the Chinese pavilions, CNR reported.

The event is tailored to provide a unique platform for networking, collaboration, knowledge-sharing and discovery of new innovations, Xinhua reported, noting that Saudi Arabia plans to develop and manufacture more weapons and military systems domestically, aiming to spend 50 percent of the military budget on localization efforts by 2030.

For this purpose, AVIC also exhibited a sandbox of an advanced aviation research, development and production base that integrates research and development, testing and verification, parts manufacturing, general assembly, calibration and test flight, as well as comprehensive support.

These are the core elements in the full value chain for aviation manufacturing, aimed to be the blueprint for developing domestic industrial aviation capabilities and cultivating domestic talent, AVIC said.

Chinese weapons are technically mature, are highly cost-effective and come with full after-sales services with little political restrictions, making them a good choice on the international arms market, experts told the Global Times.

China can transfer technology and help build assembly lines in the customer's country upon request, which will not only create local jobs, but also enhance the customer's independent industrial capabilities overall, experts said.