China has successfully tested a homemade stealth fighter of the fifth generation called FC-31 Gyrfalcon, sources in the aviation industry told a local newspaper on Monday.
The improved version of what was earlier known as the J-31 made its maiden flight at the weekend in the northeastern city of Shenyang, the China Daily reported.
The flight test comes four years after the initial prototype took to;the skies in 2012 and stayed airborne for 11 minutes.
An Aviation Industry Corp official confirmed the test but declined to give any details.
The daily reported the state-of-the-art aircraft appeared to be stealthier and had enhanced electronics and a larger payload capacity, while its new lean frame made the FC-31 lighter and more maneuverable.
The state-of-the-art J-20 fifth-generation jet fighter is a key part of the Chinese air force.
According to Chinese military expert, Li Li, the J-20 could possibly break the US monopoly on fifth-generation fighters.
During a recent interview with CCTV, the military expert said that the Chinese jet fighter may exert an even bigger influence than the American F-22 Raptor.
Li Li further said that although the American F-22 Raptor is the first fifth-generation fighter commissioned in an air force, its performance is not satisfactory.
She said that the J-20 and Russia’s T-50 will possibly manage to break the Western monopoly and that the J-20 could have a more significant influence than its Western counterparts.
Chinese officials maintain that the J-20 will be exclusive to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.
*Source: Sputnik News