- Microsoft has various generations of operating systems: Win95, XP, Vista, Win7 and Win8- Similarly aircraft too have generations.
- Fourth Generation = Those developed from 1980s onwards.
- 5th generation=2005 onwards
- 5th Generation aircraft is very hard to be detected using radars (Stealth technology).
- They carry more firepower, speed, advanced computer systems, compared to previous generations.
|USA||F-22: in service since 2005.F-35 still under development.|
|China||Still under development|
It is unknown if the J-31 is meant to be a competitor to the J-20 stealth fighter or a complement to it.
|Russia||Sukhoi PAK FA (T-50)= Still under development.|
|India||Sukhoi/HAL FGFA= Still under development|
|Pakistan||Lolz but they might just buy F-35 using US donation money. And some reports say they’re collaborating with China in J-** project.|
- It is the Fifth Generation Chinese Stealth Fighter jet. Currently, under development.
- Tests are successful, but it’s not combat-ready yet.
- Other nicknames: Gyrfalcon, Falcon Eagle.
- Why in News? Because in Nov. 2012, the Ex-President of India Dr.Kalam went to China.
- He was supposed to visit Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), this company is developing the J-31.
- But later, Chinese authorities canceled his visit to that company.
- Some experts believe that Chinese Government wanted to avoid exposure of J-31 to India’s top defence and aviation specialist, Dr. Kalam.
- Afterall he was closely connected with top Indian bodies like the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)!
- J-31 shows that China has ambitions to become the premier military power.
- US military’s performance in the 1991 Gulf War shook the Chinese army out of its Stalinist mindset, and they began modernization.
- For instance, China’s modern submarine fleet, its emerging navy, its huge ballistic missile arsenal and hundreds of modern combat aircraft = deterrent for USA.
- It doesn’t mean China could defeat USA forces in a conflict; the balance has not yet tilted quite that far, but the costs of victory for the USA would now be far higher than in the days before China’s modernisation.
- Now China can inflict a great deal of pain in such a conflict, probably more than the US would be willing to sustain to defend Taiwan or Japan.
- China still has very little ability to project military force more than a few hundred kilometres beyond its shores. (String of Pearls not in full force yet.)
- Much of China’s indigenous military technology remains of poorer quality and performance than that of Russia or USA.
- There are of course exceptions to this judgement: China has a handful of nuclear-armed ballistic missiles with global reach, and it is developing cyber warfare capabilities that know no geographical limits.
- Apart from Nuclear missiles, the second most powerful weapons system for long distance deployment = an aircraft carrier.
- America has 11 super-carriers. No other nation even comes close to that kind of capability, yet.
- But If China were to deploy more than one air-craft carrier with high-performance stealth fighters like the J-31 in the neighbourhood (Indian Ocean, South China Ocean, Sea of Japan etc), then it can coerce neighbors (Japan, Vietnam India, Taiwan) in disputes, then USA would prefer not to get involved.
- In early 2012, India bought Dassault Rafale jets from France. (Cost: about $ 10 billion)
- It is a medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA).
- But still it is a fourth-generation aircraft= cannot match Fifth Generation Chinese J-31 aircraft in a combat.
- Same goes for Tejas, it is fourth Generation and still under development.
- This is fifth generation aircraft.
- Jointly developed by India-Russia.
- Problem: rising cost (about $30 billion), India had to cut down order from 200 to 144.
- Unlikely to be combat ready before 2020. (given Russia’s laziness, as shown in Gorshkov deal.)
Overall, $40 billion dollars stuck in above two aircraft. So, right now we don’t have any spare cash left, to buy a readymade Fifth Generation aircraft such as F-22/F-35 from USA, just to deter China.