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Russia to supply engine for China's J-31 fighter jet

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The J-31 stealth jet during its maiden flight test in Oct. 2012. An internet imagery

MOSCOW/BEIJING (BNS): The new fifth-generation J-31 stealth fighter of China will be powered by Russia-made RD-93 turbofan engines, an official of Rosoboronexport, Russia's state arms exporter, has said.

"J-31 with the Russian engine RD-93 is considered to be an export programme, able to compete with the American F-35 fifth generation aircraft on the regional markets," Sergey Kornev, Rosoboronexport's Air Force Equipment Export Department Head, was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti news agency.

China, which kicked off the 10th Zhuhai Air Show on Tuesday (Nov 11), is set to showcase the twin-engine J-31 stealth jet at the international event.

Developed by the state-owned Shenyang-led Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) for the PLA Air Force, the fifth-generation radar evading warplane will perform demonstration flight at the biennial air show, pegged as Asia's largest.

Sergey Kornev, who is heading the Russian delegation at the Air Show, said that two fifth generation fighters are being developed in China, the J-20 and J-31, which demonstrate "the high potential of Chinese science and aviation industry."

With an eye on export, China unveiled the J-31 for the first time at the 2012 Zhuhai Air Show where a large-scale model of the new fighter was exhibited.

Dubbed as China's second stealth jet after the Chengdu J-20, the J-31 made its maiden flight on October 31, 2012 and at present, only one prototype of the new jet is available.

The Chinese jet bears some resemblance with the Russian T-50 or PAK FA fifth-generation fighter and also with the American F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), both currently under development. The only operational fifth-generation fighter at present is the US-made F-22 Raptor.

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