Shenyang’s J-35 fighter was spotted on a test flight a few days ago in China. The stealth aircraft is expected to be part of the air wing of the Chinese Navy’s new aircraft carrier, the Fujian, and bears similarities to the US Lockheed Martin F-35.
The aircraft was seen at low speed, with the landing gear extended, but it is not possible to determine where or when the video was taken.
A J-35 prototype with several upgrades was spotted in flight in October 2021 but still with a primer finish. In July last year, what could be the same aircraft was seen in more detail on the ground, being inspected by employees of the manufacturer.
The fighter displayed the number 350003 and a logo with the designation “J-35”. Earlier this year, the carrier-borne jet was seen taxiing tests, but there have been no flight records so far.
J35 during test flights in China. pic.twitter.com/bQtgLUlRA3
— International Defence Analysis (@Defence_IDA) August 25, 2023
The J-35 is an evolution of the FC-31 prototype, which Shenyang developed with the intention of offering it to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), but the aircraft was not accepted.
The aircraft maker then focused on transforming the FC-31 into a naval combat jet with stealth characteristics. Because of this, the project underwent several modifications, from the cockpit to the flight surfaces and air intakes of the engines.
The J-35 showed a great similarity with the Lockheed Martin F-35, a fighter developed in three variants to be used by air forces (F-35A), as a short or vertical takeoff aircraft (F-35B) and as a naval fighter. (F-35C).
The most notable sign of this concept is the front landing gear, developed for catapult takeoff, a feature present on the Fujian aircraft carrier.
The new aircraft carrier is the first entirely in China and is larger than the Liaoning and Shandong, derived from Russian designs and which only have sky ramp takeoff capability.