Current Affairs

Pakistan: Intent to Purchase Chinese J-31 Stealth Fighters

Pakistan: Intent to Purchase Chinese J-31 Stealth Fighters

According to media sources, Pakistan and China are in negotiations for Pakistan to purchase J-31 stealth fighter aircraft, which is identical to the F-35 and F-22 fighters built in the United States. Should Pakistan obtain these new aircraft, the country's fleet might be augmented by older F-16s.

Pakistan's Current Fleet

Already in service, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is using JF-17 Thunder fighter jets, which are jointly constructed in Pakistan and China. In order to oppose India's acquisition of 36 French Rafale aircraft, it also purchased 25 J-10C Vigorous Dragon aircraft in 2022. The PAF's capabilities would be further enhanced by the possible addition of the J-31 stealth fighter.

Specifications of J-31 Aircraft

China is still developing the J-31, and the Chinese air force has not yet been equipped with the aircraft. It is intended to be a smaller stealth fighter, maybe for use by the navy aboard aircraft carriers. Even if several Chinese-made aircraft models have experienced problems, China is still producing these aircraft to compete with the US and demonstrate its aviation might.

India is developing stealth fighters.

India does not now have any stealth fighters in service, in contrast to Pakistan's possible procurement of J-31s. The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), a stealth fighter jet being developed domestically, is not expected to be operational until 2030. Some estimates place the number of fourth and fifth generation fighters in China's air force fleet at 60 and 70 percent.

Effects on Power Structures in the Region

Purchasing cutting-edge J-31 stealth jets could assist Pakistan in making up for lost time regarding future US military support. Although the PAF's numerical strength in relation to India will not change significantly, its capabilities would be qualitatively enhanced. India is also attempting to update its air force by adding more fighters from the fourth and fifth generations.

By lowering its need on US supply, Pakistan is demonstrating its pursuit of long-term air strength with the acquisition of J-31s and other Chinese aircraft. However, as of 2024, India continues to have an advantage in the creation of its own stealth fighters.

Pakistan: Intent to Purchase Chinese J-31 Stealth Fighters