China has confirmed it has conducted a successful test flight of its new stealth fighter. Following on the heels of the US and Russia, it is now the third country to put a stealth prototype into the air.
The plane flew for about 15 minutes over an airfield in the southwestern city of Chengdu. China's last domestic jet, the J-10 fighter, was following behind as a chase plane, AP reported.
The test flight comes on the second day of the visit of US Defense Secretary Robert Gates to the country.
According to director of the Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, Ruslan Pukhov, despite all the noise surrounding the test flight, mass production of fifth generation fighter jets in China is unlikely.
”Both American and Russian fifth generation aircrafts are indigenous or largely indigenous,” he said. “As for Chinese, we are sure that many subsystems are taken from Russia and from some other countries, both legally and illegally. That is why this aircraft is not largely indigenous, and even if they would be successfully tested, it will be very difficult to launch a mass production because what you can steal, buy, procure for a single prototype or for a couple of prototypes, it would be difficult to do that for mass serial production.”