China reinforces its military aviation
China reinforces its military aviation. Chinese officials have let spotters take some photographs of their newly aircraft – the Shenyang J-21/31. The military aircraft is the second unveiling since about 20 months when China demonstrated the Chengdu J-20. Not much is known about the aircraft, and only the analysis of the photographs can help deduce some facts. The design demonstrates that the aircraft appears to be stealthy. The absence of “canards” and the tail like the F-22 and F-35 further reinforces this point. The jet fighter also appears quite small, relative to the truck that pulls the plane. The Shenyang J-21 is also a twin engine aircraft, but it does not seem to have thrust vectoring capacity. The front wheels – double nose wheels – seem to suggest that the aircraft could be developed for tough landing, such as for the navy. If this were the case, we could speculate that another fighter is in preparation unless of course, the double nose wheel just comes as standard.
What China demonstrate with this second unveiling – the first being the Chengdu J-20 about 20 months ago – is to show the world that China intends to become a major player in military aviation over the next decades. Aircraft manufacturers may rethink their strategy as private companies as with China, the manufacturers remain the state and this changes the commercial game. China may use dumping in the future to sell aircrafts especially to countries which may be happy to receive this influence. We have seen many countries in Africa and Asia being open to this new power, countries which traditionally were the preferred markets for the French, Europeans and Americans. China also demonstrates their power to their neighbours, and especially ones who may have contentious views such as Japan. The rule of the game is currently being changed, with commercial and diplomatic ties that will inevitably have an impact in the West.