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Pakistan’s fighter dilemma: Pursuing Chinese FC-31 amid Turkish Kaan uncertainty

9th January 2024 - 15:59 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in London


Very little has been shared regarding the development status of the Shenyang FC-31. (Photo: X/Twitter)

With the Pakistan Air Force acknowledging its intention to procure Chinese J-31/FC-31 fifth-generation aircraft, questions have arisen about Pakistan’s stance on joining Turkey’s TF-X Kaan fighter programme, heightening speculation on the nation’s strategic alliances.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) could acquire FC-31 Chinese stealth fighter jets, according to the service's commander. 

Speaking at an induction ceremony for new equipment in early January – including the J-10C Firebird – PAF commander Marshal Zahir Ahmed Babar revealed that his country was interested in buying the Chinese jets, but did not disclose specifics regarding any acquisition plans.

The J-31 (also known as the ‘Falcon Eagle’ in Chinese) is a fifth-generation multirole stealth fighter domestically developed by China. Its export variant is designated as the FC-31.

As Pakistan contemplates its next move in the pursuit of advanced fighter capabilities, the complexities of

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Norbert Neumann


Norbert Neumann

Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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