China's most advanced fighter jet J-16 has been revealed online in flight mode, the latest in a series of news items on developments in the Chinese military since last November.
An image of the J-16, a 3.5-generation multi-role twin-seat fighter jet, was posted on the China-based Dingsheng military website Friday along with other types of Chinese fighter jets, such as the J-11 and J-15.
The J-16 jet shown online was believed to be a prototype of the jet fighter because it carries the serial number "1601."
It marked the first time that the warplane was shown in flying mode.
Military analysts speculated that the plane should still be in the test-flight stage.
Some Chinese netizens said the plane is undergoing tests at a People's Liberation Army (PLA) flight test and training base in Hebei Province in northern China.
The plane was developed by Shenyang Aircraft Corp. for the use of the PLA Navy's aviation corps.
A Shengyang Aircraft Corp. executive was quoted by Chinese media as saying recently that the J-16 could rival Russia's Su-35 fighter jet.
Military analysts said the J-16 was an improved version of Russia's Su-30MKK. It can carry a maximum load of 12 tons of bombs or missiles, including YJ-62 and YJ-83 anti-ship missiles.
Previous media reports said the J-16's navigation electronics were much better than those on the J-15, and expected the new jet to gradually replace the J-15 in maritime battles.
The posting of the J-16 image followed a number of high-profile reports on PLA-related activities since the end of the third plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in November 2013, at which a new generation of leaders assumed power.
One of the stories drawing the greatest attention was China's new aircraft carrier — the Liaoning — making its first long-distance voyage to the South China Sea on a testing and training mission.
Other milestones to be highly publicized were the test-firing of the land-based Dongfeng 41 multi-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile and the test-firing of the submarine-launched JL-2 missile.http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20140105000052&cid=1101