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China’s J-20 fifth-generation stealth fighter is the most vaunted aircraft in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s inventory.
Its deployments near Taiwan and the Indian border in the past year were clear shows of strength, as was the appearance of 15 J-20s — 10% of the fleet, its largest public display yet — at the Chinese Communist Party’s centenary celebrations in Beijing last month.
While the J-20 is China’s only stealth fighter in service, it’s not the only one China has built.
The FC-31, the J-20’s lesser-known cousin, isn’t in service with the PLAAF, but a model was recently spotted on a mock aircraft carrier, indicating that China’s navy might adopt the fighter — most likely for use in the future air wings of its new carriers.