China's second stealth fighter jet, the FC-31, made its reappearance at the Air Show China 2021 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, which kicked off on Tuesday, and this time, it is displayed together with the powerful PL-15E beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile, as the missile, also used by China's J-20 stealth fighter jet, is announced to be available for export for the first time.

Both the FC-31 stealth fighter jet and the armament are of top-level, and their partnership will make them even stronger and among the best in the world, experts said on Tuesday.

A scale model of the FC-31 is displayed at an entrance of the exhibition hall of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), together with models of a PL-15E very-long-range air-to-air missile, a PL-10E short-range air-to-air missile and an LS-6/250 precision glide bomb.

The PL-15E is an air-to-air missile with a maximum range of 145 kilometers guided with a combination of inertial, satellite navigation, datalink and active radar, the Global Times learned from description boards at the exhibition.

The LS-6/250 is a guided precision glide bomb with a maximum range of more than 100 kilometers and weights 294 kilograms.

The PL-10E is an advanced, very agile and aggressive short-range air-to-air missile that was announced to be available for export during the Air Show China in 2018.

Domestic versions of the PL-15 and PL-10 missiles are used by advanced warplanes of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force like the J-20 and J-16 fighter jets, observers pointed out.

Developed as a fifth-generation fighter jet aimed at fulfilling the demands of future warfare and having delivered a flight performance at the 2014 edition of the Air Show China, the made-for-export FC-31 again made its appearance this year, AVIC said in a statement sent to the Global Times.

The FC-31, comparable with the US' F-35, is one of the world's most advanced stealth fighter jets, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times at the air show on Tuesday.

The PL-15E, PL-10E and LS-6/250 can cover long-range and short-range air combat as well as surface attack, making the FC-31 capable of fighting in all ranges and against all targets, the expert said, noting that the PL-15E is particularly powerful due to its beyond-visual-range capability much superior to other countries' missiles.

Combining the FC-31 and the weapons together means a world-class warplane even better than the F-35, the expert said.

Speculations have been circulating for a long time whether the made-for-export FC-31 will eventually join domestic service with the PLA and become its next-generation aircraft carrier-based fighter jet.

While refusing to make a direct comment on the speculations, Zhou Guoqiang, general manager assistant at AVIC, told a group of reporters including from the Global Times in a preview visit to the exhibition hall shortly prior to the opening on Tuesday that the FC-31 reflects China's strength, and is a key achievement in the "20" aircraft family.

Not far away from the FC-31 model, a giant rotary table in the centre of the AVIC exhibition hall displayed the other members of the "20" aircraft family, namely the J-20 stealth fighter jet, the Y-20 large transport aircraft, the Z-20 utility helicopter and the GJ-11 stealth armed reconnaissance drone.