China showed off a new military drone and a model of a next-generation fighter plane as it builds up its own defense capabilities and seeks customers for its hardware.
Industry giant China Aviation Industry Corporation displayed its Yi Long drone, called Wing Loong in English, at the opening of China's premier airshow in southern Zhuhai, state media said, AFP reports.
AVIC, which makes both military and civil aircraft, also showed a model of a new generation fighter jet that Chinese media said was the J-31, a stealth plane whose existence was only recently known to the public.
Chinese President Hu Jintao last week called for China to step up the military's technological abilities, saying its most important task was to be able to “win a local war in an information age''.
AVIC had previously shown only a model of the nine-meter long drone, which can carry two missiles, at previous Zhuhai airshows, an analyst said.
At the air show, the gray-colored drone was tucked away at the corner of the exhibition, surrounded by journalists and officers of a foreign military, who declined to comment.
The website of the People's Daily newspaper said AVIC also displayed a fourth-generation fighter, which it identified as the J-31, a stealth plane that had its first test flight last month.
But an AVIC official was quoted as saying by the Sina website that the model was only a “concept’’ plane that was still under development.
China's first stealth fighter, the J-20, was unveiled in early 2011 but is not expected to enter service until 2018.