China’s Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) has stated plans to fly a production version of its FC-31 Gyrfalcon fifth-generation fighter by 2019.

Although reluctant to take questions, company officials also stated they are in negotiations with the Chinese government to offer the aircraft to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force, despite previous reports that the fighter would only be offered for export.

Speaking in Dubai, where the company is displaying a model of the FC-31 outside China for the first time as the company begins the export push for the Gyrfalcon, Li Yuhai, deputy general manager at AVIC, said the aircraft was demonstrating the “technological and management progress” of the program.

Lin Peng, the FC-31’s chief designer, hinted that the company was looking for an international partner for the aircraft rather than the relationship it has with Pakistan’s Aeronautical Complex on the JF-17. He said that international customers would be able to customize their aircraft in terms of communication systems, sensors and weapons, something that would likely only be done outside China.

He added that the aircraft would be low-observable against a number of multi-spectrum sensors, and claimed the aircraft would be stealthy against L-band and Ku-band radars.

Peng said the aircraft’s primary armament would be the PL-9 short-range missile, the SD-10A medium-range air-to-air missile and small diameter bombs. He said the aircraft would be able to carry 2,000 kg (4,400 lb.) of weapons in its single internal bay and 6,000 kg (13,220 lb.) externally.

The company would not say which engine would power production aircraft but that it would be a “advanced medium thrust engine” producing 88.29 kN. (20,000 lb./9,000 kg) of thrust. The demonstrator aircraft is currently powered by the Russian RD-93 which powers the Mikoyan MiG-29.

With a first flight planned for 2019, an initial operating capability would occur some time in 2022/23 and the aircraft would become fully operationally capable two years later.