As for the J-15 fighter, which will enter service on the Liaoning aircraft carrier and previously known as the Varyag, he said:
- naval fighters such as the J-15 have higher demands than their land-based counterparts
- the J-15 must have the same combat capability as the land-based fighters in terms of bomb load, combat radius and maneuverability
- the J-15 must have good low-speed performance and be compatible with arrested recovery and ski-jump takeoff
- the J-15 equipped with a naval variant of the WS-10A engine can have a combat radius exceeding 1000 km
He also hopes that the J-31 now in development will complement the larger J-20 with the two fighters serving side-by-side. A naval variant of the J-31 could eventually succeed the J-15 on China's aircraft carriers.
Sun Cong and his team are also researching key technologies for the next generation of fighters. These would be the fifth generation by Chinese standards and the sixth generation by western standards.
Both the J-20 and J-31 and their low observable western counterparts, such as the F-22 and F-35, are considered fourth generation fighters using Chinese terminology.
The J-15 and every other variant of the Flanker aircraft are third generation fighter aircraft. By western standards, they would be fifth and fourth generation respectively.