In 2006 the respected journal Military Technology reported ["China Develops Stealth Fighter" Vol.30, Iss. 2; pg. 44, 3 pgs] that China was developing new "stealth" fighter, under a program variously referred to as XXJ, J-X, or J-XX by Western intelligence sources, apparently designated as J-14. The first "picture" recently become available, though the authenticity of the image was quickly challenged. The aircraft in the photo looked at first sight as a complete prototype, but was said to be a very detailed full-scale engineering mock-up. It can be speculated that, after having been used to study the aircraft's internal installations, the mock-up has also received an external finish for presentation purposes. Its real function at this point, however, was probably to assist in the definition of the required logistic support (i.e., access to the various avionics boxes and on-board systems, ground support equipment like the various ladders and the external power source units, air conditioning units and so on) as well as to study the engines' removal/installation procedures.
According to this report, it is however still not clear whether the designation of J-14 is intended to suggest a successor design to both the J-12 and the J-13, and whether the existence of the J-14 engineering mock-up (clearly based on the J-12) indicated that the type has been selected for development, or the competition was still going on with parallel activities underway on another such mock-up based on the J-13.
The general configuration of the aircraft ws clearly from CAC's experience in developing the J-10, with its canard layout and ventral air intake. But while the J-10 is known to be related to the Israeli LAVI, this new and much more ambitious design appeared to have a relationship with the ill-fated Russian 5th generation fighter of the 1990s, the MiG 1.44 MFI. While the overall aerodynamic configuration of the J-14 followed that of the MiG 1.44 demonstrator, a canard configuration is hardly the ideal solution from the point of view of a reduced radar signature. A radical redesign had been implemented for a significant reduction in the radar cross-section value. In particular, the aircraft incorporates a pronounced wing-body blending, which was totally lacking in the original Russian design.
By early 2009 there were reports that the J-14 next generation fighter appeared to have been rejected in favour of Chengdu's J-13 design, and to have lost out to SACís more realistic approach to develop a Flanker-derived type.