Reports that China’s second stealth fighter made it first test flight will likely impact U.S. military planning for the Asia-Pacific region, an analyst said.

The Chinese military’s Shenyang J-31 is a mid-sized fighter jet that is lighter than–and seen as a complement to–the communist nation’s Chengdu J-20 aircraft. The J-31 took off Wednesday morning and landed 11 minutes later in Liaoning Province, a witness reportedly told China’s state-run Global Times newspaper. Additional new outlets said they confirmed the report when more witnesses described the test flight and shared photos of it.

U.S. aerospace experts have noted similarities they see between the J-31, developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, and the multi-nation F-35, which U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin [LMT] is building.

China put its first aircraft carrier, a refurbished vessel it bought from Ukraine, into service in late September during a ceremony with top government officials. Some observers said the J-31 may be able to launch from an aircraft carrier.

Unlike the J-20, the J-31 appears to be stealthy in all aspects, and that “potentially makes it more survivable in air-to-air combat than any plane the U.S. Navy is currently operating,” defense consultant Loren Thompson said.

“That has to have an impact on U.S. military planning for the region eventually,” said Thompson, chief operating officer at the Lexington Institute in Virginia.

Thompson said the J-31 “looks like a real threat to U.S. air superiority in the Western Pacific.” That is expected to agitate those U.S. lawmakers who have been closely following news about the Asian nation’s growing military arsenal. Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee have been particularly vocal in their calls to halt planned cuts to U.S. defense spending because of China’s military buildup.

The Pentagon, in its annual report on China’s growing arsenal, in May highlighted how China is continuing to invest in technologies designed to thwart other militaries’ access to the Asia-Pacific.

China’s defense spending grew at an average annual rate of 13.4 percent from 2000 to 2011–greatly surpassing the growth seen in other Asian nations with substantial militaries, according to a report on defense spending in Asia released last month by the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank. China’s officially stated defense budget for 2011 was $89.9 billion.

The Pentagon’s new strategic guidance, released by President Barack Obama in January, calls for strengthening the U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. Yet critics of President Barack Obama’s planned defense cuts–along with additional “sequestration” budget cuts Obama opposes but played a role in creating–argue that lower-than-planned levels of U.S. spending will prohibit the Pentagon from building enough ships to counter China’s growing arsenal.