Trainers

JL-7 Baby Eagle

Based on Russian Yak-152K, L-7 (CJ-7) is the next generation primary trainer to replace the obsolete CJ-6. Even as a primary trainer, it features a glass cockpit and 0-0 ejection seat. Powered by a 360hp M-14X radial piston engine, the aircraft has a max take-off weight of 1,290kg, max level speed 360km/hr, max climb rate 11m/s, max load +7/-3g, ceiling 4,000m, max range 1,300km. L-7 has been co-developed by Hongdu and Yakovlev Design Bureau since 2006. A total of 300 for PLAAF and PLAN were projected. However it appears that there is no immediate demand for the aircraft from PLAAF and PLAN who are still operating the aging and low-cost CJ-6. As the result the project has been making very slow progresses. The first prototype was constructed by the end of October 2010 and was on display at the 2010 Zhuhai Airshow. The latest news (June 2014) indicated the L-7 prototype completed the ground test and may be ready for the first flight.
- Last Updated 6/9/14

JJ-7A/FT-7P/PG Mongol

A PAF FT-7P advanced trainer was taking off. FT-7P is the export version of JJ-7A (similar to Mig-21US but with a smaller vertical tailfin and twin ventral stabilizing fins). Developed by Guizhou Aviation Industry Corporation (GAIC) in 1990, it was modified specifically for PAF (HUD, air data computer, Martin Baker MK 10L ejection seats, BM/KJ 8602 RWR, twin belly 23mm cannons and five hard points) in order to provide pilot training for the single seat F-7P light fighters which were produced by CAC. Compared to JJ-7A, FT-7P has the fuselage stretched by 610mm to create space for additional fuel tank and an internal gun. The maximum take-off weight has been increased to 9,550kg and internal fuel capacity to 2,800l. The domestic JJ-7A/B (K/JJL7A) was developed in mid-90s but lacking the RWR. Over a hundred were produced and the production ended in 2010. Recent images indicated that some have been installed with a 23mm gun pod underneath its belly. However the aircraft has been suffering poor handling at a low speed. Besides PAF, Iranian AF also acquired a number of FT-7Ps in the 90s to support its F-7N fighter fleet. With the delivery of the new F-7PGs to PAF, a trainer version dubbed FT-7PG featuring improved avionics was upgraded from the existing FT-7P fleet to save time and cut cost. Its prototype first flew in March 2002. 9 FT-7PGs were delivered to PAF. A similar version dubbed FT-7BG was developed for Bangladesh AF to support its F-7BG fleet. A total of 4 were delivered in 2006. Recent images (March 2013) indicated another batch of 4 FT-7BGI were just delivered to support its new F-7BGI fleet. Nigerian AF also ordered 3 FT-7NIs in 2005 to support their F-7NIs. All were delivered by April 2010. Furthermore, 2 FT-7NGs were delivered to Namibian AF in October 2006 to support their F-7NMs. JJ-7A series are expected to be replaced by the new JL-9/FTC-2000 (see below).

List of JJ-7A Overseas Customers
CountryDesignationNumberComment
PakistanFT-7P/PG?/9Some upgraded with a new dorsal UHF/VHF antenna.
IranFT-7PV16?The last batch were upgraded with RWRs.
BangladeshFT-7BG/BGI4/4FT-7BGI is fitted with a VLOC antenna.
NigeriaFT-7NI3One crashed in May 2011.
NamibiaFT-7NG2
TanzaniaFT-7TN2

- Last Updated 11/19/13


JL-8/K-8/K-8W Karakorum
Two Venezuelan K-8W intermediate jet trainers were flying in close formation. The aircraft was developed jointly by Hongdu Aviation Industrial Group (Hongdu) and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in the late 80s with Pakistan providing 25% of the funding. It has max TO weight of 4,468kg, max level speed 800km/h, max climb rate 30m/s, max range 2,140km and ceiling 13,600m. 6 K-8s were delivered to Pakistan in 1994. 6 more were delivered in 2003. Meanwhile the domestic JL-8 (also known as JL-11) which first flew in 1996 is currently in production. They are in service at the PLAAF and PLAN flight academies (S/N 1x3x, 1x4x, 1x5x2x1x, 2x3x, 3x2x, 3x3x, 3x4x, 4x5x4x7x, 4x8x, 82x0x, 83x0x), replacing the obsolete JJ-5s. However due to the US embargo on Allied Signal TFE731-2A turbofan, JL-8/K-8 have been powered by Ukrainian AI-25TLK turbofans, or by a locally designed WS-11 (an AI-25TLK clone, 16.87kN thrust, onboard the domestic JL-11). The export version is generally better equipped with western components such as Martin Baker MK10L ejection seat, a glass cockpit with HUD and MFDs and is able to carry PL-5E/PL-7 AAMs and a 23mm gun pod for air defence role. Besides Pakistan, Myanmar purchased 12, and Sri Lanka purchased 6. Several African countries also have bought K-8s, including Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. The real breakthrough came when Egypt signed a $345m deal to locally produce 80 K-8Es to replace her L-29 intermediate trainer. This has become a big boost to Hongdu's export effort in the competitive international market. The first two Egyptian K-8Es rolled out of the assembly line in late June 2001, carrying a 23mm gunpod under the fuselage and powered by an Allied Signal engine. The assembly of all 80 K-8Es was accomplished by the end of 2005. A total of 500 K-8s were sold by 2010 and they account for 70% of the global market share. Currently the improved K-8W with better electronics is still in production for various Asian, African and South American countries. Meanwhile 400 JL-8s were ordered by PLAAF and PLAN. The newly established PLAAF Red Falcon Demonstration Team also flies JL-8s.


List of K-8 Overseas Customers
CountryNumberComment
Pakistan51
27 K-8Ps with glass cockpit were delivered by October 2010. Another 12 were delivered in September 2011.
Myanmar
12+60
60 more were ordered in late 2009. The delivery of first 12 started in mid-2010.
Sri Lanka
6
3 lost in 2002 during guerrilla attack, 3 delivered in July 2005
Zambia15
8 K-8Ps were delivered in March 2012.
Namibia4

Egypt120
locally assembled K-8Es, 40 were ordered in mid-2005
Zimbabwe12
1 crashed in September 2008
Ghana4
2 K-8Ps delivered in March 2007, 2 more in March 2008
Sudan12
6 K-8Ss delivered in 2007
Venezuela18+22?
18 K-8Ws were delivered by September 2010. One crashed in July 2010. Another in November 2012. 10 more were built by July 2011.
Bolivia6
6 K-8VBs were ordered in January 2010, delivered in April 2011.
Tanzania6?
At least one was damaged during an aborted take-off on October 23, 2012.
Bangladesh9
9 K-8Ws were ordered in late 2013. 4 delivered in September 2014.
- Last Updated 12/19/14

JL-9/FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle

Developed by GAIC since 2001, JL-9/JJ-9/FTC-2000 (Fighter Trainer China-2000 or K/JJL9) advanced lead-in fighter trainer the aircraft appears to have evolved from the earlier JJ-7/FT-7 design from the same company. However several new features were added including a solid nose which could house a PD fire-control radar (range 30km), side air intakes, double delta wings (no leading edge flaps), integrated avionics (HUD + MFDs, RKL-206A RWR, ECM, 1553B databus, INS/GPS, JD-3A TACAN, WL-11 radio compass, air data computer). A fixed IFR probe could be installed for IFR simulation. New stepped tandem cockpits and a one-piece windshield give both instructor and student better forward/downward views when compared with JJ-7/FT-7. However the same WP-13F(C) (max trust 4,400kg, 6,450kg with afterburner) is retained in order to cut cost. Its control system is mechanical rather than FBW, again in order to save cost. This suggests JL-9 could only offer a limited improvement in performance (such as all-weather capability and a better low altitude/low speed performance) compared to its predecessor. Once it enters the service with PLAAF/PLAN, it is expected to replace JJ-7 for the training of J-7/8 pilots. However it could turn out to be obsolete for training J-10/11 pilots. The FTC-2000 designation suggests it also aims at the international market for countries who already operate FT-7s. JL-9 might face some competition from Hongdu's L-15 (see below) which is technologically more advanced thus more expensive. Its main advantage lies with the relatively faster pace of the development and a low price tag. It is possible that JL-9 might be converted into an EW aircraft or a light-attack aircraft in the future. The first prototype of JL-9 (JL90001/421) first flew on December 13, 2003, with the second prototype undergoing static test. The 03 prototype (422) first flew on April 3, 2004. Both prototypes were evaluated at CFTE between 2004 and 2005. The first fight of an improved JL-9 took place on August 23, 2006, featuring a new stability control augmentation system (CAS) to achieve better performance, an improved cockpit environment control system and a new VLOC navigational system. Some specifications: normal TO weight 7,800kg, max TO weight 9,800kg, max weapon load 2,000kg, max speed 1.6 Mach, max load 8g, ceiling 16,000m, max climb rate 260m/s, ferry range 2,500km. JL-9 was adopted by PLAAF in May 2007 and a batch of 5 (00 batch? S/N 78x2x) were delivered to PLAAF Flight Test & Training Base for evaluation by the end of 2008. JL-9 passed the technology certification in October 2009 and design certification in December 2011. Several foreign customers have showed interest in FTC-2000, including Bangladesh. JL-9 is also in service with PLAN (dubbed JL-9H? S/N 81x7x). More JL-9s have been entering the service with PLAN (S/N 83x5x) as well as PLAAF (S/N 78x2x) in 2014.
- Last Updated 9/6/14


JL-9G/FTC-2000G Mountain Eagle

A newly built PLAN JL-9G was taxiing at GAIC airfield after a test flight. This dedicated variant has been developed for training Navy pilots in taking off and landing on the aircraft carrier deck (land-based simulation). In order to adapt to the carrier operation environment, JL-9G features some extensive modifications. They include strengthened landing gears and enlarged wings. Leading edge slaps and leading edge root extensions were installed in order to reduce the take-off and landing speed at higher AOA. Consequently the twin ventral stabilizing fins were removed. It also features a taller tailfin housing additional ECM equipment on the top and offering more stability during the high AOA take-off and landing. New DSIs were installed as well which reduce the weight. New conformal antennas are installed at the wingtips. JL-9G made its maiden flight in 2009 at GAIC. Two prototypes (S/N 423 & 424) were tested at CFTE. One (#423) had a tail arresting hook installed. The latest image (November 2013) indicated that JL-9G is entering the service with PLAN (S/N 83x0x) without the tail arresting hook. The trainer is expected to support the carrier based J-15 fighter. An export version dubbed FTC-2000G low-cost LIFT aircraft was unveiled at the 2012 Zhuhai Airshow. This version features an additional pair of side pylons underneath the fuselage for bombs as well as wingtip pylons for AAMs. It was reported that the development of FTC-2000G officially started in December 2013 based on the request from an unspecified customer.
- Last Updated 6/2/14

 JL-10/L-15 Falcon

A JL-10/L-15 advanced jet trainer prototype was taking off from CFTE. Developed by Hongdu and with the technical assistance from Yakovlev OKB, JL-10 (initially known as L-15) is expected to support the new generation of Chinese fighters such as J-10 and J-11. Two variants are being developed initially. One is advanced jet trainer (AJT), powered by two Ukraine AI-222-25 turbofan engines. The other is lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT), powered by two AI-222-25F with afterburner which give L-15 a supersonic capability. Advanced features such as glass cockpit, HOTAS control and 3-axis quadruplex digital FBW are expected to be standard. In addition, large leading edge root extensions (LERX) similar to those on Yak-130 as well as a large vertical tailfin are expected to give the aircraft a high AOA (>30°), which will be useful in simulating certain high-AOA maneuvers of J-10 and J-11. The aircraft will also feature 4 underwing plus 2 wingtip pylons for a variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons. A small PD radar (SY-80A?) can be fitted based on the requirement from the customer. Therefore L-15 can also be converted into a light ground attack role if needed. Some specifications of L-15: normal TO weight 6,500kg, max TO weight 9,500kg, max speed 1.4 Mach, max climb rate 150m/s, g-load +8/-3, ceiling 16,000m, loitering time 2 hr, structural life 10,000 hr. The revealing of L-15 in its early design stage demonstrated Hongdu's intention to compete with Guizhou's JL-9 (see above). The first prototype of L-15 (AJT version) rolled out of the assembly line on September 29, 2005. The first flight was expected by the end of 2005 but was postponed to early 2006 due to the problems of AI-222-25 engine. The 01 prototype first flew on March 13, 2006, powered by DV-2 turbofan without afterburner. The 03 AJT prototype first flew on May 10, 2008, powered by AI-222-25 turbofan without the afterburner. The 05 AJT prototype first flew on June 8, 2009. However the development of the LIFT version suffered from the slow progress of afterburner-equipped AI-222K-25F. The 06 LIFT prototype finally took off on October 26, 2010. It features a stretched nose which could house a fire-control radar, improved glass cockpit with three MFDs, and two AI-222K-25F turbofan engines capable of supersonic flight. Both 03 and 05 prototypes have been undergoing tests at CFTE (S/N 432 & 433). Several foreign countries have expressed serious interest in acquiring L-15. It was reported that 6 L-15s were ordered by Zambia in 2012. The first aircraft took off on June 29, 2013. First delivery was expected in 2014. In November 2012 it was rumored that the prototype of a domestic AJT version called JL-10 was being built. The 10001 prototype first took off from Hongdu airfield on July 1, 2013. JL-10/L-15 could be powered eventually by the domestic Minshan turbofan engine (max thrust 4,700kg with A/B). A recent image (February 2013) indicated that one prototype (01?) has been converted into a UCAV technology demonstrator with the aft cockpit loaded with remote control and monitoring equipment. A large fairing containing a datalink antenna (?) was also installed underneath the forward fuselage. This technology is expected to have been applied to the Sharp Sword UCAV project currently undergoing at Hongdu. Currently both 001 and 002/#435 prototypes are flying various tests at CTFE and is expected to enter the service with PLAAF later this year. It was rumored in September 2013 that JL-10 might be adopted by PLAN as a carrier-based trainer but this has not been confirmed. Recent news (June 2014) suggested that Venezuela has expressed the intention to acquire 24 L-15s.
- Last Updated 7/24/14

Y-7LH Coke

Based on the Y-7-100C2 passenger aircraft, Y-7LH (HYJ-7 or K/JYL7H) was first designed as a simplified and less expensive approach to train navigators and bombardiers of H-6 bomber, replacing the obsolete HJ-5. Its main feature is a large bulge with windshields attached to the starboard side of the fuselage simulating the nose of H-6. This is used to train the bombardier with the HM-1A bombing sight and DMW-1 bombing sight stabilizer installed inside. The aircraft also features the TNL-7880 composite navigation system to train the navigator. Two long fairings are located along both sides of the lower fuselage for carrying up to 20 small practice bombs. Y-7LH navigation/bombing training aircraft first flew in the late 90s and a limited number are believed in service with PLAAF/PLAN H-6 bomber regiments or academies (S/N 71x2x, 82x0x, 162x, 132x). Recent images indicated that the Air Force Y-7LH has been upgraded with an enlarged fairing underneath the fuselage which could house a new surface search radar. Small fairings are installed along the bottom of the fuselage which may include datalink and radio compass antennas. This improved version is thought to have been developed to train the crews of H-6H missile carrier (or even H-6M/K in the future). However the lack of capability to carry the KD-63 ASM suggests the simulation of missile launch is in limited scale.
- Last Updated 11/8/14