China's jet trainer JL-9 rolls off assembly line for final time

Zhang Tao

China's first exported jet trainer developed for the country's air forces rolled off the assembly line for the last time on June 5.

The Guizhou JL-9, also known as the FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle, began as a private venture of Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corporation for fourth generation aircraft. It was revealed at the 2001 China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition and went into detailed design the year after.

The fighter-trainer entered production in 2013, and a military export deal with Sudan was signed in 2016.

The Guizhou JL-9 retained the engine, empennage and mechanical controls of its predecessor, the Chengdu J-7, but was given a new wing, a forward fuselage with side air intakes and a glass cockpit.

The trainer was completed along with the Hongdu L-15, a supersonic training and light attack aircraft developed by Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation, to meet the advanced jet trainer requirements of the People's Liberation Army Air Force and the People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force in China.


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