PARIS 2009: Uncertainty makes China push L-15 exports

L-15 trainer 1.jpg

Given the uncertain market at home for the Hongdu Aviation L-15, China Aviation Industry Corp (AVIC) is pushing the advanced jet trainer to foreign customers here in Paris. The company has brought a model and simulator, and has been seek talking to officers from several foreign air forces.

The latest version, the L-15-05, had its maiden flight in 9 June. But there is still no news if the People’s Liberation Army Air Force is keen to induct the type. Hongdu Aviation and AVIC are promoting both the baseline AJT version and a light attack variant that comes fitted with weapons to foreign customers. Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe have been mentioned as potential customers.

China is keen to become an arms exporter to reduce the cost of manufacturing these products at home, but politics plays a major part in these deals as well, especially since Beijing is keen on the raw materials in these countries to feed its massive manufacturing industry at home.

For those who are keen to see what the L-15 looks like, here is a video of the aircraft flying at the last Zhuhai Air Show.

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2 Responses to PARIS 2009: Uncertainty makes China push L-15 exports

  1. Dave 19 June, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    Is this L-15 aircraft related to the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 or Yak-130 aircraft? It bears a striking resemblance to both those machines – both of which, as I’m sure you know, originate from a Russian/Italian collaboration. Did the Chinese simply rip off the design or was there some sort collaboration involved with one of the aforementioned parties?

  2. Siva Govindasamy 20 June, 2009 at 1:05 am #

    Yep, you are right. They had help from Yakovlev initially.

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