PARIS AIR SHOW: China promotes L-15 trainer at show

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China is promoting the Hongdu Aviation Industry L-15 advanced jet trainer at the show, pushing both the base version and a light attack variant to foreign customers.

The company has an aircraft model and a simulator that potential customers can use at its stand, and company officials were talking to air force officers from several countries.

Officials from Hongdu and its parent company China Aviation Industry (AVIC) declined to comment, but African countries such as Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are among those believed to be interested in the L-15.

Hongdu has three prototypes of the twin-seat aircraft and a final configuration with the Ivchenko-Progress AL-222K-25F engine could be ready in 2010. Another version with an afterburner is expected to be primed in 2011 and a light attack version is being studied as well.