The Chinese air force has introduced the Guizhou JL-9 advanced jet trainer at its aviation university.

The aircraft, also designated the FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle, started training cadets on 18 October, according to a brief statement on the web site of the Chinese defence ministry.

It adds that the type, which replaces the Chengdu JJ-7 jet trainer (a twin-seat variant of the MiG-21 based F-7), was first introduced to the air force in 2011.”

The statement adds that the type is suitable for preparing pilots for aircraft such as the J-7, Shenyang J-8, Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17, and Sukhoi Su-27.

The JL-9 is powered by a Guizhou Liyang WP-13 turbojet equipped with an afterburner.

A flyer about the FTC-2000 distributed at the 2012 Air Show China in Zhuhai states that the type can sustain a maximum G-load of 8G, and can reach an maximum airspeed of Mach 1.5.

The aircraft has five hard points, of which three can carry fuel tanks, and a 23mm cannon.