AVIC has re-designated its Hongdu L-15 advanced jet trainer (AJT) as the L-15AW, to highlight the aircraft’s ability to carry weapons.
A company representative says that both variants of the L-15, the L-15AW and L-15B, can carry weapons, but that the L-15B is a more powerful platform.
The major difference between the two variants is the lack of an afterburner in the L-15AW. The L-15AW has seven hard points for weapons, compared with nine for the L-15B. In addition, the L-15B can carry the SD-10 active radar-guided missile, the export version of the PL-12.
Company literature shows that while the pair are similar in terms of dimensions, the L-15B can take off and land in a shorter distance, and has a higher top speed.
The representative adds that the L-15AW is the better option for clients who wish to use the aircraft mainly for training.