JiaoLian-9 Advanced Jet Trainer
The JiaoLian-9, also known as FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle (Shanying) in its export name, is an tandem two-seat, single-engine advanced jet trainer developed by the Guizhou Aviation Industry Group Co. (GAIGC). First flying on 13 December 2003, the JL-9/FTC-2000 is competing with the Hongdu Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) L-15 for the contract of PLAAF’s next generation trainer programme.
With more high-performance third-generation fighters such as J-10 and Su-27/30 entering the service, the PLAAF’s existing JJ-6 (MiG-19 Farmer) and JJ-7 (MiG-21U Mongol) trainer fleets struggled to meet the training requirements that will enable the pilots to fly these fighters in their best performance. The PLAAF is in desperate needs for a new trainer that could match its new-generation fighters in aerodynamic performance and avionics.
GAIGC first revealed its FTC-2000 advanced trainer concept in 2001. In order to save development time and costs, CAIGC designed the new aircraft based on its JJ-7 fighter-trainer, which has been serving with the PLAAF since the early 1980s. The new trainer retained the wing planform and powerplant of the JJ-7, but was given a redesigned forward fuselage with lateral air intakes and the in-flight refuelling probe. This has resulted in a modernised version of the JJ-7, with a relatively low unit price and modestly improved performance.
The first JL-9 prototype was rolled out in 2003 and made its first successful flight on 13 December 2003, only two years after the programme started. The aircraft was given a military designation as JL-9 (JiangLian-9). In June 2005, Chinese newspapers reported that the JL-9 programme has been listed in the PLAAF’s 11th five-year procurement plan. The flight tests of the JL-9 is expected to complete by the end of 2005. GAIC has reportedly built 10 initial production variant planes, five of which were to be delivered to the PLAAF before 2006.
The fuselage of the JL-9 is based on the JJ-7, but with a redesigned solid nose and lateral air intakes. The aircraft has a pair of two-section wings, with sweep angle of the inner section larger than the outer section; and two stabilising fins located under the rear fuselage. Two pilot seats are located in tandem in the cockpit, with the rear seat higher than the front seat to give better view. The cockpit canopy opens to the right side. An in-flight refuelling probe can be installed on the starboard side of the cockpit.
The aircraft could be fitted with foreign avionics such as the Italian Grifo S-7 pulse-Doppler fire-control radar. Alternatively it can be equipped with an indigenous fire-control radar. Other avionics include the 1553B MILSTD data bus, XPS-2 head-up display (HUD), and multifunctional displays (MFD).
The JL-9 has five stores stations (one under fuselage and four under wings), and is capable of carrying up to 2,000kg weapon payloads, including short-range air-to-air missiles and rocket launders and bombs. Fixed weapon includes a 23mm cannon.
The JL-9 is powered by a WP-13F(C) turbojet. The internal fuel tank is 2,660 litres, and the aircraft can carry three 480-litre (or two 480-litre tanks and a 720-litre) drop tanks under its wings. The aircraft has the in-flight refuelling capability using its fixed probe.
Weight: Normal take-off 7,800kg; max take-off 9,800kg
Max Speed: Mach 1.6
Range: Ferry range 2,500km
Service Ceiling: 16,000m
Max Climb Rate: 260m/s
G Limit: +8/-3
Last update: 2 May 2008