JL-9 Trainer Jet
The Guizhou JL-9, also known as the FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle (Shanying) is a 2-seat fighter trainer being developed by the Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corporation for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF).
The Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corporation first revealed its intention to develop a new generation of fighter-trainer to replace its own JJ-7 fighter-trainer at the 2001 China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition to meet new PLAAF trainer requirements to prepare pilots for China's newest generation of fighter aircraft such as the Chengdu J-10 and Sukhoi derived aircraft like the Sukhoi Su-27SK, Sukhoi Su-30MKK and Shenyang J-11.
The 'FTC-2000' designation indicates an interest in exporting the JL-9 to the international market, likely to countries already operating Guizhou's FT-7 (the export designation for the JJ-7) fighter-trainers. In order to reduce both the development time and development costs of designing an entirely new aircraft, it was decided that the aircraft would be based on the existing Guizhou JJ-7, which itself is based on the Soviet MiG-21U (NATO reporting name "Mongol") fighter-trainer.
The JL-9 made its maiden flight on December 13, 2003, only two years after the start of the project, making it the shortest development time for an aircraft in Chinese aviation history, while successfully keeping costs down. In June 2005, Chinese newspapers have stated that the JL-9 would be part of the People's Liberation Army's 11th five-year procurement plan. In 2006, Guizhou reported that five production aircraft have been accepted into PLAAF service.
The JL-9's key improvements over its predecessor, the JJ-7, is the redesigned forward fueslage, most notably the replacement of the old inlet cone, into a solid nose radome and two lateral intakes. New photo emerged August 2011 in Chinese internet websites indicated JL-9 adopted DSI (Diverterless Supersonic Inlet) design in its latest model, a technology that previously found in F-35, J-10B and FC-1/JF-17 fighter jets.
The JL-9 uses a tandem, one-piece windshield for the pilot and the instructor (who's seat is designed to be higher than the pilot's to assist their view). The cockpit houses three XPS-2 colour multi-function displays and an electronics suite consisting of Radar warning receiver, Electronic countermeasures, 1553B databus, Inertial navigation system/Global Positioning System and air data computer. The JL-9 can also be fitted with a starboard in-flight refuelling probe. The JL-9 retains the same two-section, double-delta wing without leading edge flaps configuration of the J-7E fighter, which offers greater space for fuel capacity and greatly increasing the aircraft's angle of attack compared to a conventional delta wing configuration.
The aircraft is built with the J-7E/G fighters computer aided design and manufacturing procedure which includes, numerical control processing, laser/electromagnetic tests, composite materials, and water jet cutting. In order to reduce costs, the existing WP-13F(C) turbojet engine, fitted with an after-burner from the J-7E/G fighter is used, providing marked improvement over the JJ-7s WP-7B turbojet engine. Jane's Defence Weekly has reported that the new, and far more powerful Liming WP-14C Kunlun-3 turbojet engine will be used for the JL-9 in the future. In another cost-saving move, the JJ-7s mechanical flight control systems is also retained. With the introduction of a solid nose randome, the JL-9 is capable of housing a variety of combat radar, the export designated FTC-2000 is currently being offered with the Italian FIAR Grifo S7 pulse-doppler fire-control radar. The JL-9 has four underwing and one central hardpoints with a total payload of 2000 kg of weapons, such as short-range air-to-air missiles, medium-range air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, bombs, rocket pods and an integrated 23mm cannon.
There are also hardpoints for two underwing droptanks and another under the fuselage. Unlike many other contemporary fighter-trainer aircraft, the JL-9 is a fighter sized aircraft which may lead to the development of an electronic-warfare aircraft or a light-attack aircraft in the future. In total, the JL-9 offers a moderate improvement in performance, particularly at lower altitutdes, over the existing JJ-7 fighter-trainer.
Revised power, in the form of an Ivchenko AI-14R engine, didn't solve the problem, which called for further redesign of the aircraft. Finally, in 1961, an improved CJ-6A gained approval and was produced beginning in 1962 using a 285hp Quzhou Huosai HS6A engine. More than 1,800 CJ-6As were produced, including those exported to nations such as Albania, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Tanzania and Zambia under the designation BT-6. An armed version, the CJ-6B, was produced between 1964 and 1966, equipped with a 300-hp HS-6D engine, according to some sources.
Maximum speed: Mach 2
Guns: 1×Type 23-1 23 mm cannon