Chinese JL-9 trainer jet to be modified to train aircraft carrier pilots


The naval version of the JL-9 Mountain Eagle trainer jet is being modified to enable it to train Chinese aircraft carrier jet pilots on an actual aircraft carrier at a time when China is in urgent need of training more aircraft carrier jet pilots, as its second carrier was just commissioned last year, reports said on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.


Chinese JL 9 trainer jet to be modified to train aircraft carrier pilots 925 001 Two JL-9 fighter trainer jets attached to a regiment of the PLA Naval Aviation Academy take off for a flight training course near the Bohai Gulf on May 4, 2018. (Picture source China MoD)


With China's second aircraft carrier, the Shandong, joining the Chinese naval service in December 2019, China needs to train more pilots more efficiently, and a trainer aircraft that can operate on a carrier rather than a simulated airfield can contribute a great deal to this aim, analysts said.

The Guizhou JL-9, also known as the FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle (Shanying), is a two-seat supersonic fighter-trainer developed by the Guizhou Aviation Industry Import/Export Company (GAIEC) for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF).

The JL-9 is fitted with a digital cockpit enclosed with an oval-shaped glass canopy, which opens to the right side. The cockpit includes three XPS-2 multifunctional displays, a head-up display, a radar warning receiver, electronic countermeasures, and an electronic flight instrumentation system. Other features include a 1553B MILSTD databus, an inertial navigation system, a global positioning system, and an air data computer.

The JL-9 is fitted with a digital cockpit enclosed with an oval-shaped glass canopy, which opens to the right side. The cockpit includes three XPS-2 multifunctional displays, a head-up display, a radar warning receiver, electronic countermeasures, and an electronic flight instrumentation system. Other features include a 1553B MILSTD databus, an inertial navigation system, a global positioning system, and an air data computer.

The JL-9 is armed with one Type 23-1 23mm single barrel cannon. It has also five hardpoints, four under the wings and one under the centreline fuselage section. It can carry up to 2,000 kg of payload including short-range and medium-range air to air missiles, air to ground missiles, unguided bombs and rocket pods.


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