Monday, June 20, 2011

More public proclamation of the Carrier program

About a week and half ago, Chen Bingde finally publicly discussed the ex-Varyag aircraft carrier for the first time. And now that the veil has come off, we are seeing more public proclamation of the carrier program.

As we saw previously, a naval variant of the JL-9 trainer, currently serving in PLAAF, is being developed and tested. Today, CDF blog posted an article on China Military Online, which seems to be an official acknowledgment of this project. Interesting enough, this naval variant is named JT-9, instead of the previously expected designation of JL-9H. It'd be interesting to see what other part of the carrier project is made public next.


Qasim said...

The PLAAF flies close to 200 Hongdu JL-8 trainers, and Hongdu also produces the L-15 advanced trainer. And then there's the JL-9/JT-9 trainer. Plus there are versions of J-7 and J-5 that are trainers.

Where do all these fit though, strategically. Would China really need many different types of trainer aircraft in the long run?

Feng said...

JL-8 is intermediate trainer. JJ-9 is advanced. It will be replacing the older JJ-7 trainers. It's main competitor is L-15. So far, it looks like JJ-9 is winning.

Qasim said...

Thanks for the info!

I hope the L-15 finds it's place, it seems to be quiet a remarkable aircraft. Hongdu does not appear to be promoting it very actively(publically), and progress seems much slower than others like Chengdu.

The only aircraft that the once-mighty British aerospace industry seems to make indigenously, is the L-15 equivalent BAE Hawk. Many countries would be very proud of being able to manufacture an aircraft of L-15's capabilities, including the China of the 1990s. China of 2011 is an entirely different story however, but the aircraft is still quiet good.

Feng said...

L-15 has lost a lost of luster in PLA due to Hongdu's difficulty in developing it. I think it has a lot greater potential than JJ-9, but it needs to realize that potential first. After all, it took PLA a while to accept K-8. Now, K-8 is a resounding success around the world.