Warplanes: K-8 Shoots Down Superior L-15

Archives

August 25, 2010: A Chinese aircraft manufacturer has produced an attack version of the L-15 jet trainer. Normally, the L-15 just carries a trainee pilot and an instructor. But the attack version has a pilot and a weapons systems officer. The L-15 is a 9.5 ton aircraft with a max speed of 1,000 kilometers an hour and a combat radius of 550 kilometers. Since it first flew four years ago, the L-15 has been offered to the Chinese armed forces and foreign customers, without much success.

The problem is the K-8, which is a smaller, cheaper Chinese jet trainer. The K-8 is a 4.3 ton, two seat aircraft. The trainee and instructor are replaced by a pilot and observer on combat missions. Max speed is 800 kilometers an hour. The K-8 entered service in 1994, and over 500 have been built. The aircraft can be fitted with a 23mm cannon, and carry nearly a ton of missiles and bombs. Egypt and Pakistan also use the K-8. The aircraft sells for $4-5 million each. The L-15 sells for more than twice as much, but carries about the same amount of weapons. The L-15 is touted as a more suitable trainer for pilots headed for high performance (like the Su-30, F-16 or J-10) aircraft. But so far, air forces have found it more economical to buy the K-8.

 

 


Article Archive

Warplanes: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close