Wendell Minnick

New international deals for the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) were some of the surprises military expert Wendell Minnick discovered at the Zhuhai ninth biennial China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, he writes in Defense News.

Wendell Minnick:

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) revealed plans to fill the first international order for 12 Hongdu-built supersonic L-15 “Hunting Eagle” advanced jet trainers. AVIC did not reveal the identity of the country, but potential customers include Pakistan, Africa and Latin America.

AVIC’s Hongdu Aviation Industry Group and China Aero-Technology Import and Export Corp. signed an agreement during a ceremony on Nov. 13 to begin building the L-15. .

AVIC also announced plans to replace the L-15’s two Ukrainian-built Ivchenko Progress AI-222K-25F engines that power the prototypes with the “Minshan,” a new, indigenous-built twin-spool turbofan engine. AVIC officials claim the engine is an “all-Chinese” engine, but a defense industry source indicates it is based on the Czech DV-2 engine built originally for the L-59 trainer during the Cold War. The L-59 never entered production, but the DV-2 blueprints were obtained by China.

AVIC also revealed plans to develop the L-15 into a target drone. The “Blue Fox” will serve as a high-performance target for air combat weapon tests, ground-to-air defense training.

More in Defense News.

Wendell Minnick is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

The China Weekly Hangout will focus next Thursday on the global ambitions of China’s internet companies. For our announcement, please go here, or you can register directly at our event page. You can see all previous editions on our YouTube channel. 

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