Chinese advanced trainer aircraft in naval version has made its maiden flight, marking a key milestone towards its developed, according to Guizhou Aviation Industry Import/Export Company (GAIEC)
The two-seat JL-9 naval variant developed for the People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF).
As FlightGlobal reported, visually there is little to set the aircraft apart from the baseline JL-9, apart from extensions to the aircraft’s wingtips and modest changes at the base of the aircraft’s tail.
In turn, Scramble Magazine has noted that the aircraft may not be complete yet, as a necessary arrestor hook for ship-based operations is not yet visible. However, this Sword Fish type may also be for the exclusive use of landbased training of naval pilots.
China’s naval pilots have also been training on the JL-9 carrier-training version, known as the JL-9G, which has a tailhook fitted for arrested landings.