During the 2023 Dubai Airshow, China’s Hongdu Aircraft Company confirmed that Pakistan is engaged in formal negotiations to acquire light attack aircraft from China.
This potential acquisition aims to replace the aging F-7PG fighters currently used by the Pakistan Air Force for combat pilot conversion.
According to Hongdu, Pakistan wants to buy a light attack aircraft version of the L-15 trainer.
The armed variant of the L-15 boasts nine hardpoints capable of carrying approximately three tons of weaponry, strategically distributed across its fuselage and wings. Its arsenal includes the versatile HJ-10 anti-tank guided missiles and the LS series of 250-500kg laser- and satellite-guided bombs, augmenting its ground attack capabilities.
Equipped with a suite of Chinese lightweight aircraft sensors, including multi-mode targeting pods and electronic jammers, the L-15 stands out. Its electronically scanned array radar enables an anti-aircraft role, complemented by the integration of PL-12 long-range air-to-air missiles and PL-10 infrared-guided short-range missiles.
Further range extension options involve fuel drop tanks, enhancing its 500km combat radius for increased operational efficiency and on-station flight duration.