Monday, May 31, 2010

120th K-8E Karakorum Jet Trainer Handed Over to Egyptian Air Force

120th locally manufactured K-8E Karakorum training aircraft was handed over to the Egyptian Air Force (EAF) in a ceremony under the Sino-Egyptian co-production program for the K-8E. Chinese Aviation Technology Import-Export Cooperation (CATIC) and Egyptian Defense Ministry signed a contract in1999 to produce 80 aircraft of K-8E in first stage and another 40 in second stage to meet the modern training requirements of the Egyptian Air Force. Egyptian Air Force opted for the K-8E aircraft to replace their old Czech L-29 jet trainers.

Under this contract, Aircraft Factory of Egypt was to produce the K-8E training aircraft. More than 200 Chinese technicians were sent to Cairo for this project. The co-production of the K-8E in Egypt consists of three stages. In the first stage China supplied all the main parts of the aircraft for the assembly of a complete aircraft. In second stage share Egyptian contents was increased and by the end of the programme Egypt manufactured the major parts and independently assemble the planes.

First K-8E trainer aircraft was flight tested at 10:25 am on 05 June 2000 in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province. Aircraft Factory of Egypt began to assemble the aircraft in July 2000. Aircraft Factory of Egypt completed the first Sino-Egyptian contract for 80 K-8E aircraft on 11 December 2005, and was authorized to produce as much as 97.4% of the components. Egypt signed a contract with China to produce another 40 K-8E aircrafts in November, 2004.

The K-8 Karakorum jet trainer with light attack capabilities is a jointly developed by China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CNAMC) and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). Karakorum is the mountain range straddling the Chinese-Pakistani border. Full-scale development of K-8 Karakorum jet trainer began in 1987 with plans to produce the aircraft both in China and Pakistan. Later on, Pakistan decided against a separate assembly line at PAC. PAC only produces the fin, tailplane, and other components accounting for about 25% of the airframe.

K-8 have received orders from customers in many Asian and African countries, including China (Around 400 JL-8s were ordered for PLAAF and PLAN), Pakistan (39 including 27 K-8Ps with glass cockpit), Myanmar(12), Sri Lanka(6), Zambia(8), Zim,babwe(12), Namibia(4), Ghana (4), Sudan (12), Venezuela (18 with option for another 22 K-8) and Bolivia(6).

Fighter plane: K-8E Manufacturer: Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation First trial flight: December, 1994 Flight range: 1,400 kilometers Maximum takeoff weights: 5,280 kilograms Maximum external weapon load: 950 kilograms Maximum fuel load: 780 kilograms Operating radius: 600 kilometers Wingspan: 9.63 meters Height: 4.21 meters

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