China’s Hongdu Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) is preparing to deliver the first of six Hongdu Falcon L-15 supersoniclead-in fighter/trainer jets ordered by the Zambian Air Force (ZAF) at a cost of $100 million, according to Defence Web.
Who are we going to bomb? Couldn’t this money be used to develop our fallen electricity generation system? Really, we need war jets now, for what? And all this money is borrowed from China, to buy jets from China, then pay back China with huge interests.
On Dec. 27, HAIG published images of Chinese aircraft specialists posing with ZAF pilots and aircraft technicians with a caption saying the crews have just completed pre-delivery conversion training on the operation and maintenance of the aircraft at the company’s factory
in the Chinese city of Nanchang.
The company said all six pilots who will fly the aircraft once the full batch is delivered were part of the group that received
specialized training. The L-15 is designed to provide basic jet flight training to pilots who are being groomed for the operation of
high-performance fourth-generation aircraft, such as the Chinese-made J-10 and Russian-made Su-27 and better.
Once completed, the delivery will set China up as the sole supplier of the entire ZAF aircraft needs following delivery of 16 Karakorum
light attack and trainer jets and 7 Harbin Z-9 light attack helicopters between 1999 and 2012.
The aircraft were acquired from Aviation Industry Corporation of China subsidiaries China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing and Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing, respectively.
The force modernization program seeks to replace a largely obsolete fleet made up of a collection of Cold War-era Russian, American and
British aircraft models. The twin-seat L-15 Falcon jet is powered to a climb rate of 150 meters per second and a maximum speed of 1,715 kilometers by two Russian-made Ivchenko Progress AL-222K-25F turbo-fan engines fitted with after-burners.
Four under-wing and two wing-tip hard-points which are programmed to carry up to 3,000 kilogram weapons payloads, including short-range air-to-air
missiles, air-to-ground missiles, bombs and rocket pods, enable the aircraft to perform its secondary light-attack role.