Military Review

The new modification of the Chinese UBS Guizhou JL-9G will go to aircraft carriers


Experienced deck-mounted UBS starts its first flight

In the foreseeable future, the naval forces of the People's Liberation Army of China may receive a new combat training aircraft designed to train deck pilots aviation. The machine was created on the basis of the existing Guizhou JL-9G Shanying UBS and differs from it in the ability to work on aircraft carriers.

The latest news

The plans of the Guizhou Aviation Industry Company (GAIC) to develop a deck-based version of the JL-9G Shanyin UBS (Mountain Eagle) became known back in 2010-11. At that time, GAIC was preparing for mass production of the basic modification of the aircraft, but already made plans for the future. Subsequently, various reports on the progress of work appeared repeatedly in the Chinese and foreign press.

In mid-March, the GAIC press office announced the completion of work on a project of particular importance for the benefit of carrier-based aviation. The message was illustrated by computer graphics - an aircraft similar to the JL-9G flew over a Chinese aircraft carrier. It was a very transparent hint of an already famous project.

On April 20, GAIC reported on the completion of the construction of the first prototype aircraft of the new model. The work was completed on time, and now it was planned to move on to the testing phase - ground and then flight.

Ground checks did not take much time, and on May 12, the decked version of the Mountain Eagle made its first flight. Tests are conducted at Anshun Huangoshu Airport (Guizhou Province) and should take some time. How soon flight tests will transfer from a land airport to the deck of an aircraft carrier is not reported.

Family member

The tested deck version of the Shanin is another representative of a whole family of Chinese-designed combat trainers. Work on the first aircraft of the line, the future JL-9, started back in the mid-nineties. In 2001, the public was told about him, and at the end of 2003 the first flight took place.

Airplane in the air

At the turn of the decade, it became known about the development of a new modification of the “Mountain Eagle” under the designation JL-9G. It differed from the basic UBS by a modified and reinforced glider, a larger mass and a different power plant. Due to the latter, it was allegedly improved flight performance. In the past there was an assumption that the aircraft version "G" was intended for use in carrier-based aviation. However, later it became clear that this is a "land" UBS, and for fleet will create another car on its base.

The aircraft of the JL-9 Shanying line are intended for the supply of PLA. For export, UBS under the designation FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle is offered. This technique is minimally different from the basic one and, probably, it can be modified taking into account the wishes of the customer. To date, both the main FTC-2000 and the improved FTC-2000G are available to order.

Serial production of JL-9 aircraft was launched in 2011, and almost simultaneously with it they launched the assembly of more expensive and complex UBS Hongdu JL-10. It was assumed that the two types of equipment would complement each other and provide more effective training for pilots. Soon GAIC, having received an order from the PLA, mastered the production of newer JL-9G.

Export FTC-2000s are also mass-produced. Foreign orders are available and executed. Launch of the more advanced FTC-2000G. The first production car of this type took off in September 2018, and new ones followed.

Deck specifics

The main features and capabilities of promising UBS for the fleet are known. In general, it is based on the design of the serial JL-9G ground-based, but has characteristic differences associated with the features of the proposed operation. In addition, a certain difference in the age of the two aircraft affected the composition of the equipment and, accordingly, the capabilities.

As previously reported, the JL-9G, which became the basis for the deck, differs from the simple JL-9 advanced glider. Some units are reinforced, a new wing has been developed. Used new supersonic air intakes that cut off the boundary layer of the fuselage. The wing was also seriously rebuilt.

JL-9G production aircraft in the assembly shop, 2015

In the context of creating a deck-mounted UBS, the need for additional reinforcement of some airframe and landing gear units, installation of a brake hook, etc. was mentioned. The necessity of using a folding wing was not ruled out. Aircraft with such technical features can be stored and operated on existing and promising PLA aircraft carriers. He will be able to take off from the nasal springboard and land on the aerofinisher.

The maximum take-off weight of the JL-9G and its specialized version reaches 11 tons. The aircraft is capable of developing supersonic speed; cruising - 870 km / h. Provided maneuverability at the level of serial fighters of the Air Force and Navy PLA.

Onboard equipment of the deck version of the Mountain Eagle provides the opportunity to train pilots and solve combat missions. The aircraft has a radar station integrated into the aiming and navigation complex, modern communications and navigation, etc. For pilots designed double tandem "glass" cabin with duplication of instruments and controls.

Projects of the JL-9 family include equipping aircraft with an integrated 23 mm automatic gun. Under the wing and fuselage there are five suspension points for weapons. UBS carries at least 2 tons of weapons in the form of guided and unguided missiles and bombs. All this allows you to perform a wide range of training and combat missions in the air-to-air and air-to-ground modes.

Training Issues

Currently, for training fighter pilots in the PLA, several types of training and combat training aircraft are used. The oldest and most massive is Hongdu JL-8, manufactured since the mid-nineties. At the beginning of the tenths it was supplemented with modern Guizhou JL-9 and Hongdu JL-10; Modifications to this technique have also been created.

In the recent past, in the PLA naval aviation, two training regiments were formed on JL-9 aircraft of two main modifications. The total number of their equipment is approx. 40 units In the near future, it is possible to replenish the fleet with newer JL-9Gs.

Export FTC-2000G

With all this, in the training system of "marine" pilots, there is still no specialized deck-based UBS. After training on "land" aircraft, pilots immediately switch to deck Shenyang J-15. The emergence of a new UBS project indicates that the command decided to change the training system and introduce a new stage in it - between training on UBS / UTS of exclusively land based and the transition to military equipment of carrier-based aircraft.

How justified this step is is not entirely clear. Other countries with developed carrier-based aircraft do without specialized airborne systems capable of landing on an aircraft carrier. This imposes some limitations, which, however, are not considered critical. Only the PLA is planning to abandon such a system.

Big future?

The timing of the completion of the test program, as well as the start of mass production and the introduction of the deck JL-9G in the army, remains unknown. Testing a new type of aircraft, both at aerodromes and on the deck, can take several years - although the use of the proven design of a production aircraft provides some opportunities to accelerate these processes. It can be assumed that the mass operation of deck-based UBS in training units will begin by 2025.

In all likelihood, the decked version of the Mountain Eagle UBS will remain a model only for its own fleet. Emergence of export orders should not be expected. The new aircraft is being developed for use on aircraft carriers, and only a few countries have such ships. Most of these states will not buy Chinese equipment for political reasons. She will not be interested in others because of different views on the training of flight personnel.

China plans to further develop its carrier fleet, and with it carrier-based aviation. Mass and high-quality training of pilots who will have to work on ships in the future is needed. Various measures are being taken, and one of them is the creation of a specialized deck-based UBS. He has already reached the stage of flight tests, which in the future will be able to open the way for him in naval aviation.
Photos used:
Guizhou Aviation Industry Company, Wikimedia Commons
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  1. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 15 May 2020 06: 13 New
    Big future?
    Training aircraft are usually in service for a very long time. But the value of this particular aircraft, as a combat training ship-based, is low in my opinion, at least because of one engine.
    1. Pavel57
      Pavel57 15 May 2020 17: 40 New
      Vladimir_2U (Vladimir) single-engine aircraft reliability is not much lower than twin-engine. And the fashion for single-engine decks did not pass - the F-35 is the most striking example. And there are others.
      1. Vladimir_2U
        Vladimir_2U 15 May 2020 18: 17 New
        Quote: Pavel57
        And the fashion for single-engine decks did not pass - the F-35 is the most striking example
        One engine on the F-35 is a measure forced due to vertical take-off, and the Chinese engine and the American are very different. )))
  2. Aviationism
    Aviationism 15 May 2020 06: 34 New
    Remarkably, this aircraft is another of many derivatives of the most successful military aircraft in history: the MiG-21.
    1. 川 建国
      川 建国 15 May 2020 10: 54 New
      The aircraft was indeed rebuilt on the basis of mg 21.
  3. Avior
    Avior 15 May 2020 07: 25 New
    No matter how I looked, I did not find a landing hook, and even a place for it, too.
    How he will sit down on the deck
    1. ares1988
      ares1988 15 May 2020 10: 57 New
      Will slow down the name of the Party and under the supervision of the ship commissioner)
  4. ares1988
    ares1988 15 May 2020 07: 37 New
    Gaka there, apparently, will not be, because plan to train from the ground airfield.
    1. Avior
      Avior 15 May 2020 13: 19 New
      Unless he studies, he sits in a certain corridor; the thing is necessary on an aircraft carrier.
  5. V.I.P.
    V.I.P. 15 May 2020 10: 01 New
    UBS Hongdu JL-10 / L-15 is a Russian revised glider from the Yak-130, Ukrainian AI-222-25F engines ... Why did Yakovlev Design Bureau make a glider for them and create a competitor for itself? The Chinese are exporting their L-15.
    1. Avior
      Avior 15 May 2020 13: 20 New
      Yeah. Supersonic also.
    2. Zufei
      Zufei 16 May 2020 10: 08 New
      Yak subsonic because engines without afterburner. Not like on the L-15.
  6. Pavel57
    Pavel57 15 May 2020 17: 38 New
    Quote: V.I.P.
    UBS Hongdu JL-10 / L-15 is a Russian revised glider from the Yak-130, Ukrainian AI-222-25F engines ... Why did Yakovlev Design Bureau make a glider for them and create a competitor for itself? The Chinese are exporting their L-15.

    The export potential of the L-15 is limited by politics, price and engines.
    If the Yak-130 is already sold in 6 countries, M-346 - in 5 countries, then sales of the L-15 so far only on paper.
    1. V.I.P.
      V.I.P. 16 May 2020 16: 54 New
      Yak sold or as usual transferred on credit, which no one will ever give?
  7. Sarkazm
    Sarkazm 17 May 2020 17: 11 New
    Quote: Aviationism
    Remarkably, this aircraft is another of many derivatives of the most successful military aircraft in history: the MiG-21.

    Indeed, the predecessor of the JL-9 is an “unlicensed” Chinese copy of the training-combat version of our Soviet bestseller MiG-21.
    JL-9G (FTC-2000G) due to the new wing, take-off and landing characteristics are improved, speed is reduced, fuel supply is increased, combat radius is increased, the number of suspension units is increased. But at the same time they lost in the maximum ceiling and speed of 15000m against 16000m and 1200km / h against 1700km / h.
    In fact, if we draw analogies, then at the output we have an analogue of the Italo-Brazilian AMX, "a battlefield isolation plane." The Italians creating their aircraft proceeded from the considerations of a light and multifunctional aircraft, inexpensive to operate, and inexpensive (relative to European technology) in production. A classic airframe, a rather old jet engine, but chosen since it was mastered, distributed, inexpensive and easy to operate.
    Both fighters do not have an EMF, a simple and classic control system.
    The Italian AMX has subsonic speed, the Chinese JL-9G is still supersonic, plus the latter has more advanced avionics, the cockpit equipment is identical to the latest versions of the Chinese-Pakistani JF-17, radar, or the latest version similar to that installed on the Italian AMX, or Chinese. The Chinese, in contrast to the Italian, can use medium-range air-to-air missiles, while the Italian has only AIM-9 for self-defense.
    As a result, the output is a light multi-purpose attack aircraft, the tongue does not turn out to be a fighter, at a price of only 8,5 million. dollars per unit, performing the role of a reactive UBS, EW aircraft, reconnaissance and light attack aircraft. In the latter case, there is more than an arsenal, these are free-falling and guided / adjusted bombs, anti-radar and anti-ship missiles, and the simplest one is NURS. Also, the JL-9G, which has a 23mm cannon, can carry up to 6 air-to-air and PTB missiles on the central sub-fuselage assembly, in this configuration it can not even compete with its predecessor, not to mention more advanced fighters, but it can perform fighter functions to a limited extent , for example, air defense of a small country.

    As the UBS for the PLA JL-9G didn’t work, by the way, it took off from the ground simulator ramp, but it couldn’t be carried out on the aircraft carrier. The author was a little late with the article, but many thanks for this. In an article about the Swedish, Grippen wrote that we need a light single-engine fighter, many immediately say that it will be superfluous if deliveries of our MiG-35 air forces begin. I would almost agree if to put aside our own Air Force there is another problem - the Collective Security Treaty Organization, other friendly countries with relatively modest capabilities.
    Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Syria, etc. - these countries can’t afford not only to afford our Su-30 or MiG-35, but also to operate it, let's face it. For our part, supplying them with the Su-30 and possibly in the future the MiG-35, the modernized Su-27 and MiG-29 from our Air Force, we essentially give them this equipment and to the detriment of our own, our Air Force. What for? Well, these countries will not be able to provide the level of training for pilots and units of the Air Force receiving similar equipment from us at least at the minimum acceptable level for providing defense, for example, within the framework of the CSTO. In the CSTO, only we, Belarus and Kazakhstan have such opportunities. As a result, we are essentially squandering our own funds, talking about loans in rubles, and even at a low percentage, let's leave it for a manger, and at the same time we are straining these rather poor countries. Yes, they are our allies or have friendly relations with us, and most importantly, with these gifts, we essentially support the trousers of our enterprises, ensure employment and continuity. As for me, the last one in this situation will be almost more important. But so why not do it more efficiently? The Chinese do not have an engine, we have it, the MiG-35 is unlikely to be produced in a large series, but there is an engine manufacturer for example, please, here it is an engine, moreover it more than successfully flies on the Chinese-Pakistani JF-17.
    Well, returning to the supply of Su-30SM to Armenia, part of the machines, the quantity has been forgotten, it has already been delivered, but in total 12 aircraft are planned, costing more than 60-70mln. dollars. Well, firstly, Armenia simply NEVER will be able to pay for these Su-30SM, this is a fact. Secondly, it is an unnecessarily heavy and powerful aircraft for her. In the third 12 cars will not make her the weather and will not increase our common at least defensive capabilities in this direction. Fourth in Armenia, the operation of these machines is not affordable, that is, again, it is pleasure at our expense and to the detriment of our Air Force. Who was stopping us from supplying Armenia with a modernized MiG-29 as a transitional version from its Air Force, loading the plant by the way, and then supplying more affordable and cost-effective single-engine fighters? Half of our expenses for the supply and maintenance of these Su-30SM we would provide our ally with a whole aviation regiment of light, multi-role fighters, taking into account the presence of a regiment in the Armenian Air Force, or bringing their number to the regiment, Su-25 attack aircraft, and the presence of Mi-24 attack helicopters , plus our MiGs are based in Armenia and we get in the South an allied fairly well-equipped Air Force group.
    Someone would say that there was no way out, they had to deliver, as it is preparing, now it’s already obvious, a contract for the supply of our fighters to Azerbaijan, and Armenia is jealous of the supply of modern weapons to its enemy and blah blah. But this is not an argument, one could essentially give away, present to Armenia the same modernized MiG-29s intended for the Air Force grouping of our base in Armenia, as intermediate ones, because we see them in such a role, waiting for the MiG-35 and arming ours, his, a group of either Su-30SM, or Su-35, or a mixed composition, what's the problem? Sou-shki are difficult for this region and theater, Armenia is small, a day's journey to either end, but we still have a lot of Su-27s that will soon exhaust their resources, who prevents getting Mi-Ki to translate Su-shki? And this is a rather stupid situation - money wasted to the detriment of its own Air Force, and to the ally from this supply, ZERO sense. We will sell to Azerbaijan, as far as I understand, 24-26 vehicles, plus it already has a dozen MiGs, if there is a conflict, the Armenian Air Force will climb into Karabakh’s airspace and will rake it off. The fact that they have already delivered or even had all 12 cars against them is a nuisance against the Azerbaijani Air Force, and the Armenian logic is that they didn’t put "the Russians betrayed us", they put the "Russians bettered them better", in short, in any situation, we are bad and back to ours the embassy will fly a trifle from the Armenians. Then it makes sense to do everything badly And for an ally, And to the detriment of oneself, but only to please? And to whom? Pashinyan with comrades, the nestling of Soros? ... Armenia even have light multi-purpose fighters, but 24-26 units are one, and these 12 are NOTHING and only threatens us with damage, and I repeat, my opinion and as an ally we did not help, and they did it to their own detriment, and we’ll earn another charge that they enslaved Armenia with these supplies, etc., and so forth (read their press).
    Long, but hopefully intelligible. Therefore, we need a light single-engine fighter, and for uniform loading of production and the base, it needs to be created on the basis of units and systems of the MiG-35. Airplanes of many of our CSTO allies are already living their lives, I repeat, they are not able to buy our Su-30/35 or MiG-35, as well as ensure their operation, but we will tear ourselves up by making such gifts, which are pointless and ineffective, especially in difficult economic conditions. But at the same time, being the leading country in the Collective Security Treaty Organization, having the most developed and strong military-industrial complex, we must think ahead and we need to create a fighter on spent units, cheaper than our existing ones, and more perfect than the Chinese reincarnation of our balalaika. At lower costs, both ours and our allies, we will ensure sufficient quality and strength of their national air forces. For the air forces of such countries of our allies as Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, it is quite enough to have a mixed Mi-24 and Mi-8/17 helicopter regiment, the Su-25 regiment (which we have undeservedly discontinued, and it costs us less than the Brazilian Tukano turboprop), and Regiment of multi-purpose light fighter jets.
    Well and most importantly, the light multi-purpose fighter is the most unified and uses proven solutions of the MiG-35, and it will not hurt us very, very much.
    1. anzar
      anzar 2 August 2020 12: 26 New
      Long, but I hope intelligibly

      Very true, but intelligible ... yes, but not to "who needs" ((
      ... most importantly, a light multi-role fighter that is as unified as possible and uses proven MiG-35 solutions

      ..and produced INSTEAD OF him)) But is MIG already eating frames? Therefore, you can:
      Stage 1- joint production of JF-17 with China. The glider, chassis, etc. ... let them do it there (it won't be cheaper in Russia), and the engine, weapons and equipment are here.
      Stage 2- new, "cheaper" generation 5-)) based on the same engine (for export) or "second stage of the Su-57" for itself and export (possibly based on the Hunter?).
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