The Sudanese Air Force ordered six Guizhou FTC-2000 (aka JL-9) lead-in fighter-trainers from China.
The deal was confirmed by the head of Guizhou Aircraft Industries Corporation (East Pendulum).
The JL-9/FTC-2000 is based on the Chengdu JJ-7/FT-7 – i.e. the dual-seat variant of the popular Chengdu J-7/F-7 fighter. In contrast to the J-7, the JL-9 features a new wing design, solid nose, and side-intakes.
Notes & Comments:
Given the high level of commonality, the Sudanese Air Force will be able to utilize the logistics and maintenance infrastructure of its Chengdu F-7 fleet to readily induct the FTC-2000. The configuration or specific model of Sudan’s forthcoming FTC-2000 are not yet known.
Sudan could be intending to use the FTC-2000 as a lead-in fighter-trainer – i.e. to bridge its pilots from the K-8 to one of the country’s frontline fighter units.
Sudan would be Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC)’s third African customer in terms of modern combat aircraft platforms. Zambia recently received its Hongdu L-15s and Nigeria is expected to ink a JF-17 deal in Pakistan this month.