China’s FTC-2000G multi-role fighter jet, which was developed to meet the demand of the international market, performed its maiden flight on Sept. 28, 2018.
The yellow-painted FTC-2000G took off from the Anshun Huangguoshu Airport in Guizhou province’s Anshun and flew for about 10 minutes. More than 1,000 people, including AVIC executives, provincial leaders as well as ambassadors and military attaches from several nations, took part in the ceremony, China Daily reported.
The FTC-2000G is developed by Guizhou Aviation Industry Corporation (GAIC), which is under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), to meet the demand of the international market. The company said it has full independent intellectual property rights of the aircraft.
The aircraft was rolled out from the production line in the city of Anshun in southwest China’s Guizhou Province on Sept. 5.
FTC-2000G is a variant of the FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle (Shanying) with improved multi-role capabilities. FTC-2000 is the export designation of JL-9 two-seat fighter-trainer operated by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
FTC-2000 is a JJ-7/FT-7 (trainer variant of Chinese license-built MiG-21 designated Chengdu J-7) with a new wing, a forward fuselage with side air intakes, and a glass cockpit. The engine, empennage, and mechanical controls of the JJ-7/FT-7 are retained.
The FTC-2000G uses a diverterless supersonic inlet and has more hardpoints. The FTC-2000G is heavier, slower, and has less endurance than the FTC-2000.
The aircraft has a maximum speed of Mach 1.2, or 1,470 kilometers per hour, a maximum takeoff weight of 11 metric tons, a maximum flight range of 2,400 km, and an operational flight ceiling of 15 km. Equipped with modern radar and fire-control systems, the aircraft is capable of staying airborne for three hours in a single operation.
The model can have up to seven hardpoints with a maximum suspension weight of 3,000 kg and can carry as much as three tons of missiles, rockets or bombs .
This “multi-functional” military aircraft can be used as attack aircraft, fighter or trainer. It could also be used for reconnaissance missions. As a light-duty attack aircraft or fighter jet, FTC-2000G is able to replace old models fielded by developing countries such as China’s J-7 and the Soviet MiG-21. In the role of trainer aircraft, it can replace aircraft like Chinese FT-7 and can complement AVIC’s K-8 Karakorum intermediate jet trainer to form an advanced training systems for military pilots.