A new naval variant of China’s Guizhou JL-9 Mountain Eagle advanced jet trainer has conducted its maiden flight, according to reports.
The flight took place at Anshun Airport in Southwest China’s Guizhou Province on Tuesday.
Initially speculated to be a carrier-operable aircraft, the aircraft still lacks a tailhook to allow it to land on an aircraft carrier. The major changes are in the tail assembly (with drogue parachute reportedly removed) and the apparent split surface air brakes on the tip of each wing.
The Guizhou JL-9, also known as the FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle, is a two-seat supersonic fighter-trainer developed by the Guizhou Aviation Industry Corporation (GAIC) for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF).
GAIC is under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).