China JL-10 Drops 500kg Bombs in Training Drills: China Conducts Live-Fire Training Drills with JL-10. Advanced trainer Jet Drops 500- KG Bombs for First Time. Will JL-10’s Bombing Prowess Attract More Foreign Buyers?
China JL-10 Drops 500kg Bombs in Training Drills
China has showcased the JL-10’s prowess in complex drills, just over a month after the UAE announced plans to buy the aircraft. The export variant of China’s advanced trainer jet is known as L-15. The JL-10 reportedly dropped 500-KG bombs for the first time during a training exercise. The JL-10 drills showcased PLA Air Force’s training plan for cadets to master ground attack and bombing, as per reports. Several analysts say that the training also displayed the aircraft’s outstanding capabilities.
The live-fire training exercise was held by PLA’s Shijiazhuang Flight Academy with two 500-kg aviation bombs on the JL-10. The training drills come a month after UAE expressed its plans to buy the L-15 Advanced Trainer Jet(ATJ). In February, UAE Defence Ministry stated that it will sign a contract with China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC).
UAE is likely to buy 12 L-15 training and light combat aircraft, with the option of purchasing another 36 planes later. So far Zambia is the only country to have purchased and trained on the L-15 trainer Lead-in Fighter Trainer (LIFT) Aircraft. Uruguay and Venezuela hav also expressed interest in purchasing the Advanced trainer jet.
What is JL-10/ L-15 Advanced Trainer Jet
The Hongdu L-15 is a two-seat, twin-engine supersonic platform built to address the demand for training pilots. China’s L-15 advanced jet trainer made its debut at the Dubai Airshow 2021 in November 2021. It was viewed as a major move by China to promote its trainer jet to Middle Eastern Countries. Gulf nations have been in the process of diversifying their military import options away from the West. The L-15 is available in two versions: advanced jet training and lead-in fighter training.
Advanced trainer jets teach student pilots how to fly supersonic aircraft and perform complex aerial maneuvers. Lead-in fighter training jets are improved versions of advanced jet models that emphasize familiarizing trainees with combat maneuvers and skills. The L-15 is powered by two AI-222K-25F afterburner turbofan engines, each with a single afterburner thrust of 4200 kg. it has a full authority digital engine control module and a service life of 3000 flying hours. The L-15 trainer can also engage in ground and air warfare and has six weapon attachment points.
It can also be attached to air-to- surface missiles, precision-guided bombs, general aviation bombs, and rocket launching nests. L-15’s payload of 3,000 kg, experts say, is a key factor behind the Jet’s export potential and the interest of foreign buyers.
China’s focus on Combat Capability
The live-fire drill was the first time the JL-10 Carried out such a training mission since being commissioned into PLA Air Force. This indicates China’s focus on combat capability and having a combat-ready force for potential conflicts, as per experts. China is embroiled in disputes with almost all of its neighbors, barring North Korea and Pakistan. China’s tensions with Western powers let by the US have also soared in recent years as both sides seek dominance in the Indo-Pacific.
Li Liang (A flight instructor of the PLA Air Force brigade)
We have never dropped a 500-Kilogram bomb in previous training, so this is a first. I am very excited to complete this mission and we will practice whatever is required on the battlefield.