China's Guizhou JL-9 jet trainer that was developed for the country's air forces has rolled off the assembly line for the last time Monday.
The JL-9, also known as the FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle (Shanying), is a two-seat fighter-trainer developed by the Guizhou Aviation Industry Import/Export Company (GAIEC) for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF).
The FTC-2000 started as a GAIEC private venture to develop an inexpensive trainer for fourth generation aircraft. The trainer was revealed at the 2001 China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, ECNS.CN reported Monday.
The FTC-2000, as the JL-9, competed with the Hongdu JL-10 to meet the advanced trainer requirements of the PLAAF and PLANAF. The JL-10 is more technologically advanced and more expensive than the JL-9. In 2013, both entered production stage.
A carrier-landing trainer variant was disclosed by Chinese state media in 2011. It is reportedly designated JL-9G.
The Guizhou JL-9 retained the engine, empennage and mechanical controls of its predecessor, the Chengdu J-7, but was given a new wing, a forward fuselage with side air intakes and a glass cockpit.
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 JL-9G is a modified JL-9 for aircraft carrier training. It is designed for ski-jump ramp takeoffs and arrested landings and includes a tailhook.
In November 2016, it was reported that Sudan has ordered six FTC-2000 jets from China.