Dubai Airshow: China Eyes Middle East’s Jet Trainer Market with the L-15

  • Our Bureau
  • 07:25 AM, November 15, 2021
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Dubai Airshow: China Eyes Middle East’s Jet Trainer Market with the L-15
J-15 advanced jet trainer

China displayed its L-15 advanced jet trainer on Sunday at the Dubai Airshow 2021, reflecting its intent to export such an aircraft to the countries in the Middle East.

“The L-15 is China's best model in terms of advanced trainers,” Wang Yanan, a senior expert on aerospace science and technology, told the Global Times. "After the Airshow China in Zhuhai in October, China brought it to Dubai, reflecting the importance it attaches to the Middle East arms trade market."

Middle Eastern countries are more demanding about the arms trade, and the trainers they bought in the past were generally produced in the U.S., UK or Italy, Wang said. "Now, the L-15 is at the same level of the products of these developed countries, and offers more advantages in terms of price.”

The L-15 and the series of weapons it can carry were the main objects of the outdoor static exhibition area, the report said, citing Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the maker of the aircraft.

The L-15 completed a number of operations such as vertical maneuvering, horizontal maneuvering, horizontal rolls, reversed flights, large angle and small speed passes, and vertical jumps. The show will fully demonstrate the aircraft’s ability to perform both air defense and ground attack missions as an attack aircraft.

The Middle East has always been a hot spot in the arms trade because of the countries' willingness to procure high-level equipment. In the past, China did not have many exportable products that fit the region's situation, Wang noted. "But there has been a big change in recent years. For example, China's drones have gained popularity."

Wang pointed out that the L-15 is a good fit for the Middle East because it can be used as a trainer and can also perform diverse combat missions.

"The L-15's appearance at the Dubai Airshow is expected to attract potential long-term customers for China," Wang said.

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