Ukraine’s Motor Sich Awarded $800 Million Contract to Support Chinese Hongdu JL-10 Trainer Aircraft
Ukrainian jet engines manufacturer Motor Sich awarded $800 million contract with People’s Liberation Army for turbofan AI-322 engine production for JL-10 fighter trainer aircraft and its L-15 export version. The Ivchenko-Progress AI-322 is a family of low-bypass turbofan engines. The engine was originally intended for the Yakovlev Yak-130 trainer aircraft. An after-burning version, the AI-322f is also available with thrust vectoring. As previously reported by Ukroboronprom’s press service, the AVIC president said he wanted to quickly set up the production of AI-322 and AI-322f aircraft engines in China.
The Hongdu JL-10 also known as the L-15 Falcon is a supersonic advanced training and light combat aircraft being developed by Nanchang-based Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation (HAIC) to meet the Chinese People’s Liberation ArmyAir Force (PLAAF) and People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF) lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) requirements, as well as next-generation training and light combat needs for foreign customers. The JL-10 is a direct rival to the Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corporation (GAIC) JL-9/FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle in competition for the People’s Liberation ArmyAir Force’s (PLAAF) next-generation advanced trainer aircraft program.
Each of the first two units is powered by two Ivchenko-Progress DV-2 engines and these two aircraft thus do not have the capability to reach supersonic speed. The third unit is powered by the DV-2F, which has afterburners so that it can attain supersonic speed. The subsequent production units are expected to be powered by Ukraine’s Ivchenko-Progress AI-222K-25F turbofan engines with afterburners once a co-production license is obtained by the 608 Institute. Ivchenko-Progress was able to increase the thrust of the AI-222-28F (thrust 4500 kg afterburning) and AI-222-30F (5000 kg thrust afterburning) engines. The latter two engines may be used to equip the JL-10 or other Chinese aircraft.