In the process of modernization, Bangladesh Air Force has already procured 09 nos Hongdu K-8 (Karakorum -8 /JL-8) Jet Trainer and Light Attack Aircraft from Peoples Republic of China, which are replacing ageing Cessna T-37s in operational use.
In the 1st phase pilots of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) landed at Bangladesh Air Force Base Bir Sreshtho Matiur Rahman, Jessore with four K-8W aircraft on 27 September 2014 from China which were later inducted on 10 December 2014. Five more K-8s were delivered on 08 April 2015.
As part of an ongoing fleet modernization program, the Bangladeshi air force will also procure 16 Yak-130 advanced jet trainers from Russia’s Irkut. To be used in combination with the more basic K-8, the type will prepare pilots to operate the service’s front line fleet of Chengdu J-7 and RAC MiG-29 fighters.
BAF signed the contract with China in 2013 worth 80 million US Dollar to procure the K-8s.
K-8 (Karakorum-8/ Hongdu JL-8) K-8 (Karakorum -8) is the export version of Chinese Hongdu JL-8 (Nanchang JL-8). It is a two-seat proven basic / advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft. K-8 is designed in the China by China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. The primary contractor for this plane is the Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation. The export-variant K-8 Karakorum is co-produced by China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) for export markets other than Pakistan, while later aircraft for Pakistan have been built by the Aircraft Manufacturing Factory (AMF), Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.K-8 can perform various normal and aerobatic fighter training as well as air-to-air and air-to-ground armament training. It is designed in compliance with the requirement of modern military trainer and equipped with state-of-the-art engine, avionics, escape system, etc. K-8 is of excellent performance, high reliability and low operational cost. Besides, to fulfill the wide range of requirements, K-8 series aircraft has been developed into a bigger family with various avionic systems, and different type's cockpit.
MAX. Take-off weight 4468 kg
Max. Horizontal speed 800km/hr
Service Ceiling 13,600 m
Take-off run 440 m
Landing run 530 m
[Compiled By: Sabera Jahan, Source: ISPR, China Defence Forum]