China's Hongdu Aviation Industry Co Ltd has brought two L-15A Advanced Jet Trainers (AJT) to the Dubai Airshow, in their debut appearance at the airshow. Both aircraft feature a striking paint scheme reflecting the colours of the national flag of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with golden color added.
While one of these aircraft will be on static display, the second aircraft will take part in the flying displays.
The UAE placed orders for 12 L-15A AJTs in February 2023. The UAE’s Ministry of Defence had originally announced that it was looking to procure 12 L-15As with options for 36 more in February 2022.
The L-15A can also handle light attack duties and is fitted with a phased array radar. The supersonic trainer has a digital Fly-By-Wire (FBW) flight control system. The UAE is the fourth operator of the type, joining the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force’s (PLAAF).
The PLAAF Bayi Aerobatic Team is also taking part at this Dubai Airshow, making its first visit to the Middle East after being equipped with the J-10C aircraft, replacing its older J-10s.
[Editor’s note: Atul Chandra will reporting from the 2023 Dubai Airshow for MS&T and CAT, its companion editorial program.]