UAE to buy L-15 trainer-combat aircraft from China

UAE buy L15 China
Hongdu L-15 Falcon supersonic trainer and light combat aircraft.

The UAE will shortly purchase a dozen L-15 advanced trainer aircraft from China with the option of adding more in the future, the UAE Ministry of Defense said Wednesday. This choice is part of a main strategic plan of the nation which aims to diversify the supply sources of defense platforms.

The announcement was made at the end of a three-day joint trade show that combined the Unmanned Systems Exhibition (UMEX) with the Simulation and Training Exhibition (SIMTEX) in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

"The UAE Ministry of Defense has provided a Letter of Intention to the Chinese CATIC corporation for the purchase of 12 L-15 aircrafts, and also has the intention to purchase additional 36 planes in the future. The L-15 is an advanced trainer and a light combat aircraft, and is considered one of the latest technology in this field," said UAE Air Force Col. Abdulnaser Al Humeidi, the official spokesman for UMEX and SIMTEX show.

The Defense Ministry said the deal's value will be disclosed in the future, however, the cost of each L-15 is expected to be between $10 million and $15 million, according to past reports.

Military business relations between the UAE and China began in 2017 when Abu Dabi purchased an unknown number of Chinese Wing Loong II unmanned aerial attack vehicles (UCAVs). The decision reportedly came after the US refused to sell UCAVs to UAE to use in its war against the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.

UAE-US relations cracked after the Biden administration halted a $23 billion deal signed by the previous Trump Administration to sell the Gulf state F-35 fighters, precision-strike weapons and MQ-9B UAVs.

The Hongdu L-15 Falcon is a supersonic trainer and light combat aircraft designed and manufactured by the Chinese company Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation. Its shape is very similar to the Russian Yak-130 as Yalkolev collaborated in the development of the platform. The more modern variant of the jet, the L15B, boasts passive electronic scanning radar (PESA), RWR and IFF sensors and nine weapon attachment points for a 3.5 ton payload. Its current users include China, Zambia and Ethiopia.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

No comments

All comments related to the contents of our articles are welcome. It is not allowed to post promotional messages, links to external sites, or references to activities not related to this blog.

Powered by Blogger.