The Myanmar Air Force (MAF) has taken delivery of Chinese FTC-2000G advanced jet trainer/light attack aircraft, similar to this example of the type pictured above. In operation with the MAF, the aircraft are expected to be operated in a close air support role. (GAIC)
The Myanmar Air Force (MAF) has taken delivery of an initial batch of Chinese FTC-2000G multirole advanced jet trainer/light attack aircraft, which will further boost its capabilities at the beginning of a militarily critical phase of Myanmar's civil war.
Regional intelligence sources confirmed to
that four new FTC-2000Gs were delivered in November, while the online news magazine The Irrawaddy, which has tracked MAF procurements closely, reported on 5 December that six of the aircraft had been delivered.
The FTC-2000Gs are reportedly to be based at Namsang, in the southern part of northeastern Shan State, and will gradually replace the Sino-Pakistan-produced K-8 ‘Karakorum' trainer/light attack jets. In the MAF inventory, since the late 1990s, the ageing K-8s have continued to fly combat missions this year notably in the southern Shan-northern Kayah state zone of operations, which has seen heavy and repeated hostilities between the Myanmar Army and opposition forces.
Produced at a unit cost of USD8.5 million by the Guizhou Aviation Industry Corporation (GAIC), a subsidiary of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the dual-seat FTC-2000G is the export version of GAIC's JL-9 trainer/combat jet and made its first flight in 2018.