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Myanmar orders FTC-2000G jets

The MAFʼs order of FTC-2000Gs will potentially be fulfilled by mid-2023. The aircraft is likely to be used for counterinsurgency operations. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)

The Myanmar Air Force (MAF) has ordered a batch of Guizhou Aviation Industries Corporation (GAIC) FTC-2000G light combat aircraft from China.

The order has not been officially disclosed by the governments of both the countries. However, The Irrawaddy reported that a group of about eight MAF pilots, eight technicians, and at least two weapons officers travelled to Kunming in June 2022.

This is likely connected to training and familiarisation with the aircraft. The order for the aircraft was also likely placed in 2020. Subsequent deliveries and pilot training were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Chinaʼs strict policies to contain the disease, the Irrawaddy added.

The FTC-2000G is the baseline variant of the GAIC JL-9 Shanying two-seat supersonic turbojet-powered trainer. According to Janes data, it is a “low-cost, multipurpose aircraft” intended for export. Janes Market Forecast identifies the unit price of the JL-9 as being USD8.50 million.

In April 2020 GAIC reported that it had received an order for the FTC-2000G from an “undisclosed Asian country”. Deliveries of the first batch were intended to take place in 2021. At the time, no details were disclosed about the size of the order and the value of the programme.

That the aircraft will likely be used for counterinsurgency (COIN) operations is reinforced by the fact that at least one of the pilots sent to China in June has previous experience flying the Chengdu F-7M fighter, the Nanchang Q-5A attack, and the Hongdu K-8W Karakorum trainer jets for the MAF, according to the Irrawaddy.


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