Hongdu JL-10/L-15 Falcon supersonic training and light attack aircraft

PLA Hongdu L-15 Falcon supersonic training and light attack aircraft

The Hongdu L-15 Falcon made its maiden flight in 2006. Development of this aircraft was assisted by Russian Yakovlev design bureau, hence its resemblance to the Yak-130. This advanced trainer was competing for the PLAAF next generation advanced trainer aircraft programme against the Guizhou JL-9. These trainers were accepted to enter service with Chinese air force in 2013 under the JL-10 name. In 2012 it was announced that a total of 12 aircraft were ordered by undisclosed export customers. Now it is known that one of these customers was Zambia, that ordered 6 aircraft. Venezuela also plans to acquire 24 of these aircraft.


The L-15 is intended to train pilots to fly high-performance forth-generation aircraft, such as the J-10 and Su-27. It is also suitable to complete all basic jet flight training courses.

Aircraft is fitted with two Ukranian Progress AL-222K-25F turbofan engines with afterburners. It is worth noting, that China signed a contract with Ukraine for delivery of 1,920 of these engines for the L-15 trainer. Delivery is scheduled until 2041.

AI-222-25FAL-222K-25F turbofan engines with afterburners

The L-15 has secondary light attack capability. It has four underwing and two wingtip hardpoints to carry various weapons, including short-range air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, bombs and rocket pods.


This aircraft features a number of advanced technologies such as digital fly-by-wire, hands on throttle and stick controls. It also has good aerodynamic performance.

L-15 Falcon Cockpit

The L-15 Falcon is more advanced in terms of technology comparing with the JL-9, however it is also more expensive to produce. If this aircraft is chosen by the PLAAF, first operational trainers will become available as early as 2008. The L-15 is also proposed for the export customers.

Therefore L-15 can also be converted into a light ground attack role if needed. Some specifications of L-15: normal TO weight 6,500kg, max TO weight 9,500kg, max speed 0.95/1.4 Mach, max climb rate 150m/s, g-load +8/-3, ceiling 13,000m, loitering time 2 hr, max range 2,600km, structural life 10,000 hr. It features a small PESA radar developed by the 607 Institute (range ~75km)

L-15 advanced lead-in trainer (LIFT) supersonic Advanced Jet Trainer light attack aircraft People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Hongdu Aviation Industry Group (HAIG) export paf pakistan


 People’s Republic of China

In November 2012, an order for twelve L-15s by an unknown customer was announced. They are due to be delivered in 2013. This batch of L-15 is begun to be handed over to the customer on June 29, 2013.

  • Venezuela Air Force – Venezuela Defense Minister Carmen Meléndez Rivas revealed in April 2014, ordering 24 L-15.

Potential customers

Pakistan are interested in acquiring this aircraft to train its fighter pilots.

Ukraine is considering local production of the L-15.

Uruguay was invited to evaluate the aircraft, in an invitation extended by CATIC to the FAU command to form a committee including Air Marshall W. Martínez and staff. The invitation was coordinated for October 2011.


L-15 top view

Data from Military-Today L-15

General characteristics



  • Unknown PESA radar (developed by the 607 Institute (range ~75km))


Source: Military Today, Wiki, Chinese Military Aviation


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