K-8 Foreign Sales
In December 1999, China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) signed a contract with Egypt to co-produce 80 K-8 trainer aircraft under license. These aircraft were to be built in Egypt using Chinese-supplied kits, and were given a new designation K-8E. CATIC was responsible for helping the Egyptian contractor to build the aircraft assembly line as well as providing necessary technical assistance and post-sale services.
The K-8E features 33 modifications in the airframe and avionics from the original K-8. Hongdu redesigned the aircraft using computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM) technologies. Under the co-production agreement, CATIC also promised to help Egypt build an aircraft R&D centre that would allow eventually lead to independent aircraft design and development.
The first phase of the control involved building of the aircraft assembly line and manufacture of 80 K-8E aircraft, with a unit cost of US$3~3.5 million. The first aircraft rolled out in June 2001. The production of all 80 aircraft were completed in 2005.
In August 2005, CATIC issued the license to allow Egypt to build a further 40 K-8E aircraft in the second phase of the project. These aircraft are thought to feature more Egyptian-made contents.
The Pakistani Air Force received the first 100 production of the K-8 aircraft. These aircraft were powered by the U.S. TFE731-2A turbofan engine. A further 20 are to be delivered in the near future.
The Burmese Air Force operates 4 K-8 trainers.
The Sri Lanka Air Force was equipped with 6~8 K-8 trainers, three of which were destroyed on ground by the Tamil Tigers in 2002.
The Sudanese Air Force operates 12 K-8 trainers.
The Zambian Air Force operates 8 K-8 trainers.
The Air Force of Zimbabwe operates 12 K-8 trainers. These were said to be upgraded K-8E variant fitted with ‘glass’ cockpit.
The Namibian Air Force operates 4 K-8 trainers.
In 2006, the Republic of Ghana ordered four K-8 trainers, with the first two delivered in September 2007. The second pair were delivered in March 2008.
Last update: 24 March 2008