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K-8E Karakoram-8

K-8, which stands for Karakoram-8, is a two-seat advanced training jet and light air-to-ground attack aircraft. The K-8E aircraft is designed for training missions such as acrobatic, night and spin flights as well as for armament operation training. The K-8E is the Egyptian version of the K-8 series, which was jointly developed by Chinese and Pakistani engineers. The Egyptian Air Force has been the largest buyer of the K-8 trainers since China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) signed a contract worth $347.4 million with the Egyptian Defense Department to export the aircraft in December 1999. The contract includes export of aircraft parts and production line with assembling completed in Egypt.

The co-production of the K-8E in Egypt consists of three phases. In the first phase of the project China will supply all the main parts of the aircraft for the assembly of a complete aircraft. By the end of the programme Egypt may have the capability to manufacture the major parts and independently assemble the planes. This, in the words of Egyptian Air Force officers, will help re-establish the nation's aviation industry, which was obstructed in the 1970s for a variety of reasons.

At 10:25 am, 05 June 2000, the K-8E trainer aircraft test flight was successfully completed in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, marking phased results for K-8E aircraft project exporting to Egypt. AOI/ACL Aircraft-Manufacturing Company began to assemble the aircraft in July 2000. The Egyptian company, contracted to manufacture Chinese-designed K-8E aircraft for the previous five years, completed the first Sino-Egyptian contract for 80 aircraft on 11 December 2005, and is authorized to produce as much as 97.4 percent of their components. The two sides signed a contract to produce another 40 aircrafts in November, 2004, with the production of six aircraft already completed by May 2007 and 10 to be produced yearly within four years.

China's National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) awarded the Egyptian aircraft manufacturing company AOI Aircraft Factory a production certificate in late 2005 to produce sections of its K-8E training aircraft. The certificate of recognition for phase two of the K-8E aircraft co-production project was awarded based on the factory's overall proficiency concerning quality control and production technology and management of the K-8E pilot training jet. On the awarding ceremony, CATIC President Fu Shula said the Egyptian factory has possessed the overall capability of production technology, quality control and production management of the K-8E aircraft. "It is definitely a remarkable achievement of Egypt's aviation industry, and it is also a significant success of joint efforts by both the countries," he said.

AOI/ACL and its partner, CATIC, plan to export the K-8E aircraft to other Arab and African countries. Zhang Yanzhong, general manager of China Aviation Industry Corporation II (CAIC II), said this is the biggest export item in terms of quantity and volume in the field of aviation, indicating that China has progressed from export of aeronautical products to production lines. Over the past decade, the plane has been purchased by customers in many Asian and African countries, including Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Airplanes for civil use manufactured by subsidiary companies of CAIC II have entered world market as early as 1986. There are as many as 88 multi-functional Yun-12 light aircraft manufactured by Harbin Airplane Corporation having been exported to more than 20 countries including Fiji, Egypt, and Canada.

The Egyptian aerobatics team was one of the first aerobatics teams established in the world. The idea goes back to the mid-1970s, when it was conceived as a celebration of the October War victory on its anniversary. The team performed with four L-29 planes, and was made up of flying instructors at the Air force College. In 1984, the team consisted of six Alpha jets, a number that rose to nine the following year, and in 2003, K-8E planes were introduced.

Fighter plane: K-8E Manufacturer: Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation First trial flight: December, 1994 Flight range: 1,400 kilometers Maximum takeoff weights: 5,280 kilograms Maximum external weapon load: 950 kilograms Maximum fuel load: 780 kilograms Operating radius: 600 kilometers Wingspan: 9.63 meters Height: 4.21 meters

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:38:41 ZULU