This L-15, based on the L-15Z export variant developed for Zambia, displayed at the Zhuhai 2016 Airshow. Xinhua News Agency
Popular Science: China's air force has a new ground-attack plane
Meet the L-15B.
The L-15B prototype attack jet made its grand debut in a ceremony last week. Fanfare—including giant red banners and uniformed PLAAF officers—suggest the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and Hongdu Aviation Industry Group have high hopes for this multi-role light fighter.
If HAIG's L-15 advanced jet trainer is any indication, the attack version of the L-15B has a maximum take-off weight of around 9.6 tons and uses WS-17/AI-222K-25F turbofan engines to reach a top speed of Mach 1.4.
The L-15B deletes the flight instructor's rear seat to save weight, and can carry about three tons of weapons on its nine hardpoints (one under the fuselage and four on each wing). For ground attack, it can carry HJ-10 anti-tank guided missiles, and the LS series of 250-500kg laser- and satellite-guided bombs.
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Update: China's Hongdu rolls out L-15B lead-in fighter-trainer (Jane's 360)
WNU Editor: The Chinese are a little late to adopting CAS (Close Air Support) as part of their military doctrine. But it looks like they now want to catch up.