China’s K-8 Jets: A Killer for Myanmar

Burma’s air force relies heavily on Chinese weapons. A handful of Russian MiG-29s will grow to 30 in the wake of a 2009 order, but the rest of its fighter fleet is made up of Chinese MiG-21 (60 J-7s) and MiG-19 (12 J-6 and 36 Q-5) variants. Reports indicate that they are supported by about 6 Serbian Super Galeb trainer/ light attack jets, and 17 Swiss Pilatus PC-6/7/9 turboprop trainers that have been armed for counterinsurgency.

Recent reports indicate that some standardization may be on the way. In 1998, the Burmese air force bought K-8 Karakorum (export version of China’s JL-8) jet trainers and light attack aircraft, which are a cooperative venture between China and Pakistan. They are now stationed at Taungoo Air Base north of Yangon, and sources vary between 4-12 aircraft. In the wake of a November 2009 visit to China, Burma’s SLORC regime will be adding another 50 K-8s. As one might expect, this deal has a strong Chinese resource angle…

The Technical End: K-8s for Myanmar

The K-8 jet trainer, also known as the K-8 Karakorum or the Hongdu JL-8, is a joint venture between China’s Nanchang-based Hongdu Aviation Industry Group (HAIG), and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in the 1990s.

The aircraft has 3 engine options. The most common by production quantity is China’s WS-11, a licensed copy of the Ukranian Ivchenko AI-25TL turbofan. Aircraft so equipped are reportedly designated L-11s. The AI-25TL reportedly delivers 3,600 – 3,800 pounds thrust, and also equips aircraft for most export customers. On the other hand, the WS-11’s Chinese provenance may be an advantage with the Burmese.

The jets can carry up to 4 under-wing pylons rated at 250 kg each. Options include fuel drop tanks, 23mm cannon pods, unguided rockets, unguided bombs, and even short-range air-to-air missiles. to continue

„SPDC fines villagers for digging bomb-shelters for their security in Kyainnsekyi Township

HURFOM, Anan Kwin: Villagers have been digging bomb shelters for protection against the increasingly frequent skirmishes between the Burmese State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) forces. However according to the local SPDC commander the presence of these shelters destabilizes the community and has issued harsh fines and threats of forced portering for families who already have built or will built, shelters to improve their security.