The Hongdu JL-8 (Nanchang JL-8), also known as the Karakorum-8 or K-8 for short, is a two-seat intermediate jet trainer and a light attack aircraft designed in the People’s Republic of China by China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation.
Pakistan is also the co-Partner of this project.
The primary contractor is the Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation.
Its export variant, K-8 Karakorum is co-produced by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex for the Pakistan Air Force.
The K-8 took part in its first aerial display in 1993 at the Singapore Air Show and since then has participated at Air Shows at numerous places including Dubai, Paris, Farnborough, Bangkok, Zhuhai etc.
It was shown to the Pakistani public for the first time on 23 March 1994 at the Pakistan Day Parade.
It became part of the Sherdils (Lion Hearts) aerobatics team of the Pakistan Air Force in 2009 and carried out its first public display on 6 April 2010.
K-8 replaced the team’s previous T-37 Tweet aircraft.
In late December 2012 and early January 2013, during the Kachin conflict, K-8s of the Myanmar Air Force were used to strike Kachin rebel positions in the north of the country.
11.6 m (38 ft 1 in)
9.63 m (31 ft 7 in)
4.1 m (13 ft 5 in)
2,687 kg (5,924 lb)
Max take-off weight
4,330 kg (9,546 lb)
1 × Honeywell TFE731-2A turbofan engine,
16.01 kN (3,600 lbf) thrust
800 km/h (500 mph, 430 kn)
2,250 km (1,400 mi, 1,210 nmi)
13,000 m (43,000 ft)
254.40 kg/m2 (52.11 lb/sq ft)
1× 23 mm cannon pod
(Mounted on centreline hardpoint)
Total capacity 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) external fuel and ordnance
4 × under-wing, capacity 250 kg each
1× under fuselage (23 mm cannon pod mount)
57 mm unguided rocket pods, capacity 24 rounds
(2 x pods with 12 rounds each)
200 kg, 250 kg unguided bomb, BL755 cluster bomb
2× 80 gal fuel drop-tanks mounted on outboard under-wing hardpoints.