K8 Jet

K8 Jet

TIME PUBLISHED – Friday, April 13, 2012

THE Government has procured eight K-8P
jets to improve operations of the Zambia Air Force (ZAF). The aircraft were purchased from the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC). ZAF Commander Eric Chimese said the jets would enhance the military wing’s ability to monitor the stability of the country.

Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba said the Government would also procure helicopters soon.Mr Mwamba said during handover of the jets at Mumbwa airbase yesterday that the Government was committed to ensuring that peace continued to prevail in the country.

The pilots of the jets showcased various aerobatic displays such as flushing of different colours that connotated the Zambian and Chinese national flags. The minister said ZAF should utilise the aircrafts to defend and protect the country. “For the lifespan of the aircraft to be guaranteed, spares for maintenance need to be provided as and when required. We call upon CATIC to render due and timely support in this regard,” he said.

In November last year, there was another handover of a fleet of upgraded K-8 aircraft by CATIC to ZAF. Lieutenant General, Chimese said Zambia’s flourishing sectors like mining, had put pressure on ZAF to intensively monitor those wanting to bring instability and sabotage the mining activities. “We are witnessing increased mining activities and as ZAF, we have to ensure that we monitor those coming and going out of the country,” he said.

He said the inventory of Chinese aircraft ranged from transportation aircraft to fighter jet trainers which include MA-60, Y-12 and K-8 aircraft.

CATIC vice-president Liu Jianhai said his company had provided Zambia with different aircrafts and other services since 1979. He was happy that the pleasant relations Zambia and China had continued.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies


  1. doziex says:

    NAF might just want to go for these chinese/pakistani K-8 jet trainers, since reactivating their italian MB-339s and their entire Alphajet fleet is either taking too long, or proving too difficult.

    If these reactivation programs that started in during the OBJ administration and are still not fully off the ground yet almost a decade later; are presenting a formidable obstacle, BY PASS the problem by purchasing the k-8’s and the moving on to bigger and better things

  2. xnur44 says:

    My Bro, we have enough trainers, any more variety and I will go NUTS! The snail speed upgrades ongoing will only allow us to make ready pilots for warplanes like Mig-29, Su-27 and similar platforms. The Grippen, Su-30/35, Mig-35 and the Rafale are different ball games requiring trainers with multi function display equipped cockpits and HOTAS controls.

  3. jimmy says:

    my brother we have enough trainers we neeS MIG-29. SU30 OR THE TORNADO

  4. doziex says:

    MY BAD, guys, I was just tossing out some ideas. To be honest, this 2012 defence budget is causing me to have sleepless nights.
    Ok, NAF’s budget is supposed to be 400 plus million dollars, and according to mr. Xnur44, no new platforms(fancy stuff) are slated for this year. Recurring expenditure would not take up 100 million dollars, so what is the remaining 300 million plus dollars for ?

    NAF budgets of yesteryears, have already accounted of the refurbishment and resusitating of NAF’s 60 strong jet trainer fleet, 15 transport planes and about 2 dozen pumas and super puma helicopters.
    But according to recent wikipedia accounts and NAF press releases, only 4 of 24 Alphajets, 2 of 9 C-130’s, 0 of 12 MB-339s and 2 of 12 super pumas; have been made operational. Why not every single last one of them ? Why the slow pace ?

  5. beegeagle says:

    We do not need any K-8 jets, gentlemen. We need to stop dissipating energy on the shadow and go after the substance. In the face of traditional stalling on the L59 Alca, we can upgrade the L39s to Super Albatros and that more than adequately takes care of Su-27/30 training.

    The contract for the upgrade of twelve MB339s was valued at $84m($7m apiece). The upgrade programme is so pricey because it is supposed to bring the advanced trainer up to the contemporary “CD variant” which would see the jet able to serve as lead-in trainer for jets such as the Rafale.

    50-60 Albatross, Alpha and Aermacchi jets are more than enough for our training/light attack needs. Upgrade them and STEP back.

    What I KNOW that we need are a mix of new and factory-refurbished jets and we have suggested those as follows


    * 8 units of refurbished Su-27 – $120m
    * 8 units of brand-new Su-30 – $400m


    NOBODY at MoD appears to have realised that DIRECT from Russia and Ukraine in 2005 and for the same $251m expended on F7 AirGuard jets, we should have acquired twelve used and upgraded Su-27s for $180m and acquired 24 units of Mi-23MF/BN/MLD (eight units of each variant) and upgraded them for $1m each to the contemporary MiG 23-98 variant, which are BVR-compliant and incorporate most of the best features of the MiG-29!

    If MoD had done that (and it is not too late to make amends), every conceivable threat which we are faced with and every mission requirement – deep strike, ground attack, air superiority, interdiction would have been completely taken care of with a haul of 36 jets which would all be available to serve for 10-15 years, more than justifying the comparatively small outlay expended on their acquisition.

    Indeed, the MiG 23MF/BN/ML/MLD have proven themselves –


    Between the 7th and 9th of June 1982, MiG 23MF fighters shot down FIVE F16 jets. In October 1983, contemporary Syrian MiG 23ML attacked and shot down three Israeli F16s and a F4 Phantom


    ” In the late 1990s, Mikoyan, following their successful MiG-21 upgrade projects, offered an upgrade which featured new radar, new self-defense suite, new avionics, improved cockpit ergonomics, helmet-mounted sight, and the capability to fire Vympel R-27 (NATO:AA-10 “Alamo”) and Vympel R-77 (NATO: AA-12 “Adder”) missiles. The projected cost was around US$1 million per aircraft.Smaller upgrades were also offered, which consisted of only improving the existing Sapfir-23 with newer missiles and upgrades of other avionics. Airframe life extension was offered as well.”

    “Dutch pilot Leon Van Maurer, who had more than 1,200 hours flying F-16s, flew against MiG-23MLs from airbases in Germany and the U.S. as part of NATO’s aerial mock combat training with Soviet equipment. He concluded the MiG-23ML was superior in the vertical to early F-16 variants, just slightly inferior to the F-16A in the horizontal, and had superior BVR capability. The Israelis tested a MiG-23MLD flown to them by a Syrian defector, and found it had better acceleration than the F-16 and F/A-18.”

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