The Karakorum-8 (K-8) is a single-engine, advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft designed and manufactured jointly by Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation (HAIC) of China and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) to replace the ageing Cessna T-37 Tweet jet trainers currently in service with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
A Chinese version of K-8, the JiaoLian-8 (JL-8), is deployed in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) to replace its obsolete JJ-5 jet trainers. The K-8 was unveiled to the Pakistani public in April 2010. About 500 K-8s have been built since 1993.
K-8 Karakorum jet trainer variants
The K-8 has seven variants: the K-8E, K-8P, K-8V, JL-8, L-11, K-8W and K-8VB.
The K-8E is an upgraded version, featuring modified airframe and avionics, built for the Egyptian Air Force (EAF). The K-8P is a Pakistani variant upgraded with a new glass cockpit.
The K-8V is an integrated flight-test simulation aircraft (IFTSA) principally used to examine designs before prototypes are built and tested.
The JL-8 is a Chinese version powered by the Ivchenko AI-25 TLK turbofan and an indigenous avionics suite.
The L-11 is an improved version of JL-8, powered by the WS-11 turbofan engine. The K-8W is an advance version of the K-8 that features a meliorated cockpit and head-up display. The K-8VB is an export version delivered to the Bolivian Air Force.