Bangladesh reportedly ordered additional K-8W trainer jets

Bangladesh on June 20 signed a contract with the China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC, part of the Chinese state corporation AVIC) to supply the Bangladesh Air Force with an additional batch of K-8W combat training aircraft. The number of aircraft ordered and other details of the contract were not disclosed.

Bangladesh reportedly ordered additional K 8W trainer jets 001 A BAF K-8W trainer jet
(Credit: Facebook/Bangladesh Air Force Magazine)

Bangladesh Air Force already received nine K-8W aircraft in 2014. They are in service with the 15th Squadron of the Bangladesh Air Force at the Matiour Rahman airbase and are used mainly as jets to train the Air Force Academy cadets. 

They are used in combination with the more advanced Yak-130 to prepare pilots to operate the BAF frontline fleet of Chengdu J-7 and RAC MiG-29 fighters.

In early 2018, the Bangladesh Air Force leadership announced the need to purchase an additional 23 K-8 aircraft in total.

The K-8W is an indigenous Chinese lightweight jet-powered aircraft, produced by China's Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation. Operators of the K-8W also include Bolivia, Ghana, Myanmar, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Tanzania. 

The K-8W is an advanced version of the K-8 that features a meliorated cockpit and head-up display. The K-8 is powered by a single Garrett TFE731-2A-2A turbofan engine designed and built by Honeywell Aerospace.