The National Air Force of Angola ( Força Aérea Nacional de Angola) has reportedly received an unknown number of Hongdu K-8 (Karakorum-8) trainer/light attack aircraft from China. Another six are set to be delivered this year. The acquisition was revealed after, Angola ordered 4 K-8s under a $52 million deal with China’s AVIC firm, with an option to buy four more. Recent orders of K-8 include: Egypt, Ghana, Myanmar, Namibia, Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Bolivia.
The Karakorum-8 (K-8), also known Hongdu JL-8 (Nanchang JL-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). Its export variant, K-8 Karakorum is co-produced by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex for the Pakistan Air Force.
The K-8 was designed to execute pilot training as well as light attack missions in all weather conditions. Its airframe is constructed with aluminium alloys. The aircraft was designed to incorporate a fly-by-wire (FBW) system, elevator, rudder and aileron control system. The JL-8 / K-8 cockpit arrangement is designed to be as close to that of a combat aircraft as possible. The K-8 is armed with a 23mm cannon pod. The aircraft has five hardpoints of which four are located under wing and one beneath the centreline fuselage section. It can carry 1,000kg of payload.
The National Air Force of Angola is the air branch of the Armed Forces of Angola. With an inventory of more than 300 aircraft, FANA is (on paper) one of the largest air forces of Africa. Most of the inventory is out of service, and refers to historical equipment delivered along the years. FAN has many bases – most of them, former Portuguese Air Force bases and other courtesy of the cold war – but few airplanes that actually fly. The main body of the active air force is made of transport/cargo planes, used for moving supplies, equipment and personnel between parts of the country.