Xian's MA-60 (photo : Airliners)
The China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) has ordered nine MA60 transports on behalf of two Asian customers, according to a Xian Aircraft official.
Sri Lanka will be buying six of the turboprop-powered aircraft from CATIC, while the remaining three will go to Myanmar, says the official. The countries are acquiring the aircraft with the help of a Chinese government preferred loan scheme, the source adds.
Myanmar, meanwhile, relies on ageing Fokker F27s, and is unable to source military equipment from the West because of trade sanctions.
Both nations are close political allies of China, which has been developing relations with them partly to act as a bulwark against its political rival India.
Chinese firms are helping to finance and build airports, roads and other infrastructure in Sri Lanka, and Beijing often makes soft loans to such countries.