According to a report in The Nation, Pakistan has decided to export the Chinese co-developed aircraft, the JF-17 Thunder by sometime next year.
The export of the aircraft is part of greater push to increase defense exports including Pakistani ordnance and Pakistani-built helicopters, Minister of Defense for Production Rana Tanveer said while briefing the press.
Various media outlets have suggested that talks are already under way with Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Qatar, and other friendly countries.
The PAC JF-17 Thunder, or CAC FC-1 Xiaolong, is a light-weight, single engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed by the Pakistani Air Force, the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation of China.
Pakistan has reportedly manufactured between 42-45 aircraft thus far, though sources vary in their count.
However, Pakistan may have more of these aircraft than is often reported. China announced it would export 50 improved JF-17 with upgraded electronics after the death of OBL.
While no news regarding their delivery has been made public, an additional dispersal area with 8 new aircraft shelters was constructed between 2011 and 2012 at PAF Peshawar, an airfield where JF-17 are actively deployed.
JF-17 Thunder fighters unveiled in Dubai Airshow
Date : 14-11-2011
DUBAI, Nov 13 : Pakistan Air Force is participating in Dubai Air Show-2011, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister of UAE, Sheikh Muhammad Bin Rashid Al-Makhtum, on Sunday. Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force also attended the inaugural ceremony along with a large number of delegations from different countries including Air Chiefs of a number of Air Forces, said a press release. Later, the Air Chief also addressed the press conference regarding the participation of PAF in Air show. JF-17 Thunder, K-8 and Super Mashak aircraft of Pakistan Air Force along with the PAF contingent comprising PAF pilots and technicians are participating in Dubai Air Show.
The impressive JF-17 (Thunder) jointly co-developed (by PAF & CATIC), and co-produced by PAC (Pakistan Aeronautical Complex) and CATIC (China Aero-technology Import Export Corporation) has been put up for static as well as aerial display in the Air Show.
Pakistan Air Force has inducted JF-17 in its fleet and with the co-production in full swing the aircraft are rolling out from Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra.
The JF-17 Programme has been a success story since its inception in 1998. Developmental work on the aircraft commenced in the year-1999 and detailed design was finalized in September, 2001.
After flight testing, a Small Batch of 08 aircraft was produced in year-2007 and finally serial co-production of the aircraft started in Pakistan in the Year-2009. So far PAF’s two Squadrons have been equipped with JF-17s,while the third is planned to be raised by beginning next year.
JF-17 made its debut at Farnborough Air Show in 2010, when two JF-17s flew all the way from Pakistan to Farnborough, UK. At Farnborough, the aircraft attracted intense focus of visitors and international media.
Four months later in November 10, three JF-17s flew over to China to participate in Zhuhai Air Show, where the aircraft made its first ever aerobatics display. In June 11, three JF-17s participated in aerobatics and static display in 100-years Celebrations of Turkish Air Force.
At present, JF-17 aircraft stands prominent in its own class of fighters. In the present environment, when defence budgets are shrinking and Air Forces face difficulties in affording modern combat aircraft, JF-17 offers a highly cost effective solution with cutting edge capabilities.
In the shape of JF-17 aircraft, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and CATIC offer a cost- effective, highly potent, multi-role combat aircraft which is capable of meeting the challenges of present and future Air Power employment.
The JF-17 Thunder is an all weather, multi-role, light combat aircraft that has the potential to be the main stay & work horse of any Air Force. The design of JF-17 aircraft is based on modern concepts of aerodynamics.
The aircraft is equipped with a digital fly-by-wire flight control system that gives it the agility in all regimes of the operational flight envelope. The JF-17 has a complete glass cockpit, excellent man-machine interface and modern self-protection suite, which enhance combat potential and survivability of the aircraft.
The JF-17 is equipped with fourth generation avionics systems, wide range of conventional and smart weapons, long range glide bombs, Beyond Visual Range & short range Air-to-Air missiles, Anti-Ship missile and Air-to-Surface missiles.
The aircraft requires remarkably short lengths of runway for take-off & landing, which offers flexibility of aircraft operations at short air strips.
Shortly, the aircraft will also have Air-to-Air refuelling capability, which will further enhance its combat potential and employment options.
29 October 2013