IHS Jane’s 360 DSA 2016: Pakistan bullish on JF-17 sales By Richard D Fisher Jr, Kuala Lumpur – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

A Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Thunder at the 2015 Paris Air Show. Source: IHS/Patrick Allen

Despite a high-profile reversal for the JF-17 fighter in Malaysia last December, officials from the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) attending the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2016 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur remain optimistic about regional sales and offered details about the fighter co-developed with China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group.
In December 2015 Malaysia’s high commissioner to Pakistan said Malaysia was considering purchasing the JF-17 and might make a decision “very soon”. Malaysia’s defense minister denied this the following day.

Nevertheless, PAC officials attending DSA remain optimistic about a future sale to Malaysia. Myanmar has been widely reported as the first JF-17 customer.

Indian Propaganda After Failure of LCA

PAC officials also countered recent negative reports about the JF-17 in Western media. They denied a JF-17 had broken up in flight due to faulty wing design, as had been reported earlier this year. According to press reports, India recently advanced criticism of the JF-17 to lobby against the JF-17’s sale to Sri Lanka.

Regarding future JF-17 development, on multiple occasions Pakistani officials have affirmed their commitment to the 8.7-ton-thrust Klimov RD-93 turbofan. However, officials speaking to IHS Jane’s at DSA 2016 said that for the goal of advancing aircraft performance, they were open to considering China’s 9-ton-thrust WS-13 or the 9.4-ton-thrust Klimov RD-33MK.

Russian industry sources at DSA 2016 noted that the WS-13 remains at an early stage of development and has an estimated service life of 2,000 hours compared with 4,000 hours for the RD-33MK.

PAC officials also confirmed that the new JF-17 refuelling probe design, recently seen in China, will be the configuration for the JF-17. These officials also noted that Pakistan has an anti-ship variant of the new China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC)-developed hypersonic CM-400 air-to-surface missile. They said a twin-seat JF-17 would begin test flights in late 2016 or early 2017.

Courtesy: IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

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