Pakistan Begins Producing Block-II JF-17 Aircraft

The Block-II variant of the JF-17s entered production recently, with more advanced weapon systems and avionics.

Posted on 12/30/13
By Ankit Panda | Via The Diplomat
JF17 Thunder. (Photo by by I Wish I Was Flying)
JF-17 Thunder. (Photo by by I Wish I Was Flying, Creative Commons License)

According to reports by DefenseNews and DefenseTalkPakistan launched production of the Block-II JF-17 combat aircraft at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex near Islamabad. The Diplomat reported earlier this year that Pakistan expected to begin exporting the JF-17 in 2014; the beginning of production last week is set to keep it on track to meet that deadline.

 

The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex has already produced 50 older, less-advanced Block-I JF-17s for the Pakistan air force. The newer Block-II variants possess more advanced weapons systems and avionics. The JF-17s are low-cost multirole single engine fighters jointly developed between Pakistan and China. China refers to the JF-17 as the FC-1 Xiaolong.

 

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex last week for “briefings on the exports of the Pakistan Air Force’s aircraft, the JF-17 Thunder,” according to a report by The Tribune. The event was intended to inaugurate the beginning of the production of the Block-II JF-17s and was attended by Chinese delegates and the Pakistan air force. Sharif said the JF-17 project would “expand the friendship between China and Pakistan.”

 

Pakistan’s air force intends the JF-17 to replace its aging Dassault Mirage-III/5 and Chengdu F-7P aircraft. The first batch of JF-17s replaced the Nanchang A-5 Fantan attack aircraft, according to DefenseNews.

 

The JF-17s could be a commercial coup for China and Pakistan. There is a major cadre of countries interested in importing the aircraft, which is appealing given its low price and performance. A 2010 report indicates a long list of potential buyers including Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Congo, Egypt, Indonesia (which has already signed an agreement with Pakistan), Iran, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

 

 Click here to go to the original.

Check Also

Is There a Crisis at the US-Mexico Border? 6 Essential Reads

Immigration experts explain who's really trying to cross the US-Mexico border, what they want — and why immigration, even undocumented immigration, actually benefits the country.

Bangladesh: A Case of Diminishing Oppositions

There are only seven seats that the opposition political parties won in Bangladesh's December 30 parliamentary elections, setting a trend of diminishing parliamentary opposition. Many analysts in the South Asian nation wonder who will play as the opposition in the new parliament?" 

Leave a Reply