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Thursday, May 23, 2024

A Bigger, Better and more Fearsome JF-17 Thunder by Pakistan Air Force

In another significant milestone, PAF successfully rebuilds JF-17 Thunder facility indigenously, enhancing the competitiveness of PAF and an imperative step towards self-reliance.

In a historic milestone, Pakistan Air Force has successfully overhauled JF-17 Thunder facility at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra, making it the first indigenously overhauled jet. Two of the four JF-17 Thunder jets were overhauled in China.

An event was organized at Aircraft Rebuild Factory at Kamra, informed Pakistan Air Force. Air Chief Marshall Mujahid Anwar Khan was the chief guest of the ceremony. While addressing the ceremony Chief Mujahid Anwar hailed the PAF’s capability to rebuild its jets indigenously, lessening its dependence on foreign assistance, and a significant move towards self-reliance.

Addressing at the occasion, the Air Chief said: “We are living in a technology-intensive world, where self-reliance and indigenization are key to effectively addressing modern challenges. The PAF has been relentlessly pursuing these goals and has achieved remarkable capability.”

Chief Mujahid Anwar Khan attributed the remarkable achievement to the hard work and efforts of Pakistan Air Force technicians and officers. He also added the support of Chinese aviation industries including in the journey towards self-reliance.

Air marshal Ahmed Shehzad, chairman PAC; Yang Ying, President of China National Aero-technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC); Wang Wel, vice President Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC); Zhan Jianping, president China Aviation Industry Corporation (CAIC) along with other senior civil and defence officials were also present at the ceremony.

JF-17 Thunder jet is the best available fighter jet for a dogfight in the 21st century. Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation jointly developed it.

Read more: Roar of thunder: JF-17 upgrades to Block 3 as it tests a new weapon

Pakistan and China initiated the project and jointly developed the JF-17 Thunder jets after they signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 1995. In June 1999, the contract to jointly develop and produce the Chengdu FC-1/Super 7 was signed. The project was to be 50:50 partnerships.

In 2007, Russia blocked China from re-exporting Russian made RD 93 engines for Chinese-made fighters jets for Pakistan. Pakistan inducted its first JF-17 squadron in 2010 while China offered Pakistan China-made engines for future aircraft.

JF-17 Thunder jets played a key role in aerial combat with India in February earlier this year. Pakistan military currently deploys two major variants of the fighter, Block I variant which entered the PAF fleet in 2007,  and Block II variant which entered the production in 2013. Approximately, 25 jets of Block II variants are produced annually in Pakistan, which plans to suspend its production in favor of the upcoming JF-17 Block III in the early 2020s.