Pakistan is planning to formally launch its new JF-17B dual seat fighter jet by April 2017, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) said Wednesday.
The jet is set to make its maiden flight by the end of this year, Dawn reported citing a statement by PAF officials.
Thanking China for its continuous support in the design, development and manufacturing phases of the JF-17 development project, Air Marshal Muhammad Iqbal was quoted as saying by Dawn during the ceremony that this dual seat aircraft will enhance training value and operational capability.
The JF-17 Thunder, a single-engine multi-role fighter jet, and was jointly developed by China and Pakistan. The upgraded models have upgraded avionics, air-to-air refuelling capability, data link, enhanced electronic warfare capability and enhanced load carrying ability.
The JF-17 can be equipped with air-to-air and air-to-ground ordinance. The aircraft mounts both short-range infra-red air to air missiles along with longer ranged radar-guided BVR missiles, an essential capability for a frontline interceptor.
PAF will induct between 250 and 300 aircraft in order to phase out the ageing fleet of some other aircraft models that are still in operation.