The Pakistan-Chinese JF-17 ‘Thunder’ fighter aircraft has completed its Block-III design; an upgrade intended to match latest fourth-generation military jets such as the F-16V and Saab Gripen NG.
The outgoing Chief of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman announced on Monday that the design of the JF-17 Block-III had been finalized after a period of “two-and-a-half years,” Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
The Block-III version of the single-seat aircraft is to be equipped with an active electronically-scanned array radar, upgraded avionics suite, new electronic warfare and countermeasures system besides a helmet-mounted display and sight. Newly developed air-to-air missiles and a targeting pod are also to be added.
Major R & D work is being undertaken by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, a wing of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) while Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) is largely in charge of serial manufacturing. Various reports have said that the PAF would be the launch customer for the JF-17 Block III with some 50 aircraft to be delivered in the 2020-2022 timeframe.
The Block III version would boost the exports prospects of the JF-17 in countries that cannot afford expensive Western origin fighter aircraft such as the F-16V. Already, Myanmar is a customer for the Block II aircraft having signed a $560 million in July 2015 for 16 jets.
The JF-17 costs substantially less compared to fourth-generation Western fighter jets. Taking the Myanmar deal is a benchmark, the price of the Block II jets is around $32 million apiece which makes it a third cheaper than the F-16.
Pakistans new JF-17 “Thunder” combat aircraft has been deployed at the air forces Samungli Base near Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, last month, the Associated Press of Pakistan reports. The Number 28 Multirole Squadron stationed at Samungli Base officially inducted the combat aircraft in a ceremony on February 28
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Turkish firm Aselsan has signed a contract with Pakistan to integrate its ASELPOD Electro Optical Targeting System onto JF-17 fighter jets. A contract amounting to $24
Pakistan Air Force today successfully flight tested the dual-seat variant of the JF-17 Thunder fighter jets – the JF-17B, for the first time. Jointly developed by China and Pakistan, the dual-seat JF-17 variant is currently entering the testing phase
Myanmar is negotiating with Pakistan to licence-build Chinese-Pak JF-17 multi-role combat aircraft. Also, the first of 16 imported JF-17s ordered by Myanmar in 2015 are expected to go into service with the air force later this year
Nigerian Federal Budget has confirmed an order for three JF-17 fighter aircraft along with 10 Super Mushak trainers from Pakistan. Although there have been multiple reports of Nigerian officials and state documents listing the purchase, this is first-hand confirmation from the Government of Nigeria, Quwa reported Thursday
A top Chinese researcher has revealed details of the active electronically scanning array (AESA) phase array radar meant for the JF-17 fighter jet being manufactured in Pakistan under a Pakistani-Chinese partnership. The radar is a part of the Block III upgrade of the JF-17 whose design has been concluded and will likely enter serial production in the 2020-22 timeframe
Pakistan has bought a powerful tracking system from China that could speed up its militarys efforts of developing multi-warhead missiles, reported
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