Iranian and Malaysian defence officials visiting the IDEAS 2018 aerospace exhibition in Karachi have expressed interest in the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet made in Pakistan with Chinese technology.
Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Qasem Soleimani visited the fighter aircraft at the exhibition, according to local media reports Thursday.
Malaysian Royal Air Force Chief General Dato' Affendi while talking to media said, "We are attending the IDEAS for the first time, and we are immensely impressed by the standards of exhibition of defense products".
Malaysian military officials also held talks with Pakistan Aeronautics Complex (PAC) officials. While the PAC has been hawking the aircraft at various international aerospace events, there is no definite indication that a new customer has been found for the aircraft besides the confirmed sales to Nigeria and Myanmar.
The JF-17s which are deployed by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and sold to Nigeria and Myanmar have attracted interest from countries looking for a cheaper alternative to western origin light attack fighter jet. The approximately $60 million each plane is also considered cheaper than competing Russian fighter aircraft.