The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) may have used Chinese origin JF-17 Thunder fighter jets and not US-made F-16s in its dogfight with Indian MiG-21 Bison aircraft which led to one of the latter being downed and its pilot captured this morning.
While an Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson in an official statement stated that Indian fighter jets chased and brought down a Pakistani aircraft which was noticed going down. The statement made no mention of the type of aircraft used by Pakistan.
Meanwhile referring to various media claims that a Pakistani F-16 had been shot down; its Inter-Services spokesperson claimed that no F-16 jet could have been hit as this type of aircraft was not used in the attack (on Indian military installations as retaliation for an Indian strike on a terrorist base inside Pakistan two days ago).
Pakistani journalists and retired defence officials have since tweeted that the aircraft which brought down the Indian jet was a JF-17 Thunder, an aircraft made by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in collaboration with Chengdu Aircraft Corporation of China.
Various Twitter accounts emanating from Pakistan, including the official account of the PAF, identified the pilot credited with downing the Indian MiG-21 as Wing Cdr Hassan, who has been photographed sitting in the cockpit of a JF-17.
Ever since Pakistan gave up on a deal to buy 8 F-16 C/D variants in 2017 when Washington asked for the full payment of $669 Million instead of $250 million under an earlier subsidy agreement, the PAF has increasingly veered towards the JF-17 as its front-line fighter jet. It has some 50 odd older generation F-16s which have been relegated to the second rung in the PAF’s fighter jet hierarchy.
The JF-17, of which PAF has some 125, carries Chinese made air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions and is powered by a Russian origin RD-93 engine, a derivative of the RD-33 engine used in the MiG-29 fighter jets. The JF-17 has a top speed of Mach 1.6, similar to the F-16 powered by the Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-229 engine.
In 2017, Turkish firm Aselsan had signed a contract with Pakistan to integrate its ASELPOD Electro Optical Targeting System onto JF-17 fighter jets. The same year, the PAC began a program to integrate Chinese-made PL-12 Beyond Visual Range Air-to-air Missile (BVRAAM) onto the JF-17.
The PAF had claimed success in the test-firing of a BVRAAM from the JF-17 in February 2018 without mentioning the origin of the sophisticated air-to-air missile.
It is entirely possible that the JF-17 which engaged the Indian MiG-21 may have been equipped with both systems, though there is no means of confirming it.
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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
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
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
An Indian Air Force (IAF) Mi-17 helicopter was shot down by a missile fired by an IAF aircraft which mistook it for an enemy aircraft in Kashmir on February 16 around the time when Indian and Pakistani jets were involved in a dogfight. The IAF had then blamed the crash on technical reasons which killed all six IAF personnel on board
The United States has refused to share with India information about Pakistans F-16 aircraft as “it is a bilateral matter” between the two countries, according to a US official. “Soon after we were informed by the Indian side about Pakistan using F-16 aircraft on February 27, we informed the Indians that we will not be sharing any information on the subject as it is a bilateral matter between the US and Pakistan,” the US official was quoted as saying by The
The United States (US) defense personnel recently counted Pakistani F-16 fighters and found none of the jets missing, contradicting Indias claim that it had downed a Pak F-16 during the aerial combat between the countries in February. “Pakistan invited the US to physically count its F-16 planes after the incident as part of an end-user agreement signed when the foreign military sale was finalized,”
The Pakistan Air Force has test-fired a new domestically developed extended range air-to-surface smart weapon from JF-17 fighter aircraft. No details of the new missile were released by the Pakistani Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) other than calling it a ‘smart weapon
China is working on making the Block III version of its JF-17 fighter jet to match the latest version of the United States F-16 V aircraft which has become a huge sales success in a relatively short span of time. The JF-17 is made in Pakistan with technology supplied by Chengdu Aircraft Co
Pakistan today officially named two pilots - Squadron Leader Hassan Siddiqui and Wing Commander Nauman Ali Khan who it claimed shot down two Indian jets on February 27 when its aircraft were engaged in a dogfight with Indian warplanes. Pakistani media has since speculated that the second Indian Air Force (IAF) warplane was a Su-30MKI jet, the main strike arm of the IAF
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