A Pakistani JF-17 fighter jet which completed its first deep overhaul in China was returned to Islamabad in March this year.
The overhaul was carried out by the Changsha 5712 Aircraft Industry Company which functions under the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). The aircraft, part of the first batch of JFG-17s delivered to Pakistan was taken apart and reassembled, China Aviation News revealed on Monday.
This is the first time AVIC has overhauled a made-for-export third generation fighter and future deep overhauls would be carried out in Pakistan. The first overhaul represents the trial-and-error phase of the project and provided experience in establishing standards for other JF-17 overhauls in the future, according to a Chinese aviation expert.
Jointly developed and manufactured by China and Pakistan, the single-engine multi-role light fighter jet JF-17 made its maiden flight in 2003. The first JF-17s were delivered to Pakistani air force in 2007.
After a decade of use, it was time for the first JF-17s to undergo overhauls, military analysts said. A contract was signed in 2016 and the first overhaul started in November 2017. The overhauled aircraft made its first test flight in October 2018, reports said.
The experienced overhaul team at AVIC used a “reliability-oriented maintenance model, keeping the maintenance cycle short and costs low,” the China Aviation News report said.
Pakistan sent dozens of trainees to China, to study the the overhaul process, the report said adding that future overhauls on other JF-17s could be done by Pakistani personnel.