Guest Post by Abdus Samad Khan
Pakistan’s indigenous multirole fighter JF-17 Thunder officially has a customer.
Reports suggest that a deal has been struck with an “Asian” country with deliveries starting in 2017. It is surprising that the name of the country has not yet been disclosed, the confidentiality is attributed to “security” reasons and the sensitivity of such an agreement.
This certainly is good news for the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex as finding a buyer beyond Pakistan has proven to be quite challenging.
There has been much speculation as the JF-17s have been presented at Farnborough, Dubai and Zhuhai airshows over the years.
Azerbaijan, Egypt, Argentina and even Saudia Arabia have all been linked with the JF-17 and it will be interesting to see which country has finally agreed to induct a fighter aircraft primarily developed by Pakistan which is the newest entrant in this highly competitive and politically influenced market.
More than 50 JF-17s in-service with the Pakistan Air Force are currently designated as the Block-I configuration.
The Thunder’s modular design allows systematic upgradation and all of the aircraft will eventually be upgraded to Block-II standard which will feature Aerial Refueling, improved Electronic Countermeasure/Defensive suite and integration with advanced Air/Ground/Sea attack Weapon Systems.
There is also a suggestion of developing an AESA radar for a Block-III upgrade in the future.
Abdus Samad Khan has grown up playing video games at home, cricket on the streets and watching Swat Kats on TV. Is a complete snob when it comes to his preferences in Aviation, Technology, Movies and Music. He has strong political views and avidly follows all the “nazuk morrs” this great country has taken over the last 20 years. His day job is that of an HR-Professional/ Trainer/ Educator spanning over six years in Private/Public sectors.
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