Myanmar in ‘advanced’ talks with Pakistan to build JF-17

Published: February 9, 2017
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Myanmar has already ordered 16 JF-17s, according to Jane’s. PHOTO: FILE

Myanmar has already ordered 16 JF-17s, according to Jane’s. PHOTO: FILE

Myanmar is engaged in advanced negotiations with Pakistan to licence-build the indigenously developed JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft for its air force, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly has reported. The South East Asian country has already decided to purchase 16 JF-17s from Pakistan, the military news periodical said.

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Quoting sources in the Myanmar Air Force (MAF), the report said the first of the 16 JF-17s ordered by Yangon in 2015 are expected to go into service later this year. According to the sources, the aircraft will be of the Block II variety which, unlike the Block I, features air-to-air refueling capability in addition to improved avionics.

The report said it’s unclear whether later deliveries to the MAF will include the far more advanced Block III variant being produced at Kamra since last year. It quoted the sources as saying that Myanmar is negotiating the licensed production of the Block III variant.

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As the MAF phases out its obsolete fleet of F-7M Airguard and A-5C ‘Fantan’ combat aircraft purchased from China in the 1990s, licenced production of the JF-17 Thunder would also mean that the aircraft will likely become the MAF’s workhorse over the coming decades in much the same way as it has moved to prominence within the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

PAF has at least 70 JF-17s in service and plans to induct a total of 250 aircraft of the type. The first JF-17s entered PAF service in 2009.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2017.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • abreez
    Feb 9, 2017 - 9:40AM

    Enemy of your enemy is your friend but Myanmar is balancing factor both for China and Pakistan. Time will tell which country gain more from its balancing factors, India from Afghanistan or China and Pakistan from Myanmar, ___, ___, and __. Recommend

  • Oommen
    Feb 9, 2017 - 10:24AM

    Russia will send jet engines to China- Then China will sent it to Pakistan – after that Pakistan will send it to Myanmar…. ?

    Better buy Mig 35 or LCA MK 1A (closer to border)Recommend

  • Muz
    Feb 9, 2017 - 10:36AM

    How can you forget after all that happened there….This will be the most unwise deal by Pakistan..Recommend

  • AS
    Feb 9, 2017 - 10:54AM

    The atrocities committed by this government/country against the Rohingya muslims need to be condemned by the whole world. The message needs to be given loud and clear that they need to stop this genocide. We should certainly not be doing this deal while they continue the killing and brutal torture of the helpless Rohingya people.Recommend

  • fahim
    Feb 9, 2017 - 11:02AM

    They can give JF-17 thunder to any other country as well, we shouldn’t give license to Myanmar as it can be our flying ace in export market Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Feb 9, 2017 - 12:15PM

    JF 17 is a Chinese aircraft assembled in Pakistan. If it starts getting assembled in Myanmar, then what is Pakistan’s role?Recommend

  • Vectra
    Feb 9, 2017 - 2:14PM

    @abreez:
    balancing whom through Myanmar?? India?
    Look at relations between Myanmar and India.They are friendly.Recommend

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