JF-17 variant makes debut flight

Published: April 28, 2017
The dual-seat thunder aircraft was co-developed by Pakistan and China. PHOTO: INP

The dual-seat thunder aircraft was co-developed by Pakistan and China. PHOTO: INP

A modified version of the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet – co-developed by Pakistan and China – made its maiden test flight in Chengdu, China on Friday, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has said.

The JF-17B “is currently entering the testing phase”, the PAF said, terming the development of the dual-seater “a major milestone towards self-reliance”.

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman was chief guest at the test event on Friday hosted by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China Executive Vice President Li Yuhai.

The JF-17B is slated to boost the operational and training capabilities of the PAF, the press release said.

Expansion: 16 new JF-17 Thunder jets added to PAF fleet

“It will further enhance the advanced combat training of PAF fighter pilots on this indigenous war fighting machine.”

The JF-17B is the latest variant of the single-seat JF-17 fourth-generation multirole combat aircraft co-developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, the leading aviation company in Pakistan.

The production of the first JF-17B was initiated by Pakistan and China during a joint ceremony at Chengdu Aerospace Corporation last year.

It was designed to meet the requirements of such planes from foreign clients and the international market, according to the AVIC.

Expansion: 16 new JF-17 Thunder jets added to PAF fleet

The state-owned aircraft giant said the aircraft was capable of not only training pilots but also engaging in aerial combat and striking ground targets.

Yang Ying, general manager of China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corp, the trade wing of AVIC, said: “The JF-17B is one of the best trainer and fighter jets in the international market.”

It can carry beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles and precision land-attack ammunition.

“Because of the JF-17’s excellent service record and the new plane’s good capability and competitive price, the JF-17B has received orders from the international market even before the maiden flight, which means our clients have a very high level of confidence in our development and production capacity,” he said at a news conference in Chengdu after the maiden flight.

(With additional input from APP)


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Reader Comments (6)

  • Qamber
    Apr 28, 2017 - 10:59PM

    Proud ©Recommend

  • ghazal
    Apr 29, 2017 - 10:35AM

    china has missed once in life opportunity to induct 6th generation aircraft JF17 in their AIR FORCE. wondering why?? Recommend

  • ghazal
    Apr 29, 2017 - 11:26AM

    Dan Shibara@ bhai jan. J17 is not the best , chinese airforce don’t have it .it is average aircraft at the best . but and i repeat but, best what pakistan can afford . if this jingoism helps someone pls do , if not then at least speak to your air force chaps or read their article on internet, asper them JF17 is better version of mig 29( read mig 21) not F16.Recommend

  • kj
    Apr 29, 2017 - 2:30PM

    In the end all it comes to is the man behind the who matters, remember Saber f68 against Canberras and Phantoms in 1965. Its true technology has advanced rapidly but still it takes iron nerves to maneuver fight. not war is the solution of nowadays disparity.Recommend

  • Fahim
    Apr 30, 2017 - 12:24PM

    One parameter to evaluate the jet, if your enemies are jealous of it or notRecommend

  • leela4fun
    May 1, 2017 - 12:41AM

    Can someone provide the areas of contributions by Pakistan in the co-development? From the article, it seems like the aircraft was developed and produced in Chengdu, China with the Chief of Air Staff witnessing the test flight.Recommend

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