China to expedite delivery of 50 fighter jets to Pakistan

Published: May 20, 2011
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Pakistan hopes to take delivery within the next six months of 50 JF-17 fighter jets manufactured jointly with China, Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar said Friday during a visit to Beijing. PHOTO: FILE

Pakistan hopes to take delivery within the next six months of 50 JF-17 fighter jets manufactured jointly with China, Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar said Friday during a visit to Beijing. PHOTO: FILE

BEIJING: China has agreed to expedite the delivery of 50 fighter jets to Pakistan, Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar confirmed on Friday.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has been holding talks with Chinese leaders during a visit that comes as ties with the US have faltered after the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan this month.

Mukhtar told media that Pakistan country was aiming to receive “50 aircraft in six months” from China at between $20 million and $25 million per aircraft.

As the pressure mounts in Washington, Gilani has courted “best friend” China, its biggest arms supplier, during the four-day visit that ended on Friday.

The Wall Street Journal originally quoted an unnamed high-ranking Pakistani Air Force spokesman, in Beijing with Gilani, as saying the jointly developed JF-17 jets would be in addition to another batch of the same aircraft that is currently being assembled in Pakistan.

The JF-17 “Thunder” programme dates back to 1999 and is aimed at reducing Pakistan’s dependence on Western companies for advanced fighters.

The jets are a single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft, that Mukhtar said are being jointly produced between China and Pakistan.

“There was a loan given for starting the manufacturing of this because the Chinese will also buy these aircraft,” he said on Chinese financing for the order.

The Pakistani Air Force has ordered 150 “Thunders”, which it may increase to 250. The 50 mentioned in the report are likely part of the larger order.

In February 2010, Pakistan fielded its first JF-17 squadron with 14 aircraft.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • san
    May 20, 2011 - 4:04PM

    why we need these jet fighters in first place..it will be only limited to Pakistani Navy use…which incompontent…even they wont allow us to have single ride just for fun…dont waste our and US tax payers money…we cannot afford limitless dreams..first you were crying for F-16, then JF-17 and one day you will be asking for B-52 bombers…Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    May 20, 2011 - 5:01PM

    O yeah we need them… if someone worried about his tax money they should ask for change in their policy where ever they are. how naive for them to think these fighter are for navy. The “i-don’t-know-but-i-tell-you” attitude.Recommend

  • May 20, 2011 - 5:45PM

    Great ! … after B 52 bombers now we also have even more JF Thunders — any news about electricity ??Recommend

  • May 20, 2011 - 5:45PM

    @san:
    I think you are confusing things. JF-17 is multi-role and its first objective is to replace the aging fleets of Pakistan Air Force. Planes such as F-7PGs and A-5s are old and need to be replaced soon before they become flying coffins just like India’s Mig-21s.
    I am not sure about Pakistan Navy’s air power capabilities, but a version of JF-17 will also be developed for Navy use. But for the time being, JF-17 are for the Air Force and short-term objective is to provide replacements for aging aircrafts and add BVR arsenal (Beyond-Visual-Range) which we lack at the moment.Recommend

  • May 20, 2011 - 6:37PM

    @Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi:

    A good reply. I agree with you.Recommend

  • ali
    May 20, 2011 - 6:40PM

    to do what….to be parked in the hangars at the expense of the tax payers…Recommend

  • Ali H
    May 20, 2011 - 7:02PM

    Fire power, air power, naval power – what about power in the country….
    Load shedding increased to 10-12 hours …. can these birds produce some power….. or will be found sleeping when needed……..Recommend

  • Arman
    May 20, 2011 - 7:09PM

    Can not understand who is paying for this… China should give us free as he is our brother.Recommend

  • saad
    May 20, 2011 - 7:26PM

    JF17 is world’s best aircraft.This will help us in making superpowerRecommend

  • faraz
    May 20, 2011 - 8:52PM

    China hasnt inducted JF 17 in its own airforce!Recommend

  • goggi
    May 20, 2011 - 9:23PM

    The country has acute electricty shortage, no clean water to drink, factories are shutting down due to load sheddings, increasing unemployment, suicides are becoming an epidemie……..and this “all weather friend” instead of helping to improve our basic necessities of life, is turning on us war planes and sucking our blood like the parasites……..and our under-matric 3rd rate politicians with their fake university degrees have turned our land in a graveyard.Recommend

  • delhi_se
    May 20, 2011 - 10:21PM

    2.5 Billion worth of sale by China to Pakistan. China is indeed doing good in improving it’s own economy. It has finally learned how USA and west became economic powerhouse. Who cares for toasters, ovens and microchip…… now they have aircraft to sell.Recommend

  • May 21, 2011 - 12:00AM

    Prophet Muhammad didn’t build an army for 13 years. First he established a safe land and good economy for Muslims and then he called for the defensive actions.
    Now look at Pakistan Army; people are dying with hunger, thirst, heat and our Godfather Army is busy buying new weapons and spending major part of budget on military.Recommend

  • Matiullah
    May 21, 2011 - 12:28AM

    China is our good friend ha ha ha ha. Rather we are good friends of China as we are buying 50 aricrafts from China. it will boost Chinese economy and our economy will suffer.
    Actually we do not need to spend our huge amounts on war weapons. We have nuclear deterance. No one is attacking us . India has no courage to attcks us and we have no courage to stop US operations in Pakistan. We should concentrate on the welfare of the people.Recommend

  • saif
    May 21, 2011 - 12:49AM

    How much more willit take for us to understand thatwe have to change our priorities, we all saw how spending so much money on defence has turned out for us in the near past, in buying these 150 jets we will be spending at least 3billion dollars. We can only wish for a day when such an investment is done in education too.Recommend

  • Navaid
    May 21, 2011 - 6:07AM

    @goggi: You should first of all understand that we have no friends in the world except China. so stop talking like that. It is the Government’s responsibility to solve the basic problems you are talking about. Learn to choose able and honest rulers and those problems will be solved at once. Stop criticizing China like a spoon fed baby. Recommend

  • Navaid
    May 21, 2011 - 6:11AM

    @delhi_se: You guys in India stop your military shoppings then we will stop too. We buy from China and you buy from Russia, do you want me to put in the amounts you spend in buying the Sukhois and the other stuff ??? It has to stop mutually else both the countries will suffer.Recommend

  • M.Akthar
    May 21, 2011 - 8:12AM

    JF-17 Blunder is just a chineese junk & is not of reliable quality like the chinese toys. Thats why even china airforce hasnt purchased it though they are Manufacturing it for Pakistan. Is our Airforce guinea pigs to test these planes. Why are we buying when the chinese themselves don`t?
    Ofcourse, if its given for free, then we should take them, buying them wont make any sense.Recommend

  • Waquar
    May 21, 2011 - 9:54AM

    I wish my fellow Pakistani of the ‘ghairat’ brigade …
    best of luck with sorting out the internal ‘power’ situation.
    Whether it be of politicians or of electricity or of an
    intelligence service and the army kind.
    We are running on empty, making wrong alliances.
    Not settling into a long term peaceful process with India.
    Not developing our economic links with Iran.
    Not encouraging the border economic integration between
    Irani Baluchistan and the Pakistan Baluchistan.
    Not encouraging the inter-port trade corridor between Mumbai and Karachi.
    Not encouraging the inter-state trade between West Punjab and East Punjab.
    Not discouraging the so-called ‘strategic assets’ / really, terrorists.
    And instead going headlong into an embrace with a country,
    with whom we have no real cultural and strategic balance.
    We will suffer because of this and dearly so …
    just as we have for our past alliances in which
    we have always been the subordinates.
    This ‘transaction’ is no gift.
    It is a bell, that the Chinese have put around the cat called Pakistan. Recommend

  • Mukesh
    May 21, 2011 - 1:14PM

    It is funny. Pakistanis dont realise this but we Indians want you to buy more weapons. You have not used them anyway. How many Pakistani jets were used in Kargil? In nuclear war they would be useless to shoot down missiles. No, these are best used to spend money on. We want you to spend money. Get in a spending race. We have money and we make more each day. We can afford it. I am sure you can too.Recommend

  • Mukesh
    May 21, 2011 - 1:16PM

    @Navaid:
    We buy what we can afford. Through the money generated by Indian tax payers. We do not buy stuff using money from tax payers of other nations and then display our gratitude by demonstrating against those nations. Recommend

  • Abdur Rahman
    May 22, 2011 - 1:32AM

    @san: The defense of the motherland is our birth right like yours. We Pakistanis have no such imperial plans like USA. USA threaten the Muslim world, their assets and our sovereignty, and its our legitimate right to get any thing and cross any limit for defense purposes. Secondly i am not one of those who wants to hoist flags over the USA, i respect the US citizens and its sovereignty, and off course expects the same from the USA by hook or by crook. Recommend

  • Indian
    May 22, 2011 - 7:19AM

    @Waquar
    Really have put things in perspective! Almost a road map out of the current situation for Pakistan! Wish someone also chronicles a similar list of the issues for India…..Recommend

  • May 22, 2011 - 8:18AM

    @ M. Akhtar

    How are they a blunder? JF-17s were made primarily for Pakistan Airforce’s requirements.

    China can afford and is focusing on J-10s, J-11s etc. Those planes fit better for there eco and geo-stratetic requirements and JF-17s fit betters for our.

    However, I do agree with other posters that we need to spend more on Education. Recommend

  • 105
    May 25, 2011 - 7:47PM

    why are some certain people here so darn ignorant? first find out what the facts are, and then comment.
    1- yes we don’t have money to provide for the people of our own country. Fix it by choosing the right people to govern us. you sit here talking trash, when you don’t even use your power to vote, and hold these people accountable for stealing our money and building their own mansions!
    2- we need a good defense, army navy air force, all need to have good machinery to defend with.
    3- CHINA IS OUR ONLY FRIEND AND HAS OUR BACK! so stop saying crap. The lame give us things for free attitude is pathetic. THIS IS WHY PAKISTANIS NEVER PROGRESS! every heard of the phrase, God helps those who help themselves? China is awesome and people need to realize that.
    everyone has the right to share their opinion, the least they can do is make it a tad bit educated.Recommend

  • haseeb asghar
    May 28, 2011 - 9:51AM

    @105:

    i agree with u in some ways but the language u use it is harsh.i know its our need and our first priorty to be strong.listen ahmed and every muslim brother in this room we can face hunger but we cant face defeat from kufars.where is the young generation,busy in flirting,playing,and wasting ur time doing bad stuff.105 is right china is right now supporting us becaz he is the one who cares about iour country not our leadersRecommend

  • haseeb asghar
    May 28, 2011 - 9:57AM

    @Mukesh:
    hey fellow if i m not wrong u look like a philospher why u afraid man and every single time we want to buy or we produce something which scare the hell out of u u cry like baby huh.chill dude its our choice what ever we do what ever we buy who the hell are u to tell us what we have to do what we don’t.mind ur buisness if we have to die then keep that thing in mind u too remember this same day back in 1998 hahahahah 28 of may 1998 the day which whole kufars never gonna forget and especially u guys.wait for the final hour.its near and racing towards us!!!!!!Recommend

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