Air Platforms

PAC announces start of JF-17 Block 2 construction

18 December 2013
PAC has completed production of the Block 1 version of the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft. Source: IHS Global Limited/Patrick Allen

The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) on 18 December rolled out its 50th and final JF-17 Block 1 Thunder fighter aircraft, and announced the launch of Block 2 production.

A ceremony to mark the event at PAC's Kamra facility north of Islamabad was attended by prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who also witnessed the Pakistan Air Force and PAC sign a formal agreement with China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) for joint international sales and marketing of the aircraft.

Sharif said the success of the JF-17 programme, a collaboration between China's Chengdu Aircraft Corporation and the PAF-run PAC, "shows that our air force is fully capable of defending our country".

According to a PAF press release, Block 2 JF-17s "will have improved versions of avionics sub-systems, air-to-air refuelling capability, additional weapon-carrying capability, optimised maintenance facilitation and some operational capabilities".

The statement did not provide further details on any of these systems but added that "Pakistan's share in co-production of the airframe of the JF-17 aircraft is 58%".

PAF officials at the 2013 Dubai Airshow told IHS Jane's that a Block 3 variant of the JF-17 "exists in the form of a conceptual design and a list of mission requirements but no concrete decisions have been made about the choice and configuration of the onboard systems for the aircraft". IHS Jane's All the World's Aircraft notes that the Block 3 upgrade is planned to be launched in 2016, and in the meantime CAC and PAC are collaborating in developing a combat-capable, two-seat conversion trainer variant that is expected to enhance export prospects.

Air Vice Marshal Javaid Ahmed, head of the JF-17 programme for the PAF, told IHS Jane's that potential customers for the existing version of the aircraft were likely to come from South America, Africa, the Middle East or Southeast Asia. "These countries of the developing world will be attracted to this aircraft given its specifications and a competitive price," he said.

ANALYSIS

Western analysts in Islamabad who are familiar with the progress of the JF-17 fighter plane said the PAF/PAC collaboration with CATIC is built primarily on providing developing countries with a cheaper alternative to expensive Western aircraft.

Although neither China nor Pakistan have publicly disclosed a price tag, a senior Pakistani government official told IHS Jane's that it could be in the range of around USD25 million per aircraft. A Western defence official based in Islamabad added that this price "could be about half to one-third of the price of a comparable Western fighter".



(416 words)
By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and our Terms of Use of this site.

RELEVANT PROFILE LISTINGS

  • Vulcanair V1.0

    Type Four-seat lightplane. Programme Announced, and almost complete aircraft displayed statically, at Aero '14, Friedrichshafen, Germany, 9 to 12 April 2014. Updated version of Partenavia P.64/66 Oscar. Partenavia P.64 Fachiro III first flew on 2 April 1965 and entered production as Oscar B, 180

  • Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II

    Type Four-seat cabin monoplane. Programme Design of the Warrior II began in June 1972, an important feature being replacement of the earlier constant-chord wings of the Cherokee series by a longer span wing with tapered outer panels. As a result of its introduction, the Warrior, which at the time

  • Tupolev Tu-95 and Tu-142

    Type Strategic/maritime reconnaissance bomber. Programme First Tu-95 prototype with four 8,950 kW (12,000 ehp) Kuznetsov 2TV-2F turboprops, flew 12 November 1952 and was destroyed during testing. Second example (Tu-95/2) with 8,950 kW (12,000 ehp) TV-12 turboprops, flew 16 February 1955. Seven

  • BAE Systems (Scottish Aviation) SA-3 Bulldog

    Type Basic trainer. Programme The first flight of the Beagle-built Bulldog prototype was made on 19 May 1969. A second prototype, completed by Scottish Aviation, was flown on 14 February 1971; it was later refurbished, issued with a Normal category C of A, and delivered to a private owner under

  • MIL (PZL Swidnik) Mi-2

    Type Light helicopter. Programme Designed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail L Mil and first flown September 1961. Following initial development, production transferred to PZL-Swidnik in Poland in January 1964 for further development, production and marketing exclusively to Polish industry; first

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

IHS Jane's is not responsible for the content within or linking from Industry Links pages.
ADVERTISEMENT