A Chinese and Pakistani jet could soon be the most widely used combat aircraft in the world.

A JF-17 Thunder at Kamra Aeronautical Centre northwest of Islamabad in FebruaryAAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images
  • China and Pakistan jointly developed JF-17 combat aircraft, which first entered service on July 17, 2007.

  • As of October 2021 there were approximately 145 JF-17s in service with Nigeria, Pakistan, Myanmar, and Myanmar.

  • Many other countries are interested in the jet and their numbers are expected to grow.

Three of the best-known brands in the world are available for purchase in November. JF-17 Fighters of the Pakistani Air Force Submitted aerial demonstrations Bahrain International Air Show.

China was also present. Showcasing The JF-17 was on display at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zuhai (China).

These events were China’s latest attempt to market their fourth-generation fighter jet jointly developed with Pakistan to international customers.

The JF-17 is only in service with three countries — Pakistan, Myanmar, and Nigeria — which operated a total of 145 as of October 2021, according to Aviation Week.

At the time, Aviation Week data showed that total was set to rise to 185 JF-17s by mid-decade — growth that would make it the most widely operated Chinese combat jet in service overseas by the end of 2023.

JF-17 Thunder

A Pakistan Air Force JF-17 takes flight at a base north of Pakistan in June 2013.REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

The JF-17 flew its first time in 2003, after being developed by China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (China Aeronautical Complex). The single-seat single-engine jet is known as the JF-17 Thunder in Pakistan, and as the FC-1 Xiaolong for China.

The JF-17 is capable of performing multiple missions, including aerial intercept or ground attack, and has a service ceiling at 50,000 feet. It can carry around 7,000 pounds worth of ordnance on seven hardpoints. The JF-17 is equipped with a single twin barrel 23 mm autocannon and a single twin barrel 23 mm gun.

Although the initial JF-17s were built entirely in China, Pakistan now produces most of them. At the moment, 58% The aircraft is made in Pakistan and 42%, in China.

Despite its joint development only Pakistan decided to put it into service. Officially, this was done in 2007. This jet will replace Pakistan’s fleet of Nanchang A-5 and Chengdu F-7 fighter and bomber jets.

Pakistani air force personnel inspect the JF-17 at Zhuhai Airshow in China’s Guangdong province, October 2018.REUTERS/Stringer

The JF-17, which currently has at least 125 in service is the backbone to the PAF. According to reports, they have been used to carry out airstrikes against militants operating in northwestern Pakistan. One reportIn 2017, an Iranian-made drone was shot down in southwestern Pakistan.

Current and Retired Officials of the Pakistani Air Force Also read During an air to air skirmish in February 2019, a JF-17 took down an Indian MiG-21. (India A Pakistani F-16 took down its jet.

Since its inception, the JF-17 has seen many upgrades. The latest version, the Block III, was first flown in late 2019. It features many significant improvements, including an additional hardpoint and a quad-redundant, digital fly-by wire system and an active electronically-scanned array radar.

Pakistan considers Block III JF-17 a jet of 4.5-generation and its air force plans on purchasing it. At least 50The first one arrived in January. The jets have already been Been seen carrying One of the most advanced air-to–air missiles in China.

Attractive and affordable

A JF-17 at Paris Air Show in June 2015.REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Pakistan currently has the highest number of JF-17s. Myanmar, the first international customer, has six JF-17s, while Nigeria has three.

The JF-17 costs between $15 million and $25 million per unit, which is much less than almost every fourth-generation jet currently on the market. Add-ons to increase its effectiveness. like targeting podsIt is attractive for countries with low defense budgets who want multirole combat aircrafts.

Insider heard Timothy Heath, a Rand Corporation senior international and defense researcher, say that “it’s not cutting-edge, but it’s a reliable performer.”

Heath stated, “This aircraft is not designed for competition head-to-head against the F-22, so the aircraft doesn’t need to have the most sophisticated engines or parts.” It’s a multirole budget aircraft, which is most suitable for developing countries who are looking for a basic aircraft to bomb their own citizens, or to defend against similar-type countries.

A Pakistani JF-17 at a defense exhibition in Karachi in November 2016.RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP via Getty Images

Numerous countries have expressed an interest in the JF-17. According to reports, Iraq has expressed interest in the JF-17. Acceded To buy Minimum 12Egypt has It is interested in purchasing JF-17s as part its expanded defense cooperation with Pakistan. Azerbaijan has said For years It wants JF-17s and both Bolivia Argentina Are you considering the jet?

Argentina is also looking to increase its fighter production. If it gets a license for domestic production of JF-17s, it could become the first to fly the jet. More appealing Its neighbors.

China could increase its market share by expanding JF-17 salesvalue arms” — weapons that are less sophisticated but still effective — among middle- and lower-income countries, which have long relied on Russia for jets, armored vehicles, and heavy artillery.

Selling more JF-17s does not necessarily mean a greater dependence on Chinese military hardware. Many countries still want higher-end Western-built aircraft. They are also wary of becoming dependent on one supplier. This is why many aircraft operate a mix of US-built, European, Russian and Chinese aircraft.

Heath stated that this is a common strategy in the developing countries. “Most countries want autonomy so they want to have different suppliers, even though it complicates their ability to operate all these foreign system.”

You can read the original article here Business Insider

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