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Posted at: May 23, 2019, 7:58 AM; last updated: May 23, 2019, 8:51 AM (IST)

China delivers first overhauled multi-role JF-17 fighter jet to Pak

China delivers first overhauled multi-role JF-17 fighter jet to Pak
JF-17 has become a mainstay of the PAF in recent years after US restricted sales of F-16 war planes after the 1990 arms embargo imposed on Pakistan under the Pressler amendment. It is reported to have over 100 JF-17 planes with more in the pipeline.

Beijing, May 22

In a major boost for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), China has delivered the first overhauled multi-role JF-17 fighter jet to Islamabad as part of a project undertaken by the two countries for the development and manufacture of the aircraft.

China and Pakistan had begun joint development and manufacture of the single-engine light JF-17 jets over a decade ago. Beijing delivered the first batch in 2007 and a number of them were later commissioned by the PAF, state-run Global Times reported on Wednesday.

After a decade of use, it was time for the first JF-17s to undergo overhauls, the report quoted military analysts as saying, adding that the first overhaul started in November 2017 after a contract was signed between the two sides in 2016. 

Changsha 5712 Aircraft Industry Co Ltd under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) reassembled the jet and delivered it to its Pakistani client in March, the daily quoted a report by China Aviation News. 

This is also the first time AVIC has overhauled a made-for-export third generation fighter, or fourth generation according to another widely used standard, the report said.

“The first [JF-17] overhaul marks an important milestone [in the JF-17 project],” Fu Qianshao, a Chinese air defence expert, said.

It represents the trial-and-error phase of the project and provided experience in establishing standards for other JF-17 overhauls in future, Qianshao said.

The overhaul of the fighter jet includes major maintenance, featuring repairs and replacement of old components, including the airframe and engine.

Also, a Block 3 variant of the JF-17 is under development. It is expected to be much more powerful than the previous two blocks due to new China-developed active electronically scanned array radar, the report said. — PTI

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