Pakistan to Order 50 More Fighter Jets JF-17 Thunder in 2017

The Pakistan military is likely to place an order for an additional 50 JF-17 fighter jets this year. Pakistan is focusing to create 50 JF-17 Thunder Jet Fighters Block 3 in 2017.

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will likely place an order for 50 Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17 Block-III fighter jets in the first half of 2017, according to PAC chairman Air Marshall Arshad Malik.

The JF-17 is a lightweight, single-engine, multirole combat aircraft, powered by a Russian-designed-but-Chinese-built Klimov RD-93 (a RD-33 derivative) turbofan. The aircraft can reach a top speed of Mach 1.6 and reportedly has an operational range of 1,200 kilometers (745 miles). The fighter jet features seven hardpoints and can carry up to 3,629 kilograms in weaponry and other payloads.

The PAF is slated to induct 150 JF-17 combat aircraft over the next years split into three production blocks: Block-I, Block II, and Block-III. PAC has so far produced 50 Block-I aircraft and over 20 out of a total order of 50 Block-II JF-17s.  According to the PAC chairman in an interview with Asian Military Review, Pakistan will produce 14 additional JF-17 Block-II aircraft in 2017.

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