Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (CAC) China worked together to launch the JF-17 Thunder Block III multirole fighter; as promised. The aircraft had its first flight before the end of 2019.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will deploy the aircraft in the first quarter of 2020. There are almost 50 JF-17 Thunder Block III’s planned to be produced. By 2024, all will be operational under PAF. The first batch is already gone into production in Aircraft Manufacturing Factory (AMF) at PAC Kamra.
PAC has been producing almost 58% of the JF-17 aircraft in-country. This covers airframe, aircraft subsystems, wings, horizontal tail, vertical tail, and forward fuselage, where CAC is producing 42% of JF-17 in-country. PAC has the production capability of 25 JF-17 aircraft annually.
PAF is currently operating 85 JF-17 Block I and Block II. They are war-ready aircraft deployed at multiple fronts and based strategically to answer any misadventure. PAF has got a total of 98 fully operational JF-17 Block I and Block II aircraft and 14 JF-17 Block II are expected to join the operational fleet. JF-17 Thunder was designed to replace the aging fleet of Chengdu F-7 and Dassault Mirage III/5 fighters. Efforts of PAC/CAC are paying off. “Thunder” is making its place in the international market as well. Now it’s the time for JF-17 Block III to prove itself.
PAC/CAC’s recent aggressive working made another achievement; JF-17B, the dual-seat variant. Definitely, a benchmark is set now in combat aviation.
You will read a lot of blogs about the newly launched prototype and operational aircraft, their systems, development and maybe over their air superiority. Besides all this, it is very important to know how all this becomes a reality.
In defense and weapon system development, the most important factor is the right time to have a particular weapon ready for action. To meet such deadlines, men behind this development sacrifice a lot. They work around the clock to meet the said time frame of development; they work not to say NO to any deadline. Lengthy Technical Orders (TO), complex AS9100 standards, lot of mathematics and physics, general knowledge and previous experiences; it’s all not a matter of just weeks or months. From senior officers to junior commissioned officers; techs and mechanics, ground support staff and even general services people, everyone worked like a machine. It’s just not an aircraft; it’s a weapon system in the defense line of the nation and only proud can stand with it.
Outside PAC/CAC, there are aerospace and defense procurement teams. They are working to maintain a weapon system for best performance; in peace and in war. Right from Rate Running Contract (RRC) to full-scale tender and/or MOD Project; they are a hard joint in defense line backbone. It’s just not about a machine; it’s about national security and sovereignty.
This blog this dedicated to all those who were up day and night to develop JF-17 Block III and JF-17B aircraft not just as aircraft but benchmarks; to my dear school mate, Sqdn. Ldr. Abdul Wahab and to the operators of Thunders.
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