Sunday, February 21, 2010
Pakistan Air Force Inducts First Squadron of JF-17 Thunder Jet
ISLAMABAD - The first squadron of fighter jet JF-17 Thunder, a joint Pakistan-China production, was on Thursday inducted in Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fleet.
A special ceremony was held for this purpose at PAF airbase near Kamra Aeronautical Complex, about 50km from here. Chief of Air Staff Rao Qamar Suleman formally received the squadron.
In his address, the Air Chief congratulated the nation and said it is a historic day for PAF and entire nation.
JF-17 Thunder aircraft is an advanced multi-role light combat aircraft jointly developed by Chengdu and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex under a strategic collaboration project. The aircraft is designed to be cost-effective and can meet the tactical and strategic needs of the Pakistan Air Force, and various other air forces.
The production facilities have been set up for the aircraft in Pakistan. The first batch of 50 JF-17 Thunder aircraft has been equipped with the Chinese/Pakistani avionics and missiles, while the later aircrafts are to be equipped with more advanced radars and missiles.
France offered Pakistan its RC-400 radar and MBDA MICA missile for the aircraft.
The serial production of JF-17 Thunder has already started and the production capacity would be gradually taken to 25 aircraft per year by 2011.
About 60 per cent of the aircraft’s frame and 80 per cent of its avionics have been manufactured in Pakistan.