Pakistan to start fighter aircraft production in 2007

News sources have revealed that Pakistan will start joint-production of a light weight fighter aircraft with China in the first quarter of 2007. The JF-17 (also here) aircraft is based on the Russian MIG-21. It was designed and prototyped in China at an estimated cost of US$150 million, half of which has been funded by Pakistan. According to the agreement, full production should start at PAC Kamra in 2007 upon initial delivery of 8 aircrafts from China. The project will not only help in upgrading Pakistan’s aging aircraft fleet, but more importantly ‘it will help train the nation’s engineers and mechanics in the art of aircraft making’.

Related Stories:

7 Responses to “Pakistan to start fighter aircraft production in 2007”

  1. chowkidar says:

    this is…solid!

  2. Shaje says:

    Intersting Spin on the JF-17 (and some detailed specs)If you read the one story from Pak Tribune, you get the feeling that the JF-17s are the answer to Pakistan’s much aged airforce. If you read another article, by an equally biased source, the JF-17s would not last 5 seconds against an F-16. Pakistan has a very old fleet of F-16s including the refurbished 26 just ordered from the US. These F-16s however, can not fly has high as the Indian Mig 22s. India is in the proces of phasing out its’ Mig-22, so Pakistan will again be sadly largely out-teched in the battle field. The seocnd artcile has more specs on the aircraft and is mre fun to read. It is unclear however, wheter the JF-17s will be able to carry a Nuclear War head or not. If Pakistan is able to produce these, and they do turn out to be what they promiss to be, Pakistan could very well see it self in a weapons production market, selling cheap versatile aircrafts to developing nations who pony up their military strength by quantity and are not very particluar on quality. The JF-17s are able to be refuled in mid-air, currently, Pakistan has no plans on manufacturing Air Tankers. That technology will still have to be purchased from the US.

    ISLAMABAD, May 10 (Online):
    Pakistan will start production of its sophisticated fighter aircraft JF-17 Thunder from this year.
    This was said by Air Marshal Aurang Zeb Khan, chairman Pakistan Aeronautical complex board and Air Vice Marshall Shahid Latif, chief project director of JF-17 during a briefing to the journalists here Monday.

    Air Vice Marshal Shahid Latif told that production of JF-17 was going to be started from this year and first fleet of 4 air crafts would be handed over to Pakistan Air Forces in December 2006. ” We will acquire four more air crafts till March 2007, he added. Full production of aircraft’s will start from 2007, he remarked. New aircraft’s will be inducted in place of discarded air crafts. JF-17 production will be in excess of country’s requirements and these will be exported.

    He informed that Pakistani JF-17 aircraft will be available at the half rate of Western countries price. This air craft will compete the best air crafts of the world as far as technology and facilities are concerned.

    It will be lighter in weight than other fighter planes of the world. All the conventional and non-conventional weapons will be used in this plane due to its flight to 55 thousands feet altitude and fast speed. All the weapons from air to surface and air to air will be used in this plane. Seven more stations will be set up in this air craft.

    The craft will have capability to be fuelled during flight. Highly advanced flight system will be installed in this air craft.

    Chairman PAC Kamra, Air Marshall Aurang Zeb Khan told that four factories on repairs of mirage planes, F-6 and F-7 air crafts plane and radar manufacturing were functioning successfully in the country. ” We have obtained ISO certificates and US and Boeing quality standard”, he added.

    The demand of Mushaq air crafts is fast growing, he told. Sri Lanka, Bangla Desh, UAE, Oman, Iran and other countries have placed their orders. 7 planes have been handed over and delivery of 8 more planes will be made this month. More 5 planes will be handed over to Saudi Arabia till September 5, 2005. Machines have been installed to provide spare parts to Boeing company, he informed.

    Analysis: Pakistan, China work on fighters
    By Anwar Iqbal
    UPI South Asian Affairs Analyst
    Published May 11, 2005

    WASHINGTON — The multirole JF-17 aircraft Pakistan is building jointly with China is a mid-tech plane that fills in the gap between lower and upper technology, Brig. Shafqaat Ahmad, Pakistan’s defense attaché in Washington, said.

    Pakistan also is buying 24 F-16 jet fighters from the United States for its air force, leading to traditional rival India saying Islamabad has started an arms race in the region. Pakistan denies the charge.

    “While we are acquiring the F-16s to meet our immediate defense requirements, the JF-17 Thunder aircraft that Pakistan is producing jointly with China has nothing to do with any arms race,” Ahmad said.

    He said some of the Chinese aircraft now in use in Pakistan would need replacement soon and the government had decided that sharing technology with China would be preferable to buying more aircraft. He said the bulk of these aircraft, three out of four, would go to China.

    This explanation, however, does not satisfy India. Reports in the Indian media, quoting defense experts, say the JF-17s can be used to deliver nuclear weapons. The reports cited Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s remarks, during Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s visit to the country last month, that Pakistan wanted to keep a minimum level of conventional and unconventional defensive deterrence. In New Delhi, this was interpreted that the JF-17 could be used to deliver nuclear weapons.

    During the visit, Wen assured Musharraf China would help defend Pakistan’s “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.” In India, this was interpreted as meaning while China wants to improve its relations with New Delhi, it will continue its decades-long close defense and strategic ties with Pakistan.

    Other Indian experts, such as Ashutosh Mishra of the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses in New Delhi told reporters there was no reason to fear the JF-17s. He said these are slightly improved versions of the F-7 aircraft, which were equivalent to India’s Russia-made MiG-21s, Pakistan now needs to phase out. India’s Mig-21s have been replaced by newer versions.

    The joint China-Pakistan venture first began in the late 1990s when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif still ruled Pakistan. The aircraft was first called Super-7, then renamed FC-1 in 2001 and are now being produced as JF-17.

    The planes are being built at Kamra, a cantonment located between Islamabad and the northwestern city of Peshawar at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, an organ of the Pakistan Ministry of Defense.

    China’s Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corp. is also assisting Kamra in developing a new jet trainer known as Karakorum-8, or K-8.

    Traditionally, Pakistan had depended on the United States for its weapon requirements, but when in 1990 the United States stopped all arms sales to Pakistan following a dispute over its nuclear program, Islamabad began to look at other options.

    The sanctions grounded the F-16 aircraft Pakistan had purchased from Washington in the 1980s. Other mid-tech aircraft, such as F-6s, F-7s, A-5s and Mirages that Pakistan bought from other sources were aging and needed to be replaced. So in February 1992, Pakistan negotiated a deal with the China Aero-Technology Import and Export Corp., which had invited the Pakistan Air Force to invest in the Super-7 program in return for full participation in design and development, with exclusive co-production rights of up to 59 percent of the Super-7 airframe. The air force received Islamabad’s approval in October 1994.

    JF-17 is a lightweight, multirole, day-night, all-weather fighter with maximum takeoff weight of 2,700 kilograms, maximum speed 1.7 M, ceiling 16,500 meters, max weapon load 3,900 kilograms, range 3,000 kilograms. It would be equipped with a Russian engine, probably RD-33, that powers the MiG-29.

    The Pakistani version would carry a European avionics suite that includes multimode Pulse Doppler radar, inertial navigation system and multi-function displays. Pakistan says it will fulfill 70 percent of its air force’s operational requirements.

    The JF-17 is designed to be fitted with a vast array of weaponry. Weapon load includes short- and medium-range anti-air missiles like AIM-9P/PL-9/Magic 2 and PL-11/Aspide/AIM-7E. In addition it includes new fly-by-wire flight control system and a true beyond visual range attack capability.

    More important for Pakistan is that it will train the nation’s engineers and mechanics in the art of aircraft making.

    The first flight of the aircraft took place Sept. 04, 2003, and after flight testing, the Pakistan Air Force decided to start serial production. PAF plans to buy about 150 aircraft. China plans to acquire 250 aircraft.

    Pakistani officials said they also intend to sell the JF-17 to other countries interested in mid-tech aircraft.

    While briefing journalists at Kamra Monday, Air Vice Marshal Shahid Latif, the chief project director for the JF-17, denied media reports Russia had cancelled an agreement with China to provide engines for the aircraft. He said China continued to receive the engines and the supply will continue in the near future.

    He said the JF-17 was a lightweight aircraft that can be refueled in the air.

    “The JF-17 is strategically very important for our air force and it also has far-reaching implications both for the national defense and economic prosperity,” he said.

    He said under the agreement between the two countries, half the fighters would be produced on an assembly line in China while the other half would be made in Pakistan.

    U.S. defense experts told London’s Financial Times the JF-17 was no threat to the United States.

    “If you want hundreds of planes to look size a sizable air force, it comes in handy,” Richard Aboulafia, aviation analyst at the Teal Group, told the paper. “It does not come in handy in any other circumstances. If you put it head to head against an F-16 it would probably last about 5 seconds.”

    Michael O’Hanlon, defense analyst at the Brookings Institution, said the United States was less concerned with fighter jets produced by China.

    “These are a couple of middle-range technological powers,” said O’Hanlon to the newspaper. “I worry a lot more about Soviet-era MiGs and Su-27s and Israeli command and control and any help with their pilot training.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    pakistani aircraftobviously this is a great feat in pakistani technology a follow up to the suzuki mehran

  4. BigSexyWashboardAbsAl says:

    Why joint?I have thought about this for a while now!

    A fighter jet is perhaps the simpliest (yet most complex) piece of Machinery there is… if you let any half decent engineering school have a budget and create a jet from scratch, I can promise you that in MAX 5 years, Pakistan will have a functional prototype. This will be far more benificial for Pakistan than a joint effort with China because:
    1) you fund educational institutes
    2) you foster R&D
    3) you lay the foundations for a shit load of other industries

    I say forget China!

    Big Sexy’s Got Cha Numba!

  5. chowkidar says:

    RE: Why joint?> A fighter jet is perhaps the simpliest (yet most complex)

    which is it: simple or complex? what are you basing your theory on? got any sources?

  6. BigSexyWashboardAbsAl says:

    RE: Why joint?A jet engine is actually (conceptually) simplier than a car engine. It works on a simple principle of sucking in a large amount of air using it’s turbines and compressing the air and letting it out the other end which is narrower than end with the turbines. In the middle on the engine, jet fuel is sprayed into the compressed air and (using the potatoe canon philosophy) BOOM… we have jet power! I’ve been wanting to build one for the longest time!

    Having said now simple it is, the complexity arises in material, what would be the best material to use because of the heat generated, making the turbines, the fule injection system! the electric controls for the fuel!

    Compare this simple jet engine with a simple 2 stroke car engine, now we not only need to have an air intake valve we also need to have have the damn pistons to create motion!

    Just google the information if you want to learn more about it :-D
    or go to

    Big Sexy’s Got Cha Numba!

  7. Shariq says:

    RE: Why joint?Thats actually y u need joint venture :) simple is that …Get benifit from experiences of others …is least expensive :)