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Eight countries express interest in JF-17
« on: November 30, 2008, 07:46:33 PM »
 Eight countries express interest in JF-17
Saturday, November 29, 2008
By By Azeem Samar

Ministry of Defence Production Secretary Shahid Siddiq Tirmizi informed journalists on Friday that as many as eight countries have shown interest in procuring newly launched JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft that was developed jointly by defence industries of Pakistan and China. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has been using eight JF-17 fighters to complete trials and technical evaluation of the newly launched jet, he said. He said that once agreements for sale were reached, 800 or even more JF-17 fighters could be produced.

The Secretary Defence Production along with Minister for Defence Production Abdul Qayyum Jatoi, State Minister for Defence Production Sardar Salim Hyder Khan, and Director-General Defence Export Promotion Organisation (DEPO) Maj General Muhammad Farooq were speaking at a press conference at fifth and concluding day of International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS-2008) here at Karachi Expo Centre.

The official said that through IDEAS, Pakistani defence products were showcased to prospective international buyers, who showed a keen interest in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), air defence systems, tank simulators, and anti-tank guided missiles developed by Pakistan. He said that the negotiations held at IDEAS could lead to more joint ventures of Pakistan for defence production with international defence industries and friendly countries like Turkey, France, and Germany. According to him, various participating delegations, prospective buyers, and exhibitors had reached some 11 broad understandings for defence production and procuring arms and related equipment.

Tirmizi said that from 2006 to 2008 Pakistan had exported defence products worth $400 million and this figure is bound to increase after IDEAS-2008.

Minister for Defence Production Qayyum Jatoi responded to a question about Pakistani capability to counter drone attacks by saying that Pakistan has the necessary defence capability but its top priority is to resolve the issue through diplomatic and political means. Regarding the strained bilateral ties between India and Pakistan, especially in the immediate aftermath of the Mumbai attacks, the minister said the government is hopeful that India would not attack Pakistan, but Pakistan was capable of countering the attack in such an eventuality.

Maj. Gen. Farooq, organizer of the event, said that prospective international defence manufacturers had already started showing their interest in participating in the sixth IDEAS scheduled to be held in 2010.



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