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Pakistan begins domestic final assembly of JF-17
« on: July 05, 2009, 02:01:18 PM »
SOURCE:Flight International

Pakistan begins domestic final assembly of JF-17

By Siva Govindasamy

Pakistan has begun the final assembly of the first Chengdu Aircraft/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 fighter to be produced in the country, and aims to have the first flight by end-2009.

Islamabad collaborated with China in the design and development, and received its first two JF-17s in March 2007. It has since taken delivery of around a dozen JF-17s, which China has designated as the FC-1, says the Pakistani air force.

While PAC had work-share in the earlier examples and tried some limited assembly at its facilities in Kamra, Chengdu Aircraft was responsible for most of the production. The Pakistani company has now entered the full production phase with the aircraft and aims to deliver four to six JF-17s to the PAF before end-2009.

It then plans to produce 12 aircraft in 2010, 15-16 aircraft annually from 2011, and up to 25 a year eventually, says the service. Under the terms of its contract with Chengdu Aircraft, Pakistan will buy 150 domestically produced JF-17s. This could eventually go up to 300 fighters.

The JF-17s will replace the PAF's ageing fleet of Nanchang A-5s, Chengdu F-7s and Dassault Mirage III and Mirage Vs. The service says that they will be capable of carrying variety of conventional and precision guided bombs, and air-to-air and air-to-sea missiles of both short and beyond visual ranges.

"The weapon carrying capabilities of the aircraft would enable its employment in day and night multi-role tasks on land, sea and air. The aircraft would add to the PAF's operational capability manifold and help retain the much needed balance in air power in the sub-continent," Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, the PAF's chief of air staff, said at the inauguration ceremony.

While the Pakistani-built aircraft will have Chinese components, Islamabad had planned to raise the indigenous content to 60% of the airframe and 80% of the avionics by 2010. It has also been in touch with western radar, avionics, engines and missiles suppliers.

The first 50 JF-17s will be equipped with Chinese KLJ-10 radars and SD-10 and PL-8 missiles. But Pakistan is keen to acquire advanced AESA radars and had contacted France's Thales about its RC400. It also held talks with MBDA about Mica air-to-air missiles. The Klimov RD-93 turbofan will power the aircraft, but Pakistan has been sourcing for an alternative and the Snecma M53-P2 was touted as a possibility.

He said that the JF-17 programme had made "significant progress" towards meeting its twin objectives of strengthening Pakistan's national security and acquiring indigenous capability to manufacture fighter aircraft. He added that Pakistan and China were also hoping to secure third party sales "in big numbers".

Islamabad has also been negotiating the purchase of 36 Chengdu J-10 fighters from China. The aircraft will be designated as the FC-20 in Pakistan, and they will be upgraded versions of the fighter that officially entered into service with the Chinese air force in early 2007. Deliveries to Pakistan are likely to begin from 2014-2015, and the country is unlikely to have any work-share in this programme.

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Re: Pakistan begins domestic final assembly of JF-17
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2009, 09:45:37 PM »
First Pakistani-Built JF-17 To Fly by Years end
June 29, 2009

By Usman Ansari

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Chief of the air staff, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, told graduates at the thirty-eighth Combat Commander's Course at PAF Base Mushaf, Sargodha, that the first Pakistani-built JF-17 Thunder multirole combat aircraft will begin construction this week, and fly by the end of the year.

The first operational squadron of JF-17s is based at Peshawar and is set to fully enter service by the end of the year. The Peshawar-based JF-17s initially are to be tasked with the air-to-air role, with air-to-ground capabilities being retrofitted at a later date.

However, these aircraft were manufactured in China and flown to Pakistan as air freight before they were reassembled. The Pakistani-built aircraft initially will have some components delivered from China, but with increasing indigenous content as production progresses. It is planned that the second batch of JF-17s will have a large degree of Western sourced systems, reducing Chinese input further.

However, according to retired Air Commodore Kaiser Tufail, domestic JF-17 production heralds for Pakistan, "cutting-edge technology in the hands of Pakistani engineers and technicians."

He further stated, "Since the production is being done at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex [an Air Force outfit], it also helps the Air Force gain first-hand experience in aircraft production, which is not a bad thing at all, even though aircraft production has usually been a civilian domain worldwide."

Domestic production also means that in the long term, potential upgrades would be implemented faster due to reduced bureaucratic red tape from dealing with foreign companies, especially if aircraft had to be sent overseas.

A more short-term effect, however, would be to boost national morale in seeing "a locally manufactured aircraft taking to the skies," he said.

The program itself is also set to receive a boost from seeing "an all-Pakistani aircraft, rather than a part-Chinese-part-Pakistani one, becoming operational, as there have been some detractors across the border [in India] who have not been able to digest the success of the JF-17 project, particularly when compared to the Tejas Project," he said.

National pride aside, however, Tufail said the most important aspect was that the Air Force will not "have to worry about sanctions when we have production in our hands." This has been the overriding Air Force concern since U.S sanctions nearly crippled the F-16 fleet in the 1990s. With more than 250 JF-17s planned to replace the A-5C, F-7P, Mirage-III, and Mirage 5 combat aircraft, Pakistan's defensive potential is unlikely to be harmed to such a degree whatever the future international political climate.


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Re: Pakistan begins domestic final assembly of JF-17
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2009, 09:47:52 PM »
JF-17 Thunder aircraft reaches at stage to be assembled in Pakistan - June 30, 2009



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