Production of the JF- 17 Thunder fighter jet was accelerated.
China speeded up the production of the JF-17 fighter jet developed with Pakistan. According to some industry reports, the number of fighter jets delivered in the first half of 2020 is much more than in the past five years.
As of June 30, 2020, the production line of the JF-17 fighter jet, according to China Aviation News, a newspaper affiliated with China’s state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC), has been reduced by an average of 15 days compared to last year.
The Pakistan Air Force is the main user of the JF-17 fighter jet. Myanmar is also one of the users of JF-17 developed by China-Pakistan. Interest in JF-17 fighter jet has considerably grown in recent years.
In this context, Nigeria is on track to become the newest user of the JF-17 fighter jet, it has been reported that countries such as Azerbaijan, Iran, Ukraine have held talks on purchasing the fighter jet.
The Block III model of the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, which is inactively used by the Pakistan Air Force, made its first flight at CAC facilities in Chengdu (China) in December 2019.
Yang Wei, the master designer of the fighter jet, stated in 2019 that development and production of the JF-17 Block 3 were underway and that some countries were very close to purchasing the JF-17 Block 3.
JF-17 Thunder fighter jet’s New RD-93MA Turbofan engine being tested
The aeroplane’s new engine, developed by Pakistan and China, with Ukranie possibly buying, is being tested at facilities owned by Russia-based Klimov. The fact that the new engine of the fighter jet, along with the JF-17s allegedly supplied by Ukraine, is based in Russia brings to mind a possible embargo situation.
The RD-93MA motor is an engine designed for single-engine fighter aircraft. It is an upgraded version of the RD-93 engine already used in JF-17 aircraft.
JF-17 Thunder Block III
The effort for the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet first began in early 2000 with a partnership of China and Pakistan. The last variant of the JF-17, The block III, made its first flight in August 2003. The variants of JF-17 fighter aircraft, which is not included in the China people’s Liberation Army inventory, JF-17 Block 1 and Block 2, are currently in service in the Pakistan Air Force. Also, The Myanmar Air Force uses JF-17 fighter jets.
Some specifications of the JF-17 Block III model:
- KLJ-7A Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar
- New wide-angle Head-Up Display and Missile Approach Warning System (Maws) / Radar Warning System (RWS)
- New engine: possibly an improved derivative of the RD-33MK
The first two aircraft developed under the JF-17 Thunder Block III is scheduled to be ready in 2020 and first deliveries are expected to take place in 2021, following acceptance tests.