Preparation of Block 3 of JF-17 state-of-the-art fighter aircraft of Pakistan Air Force has been started while 14 JF-17B aircraft manufactured with the cooperation of China have been handed over to Pakistan Air Force.
These aircraft have been developed by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).
On Wednesday, Kamra Airbase hosted the launch of double-seater JF-17B aircraft into the Pakistan Air Force fleet and the commencement of production of JF-17 Block III.
How is the JF17B different from the existing JF17?
Air Commodore Ahmar Raza, a spokesman for the Pakistan Air Force, told the BBC that the new JF-17B model aircraft joining the Pakistan Air Force has two seats and will be used mostly for training. Similar to the existing JF-17 aircraft.
“The new planes have the same missiles and radar as the old planes, just one seat has been added to the new model so that the other pilot can sit and we can use these planes in training.”
The Pakistan Air Force says it will meet the training needs of the organization but is fully capable of all types of combat operations and will increase the force’s operational capability.
What is ‘Block Three’?
In addition to JF-17B joining the Pakistan Air Force, the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal also inaugurated the production of Block III of JF-17 Thunder on Wednesday.
According to the Pakistan Air Force, the JF-17 aircraft of Block III will be the most advanced model and will help the Pakistan Air Force maintain a balance of resistance in the changing situation in the region.
The JF-17 Block will be the third generation fighter aircraft
A Pakistan Air Force spokesman told us that Block III is the next version of JF-17. In which new radars will be installed, this version of the ship will also be equipped with new and modern weapons and missiles. The capability of electronic warfare will also be enhanced and improved from every angle.
According to the spokesman, the Block III aircraft “will be ready in about one and a half years.”
Retired Air Marshal Masood Akhtar said that the JF-17 aircraft of Block III will have active electronically secondary radar and better missiles.
“Block 3’s JF-17 aircraft will be equipped with air-to-air and air-to-air weapons.”
He added that these aircraft will be included in the fourth generation.
Is it fair to compare JF-17 Thunder aircraft of Block III with Rafale?
The JF-17 Block III is claimed to be even better than India’s Rafale aircraft.
A Pakistan Air Force spokesman said, “Of course … Such analysis is absolutely correct, but Block III will be better than Rafal in many respects. It will be a ship that can compete with Rafale.
However, Adil Sultan, head of the Strategic Studies of Air University, says “100 percent can’t say that.”
Explaining his point, he said, “We compare everything in the context of Pakistan and India. Each aircraft has its own role. We can say in this context that this plane may be a little better than the Rafale, but there are many more things to look at when comparing planes.
What are the capabilities of JF-17 Thunder?
Air Marshal (retd) Masood Akhtar while talking about the importance of 14 two-seater J-17Bs joining the Pakistan Air Force said that these aircrafts are very important for Pakistan in terms of exports.
“Every time we talked to a customer, they said we needed double-seater aircraft for training and that these aircraft were specially designed for that purpose.”
It may be recalled that the JAC-17 aircraft which Pakistan has prepared for sale to different countries was also displayed in the PAC room on Wednesday.
The JF-17 Thunder fighter jet is also important to Pakistan because Pakistan manufactures it itself.
Pakistan has acquired the capability to build these aircraft with the help of China and according to experts, this aircraft is a versatile, lightweight, fourth generation multi-role aircraft.
The manufacturing, upgrading and ‘overhauling’ facilities of this aircraft are also available within the country which means that Pakistan does not need any other country to ensure the stages of preparation of this aircraft.
According to defense experts, the JF-Thunder, like the F-16 Falcon, is a lightweight, all-weather aircraft capable of hitting ground and air targets in all weather conditions. Is equipped
Thanks to this capability, JF-17 Thunder shot down an Indian Air Force mug with a Beyond Visual Range missile after the Balakot incident. At the same time, JF-17 Thunder was well received.
The JF-17 Thunder is equipped with state-of-the-art radar, which is also considered to be a great feature of Rafale. This aircraft is capable of firing missiles by locking the target.
Its range is said to be 150 km and the missile chases its target exactly as shown in several Hollywood movies.
The JF-17 Thunder is capable of surveillance on the ground and air combat as well as ground attack. The aircraft is capable of using weapons other than air-to-ground, air-to-air and surface-to-surface missile systems.
When did Pakistan start work on JF-17?
The story dates back to 1995 when Pakistan and China signed a memorandum of understanding on JF-17.
The first test model of the aircraft was developed in 2003, and the Pakistan Air Force added the JF-17 Thunder to its fleet for the first time in 2010.
The project was also joined by the Russian MiG aircraft manufacturer Mikoyan. The Pakistan Air Force designed the JF-17 Thunder as part of a periodic Mirage, F7 and A5 replacement program.
Reaction on social media
On social media, people were seen appreciating and commenting on the inclusion of JF-17B aircraft in Pakistan Air Force.
A user named Mian Ayub shared a photo of JF17 and wrote, “Sleep soundly, Pakistan Air Force is awake all the time to protect our lives.”