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CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder

Chinese/Pakistani multirole fighter / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder (Urdu: جے ایف-17 گرج), or FC-1 Xiaolong (Chinese: 枭龙; pinyin: Xiāo Lóng; lit. 'Fierce Dragon'), is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).[1] It was designed to replace the A-5C, F-7P/PG, Mirage III, and Mirage V combat aircraft in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).[2] The JF-17 can be used for multiple roles, including interception, ground attack, anti-ship, and aerial reconnaissance. The Pakistani designation "JF-17" stands for "Joint Fighter-17", with the "-17" denoting that, in the PAF's vision, it is the successor to the F-16. The Chinese designation "FC-1" stands for "Fighter China-1".

Quick facts: JF-17 Thunder FC-1 Xiaolong, Role, National ...
JF-17 Thunder
FC-1 Xiaolong
A JF-17 of the Pakistan Air Force
Role Multirole combat aircraft
National origin China / Pakistan
Manufacturer Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group / Pakistan Aeronautical Complex
First flight 25 August 2003
Introduction 12 March 2007
Status In service
Primary users Pakistan Air Force
Myanmar Air Force
Nigerian Air Force
Produced In China: June 2007 – present
In Pakistan: January 2008 – present

The JF-17 can deploy diverse ordnance, including air-to-air, air-to-surface, and anti-ship missiles, guided and unguided bombs, and a 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel autocannon. Powered by a Guizhou WS-13 or Klimov RD-93 afterburning turbofan, it has a top speed of Mach 1.6.[3] The JF-17 is the backbone and workhorse of the PAF, complementing the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon at approximately half the cost,[4] with the Block II variant costing $25 million.[3] The JF-17 was inducted in the PAF in February 2010.[5][6]

Fifty-eight per cent of the JF-17 airframe, including its front fuselage, wings, and vertical stabilizer, is produced in Pakistan, whereas forty-two percent is produced in China, with the final assembly and serial production taking place in Pakistan.[7][8] In 2015, Pakistan produced 16 JF-17s.[6] As of 2016, PAC has the capacity to produce 20 JF-17s annually. By April 2017, PAC had manufactured 70 Block 1 aircraft[9][10] and 33 Block 2 aircraft for the PAF.[11] By 2016, PAF JF-17s had accumulated over 19,000 hours of operational flight.[12] In 2017, PAC/CAC began developing a dual-seat variant known as the JF-17B for enhanced operational capability, conversion training, and lead-in fighter training.[13][14] The JF-17B Block 2 variant went into serial production at PAC in 2018 and 26 aircraft were delivered to the PAF by December 2020.[15] In December 2020, PAC began serial production of a more advanced Block 3 version of the aircraft with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a more powerful Russian Klimov RD-93MA engine, a larger and more advanced wide-angle Head-Up Display (HUD), electronic countermeasures, an additional hardpoint, and enhanced weapons capability.[16]

PAF JF-17s have seen military action, both air-to-air and air-to-ground, including bombing terrorist positions in North Waziristan near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border during anti-terror operations in 2014 and 2017 using both guided and unguided munitions,[17][8] shooting down an intruding Iranian military drone near the Pakistan-Iran Border in Balochistan in 2017,[18] and in Operation Swift Retort during the 2019 Jammu and Kashmir airstrikes and aerial skirmish between India and Pakistan.[19] Nigerian Air Force (NAF) JF-17s have seen military action in anti-terrorism and anti-insurgency operations in Nigeria.[20]