JF-17 Multi-role fighter jet was jointly developed to give cheaper alternative for locally obsolete fleet of Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The plane was developed by Pakistan aD China nad is customised for specific PAF needs.
Old planes to be replaced are F-7P PG A-5 and Mirage III V. Infact JF-17s have already started replacing A-5s.
JF-17’s future developments include higher use of composite materials as well as IRST for passive scanning, in addition to better overall avionics, possibly including a lighter version of AESA radar of J-10B.
JF-17’s stealthier version is also under development. The most likely changes include would be in the nose and to reduce RCS from the frontal aspects.
The cost of JF-17 ranges from 15 to 25 million depending upon the configuration. Pakistan will replace all the older aircraft with JF-17s. Pakistan airforce has plans to have atleast 150 JF-17s. The production of 100 aircrafts are already under progress.
The first 50 are called Block-1 while Pakistan recently concluded agreement for 50 Block-2 JF-17s on urgent basis.
Plane is powered by Klimov RD-93, a variant of RD-33, the engine used by Mig-29. The engine has a slight smoking issue as in release smoke, leaving a small trail of black smoke. This can be hazardous during dog fight as it makes it easier for enemy pilot to spot your plane. A Chinese engine by the name WS-13 is also under development.
Radar of FC-1 also know as jF-17 is NRIET KLJ-7. This is a lighter and more compact version of KLJ-10 radar being used in J-10As. ilt by J-10. Radar can detect planes from more than 100km away and guide beyond visual range missiles.
Now the two countries are also trying to export JF-17 options can be considered as a low cost alternative to costly large U.S. warplanes and Europe.
JF-17 thunder has participated in two airshows. In Farnborough and Zhuhai airshow. Zhuahi air show was the first time JF-17 performed air manoeuvrings publicly. The turn and climb rates were comparative to aircraft of JF-17’s class.
JF-17 has 7 hard points. 1 is under fuselage, 2 at wingtips and rest under wings. JF-17 can carry anti-ship, anti-air, air-to-ground weaponry. It can also carry long range stand-off missiles such as Raa’d 1 and anti-radiation missiles like MAR-1
JF-17 has very high export potential and many countries have offered interest in the weapon system.
By end of 2011, Pakistan will have more than 90 JF-17s, compared to Indian LCA-Tejas, which would just have one squadron if the cusomtary delays do not occur in the program.