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Saturday, October 26, 2013

JF-17 Thunder Block II jets for Iran

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is looking for buyers for the JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter jets it has co-produced with China.

An official told Dawn on Saturday that funds generated through the sale of the combat aircraft would be used in efforts to modernise Pakistan Air Force which was already emerging as a potent outfit with the recent induction of force multipliers.

He said that besides Turkey, some countries of the Middle East and Africa were taking keen interest in acquisition of the aircraft.

He said that two JF-17 Thunder aircraft of the PAF, manufactured at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra, had flown to the United Kingdom to participate in the forthcoming Farnborough Air Show 2010, scheduled to be held between July 19 and 25.

The JF-17 Thunder is an all-weather and multi-role combat aircraft that has potential to be the mainstay of any modern air force.

The sources said the serial production of JF-17 Thunder had already started and ultimately some 250 aircraft would be inducted in the fighter fleet of the PAF.

The first squadron of JF-17 has already joined the fighter fleet and the second squadron will be inducted by the end of the year.

They said the PAF had invested in the force multipliers like air-to-air refuellers, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to enhance its capacity and capability to undertake complex operations.

He said that efforts to enhance capacity of the PAF would continue in the wake of growing importance of air power which played a vital and decisive role in war situations.

The source observed that participants of the Farnborough Air Show would prove to be a good forum for interacting with people interested in JF-17 Thunder and booking orders for supply of the potent combat aircraft.

The Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) is one of the world’s most iconic global aviation events.

FIA holds a prominent position in the aerospace calendar taking place on a biennial basis (once every two years) over one week in July.

The first five days of the show are traditionally trade days only, followed by a weekend where the exhibition is opened up to the public.

The most recent airshow, FIA 2008, was a record-breaking year for business with $88.7 billion worth of orders announced during the show.

The 2008’s event featured 165 aircraft in static displays and spectacular flying displays and the public weekend attracted a staggering 153,000 visitors. The upcoming Farnborough International Airshow is certain to be the most exciting to date.

With its existing exhibition halls, flying displays and UAV pavilion, FIA 2010 will evolve its business theme to include a number of new networking initiatives such as a themed conference and seminar programme, a ‘meet your buyer’ event and a day dedicated to the International Futures for Youth.

Additionally, FIA 2010 will feature a dedicated ‘Space Zone’ and enhanced UAV presence.

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