Over 200 JF-17 Thunders are to be sold In the next five to ten years, co-developed by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and Pakistan’s Air Force (PAF), Yang Ying, president of China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC), told a conference jointly held by China and Pakistan on the opening day of the 51st International Paris Air and Space Show on June 15.
The JF-17 Thunder is more cost-effective and its potential is unrivaled compared with other fighters at the same level, Marshal Arshad Malik, chief project director of JF-17 fighter project of Pakistan Air Force said at the conference. To date Pakistan Air Force has established three JF-17 fighter squadrons and plans to equip them with 250 -275 JF-17 fighters in the following few years.
The JF-17 Thunder or FC-1 Xiaolong (Fierce Dragon) is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft built up jointly by the PAC and AVIC. Three of them are being displayed at the show and will perform acrobatic displays.
China and Pakistan signed a cooperative deal to jointly produce the fighter in 1998. It arrived at its successful inaugural flight in 2003. In March 2007, the first batch of JF-17 Thunders was delivered to Pakistan.