The wait is finally over for the many die hard JF- 17 fans as the new JF-17 Thunder Block-II makes its first appearance.
The Latest JF-17 Block-II variant is the upgrade version of the JF-17 Thunder or Xiaolong fighter jet . It will feature a new advanced weapons systems and avionics suite. The new variant includes Air to Air refueling capability, which will provide long flight time. The new and improved avionics will create an advantage over opponents in a dog fight. The payload has been increased by 3000 lbs; making it capable of making more weapons and ammunition available. With enhanced intra aircraft Data Link (RABTA) it will provide more resistance towards electronic warfare like jamming. It is also reported that IFR, KLJ-7VII radar with look down shoot down, surface attack and terrain avoidance capabilities, sensor fusion will also be incorporated in the machine.
According to the sources, JF-17 block II will cost approximately US$30–35 million per unit.
Pakistan launched production of the JF-17 Block-II at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in 2013. The Kamra production facility was reconfigured for the production of the new version. Air Marshal Javaid Ahmed, chairman of PAC, earlier stated: “We will hand over 16 Block-II JF-17s to the PAF every year”, and that the manufacturing plant has the capacity to produce 25 units in a year.”
JF-17 weapon load:
- CM-400AKG – Hypersonic Carrier Killer
- Ra’ad – Stealth Stand off Cruise Missile (Nuclear Capable)
- C-802AK – Multirole Attack Cruise Missile
- SD-10A – Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile
- MAR-1 – Anti Radiation Missile
- MAA-1, AIM-9L/M, PL-05EII – Within Visual Range Air to Air Missile
- CBU-100 – Anti Armor Cluster Bombs
- GBU-10/12 – LT-2 – Laser Guided Smart Munitions
- LS-6 – GPS Guided Direct Attack Munitions
- H-4 – long ranged (120+ km) Stand of weapon
- HAFR-1– Anti Runway Bomb
- Takbir Satellite Guided Stand off Munition
- LS-Series – Satellite Guided Glide Munitions