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JF-17 Block-III To Get High Tech Engine, Avionics, Electronic Suite and AESA Radar:

PAKISTAN’s new indigenous 4.5++ Gen JF-17 Block-III Multirole, which has already made its maiden flight back in December 15th, 2019 in China, to get new High-Tech and powerful engines, Avionics, Electronics Suite and AESA Radar.

           

The very first maiden flight of PAKISTAN’s indigenous 4.5++ Generation Multirole JF-17 Block-III took place at the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group production facility at Chengdu, China.

First Maiden Flight Of Cutting-Edge JF-17 Thunder Block 3 Took Place In China

The images released by the CAIG showed the JF-17 Block-III takes off a first maiden flight from the runway. Reportedly, the JF-17 Thunder Block-III is armed with the Short-Range-Air-To-Air-Missile (SAAMs) PL-5EII.

PAKISTAN’s new indigenous 4.5++ Generation JF-17 Thunder Block-III Multirole Aircraft features a couple of additions over the previous designated systems, including a new imaging infrared (IIR)-based missile warning system or Infrared Homing System and a new wide-angle holographic head-up display (HUD).

Furthermore, the previous Blocks of JF-17 Thunder as Block 1 and Block 2 are powered by the Klimov RD-93MA Turbofan Engine, which is built by CHINA in the country under license. One the other hand, the Block-III variant of J-17 Thunder Multirole Fighter Jet would get the cutting-edge Chinese WS-13 Engine or the same RD-93MA license-built engines.

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Imaging Infrared (IIR)-based Missile Warning System
Imaging Infrared (IIR)-based Missile Warning System

Reportedly, apart from getting the high-tech engine, the new variant of 4.5++ Generation JF-17 Thunder Block-3 will also get upgraded avionics, new electronic warfare suite, a Helmet-Mounted Display and Sight System and it will also be housed with the Chinese-made state of the art and revolutionary Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar.

Chinese KLJ-71 AESA Radar
Chinese KLJ-71 AESA Radar

The PAKISTAN Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra and Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (PAC/CAC) are currently evaluating the different variants of AESA Radar systems, including Leihua Electronic Technology Research Institute’s (LETRI) LKF601E and Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology’s KLJ-71.

Chinese LKF601E AESA Radar
Chinese LKF601E AESA Radar

Reportedly, the PAKISTAN Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra and Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (CAC) also considering the possible acquisition of Leonardo’s Grifo-E Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar system.

Leonardo Grifo-E AESA Radar
Leonardo Grifo-E AESA Radar

The Leonardo is an Italian Defense Giant and it has already opened its Regional Office in PAKISTAN back in May, 2019. So, there is a great possibility that both PAKISTAN and CHINA might agree to install Leonardo’s Grifo-E AESA Radar on the newest Block-3 of JF-17 Thunder.

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According to the PAKISTAN AIR FORCE CHIEF Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, PAKISTAN is expected to operationally deploy the combat ready JF-17 Thunder Block-III aircraft in its fleet in the ongoing year of 2020. PAKISTAN AIR FORCE (PAF) is looking to induct at least 50 numbers of JF-17 Thunder Block-3s by the year of 2024.

It is worth noting that the first two aircraft of JF-17 Thunder Block-III have already entered in the production at the Aircraft Manufacturing Factory (AMF) final Assembly line at PAKISTAN Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra.

Earlier in December, 2019, PAKISTAN AIR CHIEF Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan also inaugurated the integration facility of JF-17 Thunder Block-III at PAKISTAN Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra.

The Chairman of PAKISTAN Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra Air Marshal Ahmed Shehzad said, “Production of subassemblies has already started for the first two 50 Block 3 aircraft, to be assembled next year, and will be followed by another 12 in 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024.”

“We will assemble eight dual-seaters this year, followed by 14 in 2020, and the remaining four in 2021.” PAC Chairman Ahmer Shehzad further added.

It is worth noting that both PAKISTAN Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra and Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (CAC) both have production capacity of about 25 JF-17 Aircrafts in a single year.

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Reportedly, PAKISTAN Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra has reportedly involved in the producing 58 Percent of JF-17 Thunder Aircraft systems and sub-systems as forward fuselage, wings, airframe, vertical tail and horizontal tail. On the other hand, the Chengdu Aerospace Industries (CA) produces the remaining 42 percent of the Aircraft systems and subsystems, including the rear and mid fuselages.

PAKISTAN plans to induct the indigenous JF-17 Thunder Block-III in its fleet to replace the ageing fleet of Dissault Mirage III//5 Jets and Chengdu F-7P aircraft.

PAKISTAN has already showcased its indigenous star fighter in the 2019 International Paris Air Show and a lot of countries showed keen interest in the advanced version of JF-17 Thunder Block-III.

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