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Sri Lanka may buy a Russian fighter (instead of JF-17/LCA)
August 20, 2017
Photo credit: United Aircraft Corporation

Sri Lanka may buy a Russian fighter (instead of JF-17/LCA)

The Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) is reportedly planning to open talks with Russia for the purchase of fighter aircraft. The type and numbers have not been specified, but it seems Sri Lanka is not going to engage with any of its neighbours in South Asia for new combat aircraft to replace its ageing MiG-27s and IAI Kfirs.

According to The Sunday Leader, a Sri Lankan news outlet, Pakistan sought to sell eight JF-17s to the SLAF for $29 million a piece in a deal that purportedly had support from a number of key individuals in Sri Lanka.

In response, India exerted considerable political and diplomatic pressure onto Sri Lanka to drop Pakistan’s JF-17 offer. India even pushed the Tejas as a plausible alternative, with the SLAF apparently rejected.

Currently, Sri Lanka is eyeing comparable Russian-built aircraft for about $25 million a piece.

Comment and Analysis

It seems the SLAF fighter acquisition program is in its early stages, especially as the Sri Lankan government is seemingly in the process of properly identifying its available options. The Russian angle is interesting. It is unlikely that the SLAF would be in talks for the Mikoyan MiG-29M/M2 or Sukhoi Su-30 or Su-35 as the unit costs of each those types would be well above Sri Lanka’s budgeted price-point of $25 million.

Given that the SLAF had largely come into contact with lightweight fighter aircraft such as the JF-17, it is likely that it is interested in acquiring the Yakovlev Yak-130 from Russia.

Although designed as a lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT), the Yak-130 has the performance benchmarks (e.g. range and combat radius) as well as payload to operate as a capable light fighter. A Yak-130 purchase would be within the SLAF’s budget, and it could additionally opt for an avionics and weapons suite to pair up with its operational needs, such as precision-strike. The Yak-130 is currently in service with four countries, one of which is Bangladesh.

A less likely route could be refurbished MiG-29s. Although a plausible option, it is unclear if Mikoyan has any interest in refurbishing and upgrading used airframes. Moreover, the cost of such a product could be unattractive to Mikoyan, which would prefer channeling orders to its production line.

Among alternate scenarios, Sri Lanka could be incentivized towards the JF-17 or another Chinese platform (such as the L-15) if economic ties between Beijing and Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte grow, and in turn, lead to Chinese-backed loans or line of credit programs.

  • jigsaww

    The important thing to note is that SL air force officials were on record saying that in their assessments, they have found JF-17 to be a far better aircraft than LCA. That is the first ever neutral claim made by a non-Pakistan non-Hindustani source that has assessed both jets and basically lays to rest hindustani false propaganda about LCA.

    It’s widely known that SLAF actually wanted to go for JF-17 but under duress from Hindustan suspended the deal.

    We will have to see what Russia can offer and whether SLAF can go for it or not. If they’re looking to induct a full-time fighter platform that should be at least Mig-29 (but has higher maintenance costs and a full capability may not be offered). With JF-17, they will be offered the best capability and liberty to pick and install any western or chinese weapon system, not to mention the JF-17B for training purpose.

    Whereas, LCA could not even pass assessments of a small air force like SLAF and there is no way it would ever. The only way SLAF would decide on LCA is if pressurised heavily by the hindustani gov, blackmailed, threatened, and extortioned, basically the same way hindustani air force was forced into taking LCA, which then put the condition of it being re-developed by SAAB before induction.

    • Zahil Hamid

      Typical losser reply but what better to expect from madrassa educated ,junk fighter with inferior smokey fuel guzzler engine ,shitty radar & avionics,piss poor range &weapon carrying capacity along with non composite body & many more is superior to tejas LMAO!!..look like to much inbreeding has caused a full generation of retards in bakistan

      • are you MT in disguise :P?

        • Zaff Hundal

          Could be. We haven’t heard from him for along time lol. Maybe he is researching to brag about it later in this forum

          • Zahil Hamid

            i m no mt but i like the way he thrash you people here

          • jigsaww

            He is trash. So are you.

          • Zahil Hamid

            an inbreed dumb like you think everyone is like him nothing wrong with that

          • Zaff Hundal

            Well I don’t who trashes whom?
            1. There are people who bring sensible arguments to improve something and 2. there are also people who out of jealousy just bark or abuse without any substantial or subjective arguments.
            Well on this page we are discussing in sensible manner and give our opinion. Not sure what you doing here hence I’m putting you in the second slot.

    • Gratgy

      Hahahaha
      Pakistan’s JF-17 ‘Thunder’ Aircraft More Primitive Than Any Fourth-Generation Fighter, Admits Its Project Director Air Commodore Khalid Mahmood, Deputy Chief Project Director for pakistan’s JF-17 [FC-1] induction programme, was quoted on this at the recently held Zhuhai Air Show in China.
      Even China does not use this POS.

      Unlike JF 17 fanboys like you, your air force knows this and that is why they are begging for F16s

      • jigsaww

        Another Hindustani. Another shameless liar. Now this is just one example of how you hindustanis lie and propagate their iies in their entire nation. I mean do you people have anything called ethics and moral values left in your rotten DNA or have you just gone beyond everything in your hate for Pakistan?

        The fact is ACM Khalid Mehmood NEVER EVER made that quoted statement that you put in quotes associating it to him, and now that you quoted it, I dare you here to bring me this statement from him where he said these words.

        What you actually did was quote a hindustani blogger who has re-phrased the ACM statement (original: “Others aim to use the JF-17 to replace their second-and third-generation fighters, says Khalid, adding that the JF-17’s capabilities put it between third and fourth generations.” referring to block 1 capabilities of JF-17) to his hate and then reproduce it here associating it to him. These kind of things put you in jail in civilised world but hey, that’s just hindustan.

        It’s a shame to see you hindustanis talking. Really.

        • Zahil Hamid

          Look who is talking about lying a country whose airforce is lying around the world & its zahil awaam about 1350km combat radius of 3rd generation junk fighter with fuel tank smaller than f 16 & tejas with respective CR of 500+/- LMAO…& zahil inbreed just belive it

        • Zaff Hundal

          Don’t bother about these trolling inmature hindustanis comments. I’m sure after their monkey got caught they are trolling on every news related to Pakistan online to propagate their hate, vicious anti Pakistan narrative (chenakya) and their wet dreams.
          At least JF 17 has 19000 flight hours while conducting or simulating operational capability. Tejas or shall I say Light Cofin Aircraft is still on assembly line or as you refer “on the TATA truck” hanging around. But the troll never give a situation where they will praise their 90% imported junk and still cannot configure it and calling it indigenous, grow up, even IAF has rejected Indian Junk and relying on imported jets.
          My point is they are so frustrated that their monkey got caught and the heavy investment they made went down the drain. Plausible deniability cannot work here hence they will resort to such dumb and irresponsible malicious propaganda against Pakistan where eve they can. Pathetic.
          After my comment I’m sure they will go into denial mode which I care less. I wonder if they get paid for doing this or have the education system in India dumb your brain so down that they cannot reason with some points.

        • Gratgy

          Hahahaha madarsa fool and a liar. First validate your statements about the statements by Sri Lankans about LCA then I will prove my statement to you. It will be a shame for you to see anyone talking because Pakistanis are too retarded to understand any of it. Must be because your dads married their cousin sisters

          • jigsaww

            From sunday leader, lankan newspaper. In your lying face:

            “If Sri Lanka goes on to purchase the Indian manufactured aircraft, we will never get proper fighter aircraft because India does not want us to have good jet fighters but only fighter aircraft that do not perform well,” ”

            “The single engine multi-role JF-17 which was jointly manufactured by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and Chengdu Aircraft Corporation of China is better than the light combat aircraft ‘Tejas’ that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is manufacturing now.”

          • Gratgy

            Hahahaha retard cannot distinguish between “SL air force officials” and a news article. No wonder Pakistan is a shit hole of a country with inbred retards

            JF 17 uses the Russian RD 93 crapshit engine with smoke trails. Whereas LCA uses GE 404 engine. LMAO. Retard you are embarrassing yourself

          • jigsaww

            Illiterate. Learn to read and comprehend english.
            Otherwise go back to taking basic schooling.
            Jahil.

          • Gratgy

            Hahahaha Pakistani madarsa schooled retard talking about basic schooling and cannot understand the difference between his own two sentences LMAO . No wonder even the Kuwaitis ban you from entering. One Pakistani will bring down the collective IQ of an entire nation. Fit for only suicide bombs

  • Zahil Hamid

    Jf 17 in current form is inferior to tejas,lets see if blk 3 can come any close but by then tejas mk1a will be in service which will be superior to any junk fighter blk 1 to 30

  • Zaff Hundal

    Your LCA isn’t eve operational and how can it be superior is beyond my comprehension. Your Light Cofin Aircraft is it flying yet. 90% imported junk and calling it indigenous. Well good on you guys whatever makes you sleep at night.

    • Zahil Hamid

      as i said to much inbreeding, 2 have been inducted with more than 100 on order & those 2 have better engine,avionic,radar & weapon than 60+ junk figter used by PAF

    • MT

      u need to go though my old post kidooss.
      cant waste my time explaining same story to teenage fan boys.

      Ask your aeronautical expert to compare tejas Mk1Foc with Jf17 block2 to clarify all your doubts

      • Zaff Hundal

        @ MT. Well I cannot speak for others but we have never compared JF 17 with Tejas nor we have any intention to waste our time on your indigenous hardware. The reason is simple we know that India is not capable of building anything sophisticated. So the comparison between JF 17 BLK 2 with tejas is irrelevant as the latter is not operational.
        Before you explain what sophistications and specifications tejas had its your dream and you know what happens when you suddenly wake up and realise that it was nightmare. Just a thought for you.

        • MT

          kamra are barely assembling knocked down kits of 58 % jf17 fuselage from aerospace aluminum slabs with help of cheeni lathes,jig imported from china with nill pakistani contribution in r&d of any subsystem.

          india is ranked6th among manufacturing powerhouses.
          it makes 3-4milion automobile,machine tools,steam/hydro/wind turbine,thermal/nuclear reactor,Satellite/SlV

          most of which are not made by pakistani industries

          • Let’s be clear – this is MT’s analysis based on what he thinks. PAC said it produces 58% of the airframe under the work share agreement.

          • MT

            just send them a query if they import those fuselage/frame plates

          • I’ll do one better and ask in person when I get the chance (at the next industry show attended by PAC).

          • jigsaww

            I think the world “analysis” is an overstatement to associate it to a person like him. It’s pretty clear he says these things out of sheer hatred or in effort to ridicule the JF-17 and Pakistan in general. Otherwise JF-17 is an operational fighter and is destined to become backbone of PAF.

            PAF is creating an aviation city in Kamra. They’ve done documentaries on showing manufacturing capabilities they have in house and are trying to bring in more.

            You talk to him about Pakistan, he will have the same ridiculing comments. You talk to him about China, he has the same, ditto same, ridiculing comments. It’s not like aliens are helping PAC and CATIC.

            He is a troll to say the least.

      • Mustafa O

        Well there are many aernautical experts around whom urnot willing to listen to. Again no comparison. Your shitty grand pa tejas has barely 2300 lit of internal fuel as against 3100lit of JF. Official tweety bird brochure says combat radius of 300km.
        Wonder if there is a different tejas for MT

        • MT

          rofl.
          tejas has slightly bigger internal fuel tank than jf17.

          jf17
          Internal Fuel Capacity: 2,350 kg (5,130 lb)

          tejas
          Internal fuel capacity: 2,458 kg

          why not ask your moderator to apprise you with some hard facts.

          tejas combat radius is 450 km in hi-lo-hi configuration.

          jf17 with poorer rd93 engine which guzzles oil leaving white smoke trails; having smaller internal fuel capacity used latest jinn technology to get 1300 km of combat radius.

          your precious massa’s fighter F16 have combat radius of 550 km.
          》》
          proves that junk fighter17 is more advanced than crappy f16

          • Mustafa O

            Ur grand pa has 2350 lit of fuel. Now ask a tejas pilot or shut the hell up.

          • MT

            junk fighter17 have less internal fuel & total payload as compared to tejas….
            so stop teaching me about droptank

            ur junk fighter17 has limited total payload which is less than tejas .

            so how can jf17 carry more fuel if its intenal tank , total payload is lower than tejas.

            dumboo don’t lecture me on ferry range.

            do u even understand combat radius.

            I clearly mentioned u mission profile::hi lo hi which is global profile to compare different fighters combat radius
            your junk fighter wont give 350-400 km range in hi lo hi profile

          • Mustafa O

            Hi lo hi profile of tejas witbout any loads. Wile thunder wll b reigning theskies over bhatinda, ambala, utarlai, jamnagar, bhuj, Srinagar, awantipur etc etc.
            Whe ur grand pa wil haveto wait 50miles from thrse bases only to act as a poor trg aid ffo thunder pilots.
            Now keep ur internet knwledge to keep urself. On fighter aviation an concepts u will get roughedup thru ur blacky behind.
            Not even a single tejas official brochure mention tweety bird fuel. So there is somehing to hide. As i said b, hindus dont have Martial asthetics. Its a small bird meant to fit only Hindus from kirala

          • MT

            hi lo hi profile needs 2700kg of weapon payload

            jf17 cant combat 350km with 2700 kg weapon payload. Realistically tin stiff fighter17 ll be Brought down with in few km by akash;barak8 land based long range SAM

            tejas offficial spec says 2400 kg in 2015 tejas brochure

            dumb a$$ jf17 is cheeni made fighter so how u taking credit of infidel non martian short height cheeeni men’s capabilities

          • Mustafa O

            maa kee kus… U are fuckin idiot who likes to make fool of himself on this forum. F16 internal fuel is 7600lbs. Add 1500lbs each of conformal, its 10600lbs. Add 1800 lbs of centre line tank and 2400 lbs each of wing tanks. Now add this figure and give ur cow shit brain to calculate the ferry range only. Go to lockheed site to find f16 radius of action.
            Dont compare ur shitty mig29, mirage and jaguars plz.
            And one more thing. U fuckholes use russian system of measurement in km and kgs. Rest of the world, nato uses either lbs, lit and nautical miles. Without conformal and 2 wing tanks with 6 air to air missiles load out, f16 combat radius lo hi lo is 550 nm. Now there is a world of difference. U half breed indian.

            Plz keep ur grand pa to urself. Fyi, mig21 internal fuel is 2350lit. Exactly like ur tweety bird. As i said, its a better replacement to ur mig21. Thats its worth.

    • Mustafa O

      MT is a filthy indian spam whose reply will make u hit the ceiling, ofcourse with laughter

  • The desire to call others “inbreeds” (among other insults) has resulted in the ban of two posters. Warning: personal insults = ban.

  • Khan

    Since the days I started reading your very informative articles, I rarely go to other defense sites.
    Their are very smart guys here like jigsaww in discussion forum as well but bad boys like mt thing is here just for mess, This is a defense site but he discusses sunni shia sects here. good to see that ban.

    • Yep. Moving forward, personal insults by instigators will result in an automatic ban. A couple have been banned. MT – as disagreeable as his opinions are – doesn’t get into personal insults. I don’t mind sharp opinions, but members better learn how to keep arguments professional.

      • Abdul Rashid

        “(MT) doesn’t get into personal insults”.

        Really? I do not wish to see him banned. I value his entertainment value but I would disagree with your observation.

        • Don’t get me wrong, he’s on a thin line, and it’s not difficult to push an aggressive argument into an insult. Rest assured, if and when it happens – gone.

          • jigsaww

            On a Hindustani forum, it’s enough to say a word or two simply in favor of Pakistan to get a ban, i.e. after you receive life threats, abuses, curses of worst sort, and more. So much for tolerance and freedom of speech.

            We are better than that. This is Pakistan.

            I’m personally convinced this guy in question is a troll. His only purpose here is to on-purpose infuriate Pakistanis and oppose EVERYTHING said in favor of Pakistan with sheer bias. He shows himself as a shia and tries to stir up shia-sunni divide. Everything is about how bad Pakistan is, how great hindustan is. So while you let him off the hook, that’s OK, also see to that such people do not add any value to the forum, only trolling and rants and influence the site culture to be negative overall.

  • Aziz Ihsan

    YAK-130 is trainer and it doesn’t have a FCR. Get a little educated

    • “The new radar system will operate in connection with the cutting-edge computing combat processor device. Together with the newly-developed target acquiring system, the Yak-130 will be able to carry a number of high-precision modern weapons, including the Vikhr-M anti-tank missile, R-73E, Kh-29L and Kh-25MS guided missiles as well as other medium-range weapons,”

      http://sputniknews.com/military/20150917/1027156993/new-electronics-yak-130.html#ixzz47rRojdyX

      • Aziz Ihsan

        It doesn’t have a FCR, designed or not designed.

        • The customer has the option of outfitting the Yak-130 with a radar if they want it – the Yak-130 was designed to use one if need be. A Russian company was contracted in September to develop a new solution for the market. In any case, for SLAF’s needs, radar is not a major priority, getting a platform capable of guided air-to-ground strikes is, and the Yak-130 can do that with or without a radar.

          http://kret.com/en/news/3989/

  • Aziz Ihsan

    Why don’t you ban this Hindu chura MT

  • Sami Shahid

    Pakistan should try to sell JF-17 to Iraq , Syria and Libya

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