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Pakistan reportedly committed to a total of 250 JF-17 Thunders
May 1, 2017

Pakistan reportedly committed to a total of 250 JF-17 Thunders

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officials have reportedly told local Pakistani media outlets, including The Express Tribune, that the PAF is committed to procuring a total of 250 JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighters.

Notes & Comments:

Officially, the PAF is committed to 150 JF-17s across three production blocks – i.e. Block-I, Block-II, and Block-III. The JF-17 Block-III will be configured with an active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar, helmet-mounted display and sight (HMD/S), and improved electronic warfare (EW) as well as electronic countermeasures (ECM) systems.

Although many sources have slotted the PAF for an eventual fleet of 250 JF-17s, this has yet to be officially confirmed. However, if Pakistan persists in having difficulty with providing the funds for another fighter type – e.g. a heavy or even medium-weight platform – the PAF could opt to commit the entirety of its new fighter plans to the Thunder.

  • Sami Shahid

    Well I think Pakistan would definitely produce 250 JF-17’s as it is not buying F-16’s. Pakistan should develop 250 JF-17’s and should replace 3 squadron’s of F-16’s with Twin-engine Aircrafts like FC-31, J-15 or J-16.

    • Saptarshi Dasgupta

      Sami brother J-15 and J-16 should not be an option since our Su-30 and its upgrades will be better than them. Plus we have signed to PAK-FA program and Rafale. Only FC-31 matches that. Pakistan Air Force needs 23 squadrons(roughly 414 aircrafts) to counter our Air Force. So ideally it should be like:
      250 JF-17
      76 F-16(all upgraded to C/D Block 52 standard)
      90 FC-31 with F-16s to be replaced by FC-31 and Turkish stealth fighter TFX.

      • John Rue

        90 FC-31 would cost anywhere between 6-8 Billion $

      • Sami Shahid

        Thanks for your advice but is the entire Indian Air force for Pakistan ?

        • Saptarshi Dasgupta

          Sami bro ,,i am just an ordinary citizen of india and a military enthusiast. I am no one to dictate what a professional force like Pakistan should get but do not take it as an advice..It is a scenario and option PAF has.
          As far as IAF is concerned we are bothered about our air space . we do not target PAF or any other air force. Based on our threats , aerospace violation can be from Pakistan, China, Bangladesh or any other air force.
          As far as Pakistan is concerned Afganisthan and Iran do not seem to be a threat so only threat seems to be for Indian Air force. So i said vis-a-vis Indian Air Force.

          • Sami Shahid

            Well what I said wasn’t a sarcasm at all…but anyway, Afghan Air Force can be a threat in near future.

      • Ahmad Shah Durrani

        This is actually the assessment most Pakistani strategic websites and experts. If FC-31 is built in Pakistan then it would require additional manufacturing plant as JF-17 is being built at Kamra. The best option would be to end JF-17 production after Block 3 and start production of FC-31 in its place.

    • noman anis

      J-15 engine is not very powerful

      • Ahmad Shah Durrani

        J-15 is a Naval fighter for aircraft carriers. Pakistan does not need J-15 since we do not have any aircraft carriers.

  • Muhammad Saad Noor

    With PAF looking for 250 aircrafts, how is Kamra going to cope with exports orders ?? I guess Kamra can produce 25 aircrafts/year. Thats means it will take ~8 years to meet PAF needs. Are we going to slow down our induction or are we going to first meet our needs and then move on to exports

    • John Rue

      no disrespect to JF-17 but Pakistan had to build it to meet its internal needs. For the outside world there are many options including Mig 29 with twin engines. There is a reason why China is not interested in it because they have their own line of fighters directly competing with it. It would make sense for Pakistan to invest in J-10 program. That is what they should have done instead of opting for JF-17.

      • Muhammad Saad Noor

        J-10 was available to PAF but the fact PAF is going for JF-17 and 250 of them shows PAF is satisfied and hopeful about future of JF-17.

        • KM

          I guess our current production rate is from 25-27 per year with 70~80 already manufactured. If PAF decide to procure as many as 250 aircrafts then yes it will take 6~7 Years to complete. But 250 aircraft means replacing all F-7s and if not all then some Mirage. Also PAF will be thinking to replace F-16s old batch in 4-5 years time. So they need to keep production going and might decide to increase manufacturing capacity as well thinking to procure or produce new Heavy fighter jets.

          Procuring J-10 would be unwise since we will not have sole rights to produce & configure J-10s. Also when we can increase the JF-17’s speed and equip it with AESA, EW/ECMs and HMDs there will be little difference in performance of JF-17 & J-10.

  • jamshed_kharian_pak

    Armed Forces of Islamic Republic of Pakistan are very important and large defensive forces in the world, IR Pakistan a also a giant agricultural power they must not have any financial Pbs, State of IR Pakistan First then Criminal politicians, if such a case toe pher Oune sub politicians ko Qaan Pakarwah diey jhaein! Armed Forces they must invest in R&D and Must Produce More, AirForce a Force of Modren Times, they Must be Ready to Bomb if Needed!

  • SSGPA1

    1. We are not sure about the authenticity of this news. Pak media are not the best source for reports on defence news.
    2. Even if true, the 250 MAY include export orders (there may be un-announced deals) besides we do need 250 jets to replace older platforms.
    3. As far as I know block III will have many improvements and will be a better option than Mirage III and V etc.
    4. There is no rush as all IAF deals are late and they are short on number of required squadrons so again we are okay from a timing perspective.

    • Manju

      The shortage regarding IAF squadrons(40+ required) is with a 2 sided conflict in mind whereas India has enough active squadrons(33) a conflict against single adversary.

      • Syed Bushra

        The actual number is fewer than 20 squadrons when you consider the poor serviceability rates of IAF.

  • Dodo

    It makes sense for Pakistan to buy more JF-17:

    1. It is affordable – the harsh reality is Pakistan doesn’t have lots of money
    2. With upgrade, despite still a light fighter, its avionics would be much better than many
    3. KLJ-7A AESA is ready to go. Good radar means it can shot down invasion fighters in long distances
    4. If Pakistan accept Gulf nations’ money, like Egypt, to buy Rafale, it lost control of its air force. Remember Pakistan rejected to participate in Yemen war.

  • Syed Bushra

    150 JF-17s across three production blocks – i.e. Block-I, Block-II, and Block-III.

    Interesting choice of words.

    150 JF-17s across three production Blocks but PAF is committed to procuring a total of 250 JF-17s. Could the remaining 100 JF-17s be Block IV? 🙂

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