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Azerbaijan rekindles interest in the JF-17 Thunder

As per aviation journalist and close Pakistan Air Force (PAF) watcher Alan Warnes, the Azerbaijani Air and Air Defence Force (or Azeri Air Force) has rekindled its interest in the JF-17 Thunder. It is also interested in the prospect of using the Super Mushshak as a basic trainer.

The JF-17 notwithstanding, Azerbaijan and Pakistan have been working to enhance bilateral defence ties.

In October, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made a three-day official visit to Baku, where he issued a statement with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to engage in co-production and training initiatives.

The two sides signed a bilateral defence cooperation agreement at the beginning of November.

Azerbaijan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub Eyyubov attended the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS), where he reiterated his government’s interest in building relations with Pakistan.

Notes & Comments:

Pakistan has marketed the JF-17 as a suitable fast jet replacement for legacy platforms. In Azerbaijan, the focus would be on offering the JF-17 as a potent successor to the MiG-21 and Su-25.

In terms of the Su-25, Aselsan’s recent confirmation that it is supplying its ASELPOD advanced targeting pod for the JF-17 should resonate favourably in terms of promoting the Thunder’s strike capabilities. In this respect, Azerbaijan has the option of procuring precision-guided air-to-surface munitions from China or Turkey. Stand-off range munitions (e.g. anti-ship missiles) are also available from China. Alternatively, Azerbaijan could also utilize its ties with South Africa to procure munitions from Denel Dynamics.

The JF-17 is a full multi-role platform capable of air-to-air missions using beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles and all-aspect within-visual-range air-to-air missiles. Coupled with the platform’s compatibility with a tactical data-link and modern electronic warfare and electronic countermeasures suite, the JF-17 can be presented as a complete and potent solution.

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) sought the Thunder to disseminate subsystems and capabilities found in costlier platforms to its mainstay fleet. Managing cost and guaranteeing accessible sources for complex technology are critical aspects to the JF-17, which the PAF is likely marketing in tandem with the actual fighter. For countries locked in long-term cross-border tensions or unable to readily access top-end technology from traditional industry leaders, this message could resonate strongly.

Furthermore, the availability of active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar options from the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology (NRIET) and Leonardo have made the JF-17 Block-III into a more tangible factor in terms of discussion, especially with prospective customers.

In fact, during IDEAS, the PAF leadership made it a point to convey their commitment to the JF-17 Thunder, noting that it is the fleet’s primary asset and that its continued improvement would be prioritized ahead of other needs. The question of another fighter platform was, at least during IDEAS, an ancillary issue, albeit one being explored through Russia, China and “one or two” other countries.

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  • by Hashim Rasheed
    Posted November 27, 2016 10:47 pm 0Likes

    What about the Nigerian deal? That was supposed to be signed in November. Any updates???

  • by Bilal Khan
    Posted November 27, 2016 10:59 pm 0Likes

    PAC signed a MoU with them during AAD. I thought MoUs were broad agreements ahead of inking contracts, but at IDEAS, the MoUs themselves were the contracts. So it is possible, if not likely, that the Nigerian deal was inked in the summer.

  • by Hashim Rasheed
    Posted November 27, 2016 11:50 pm 0Likes

    There were reports last year as well that an export order was confirmed during the Paris Air Show without disclosing the name of the country. Nothing has been heard of that either. If the contract is signed, and as reports mentioned that Nigeria was looking for 3 aircraft only, any news of when they will be delivered???

  • by Bilal Khan
    Posted November 28, 2016 12:51 am 0Likes

    That was Myanmar. No official ETA on the Nigerian aircraft.

  • by Sami Shahid
    Posted November 28, 2016 7:56 am 0Likes

    After inducting JF-17 B , it would be easy for several countries to actually experience the JF-17.

  • by Abdullah
    Posted November 28, 2016 9:55 am 0Likes

    One of Iranian defense ministery Admirals Visit the JF-17 in IDEAS 2016, Do you have photos of the visit?

    IN your opinion, how many chance that Iran buy the Thunder?

  • by Abdul Rashid
    Posted November 28, 2016 11:19 am 0Likes

    Sad to see Pak supplying JF-17 to Myanmar (if the ‘secret’ deal is true) given the unrelenting persecution of Muslims in the country.

  • by Farooq Hussain Toor
    Posted November 28, 2016 1:03 pm 0Likes

    Abdullah I would say none because Iran have access to top Russian tec

  • by nob hamid gul
    Posted November 28, 2016 1:54 pm 0Likes

    I don’t think Pakistan will ever sell fighter aircraft to Iran and Iranian interest in procuring jf17 from pakistan.
    Iran has a option for Chinese j10 and ruskies sukhois.

  • by Ahmad Shah Durrani
    Posted November 28, 2016 4:44 pm 0Likes

    There we go again !! Country X is interested in JF-17 and country Y visits Kamra. When will this end ? We had Azerbaijan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Sudan placing orders then there were UAE and Saudi Arabia too. These are all fake news to make Pakistanis proud.

  • by AlFa_M.Romeo
    Posted November 29, 2016 2:27 am 0Likes

    Due the bad economic conditions, iran can’t buy and even operate the Enough Su-30,of course relations between iran and russsia in all time, is unreliable and short, therefore iran need a light Multirole like JF17, for replacement F-5,F-7,Mirage F-1, F-4D, even part of ‌‌F-4E and Sick Mig29.
    And for CHENGDU J10, because the basic design for this aircraft from ISRAEL, Public Opinion pressure to the IRAN MOD for buying J-10.
    Generally IRIAF have bad conditions, all Substructure and equipment back to the 70th, and 35 year’s Sanctions break the IRIAF bones

  • by AlFa_M.Romeo
    Posted November 29, 2016 6:18 am 0Likes

    relationship between iran and russsia in all time unreliable and for short term.
    Iran need’s light, cheap aircraft for replacement all variant aircraft and operating with heavy Multirole like su-30

  • by Salman Khan
    Posted November 29, 2016 7:13 pm 0Likes

    If China gives them, then it’s not our issue. But due to the general availability of shakiness in all contracts so far, it’s still possible that Pakistan won’t give. And if given the choice, it won’t for sure.

  • by G.S.K. herzak
    Posted November 30, 2016 7:16 pm 0Likes

    Agreed. I hate Pak supplying to Myanmar!

  • by Freebird
    Posted December 10, 2016 2:08 pm 0Likes

    Nice, Pakistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Qatar alliance on the run. It would be great if we can add Malesia and Indonesia.

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