The Pakistan – China joint venture project JF-17 Thunder after making headlines at the Farnborough air show earlier this year, was once again centre of attraction for the prospective buyers at the 8th China International aviation and Aerospace Exhibition recently held in the China’s coastal city of Zhuhai. Some 35 countries participated in the exhibition. Pakistan also participated in the exhibition for the first time with its three JF-17 Thunders and ten K-8 Karakoram trainer aircraft (also a joint production of China and Pakistan).
Beside many attractions, the air show also provided its participants a rare opportunity to see China’s J-10 aircraft, followed by awesome aerobatic display of the JF-17 Thunders by the Pakistani pilots. The Sherdils of Pakistan displayed hair raising aerobatics with their K-8 trainer aircraft, which really spellbound the spectators.
The participants of the exhibition are reported to have taken keen interest in the JF-17 Thunder, which provides a low price tagged solution to the challenges in the air with its par excellence avionics, reduced maintenance and operational costs as compared to other aircraft of the same class and category. South African and French companies have already shown interest in updating the JF-17’s avionics and weapons package.
It may be added here that Pakistan Air Force has already officially inducted its first JF-17 squadron on 18th February 2010 and is in the process of adding yet another squadron soon. This light weight multirole all-weather combat aircraft has seven external hard points that can carry 8,000 pounds of ordnance. Internal armament comprises one 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel cannon mounted under the port side air intake, which can be replaced with a 30 mm GSh-30-2 twin-barrel cannon.
Related Link: Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunder at Farnborough Air Show 2010 (JahoJalal)