China has recently delivered first overhauled JF-17 Thunder fighter jet to Pakistan under a project that experts said would benefit Pakistan’s aviation industry. Changsha 5712 Aircraft Industry Co Ltd under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) reassembled the overhauled JF-17 and delivered it to its Pakistani client in March, Global Time reported while quoting China Aviation News here on Wednesday.
This is also the first time AVIC has overhauled a made-for-export third-generation fighter, or fourth generation according to another widely used standard, the report said. The first overhaul marks an important milestone in the JF-17 project, Fu Qianshao, a Chinese air defense expert told the Global Times. The first overhaul represents the trial-and-error phase of the project and provided experience in establishing standards for other JF-17 overhauls in the future, according to Fu.
Jointly developed and manufactured by China and Pakistan, the single-engine multi-role light fighter jet JF-17 made its maiden flight in 2003. The first JF-17s were delivered to Pakistani clients in 2007 and a number of them were later commissioned by the Pakistan Air Force. After a decade of use, it was time for the first JF-17s to undergo overhauls, military analysts said. A contract was signed in 2016 and the first overhaul started in November 2017. The overhauled aircraft made its first test flight in October 2018.— VoM