Flying JF-17 Thunder over French skies in Paris Air Show for the first time was W/C Mian Usman Ali, Officer Commanding No.26 Sqn. The performance was 6th air display by PAF JF-17 overseas in an airshow.
Back in the country, PAF is ramping up its JF-17 production lines with over 60 units being made and 50 flying in air-defence-operations. The long awaited JF-17 Block-II has been under production since few months now and flying since Feb’15. The aircraft will be improved version of its previous Block in avionics, electronic warfare package, KLJ-7 V2 radar and in-flight-refueling system for enhanced range.
JF-17 Block II will also have improved data-bus for integration of BVR weapons and precision guided munitions. Improved weapons package for Block-II will prove to be the ‘real-punch’ in PAF’s arsenal. The weapon package will include CM-400 anti-shipping missile, CM-102 anti-radiation missile and variety of GPS/INS guided glide bombs.
JF-17 will have South African origin in-flight-refueling system; which is being implemented by integration of air refueling probe on starboard of the fuselage (behind the cockpit). Two aircraft from first batch (referred as Block-1) are upgraded for flight testing of the system; installation on Block-II aircraft will be conducted from 2016.
JF-17 Serial 15-207 all set for T&E flight is one of the freshly painted Block-IIs in PAF paint scheme. Photo via Ibrahim Hashim
JF-17 Block-II Serial 2P11 (15-211) undergoing structure build up at PAC. Photo via Ibrahim Hashim
JF-17 Block-I serial 10-126 flanked by Block-IIs. In physical appearance not much difference exists in both Blocks but from avionics and electronics point-of-view the latter shall be improved machine. Photo via: Ibrahim Hashim
Recent photos of JF-17 Block-I Serial # 10-115 and Block-II Serial 2P04 (15-204) parked under shed for ground testing at PAC, Kamra also known as “The Thunder city”. Since roll out of first JF-17 in 2009, PAC is now building 58% of the aircraft. Earlier most of the assemblies were ferried to Pakistan all the way from China. Photos via Ibrahim Hashim
W/C Usman pushing JF-17 to limits during 51st Parish airshow 2015. The pilot crossed 8G limit on various occasions during the display. Photo via PAF
JF-17 Thunder from No.16 Sqn “Black Panthers” seen with a massive load of SD-10 Beyond Visual Range Missile (BVR), PL-5E II Air-Air Missile and C-802 Anti-Ship Missile. The integration of C-802 missile has been completed and the aircraft is all set to replace Masroor Air Base based No.2 Sqn F-7s in Maritime support role. Photo via PAF
F-7s from No.2 Sqn “Minhas” seen at an operational base during Exercise Saffron Bandit 2011. The unit has been operating the type since August 1990. All aircraft in Minhas squadron are configured with corrosion resistant WP-7C engines for operations over Arabian sea and coastal areas. With Induction of JF-17 in this unit, PAF shall be able to defend its southern skies and coastal belt in more efficient way.