JF-17 HAS BRIGHT PROSPECTS IN AVIATION MARKET: AIR CHIEF
ZHUHAI 16 November 2010:
Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force (PAF), said here Tuesday that Pakistan-China joint production JF-17 Thunder fighter jet has bright prospects in the international aviation market. It has many added features which make it much more attractive than any other fighter aircraft of its category, said the Air Chief. A low price tag and much less maintenance and operational cost compared to the other planes of its class make it attractive for the buyers, he said. The PAF Chief said this while talking to the media after attending the 8th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition that would continue here at China's southern coastal city neighboring Macau, till November 21. During the six-day exhibition, 35 countries and regions are participating.
Chinese Vice Premier, Zhang Dejiang was the Chief Guest at the show. Former Prime Minister Li Peng and PLA Air Chief and senior party leaders were also present on this occasion.
Pakistan, having the second biggest fleet of aircraft after host China, is participating for the first time in this exhibition. As many as ten K-8 trainer aircraft and three JF-17 fighters are taking part in the show that demonstrates the all-weather and time-tested friendship between the two countries. While talking about the plane, the Chief of Air Staff commented that it has all state-of-the-art features. He particularly mentioned its supreme avionics essential for a modern combat aircraft. There is likely to be big demand of this type of aircraft in the international market, as it meets all the requirements that are needed by a modern air force, at a very affordable price, he said.
To a question regarding further expansion of cooperation between Pakistan Air Force and China, Rao Qamar Suleman replied that the two brotherly neighboring Countries have a long history of cooperation in all fields particularly defence. He expressed the confidence that with the passage of time these bonds of friendship would further consolidate.
Talking to media on this occasion, Pakistan's ambassador to China, Masood Khan said this air show has epitomized Pakistan-China relations. "Today is a great day for both Pakistan and China," he said. JF-17's demonstration was spectacular as well as professional, he added.
Three JF-17 fighter planes are participating in this air show. One of these has been put on display for general public as well as for prospective buyers while others are performing aerobatics.
Another manifestation of this friendship was that immediately after the-state-of-art J-10 aerobatics by PLA Air Force; Pakistan Air Force pilots were invited to demonstrate their aerobatic skills on the JF-17 Thunder. As the single-seat, fighter plane appeared for the first time in the Chinese skies, the pilot stunned thousands of spectators with a spectacular show of aerobatics that lasted for nearly ten minutes.
Another attraction of the day was the formation aerobatic show by PAF Sherdils, on China made K-8 trainer aircraft, which also mesmerized the audience. Replying to a question, the Sherdil pilots regarded K-8 planes as "stable, fuel efficient and fitted with best performing turbo engine."
With an exhibition area approaching 23,000 square meters, the show has attracted about 600 exhibitors and is showcasing nearly 70 commercial and military aircraft of different models.
To mark the importance of this event, the Air Force of People's Liberation Army of China also put on display a series of aircraft which participated in the 60th National Day Parade on October 1, 2009.
- Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force visited the Air Show on 16th November, opening ceremony.
- Air Commodore Junaid Ahmed was the contingent Commander of the PAF contingent.
- Zhuhai Air Show from 16 to 21 November, 2010.
- First three days dignitaries, VIPs conference and seminars.
- Last three days open for general public.
- JF-17 was the star of the show and general public appreciated its aerobatics.
- 03 JF-17 were flown to Zhuhai, one for aerial aerobatics and one for static display.
- 09 K-8 aircraft Shair Dil team participated for the first time in any international event.
- 03 lady fighter pilots and 02 aeronautical engineers were also part of the team.
- More than 08 Air Chiefs of various air forces were also present on the opening ceremony.