The fourth Prototype (PT-4) of JF-17 ‘Thunder’ aircraft, jointly produced by China and Pakistan, successfully completed its inaugural flight in Chengdu, China today. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed was the chief guest on the auspicious occasion. Other members of the CAS high profile delegation included Air Marshal Farhat Hussain Khan CPD JF-17 and various high ranking officials of PAF and the MOD. The Chinese side was represented by Vice Minister of CONSTING, Presidents of Aviation Industries Corporation–1 (AVIC-I), CATIC, Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute (CADI), Chengdu Aircraft manufacturing Center (CAC) and other high ranking officials.
Speaking at the occasion the Air Chief congratulated all members of Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute, Chengdu Aircraft Corporation and PAF contingent deployed at Chengdu, on the successful flight of PT-4. He expressed his complete satisfaction on the milestones achieved for JF-17 programme so far. He termed that the success of the joint programme would usher a new era of strategic relationship between the two old friendly countries. The Air Chief also termed the JF-17 programme as one of the most successful programmes in the recent aviation history.
PT-4 of JF-17 is exclusively developed for avionics & weapons qualification flight testing phase. The advanced 4th generation avionics package of JF-17 aircraft integrates data from multiple sensors using weapons and mission computers and has the ability to evade and degrade the enemy’s sensors using on-board advanced Electronic Warfare suite. It would greatly enhance the lethality and survivability of JF-17 aircraft. The advanced man-machine interface helps in presenting the sensors’ information in an integrated and effective manner, reducing the pilot’s work load and improving combat efficiency. The aircraft is powered by a reliable RD-93 engine which is equipped with Digital Electronic Engine Control (DEEC) system. High thrust to weight ratio and hybrid flight controls provide enhanced agility and maneuverability in all flight regimes.
JF-17 has a strong day and night surface attack capability including the delivery of PGMs. Its air to air capability includes all aspect Short Range as well as Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles by utilizing Multimode Pulse Doppler Radar.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force said, “The Avionics and weapon qualification flight testing phase on PT-4 would optimize its mission capability aspects in different flight regimes and conditions. The finalization of this phase will herald a new era of serial production of aircraft in China and Pakistan”.
The first batch of operational JF-17 aircraft would arrive in Pakistan in early 2007, while serial production in Pakistan at PAC, Kamra would start in 2008.