Preparations have been started for the block-three of Pakistan Air Force’s latest fighter aircraft JF-17. While fourteen JF-17B aircraft made in collaboration with China have been handed over to Pakistan Air Force.
These aircraft have been prepared by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).
A ceremony was held at Kamra Airbase on Wednesday to join the Pakistan Air Force fleet of double seater JF-17B aircraft and start production of JF-17 Block-Three.
How are JAF-17Bs different from pre-existing JAF-17s?
Pakistan Air Force spokesman Ahmar Raza told the BBC that the new JF-17B model aircraft joining the Pakistan Air Force has two seats. It will be used mostly for training. However, these capabilities are similar to those of the already existing JF-17 aircraft.
“Missiles and radars in the new aircraft are similar to the old ones. In the new model, only one seat has been added so that the other pilot can also sit and we can use these aircraft in training.”
Pakistan Air Force says that their arrival will increase military power. Because these aircraft are fully capable of fulfilling all training requirements, as well as in all types of combat operations.
What is Block-Three?
In addition to JAF-17B joining the Pakistan Air Force, Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal has also inaugurated the production of Block-Three of JAF-17 Thunder on Wednesday. According to Pakistan Air Force, the JF-17 aircraft of Block-Three will be the most advanced model. This will help the Pakistan Air Force to maintain a counter-balance in the changing situation in the region.
The JF-17 will be a fighter jet of the block-three fourth generation.
A Pakistan Air Force spokesperson told us that “Block-three is the next generation of the JF-17. It will be fitted with new radars. The aircraft of this vehicle will also be equipped with new and modern weapons and missiles. The capability of electronic warfare also can be seen from every angle. Will be enhanced and improved. “
According to the spokesman, the block-three aircraft will be ready in about one to one and a half years. Retired Air Marshal Maqsood Akhtar says the JF-17 aircraft of Block-Three will have ‘active electronically secondary radar’ and will have better missiles. “The Block-Three’s JF-17 aircraft will be equipped with air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons. These aircraft will be included in the Fourth Generation.”
Is it fair to compare JF-17 Thunder aircraft with Rafale?
Claims are being made about the JF-17 block-three that it will be better than the Rafale aircraft of India.
A Pakistan Air Force spokesman said: “Of course this kind of analysis is absolutely correct, rather block-three would be better than Rafael in many things. It would be the aircraft that could compete with Rafale.”
However, Adil Sultan, head of the Strategic Studies of Air University, says that “100 per cent cannot say so”.
Explaining his point, he said: “We compare everything in the context of Pakistan and India. Each aircraft has its own role. JF-17 block-three missile and radar Rafale missile and Better than radar. In this context, we can say that this aircraft may be slightly better than Rafale, but there are many more things to look for when comparing planes.”
What are the capabilities of the JF-17 Thunder?
Retired Air Marshal Maqsood Akhtar said about the importance of 14 double-seater JF-17B aircraft joining the Pakistan Air Force, that these aircraft are very important for Pakistan in terms of export.
“Whenever we talked to a customer, they used to say that we need double-seater aircraft for training and these planes have been specially designed for this reason.”
On Wednesday, those JF-17 aircraft were also demonstrated which Pakistan has prepared for sale to various countries.
JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft is also important for Pakistan because of the fact that Pakistan makes it itself.
Pakistan has acquired the capability to manufacture these aircraft with the help of China and according to experts, this aircraft is a multi-functional, lightweight, fourth generation multi-role air craft.
Facilities for aircraft construction, upgrading and ‘overhauling’ are also available within the country. Which means that Pakistan does not need any other country for the preparation of this aircraft.
According to defence experts, the JF-Thunder aircraft, like the F-16 Falcon, is an all-weather multi-aircraft aircraft with light weight as well as all-weather ground and air. The aircraft is equipped with long-range missiles.
JF-17 Thunder killed the MiG of the Indian Air Force after the Balakot incident with a BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missile due to this capability. This is why JF-17 Thunder was praised.
The JF-17 Thunder also has the same state-of-the-art radar, which is considered to be a major feature of Rafal. This aircraft is capable of firing missiles by locking the target.