The Pakistani Air Force (PAF) has taken delivery of the JF-17 Thunder, the first multirole fighter jet developed and produced by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.

The JF-17 jet, powered by Klimov RD-93 turboprop with a maximum take-off weight of 12,700kg and speed of up to Mach 1.8, has been developed with assistance from China.

The fighter will be equipped with an advanced multitrack, multimode, pulse Doppler radar for air-to-air, air-to-surface attack capabilities with ring laser gyros based inertial navigation system and global positioning system and an electronic warfare suite.

EW suite includes self production jammer, missile approach warning system, and a chaff and flare dispenser.

The JF-17s can carry up to 3,800kg of external load and the aircraft’s weapon systems include a range of short-range, long-range, anti-ship and anti-radiation missiles.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was quoted by the Daily Times as saying that the manufacture of the aircraft was an important milestone in the government’s ongoing efforts to attain self-reliance.

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The government intends to provide full support to the PAF in its projects.

“Rapidly-changing, technology-intensive battle arena required intense involvement of air power which had emerged as a major player in conflict scenarios,” Gilani said.