The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has reportedly inducted a new batch of the indigenously developed JF-17 Thunder fighter jets into service.

The new batch of 16 aircraft will replace some of the oldest F-7Ps in No. 2 Squadron (Minhas) aircraft fleet.

PAF Air Staff chief Marshal Sohail Aman was quoted by The News as saying: "Since its inception, the No2 squadron has commendable achievements to its credit. I pay tribute to Shuhada, veterans and predecessors of No2 squadron who displayed exceptional professionalism and valour.

"The JF-17 Thunder is a prized possession of PAF and the nation of Pakistan."

"The JF-17 Thunder is a prized possession of PAF and the nation of Pakistan.

"It is a proof of our abilities and a testimony of our dedication and evidence of smooth progress on the road of indigenisation."

Currently, three other units including No. 26 (Black Spiders) No. 16 (Black Panthers) Kamra and Combat Commanders School Sargodha operate JF-17 aircraft, reported Pakistan Tribute.

A joint venture production between China and Pakistan, the JF-17 is armed with GSh-23 dual-barrel 23mm cannon or GSh-30 dual-30 mm cannon.

The aircraft has seven hardpoints of which four are located under the wings, one under the fuselage and two mounted on the wingtips. It can carry up to 3,700kg of payload.

In January this year, reports emerged of a potential sale agreement worth $400m between Sri Lanka and Pakistan for eight JF-17 fighter jets to be inducted into the Sri Lankan forces.

However, the Sri Lankan Government reportedly dropped these plans.