Sri Lanka drops plans to purchase JF-17 fighters from Pakistan

11 January 2016 (Last Updated January 11th, 2016 18:30)

The Sri Lankan Government has reportedly dropped plans to purchase JF-17 fighters from Pakistan under a $400m deal.

The Sri Lankan Government has reportedly dropped plans to purchase JF-17 fighters from Pakistan under a $400m deal.

Opposition from India is believed to be the reason behind Sri Lanka dropping the plan, reported Colombopage.

Earlier this month, reports emerged of a potential sale agreement between Sri Lanka and Pakistan for eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets to be inducted into the Sri Lankan forces.

"The matter did not even come up for discussion during the talks [with the Pakistani government]."

In addition, the publication stated 'both countries signed eight agreements related to defence, security, anti-terrorism, trade and science and technology.'

However, the Sri Lankan Ministry denied reports of any potential purchase agreement signed between the countries.

Sri Lankan defence secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi was then quoted by The Hindu as saying: "The matter did not even come up for discussion during the talks [with the Pakistani government]."

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

Meanwhile, India had reportedly offered its new, home-made Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) to Sri Lanka in October.

The Sri Lankan Air Force fleet currently includes the Chengdu F-7 fighter aircraft, and the Y-12 and MA60 transporters.

With increased defence spending, Sri Lanka has allocated an estimated $3bn for 2016.