China Delivers First Overhauled JF-17 Thunder To Pakistan
China has delivered the first of its kind overhauled JF-17 Thunder jet to Pakistan under the project which experts said will be greatly beneficial for the country.
The overhauled JF-17 Thunder was assembled by Changsha 5712 Aircraft Industry Co Ltd under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). This is also the first time the AVIC has assembled a third generation fighter jet, which is also a fourth-generation according to another standard.
“The first [JF-17] overhaul marks an important milestone [in the JF-17 project],” A Chinese aircraft expert told Chinese media house Global Times.
The first overhaul represents the trial-and-error phase of the project and provided experience in establishing standards for other JF-17 overhauls in the future, according to Fu.
Co-made by Pakistan and China, the single-engine light fighter made its maiden flight in 2003. The first JF-17s were commissioned to Pakistani clients in 2007 and were then delivered to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) subsequently.
The contract for the overhaul was signed in 2016, while the work started in November 2017. The overhauled aircraft made its first test flight in 2018.
An overhaul includes major maintenance featuring repairs and replacement of old components including the airframe and engine, Fu said.