Next month a ceremony will be held in Pakistan to mark the delivery of the 50th JF-17 multirole fighter from the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) factory at Kamra. The handover marks the completion of production of the first batch of aircraft for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Designed in China by Chengdu as the FC-1, the JF-17 Thunder is being jointly developed and marketed by the Chinese and PAC.
A Boeing 737-200 operated by Karachi-based Bhoja Air, a Pakistani domestic carrier, crashed today into a small village near Islamabad, with nine crew members and 118 passengers onboard.
The targeting by American Predator and Reaper UAVs of terrorists along the Afghan-Pakistan border is being aided by GPS tracking devices placed covertly in the suspects’ vehicles, according to media reports.
During a visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani to Beijing in late May, it was reported that China is to provide 50 Chengdu JF-17 Thunder multirole fighters to Pakistan, and that China will pay for the aircraft. The report comes at a time when Pakistan’s relations with the U.S.–its other principal warplane supplier–have soured over the May 2 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.
Making its international debut here is this Chengdu/PAC JF-17 Thunder, a joint Chinese/Pakistani multi-role fighter project. Known in China as the FC-1 Xiaolong, the Thunder is now in series assembly at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex’s Kamra plant. The aircraft is powered by a Russian Klimov RD-93 engine and has a Chinese NRIET KLJ-7 radar.
Hadid International Services has expanded its aviation support network with a new branch office located at Karachi Airport in Pakistan, the farthest eastern point in the company’s chain–thus far.
This past March the White House authorized the sale of F-16s to Pakistan, a move that ends a 1990-imposed embargo on sales of military aircraft and spares to Islamabad. Pakistan reportedly wants initially to buy 24 aircraft, but the Bush Administration has not placed any limits on the total number of aircraft that the Pakistanis could purchase over the next several years.