Although the JF-17 design was frozen after its 6th prototype, there was an informal understanding on further development of the block II stealthy version. Several designs of the stealthy JF-17 have since then been floated, like the one above. Now, there are reports coming of an MoU being officially signed between Pakistan and China to develop the much advanced block II version. The JF-17, despite seeing immense hindrance by India [and may be Russia now] is surprisingly seeing huge acceptance and appreciation from some very good Air forces of the world such as of Turkey and Egypt. In fact, there were also reports of India considering the JF-17 before 26/11.
The new JF-17 block II could be an indication of Pakistan’s approval for its next (5th) generation fighter and this comes because India has already agreed to “pay for” the PAK-FA Russian 5th generation fighter, aimed at countering the American F-22 Raptor. India is also on papers wooing an indigenous [?] 5th generation fighter called the MCA (Medium Combat aircraft) but with India’s LCA now entering its 4th decade of prototyping, this seems not likely before 2040, a time when 6th generation fighters would already be flying. The block II of JF-17 could see deployment before 2020. This is reported to be an entirely full-stealth aircraft. Congratulations to the nation.
China-Pak in MoU to Develop Variant on JF-17 Thunder
China and Pakistan have reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a stealth version of a light-weight fighter aircraft being jointly produced by them to match MiG-21 warplane, a work horse of the Indian Air Force.
JF-17 Thunder, also known as FC-1, being jointly built by Kamra-based Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and Chengdu Aerospace Company (CAC) today made its first appearance at an international air show having flown in here after making refueling stops in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The plane, which has been in development in one form or another since 1991, is a symbol of cooperation between China and Pakistan and the first assembled version brought out by the Kamra plant, delivered in November last year, according to ‘Show News,’ a special issue of defence journal Aviation Week for the Farnborough Air Show.
“The two (countries) have also reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a stealth variant of the JF-17 Thunder,” it said.
The journal said that Pakistan Air Force (PAK) is expected to acquire around 250 JF-17s, but this may be a split of 100 in the JF-17 configuration, being displayed at the air show here, and 150 of the stealth multi-role combat aircraft (MCRA) between 2015 and 2025.
A Russian-built Klimov RD-93 engine — a specialised single-engine fighter variant of the Mig 29’s RS-33 powerplant, powers the plane. The first prototype of the warplane flew in 2003 and the first two Chinese-made versions were handed over to the PAF in March 2007.
Show organisers said that the two JF-17 fighter planes would not fly as part of the air show. “The aircraft has not completed its full release to service in Pakistan,” the journal said, quoting a member of the flight control committee.
“Although that full release is only month away, the PAF is also today in what is for them new territory. Farnborough is their very first event of this kind ever,” it said.