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JF 17 Thunder Block III

Pakistan's First AESA JF 17 Thunder Block III

Yang Wei, Chief designer of JF 17 Thunder Block III fighter aircraft reports the jet to be under improvements, equipped with the latest technology and the state of the art features of a new Warfare system.

The up-gradation of Development and Production of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF 17 Thunder Block III was reported to be under progress at a press conference in China by Yang Wei.

According to Yang Wei, “All related work is being carried out, “The third block will see the JF 17’s informatized warfare capability and weapons upgraded.”

It is rumoured that Pakistan would be having its first (AESA) equipped fighter jet, having Chinese-made KLJ-7A active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system. Along with this, it is also reported by sources that JF 17 Block III aircraft will feature a new electronic warfare system having state of the art avionics with a three-axis fly-by-wire digital flight control system, and a helmet-mounted display and sight system. the upgraded features will allow the jet to navigate enemy aircraft, having the ability of quick information sharing and network-enabled operations with the help of its latest sensor packages installation.

What are the new Features in JF 17 Thunder Block III?

Chief designer of the JF 17 Thunder fighter Yang Wei, also developer of the J-20 stealth fighter for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, reported in a press conference in early March 2019 that creation of an advanced new version of the combat jet, the JF 17 Thunder Block III, was pioneered. All related work has been carried & hellip out, the next the block will see the JF 17’s computerized war capacity and weapons upgraded. The airplane has been developed under a JV between the Pakistan Aerospace Complex and Chengdu Aerospace Corporation, and creation of the fighter in Pakistan is likely to be established at a later date much like it did with the Block I and Block II variations. 

The fighter is set to revolutionise Pakistani aerial warfare capabilities, incorporating an advanced active electronically scanned array radar, new electronic warfare systems, a brand new fly by wire digital flight control system, a brand new helmet mounted display and access to a brand new wider selection of sophisticated munitions. This will be reported to add new longer ranged and sophisticated air to air munitions, the PL-15 according to some reports, and more advanced versions of the PL-12, that will considerably improve the aircraft’s performance in air to air combat. When talking the start of airplane production, Yang was probably referring to the production of the JF 17’s airframe, with PAC producing 58 percent and CAC 42 percent of it. 

How many JF 17 Thunder Pakistan have?

The development status of any one of the newest Block III subsystems isn’t known. But once the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronic Technology completes development of the new AESA radar system, it may be fitted on a glider fast, making sure a fast delivery time, Yang emphasized. JF 17 Block I and Block II airplane, of which the PAF operates about 85 in total as of March 2019, have been equipped with NRIET X group fire control radar. All 3 JF 17 variants are powered with a Chinese license constructed Klimov RD-93 turbofan engine. The JF 17 has an approximate combat radius of up to 1, 200 kilometers without refueling and may attain a maximum rate of up to Mach 1.6. 

How Much Does a JF 17 Thunder Block III Cost?

The JF 17 prices $25 million each unit, even though the Block III per unit cost is likely to go up as a consequence of the new subsystems, including the expensive AESA radar system. The PAF plans to secure up to 50 new Block III aircraft. The airplane can alternatively be equipped with air-to atmosphere, air-to surface, and anti ship missiles. It is going to also be in a position to fire beyond visual range air-to air missiles. An unnamed BVRAAM was test fired from the PAF last month.

Other possible upgrades to the JF 17 design that Will be incorporated onto the Block III version includes an infra red search and track system and a radar cross section reducing pseudo stealthy airframe. The use of a strong AESA radar will revolutionise the fighter’s situational consciousness at the same time minimizing your radar signature to increase survivability. This radar system is forecast to be more strong than anything currently in Indian support other than the Bars passive electronically scanned array radar deployed by the Su-30MKI, and along with new longer ranged air to air munitions, like PL-15, which with a 150km range currently outranges any analogue in Indian provider, provides Pakistan’s fleet with a margin in battle. 

China's Nanjing Research Institute of Electronic Technology is developing the brand new AESA radar system to the airplane, that can be fitted on a glider fast, ensuring a quick delivery time, according to designer Yang. For the airframe itself, PAC is Set to fabricate 58 percent, with Chengdu manufacturing the remaining 42 percent. The possibility for updating older versions of the JF 17 with new radars and avionics, especially the JF 17 Block I that keeps below average situational consciousness, has also been raised.

Numerous foreign customers have expressed considerable interest from the fighter, which though considerably cheaper is way more sophisticated and capable than its widely promoted American analogue F-16C Fighting Falcon Among the interested parties are Egypt, Malaysia, Iran and Azerbaijan – with some other states likely to follow suit, especially when the airplane is capable of deploying large end long range missiles like the PL-15 – that for many states could be a game changer for their aerial warfare capacities.

During a recent stand-off of Pakistan with India, reportedly PAF F-16 was taken into action in order to deal the situation and capturing the Indian pilots against breach of land. JF 17 Thunder Block III could also be engaged an Indian Air Force fighter jet and used to create more damage to enemy.





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