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JF-17 Block-3 -- Updates, News & Discussion

Reddawn

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The PAF was pretty clear in 2018-2019 about where and how the Block-3 would improve over the Block-2, e.g., AESA radar, 3-axis fly-by-wire, and new LRAAMs.

Other stuff, like HMD/S, was unclear (but it's in the pipeline for later).

For everything else, we had overblown expectations.
Bilal,

I dont get it. Why have the PAF only ordered 30 blk 3’s?
 

ziaulislam

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Any idea of what will be done with the PG's and mirages? Can they be made into fast target practise drones. Or unmanned and sent in unusual formations as a decoy swarm tactic for the enemy to highlight high value SAM targets
Scrap
Bilal,

I dont get it. Why have the PAF only ordered 30 blk 3’s?
Three possible reasons
1. Final product may be differeny..i.e block 3B
2. Bankrupted
3. Capping thunder at 150ishsnd looking for another fighter

I think its 1&2..
no. 3 doesnt make sense as PAF spent alot of time and money to get block3
 

Bilal.

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You need to make modifications to the airframe first. Engine change is not as simple as plug and play. When China installed WS-10 on the J-11B they had to modify the inlets.
True. But if South Africans can modify a mirage to have RD93 then the original designers of the plane (JF17) surely can do it much easier.
 

Syed1.

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The problem remians none of us know what the actual ground realities are and what the delays if any are. Without that info this is all conjecture without any solid grounds on which to base them.
A
There was a poster, messaciah (maybe I butchered the spelling). She was very much in the know. Doesn't post now, quite a loss for PDF.


Otherwise I agree with you. Just look at 'New fighter for PAF' thread. If you see the posts on there you would think USA, Russia and China are all falling over each other to get PAF to sign their top of the line jets.
 

siegecrossbow

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True. But if South Africans can modify a mirage to have RD93 then the original designers of the plane (JF17) surely can do it much easier.
I’m not doubting the capability/competency, I’m just pointing out that there is a lot of additional work that needs to be done to incorporate a domestic Chinese engine onto a JF-17, even maybe enough work to justify a new block. Some of the comments sound as if it is as easy as swapping out the ejection seat.
 

araz

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There was a poster, messaciah (maybe I butchered the spelling). She was very much in the know. Doesn't post now, quite a loss for PDF.


Otherwise I agree with you. Just look at 'New fighter for PAF' thread. If you see the posts on there you would think USA, Russia and China are all falling over each other to get PAF to sign their top of the line jets.
Any Ex PAF man would probably become irrelecant in about 6months to one year. It does not meancthey will not know what is going onin their respective branches but generally jist the broad outlines rather than the whole story. There are others who are utilized as unofficial spokesmen for the PAF with various snippets that they want people to know of or misinformation.
Incidentally both Shahid Lateef and Shehzad Chaudhry(???? name) have been on record saying J10 does not make any sense for the PAF
A
 

denel

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True. But if South Africans can modify a mirage to have RD93 then the original designers of the plane (JF17) surely can do it much easier.
F1 has a much larger frame than JF17. Center of gravity tends to shift as well depending on how the engine is configured.
 

Bilal.

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F1 has a much larger frame than JF17. Center of gravity tends to shift as well depending on how the engine is configured.
Every integration project would pose its own set of challenges. Having said that putting a medium class engine that most likely has similar dimension should not be that much of a challenge for the original designers and manufacturers of the aircraft.
 

denel

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Scrap

Three possible reasons
1. Final product may be differeny..i.e block 3B
2. Bankrupted
3. Capping thunder at 150ishsnd looking for another fighter

I think its 1&2..
no. 3 doesnt make sense as PAF spent alot of time and money to get block3
I think it is first.

As I have said before, Blk 3 is really the baseline. 1/2 can be considered as proof of concept which were good enough to get into the field. However there is a lot of work still ahead. First, we already saw HMDS emphasis on Sight is not there yet. it will take much longer. HOBS and HMDS brings a new dimension. Then what we need to remember integration, integration and regression testing cycles are no joke. You will find tonnes of birdies which need to be fixed. Airframe again as a long way to go e.g. yes we heard about more composites but core airframe too needs to be strengthened too. Blk4 is definitely on the cards in a quasi way. Prediction was and i am confident of 250-300 mark. It is just a placeholder milestone in my 2cents opinion. Just some thoughts.
Every integration project would pose its own set of challenges. Having said that putting a medium class engine that most likely has similar dimension should not be that much of a challenge for the original designers and manufacturers of the aircraft.
Remember JF17 is still light weight. If we are to consider a medium class engine, you raise a good problem statements; can the airframe be extended e.g. 10% to move it into a light medium category.
 

ziaulislam

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I think it is first.

As I have said before, Blk 3 is really the baseline. 1/2 can be considered as proof of concept which were good enough to get into the field. However there is a lot of work still ahead. First, we already saw HMDS emphasis on Sight is not there yet. it will take much longer. HOBS and HMDS brings a new dimension. Then what we need to remember integration, integration and regression testing cycles are no joke. You will find tonnes of birdies which need to be fixed. Airframe again as a long way to go e.g. yes we heard about more composites but core airframe too needs to be strengthened too. Blk4 is definitely on the cards in a quasi way. Prediction was and i am confident of 250-300 mark. It is just a placeholder milestone in my 2cents opinion. Just some thoughts.

Remember JF17 is still light weight. If we are to consider a medium class engine, you raise a good problem statements; can the airframe be extended e.g. 10% to move it into a light medium category.
agree, had PAF given up on jf17, we wouldnt have seen so much effort for just 30 aircrafts..
doesnt make any sense

expect a good 100+ block 3 in numbers

i think once we get the rd93ma, Jf17 will become a very good aircraft in its own category just like mirage2000

i always believed that PAF should go all in on jf17 and focus on fifth gen fighters rather then acquiring another fourth gen fighter
 

Bilal.

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Remember JF17 is still light weight. If we are to consider a medium class engine, you raise a good problem statements; can the airframe be extended e.g. 10% to move it into a light medium category.
It already has a medium class engine. WS19 would have similar dimension (if not smaller due to being a generation ahead) to an RD93. Unless of course we have specs that say otherwise.
 

denel

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agree, had PAF given up on jf17, we wouldnt have seen so much effort for just 30 aircrafts..
doesnt make any sense

expect a good 100+ block 3 in numbers

i think once we get the rd93ma, Jf17 will become a very good aircraft in its own category just like mirage2000

i always believed that PAF should go all in on jf17 and focus on fifth gen fighters rather then acquiring another fourth gen fighter
I do concur fully, we are seeing a brief pause to mark a milestone and setup new goals for the next stages. Just as we saw GripenNG; we expect same to occur for JF-17.. if I may dare to say JF-17NG.

However, I do not agree with your thoughts of 5th gen fighters at this stage. If you recall several years ago, i had predicted that radar technology was being improved very significantly using AI based on my academic work i had been doing; it is here now - it will be very clear in next major conflict that stealth is now counteracted with 'RadarAI'.

For now I would suggest holding the course using JF-17s with possible ventures into T-FX.
 

Bilal.

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I do concur fully, we are seeing a brief pause to mark a milestone and setup new goals for the next stages. Just as we saw GripenNG; we expect same to occur for JF-17.. if I may dare to say JF-17NG.

However, I do not agree with your thoughts of 5th gen fighters at this stage. If you recall several years ago, i had predicted that radar technology was being improved very significantly using AI based on my academic work i had been doing; it is here now - it will be very clear in next major conflict that stealth is now counteracted with 'RadarAI'.

For now I would suggest holding the course using JF-17s with possible ventures into T-FX.
A WS19 class engine is not only needed for raw performance. It will be able to feed the ever growing desire for a more powerful AESA, EW, Comms and all sorts of computing power and gadgetry that is becoming essential in a modern battle space.
 

denel

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A WS19 class engine is not only needed for raw performance. It will be able to feed the ever growing desire for a more powerful AESA, EW and Comms.
correct; there is a lot more requirements for power with modern day integrated smart systems.
correct; there is a lot more requirements for power with modern day integrated smart systems.
one question which i have meant to ask for long time but now as Blk3 is coming to par; is there an intelligent threat awareness monitoring system that is continuous recording and learning on board?
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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I do concur fully, we are seeing a brief pause to mark a milestone and setup new goals for the next stages. Just as we saw GripenNG; we expect same to occur for JF-17.. if I may dare to say JF-17NG.

However, I do not agree with your thoughts of 5th gen fighters at this stage. If you recall several years ago, i had predicted that radar technology was being improved very significantly using AI based on my academic work i had been doing; it is here now - it will be very clear in next major conflict that stealth is now counteracted with 'RadarAI'.

For now I would suggest holding the course using JF-17s with possible ventures into T-FX.
IMO ... for a 'JF-17 NG' to be a success, it would basically have to be a redesign of the JF-17.

The current JF-17 is a compromised solution by design so as to save costs (e.g., stable design, limited range and payload, etc). It's a semi-modern solution in that it delivers the right electronics and weapons, but for it carry next-generation needs, it'd need a lot of reworking.

This could basically be a project in the vein of the Tejas Mk2 and Gripen E/F.

IMO, a workable alternative is to call a moratorium on any further JF-17 design work, but instead, extend the production run to 250-300 using the JF-17B and Block-III combination. Let's freeze any further work and start saving money via economies-of-scale and a reduced development overhead.

In tandem, we can venture into a joint-project for a twin-engine NGFA (e.g., TFX) and, in parallel, start actual studies on an eventual JF-17 replacement. The cool thing about the TFX is that it presents us an opportunity to ride shotgun with the Turks and basically learn the fighter development process.

We can re-apply those learnings to our own indigenous single-engine NGFA (which we can slate for a 2040 or later timeframe by developing the inputs on our own, albeit slowly). If we co-invest in the inputs, we can also re-use some of the TFX stuff, e.g., TR Motor engines.
 

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