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PAF speeds up fighter force modernisation with JF-17 Block III- Gulf News


Nov 8, 2005
Would Pakistan not also want to acquire loyal wingmen drones to augment combat strength? The two seater JF-17s could be modified to act as command ship, similar to J-20 twin seater, though PAF could also codevelop a J-31/J-35 two seater in the future.
No, JF-17 two seater is too small. I would say even J-10C two seater is too small for that role


Apr 22, 2020
48 J31/AZM.
24 Su-35 (China has 24 Su-35 with modified AESA).
<100 J10C.
>300 JF17.
some Mirage and F16.

PAF only needs a small amount of J10 and J31 to maintain the equipment universality with PLAAF. That can save money.
Once a large-scale war breaks out, PAF has the ability to quickly obtain a large number of J10 and J31 from China.
Why would china transfer its SU35 to Pakistan?

Pakistan Ka Beta

Aug 7, 2019
Pakistan Air Force speeds up fighter force modernisation with JF-17 Block III
JF-17 Block III, J-10 induction to bolster country’s air power, meet future requirements

Published: January 16, 2022 08:56 Sana Jamal, Correspondent

Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Thunder flying over Nanga Parbat mountain.Image Credit: PAF Hamid Faraz

Islamabad: The year 2022 will be the most significant for Pakistan Air Force as it is set to replace its ageing fleet and modernise its fighter force to maintain superiority in air combat.
The most anticipated news is the rollout of JF-17 Thunder Block III fighter jets built at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra, which will become the backbone of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fleet. The rollout ceremony of Block III was held in December and the first of the 50 jets will officially join PAF in early 2022.

Another noteworthy development is the reported induction of the advanced Chengdu J-10C aircraft in the coming months. Experts say that modern and more powerful aircraft would bolster Pakistan’s air power, meet future requirements, and balance power in the region.
The latest PAC Kamra-built JF-17 Block III aircraft rolled out in late December 2021.Image Credit: PSFAero Twitter

JF-17 Block III packs a big punch
JF-17 Thunder is a single-engine, lightweight, multirole combat aircraft, jointly developed by China and Pakistan. PAC Kamra has delivered nearly 120 JF-17 Block I and II fighter jets to the PAF since 2009. “JF-17 fighter jet program is continuing at a startling speed as Pakistan achieved the development to operational capability to the launch of upgraded versions in a short span of 20 years.

The progress has been spectacular as more than 100 aircraft have already joined the PAF,” said retired Air Marshal Farhat Hussain Khan who is currently serving as President of Islamabad-based Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies (CASS). He served for 36 years with the PAF retiring as Vice Chief of Air Staff and also worked as chief project director of the JF-17 program.
Pakistan’s first 4.5-generation aircraft
The Block III variant of JF-17 will be the country’s first 4.5-generation aircraft and most advanced jet equipped with a modern radar system, upgraded sensors, software, and engine to adapt to rapidly evolving technologies. “One of the key features will be the world’s most advanced Airborne Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar” which is the gold standard in modern aircraft, Khan told Gulf News.
Block III will see “massive upgrades in the airframe and systems which will significantly improve the aircraft’s performance and allow it to carry additional armaments.” The new variant of the combat and battle-proven JF-17 fighter jet “will attract international interest as it will be the only aircraft of its type packing advanced features but is also affordable,” he added. Nigeria and Myanmar are the first export customers for the JF-17 while Malaysia, Argentina, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iraq have expressed interest.
New batch of dual-seat JF-17 fighter jets joined Pakistan Air Force on December 30, 2020.Image Credit: Supplied
What makes JF-17 Block III versatile?
Pakistan’s JF-17 Block III version is considered to be in the same league as Sweden’s next-generation JAS 39 Gripen NG - both featuring cutting-edge avionics and high performance while maintaining increased levels of operational readiness. Defence analyst Shahid Raza considers the more capable AESA radar one of the major features in Block III. “This radar provides detection of fighter-sized targets at 170 kilometres away, include multimode look-down, shoot-down capability, and can also engage over the horizon threats, making this lightweight aircraft a great asset,” Raza told Gulf News.

Other key features include a wide-angle holographic heads-up display which offers a field of view larger than that of F-16, three-axis fly-by-wire digital flight control system, integrated cockpit with single piece man-machine interface, helmet mounted display (HMD) to take full advantage of the PL-10 imaging infrared-guided (IIR) missile’s high-off boresight (HOBS) abilities as well as electronic warfare suite.
Block III weapon payload
“Block III includes one additional hardpoint, making a total of eight, to carry extra pods, weapons, smart munitions, sensors. It will carry IIR-guided PL-10 HOBS air-to-air missiles which is of the same class as American AIM-9x Sidewinder, French MICA ER and IRIS-T German missiles,” Raza explained.
What makes JF-17 Block III more powerful is the access to the “Extended range beyond-visual-range (BVR) PL-15 missiles with 200 km range, which outranges the American AIM-120D Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).” It can also carry two CM-400AKG anti-ship missiles, laser and GPS guided weapons and cruise missiles.
J-10C aircraft.Image Credit: Chinese media

Is Pakistan acquiring J-10C from China?
Although there is no official confirmation or denial from the air force yet, however, insiders say the country will soon acquire 25 Chengdu J-10 ‘Vigorous Dragon’ multirole fighters. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has announced that J-10C would take part in the Pakistan Day event on March 23, adding that the jets are a “counter to India’s Dassault Rafale jets.”

J-10C to help PAF achieve air dominance
Pakistan has long expressed interest in the advanced J-10 as part of ongoing efforts to replace its ageing fleet of F-7, and Mirages as PAF continues to adapt and modernise warfighting capabilities. If confirmed, the acquisition would mark “a major milestone,” making it the most modern and capable fighter in the Pakistani fleet.
“J-10C is a capable platform with advanced avionics and able to conduct multiple air-to-air and air-to-ground operations, making it a valuable addition to PAF’s inventory. The induction will also help regain the balance of power in the region, which had been adversely affected with the induction of Rafale jets by the Indian Air Force,” said retired Air Marshal Ashfaque Arain, director at CASS.
J-10C - ‘True swing-role aircraft’
Pakistan is expected to buy the latest J-10C model, which has Chinese-built WS-10 engines and features AESA radar and compatibility with extended range PL-15 BVR missiles. The J-10C can help PAF “achieve air dominance and conduct Suppression and Destruction of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD/DEAD) missions to disrupt and destroy adversary air defence systems” said Shahid Raza. “J-10C features a true swing-role capability as it is able to swing between air to air combat, anti-surface and ground attack roles.”
PAF rethinking high-low mix
The news of possible induction of J-10C has prompted debate whether Pakistan requires another advanced jet along with the rollout of the locally developed capable JF-17 Block III fighter jet. Air Commodore Kaiser Tufail, a former pilot who has flown all PAF fighter jets until 2005 when he retired after 30 years of service, explained the reason for acquiring both aircraft.
“There’s a concept in air force called ‘high-low mix’ which means a mix of a smaller number of expensive and extremely capable aircraft (high) along with a large number of cheaper yet lethal fighter jets (low).” The low-cost and lightweight fighter JF-17 “is the workhorse of Pakistan Air Force which we will have in large numbers. But PAF would also require a smaller fleet of high-end fighters like J-10C which is the most capable yet affordable,” he said, citing the example of the US Air Force that considered the F-16 as a low-end aircraft to augment the F-15 air superiority.

J-10C vs Rafale
Many Pakistani commentators including the interior minister have described the J-10 acquisition as a “counter” to the Rafale jets acquired by India. The J-10C is considered Chinese equivalent to the American F-16s but it will be a significant leap for Pakistan, which relies on older F-16s that have not received upgrades. Comparing the J-10C with Dassault Rafale, Tufail said that “Rafale is one of the world’s most advanced non-stealthy fighters.
One of its key features is the next generation Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) weapon called ‘Meteor’ which has an estimated range of over 150 kilometres. J-10C will fill this gap as it boasts the capable AESA radar and long-range PL-15 missiles that can outrange the missile on Rafale,” he said. The “J-10 is currently the best option for PAF in terms of capability and affordability” to modernize its fleet as well as to achieve and maintain air dominance.

JF17-Thunder with the new Electronics package is really great upgrade , we needed this booster shoot

Normal procurement (purchase) for J10C every one on PDF indicated we need a fill gap platform to bridge the gap between JF17-Thunder and Azm Project.

Already was planned during Honorable Ex President Musharraf Sahib Era 2000-2005 period, if F-16 count was pushed to 100 would also been great but it is what it is, it is too bad the F16 new jets addition process kept hitting snags

Pakistan's Think tanks have gone one step further with Solidifying the Ground to Air platforms to also supplement modernization in Airforce

Now the next Objective logically it seems is the Navy Marines or Navy's Aviation Wing upgrade the Mirages operating above the Sea , and also improve the logistical capacity to improve Pilot rescue over sea (Training /Live Situations)

This would just be beyond expectations if PAF brings a Twin Jet Option

Airforce with F-16 , J10C & Large number of Thunders is a pretty good setup, well balanced Airforce
Geostrategic chess board is fast changing. The gulf is trying to woo china so this would also be reflected in their dealing with chinese allies and enemies in the future as well. The gulf will try to portray itself as 'neutral' in this bigger rivalry between the superpowers.

Recently the gulf FMs visited China

And this is what Global Times, the unofficial chinese mouthpiece has to say

Hence the above article should also be viewed from the same lens.
Interesting - the first real confirmation (of sorts) that the JF17 Block III will have a large single piece MFD. I was wondering if PAF was going to stick with the 3 piece MFDs it currently has, but it looks like it has upgraded them to single piece. Nice.

No mention of side-stick controllers. Given now that it is now a full 3-axis FBW aircraft - they could switch to side-stick controllers to save space/weight that can be used for something else and better ergonomics.

Given the export origins/base of the JF17 Block III, it will only be a matter of time before we get cockpit pictures

27th Feb || Celebrating Swift Retort Day || Unveiling the JF-17 thunder Block 3 of PAF || PTV World​



Feb 19, 2007
48 J31/AZM.
24 Su-35 (China has 24 Su-35 with modified AESA).
<100 J10C.
>300 JF17.
some Mirage and F16.

PAF only needs a small amount of J10 and J31 to maintain the equipment universality with PLAAF. That can save money.
Once a large-scale war breaks out, PAF has the ability to quickly obtain a large number of J10 and J31 from China.

What year is this 2040 ???

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