Myanmar Plans JF-17 Production

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:33 PM, June 25, 2014
  • 6996

Myanmar plans to acquire technologies from China and Pakistan to locally produce JF-17 multirole combat aircraft, according to Burma Times.

There are 10 operational air bases in Myanmar where its inventory of up to 32 MiG-29B and MiG-29SE’s are stationed along with 25 older F-7M, 21 Nanchang A-5C and a mix of 16 Chinese and Serbian jet trainers used for ground attack roles besides providing pilot training, according to the report. The air force is also equipped with 9 Mi-35 attack helicopters over 90 transport and utility helicopters.

Myanmar had also acquired Chinese 11 Sky 02A UAV’s to perform basic surveillance missions. Another 24 has been built in-country as Yellow Cat A2. The fixed wing transportation fleet consists of 4 Shaanxi Y-8, 2 Fokker F-27, 2 ATR-72, 2 Harbin Y-12 and 5 Pilatus PC-6. Maritime surveillance is conducted by 5 unarmed Britten-Norman Islander aircraft transferred by India.

The force is plagued by serviceability issues due to lack of spare parts and trained manpower however introduction of JF-17 would mean that Myanmar Air Force will be investing in such areas to mitigate its short comings.

The JF-17 is a lightweight single engine multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by China and Pakistan. It can be armed with a variety of bombs and missiles including PL-5EII, PL-9C and PL-12 AAMs, C-802A anti-ship missiles, general purpose bombs, and laser guided munitions and countermeasures on its 7 hard points (four under wing, 2 wingtip, 1 under fuselage). The aircraft’s standard set of armaments are supplemented by a 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin barrel cannon or 30 mm version of the same.

The JF-17 was offered to the Bangladesh Air Force on numerous occasions but it was declined in favour of more sophisticated multi-role combat aircraft from China and Russia.

The standard export price for the JF-17 Block I is $20 million and Block 2 being $25 million, the report added. Pakistan Air Force is the lone operator of the JF-17 with 54 aircraft operational including 6 prototypes. 

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