Production rate of the JF-17 combat jet has been ramped up with China and Pakistan managing to reduce production period of each jet by 15 days.
A report published by China Aviation News affiliated with state-owned AVIC company today stated: “Production line of the JF-17 has on average shortened the production period of a single aircraft by 15 days compared to last year.”
The aircraft was developed by China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group and Pakistan’s Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).
Although the report did not specify the exact number of JF-17s produced this year, PAC Kamra announced in January 2020 that it built 8 dual-seat JF-17 aircraft in five months. Considering that the jets are manufactured at Chengdu facilities in China, the number would be higher.
In December last year, the latest iteration of the jet, the JF-17 Block III, took to the skies for the first time.
According to state media, the jet features technologies from China’s J-20 stealth fighter jet and upgrades in electronic devices that will significantly increase its combat efficiency. These include a large holographic wide-angle head-up display and integrated cockpit display besides an advanced infrared missile approach warning system used in the J-20 fighter jets.
The JF-17 Block III has garnered considerable attention from potential buyers mainly due to its headline features- a Chinese active electronically scanning array (AESA) radar, the latest targeting and electronic warfare systems analogous to those found on much more expensive aircraft such as the F-16 and Jas 39 Gripen.
The jet also reportedly packs information-based warfare capability and upgraded weapons. It has an upgraded engine which will allow it to go farther, ability to engage some 30 targets simultaneously and will be equipped with more ordnance over the JF-17 Block II.