Beijing, Apr 28 (PTI) China has successfully launched an upgraded version of a fighter jet manufactured jointly with Pakistan that can be used for training in peacetime and for combat missions during wartime.
The dual-seat fighter trainer JF-17B is an upgraded version of the military aircraft JF-17.
The JF-17B was developed by Aviation Industry Corporation of China to meet the requirements of international customers and the global market, according to AVIC.
China and Pakistan jointly manufacture JF-17 Thunder – a lightweight and multi-role combat aircraft.
AVIC said in a statement that the plane, launched yesterday, can be used for training in peacetime and can also be used in combat missions during wartime.
The JF-17B climbed up and stayed in the air for about 26 minutes during its maiden flight and was witnessed by guests from home and abroad, reported state-run Xinhua news agency.
The debut flight symbolised a major milestone in the development of the JF-17 aircraft series, AVIC said.
Yang Wei, chief designer of the JF-17B, said the aircraft brings a new force to JF-17 family and will increase JF-17 series’ competitiveness in global market.
AVIC said the JF-17B was developed in a market and customer-oriented manner and has achieved a balance among performance, quality, cost and market needs.
Sources with AVIC said the F-17B aircraft has received overseas orders during its development stage.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) said the jet underwent the test flight in Chengdu, where Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman was the chief guest.
The event was hosted by Aviation Industry Corporation of China Executive Vice President Li Yuhai.
“The JF-17B will further enhance the advanced combat training of PAF fighter pilots on this indigenous war fighting machine,” PAF said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.