The Pakistan Air Force’s latest jets equipped with near-stealth features, can easily dodge India’s advanced tracking system. The PAF expects to add 50 JF-17 fighter jets built jointly with China to replace old aircraft and upgrade capability against India’s missile defense system. A rollout ceremony was held in December and the new JF-17 jets will fly at the national day military parade on March 23.
The new JF-17 has an improved “high-off boresight” capability which means the aircraft doesn’t need to be pointing in a specific direction to engage a target. It can fire a missile from any position and it will automatically fix thrust, speed, and trajectory to target an adversary.
JF-17 production began in the late 1980s in a $500 million China-Pakistan joint venture. More than 100 of the aircraft have been commissioned into the PAF since 2007, of which 26 were added in 2020 as part of a so-called second block. The latest 50 are the third block.
It is made out of light composite material which enables it to carry five beyond-visual-range missiles, a significant improvement on the earlier Block I and II versions.
The new aircraft can detect an adversary at long distances and launch preemptive strikes. An improved liquid-cooled airborne fire control radar system makes this possible, enabling the jet to detect and engage an enemy jet from 170 km.