Azerbaijan interested in purchase of Pakistani-Chinese JF-17 combat aircraft

JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft on display at the Dubai air show 2011. (Photo: APA)

Azerbaijan intends to purchase JF-17 combat aircrafts jointly produced by Pakistan and China

09:25 GMT, November 16, 2011 Baku | As Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), which displayed its products in Dubai Airshow-2011 in UAE, told APA, Azerbaijan shows interest in JF-17 Thunder combat aircrafts jointly produced by Pakistan and China and announced its intention to purchase aircrafts of this type.
The JF-17 Thunder performed flight displays over the Dubai airport during the air show. Members of the Azerbaijani delegation also watched the flights.
Referring to negotiations held with Azerbaijan, company officials said that the discussions have not entered the phase of signing a contract yet. The company is currently executing the orders of the Pakistani Air Forces; the export to Azerbaijan could be realised in the upcoming years. According to the company, the negotiating parties are determining the annual amount of the possible order.
Offering a high manoeuvrability, JF-17 Thunder aircraft have the same or even superior capabilities to the MiG-29 aircraft of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. By introducing this asset into its inventory the Azerbaijani Armed Forces could increase their combat effectiveness.
PAC company officials said that Pakistan and Azerbaijan have high-level relations. Islamabad supports Baku’s positions and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and provided military assistance to the country since the very beginning. Taking these relations into consideration, there will be no problems in the sale of fighter aircraft to Azerbaijan.
According to company’s representatives, within the Pakistan-China cooperation, the production of a Block-2 version of the JF-17 Thunder will soon be launched. This model will be equipped with the newest electronic warfare systems, as well as additional weapon systems. In addition, a two-seat configuration of the aircraft is being developed.
The length of the JF-17 is 14,97 m. The aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of 12474 kg, a combat radius of 1352 km and reaches a maximum speed of 1909 km/h.
A 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel cannon, four air-to-air missiles, one air-to-surface missile, as well as Mk-82, Mk-84 general purpose bombs, GBU-10, GBU-12, LT-2 laser-guided bombs, Matra Durandal anti-runway bombs, CBU-100/Mk-20 Rockeye anti-armour cluster bombs, are among the possible armament of the JF-17. (APA/Rashad Suleymanov)

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