China has recently delivered the first overhauled JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jet to Pakistan. The fighter jet has been delivered under a project that as per professionals would prove advantageous for the aviation industry of Pakistan.
Changsha 5712 Aircraft Industry Co Ltd under the government-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China—AVIC, performed the reassembling of the overhauled JF-17 and sent it to its Pakistani client in the month of March, this was reported by Global Time while citing the China Aviation News.
This is the first time that AVIC has done the overhauling of a made-for-export third-generation fighter or fourth generation as per another extensively used standard, the report added.
An expert of the Chinese Air Defence—Fu Qianshao told the Global Time that the first overhaul indicates the trial-and-error phase of the project and marks a significant achievement in the JF-17 project.
He added that this would provide experience in forming standards for other JF-17 overhauls in the future.
Pakistan and China collaborated to manufacture the single-engine multi-role light fighter jet JF-17 which made its first maiden flight in 2003.
The first JF-17s were delivered to the clients in Pakistan in 2007 and later Pakistan Air Force commissioned a number of them.
As per the military analysts, after using them for a decade, it was time for the first JF-17s to undergo overhauls.
An agreement was signed in 2016 and the first overhaul work began in November 2017. The overhauled aircraft took its first flight in October last year.
The overhaul of the aircraft includes major repairs and maintenance, replacement of old parts which includes the engine and airframe, as informed by Fu. Regular maintenance could be done by the military but for overhauling a proper supplier is needed owing to the complexity of the task.
Fu further said that such overhauling ensures the safety of flight after years of use. The overhaul could also equip the aircraft with recent technologies that could boost its capability or could even extend the lifespan of the aircraft.
Pakistan sent many trainees to China, who have built close associations with the Chinese engineers during the overhaul activity.
Fu informed that as the procedures and protocols for the overhaul have been defined, future overhauls on the other JF-17s could be conducted by the Pakistani personnel.