Pakistan is having initial talks & discussions with the Malaysian government for the export of its JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft.
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex official disclosed this news while attending the Defence Services Asia 2018 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.
As per a British publication, both Pakistani and Malaysian government are having “primary level talks” for the export of fighter aircraft.
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The jet will fulfill the combat requirement of Royal Malaysian Air Force.
The official said, “We are aware of the potential requirements in Malaysia for cost-effective fighter aircraft. There have been no serious talks but through government-to-government channels, there have been what we can describe as primary level talks about the JF-17 programme.”
It was also revealed that Pakistan is willing to enter into a deal with the local industry of Malaysia to help in manufacturing, repairing and maintenance.
The official added, “Of course, the industrial engagement would depend on the sale of the Malaysian requirement.”
The same news agency in 2015 also reported that Malaysia is thinking to buy JF-17 aircraft from Pakistan, but the news was denied by Kuala Lumpur officials. For decades Royal Malaysian Air Force has been looking for twin-engine combat aircraft, but due to lack of funds, no substantial deal has ever been done.
Now the diplomat has reported that Malaysia wants to buy 18 new fighter jets and replace them with its Mig-29 aircraft.
As per a Tokyo based paper, Sweden, China, and Russia are also looking to sell jets to Malaysia but for the Royal Malaysian, Air Force Pakistani JF-17 Thunder is the most affordable option out of all available.
JF-17 aircraft production is divided into three blocks, Block I, Block II, and Block III respectively. Malaysia will be given Block III variant of the jet.
As per the report “Powered by a Russian designed but Chinese license-built Klimov RD-93 turbofan engine, (JF-17) can reportedly reach a top speed of up to Mach 1.6 and has an operational range of up to 1,200 kilometers without refueling.”