The JF 17 Thunder deal with Myanmar took place around mid-January this year. The source close to the JF 17 Thunder deal said that Myanmar was in advanced negotiations with Pakistan. The JF 17 Thunder deal would have a license-build arrangement of this fourth- generation aircraft.
JF 17 Thunder Deal and Manufacturing by Myanmar
If the JF 17 Thunder deal goes through, Myanmar would be able to manufacture the airplane. Myanmar Air Force (MAF) will retire its old fleet of old A-5C Fantan and F-7M Air Guard. MAF’s ability to defend its capacity remains questionable. The Myanmar’s Battle of Border Post No 9631 against Thailand had its Air Force missing from the action.
JF 17 Thunder Deal and Myanmar Air Force Future Plan
The new JF 17 Thunder deal will give MAF 16 JF-17 aircraft. The 16 JF-17 aircraft have cost the MAF around $560 million. The new deal will help increase the strength of the Myanmar Air Force fight jets to 47 aircraft.
These 16 JF-17 aircraft are expected to go into service by the end of this year. Insider sources reveal that Pakistan will probably give Myanmar the Block II variants of the JF-17 aircraft. Some sources also claim that Myanmar wants Pakistan to give it license to manufacture the JF-17 III’s advanced variant. If Myanmar Air Force future plan materializes, it will be able to develop the aircraft indigenously.
Myanmar will be the first country to buy this plane from Pakistan. There are other countries also interested in buying the aircraft. Some of the other countries that want to buy JF-17 include Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Zimbabwe, Iran, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Egypt, Malaysia, Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Sudan.
JF 17 VS Tejas
JF 17 is a multi-role combat aircraft. The aircraft can deploy different types of diverse ordnance. Some of the equipment includes air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles. The JF 17 had two batches I and II with the third installment expected shortly. The advancements in the technology have enabled JF 17 to get superior avionics. The announcement of Block II aircraft in December 2015 meant more improvements for the plane.
The JF 17 III block will have AESA radar, significantly bettering the avionics and HMD. Some media reports suggest that the new version will also feature a 2-seater version. Furthermore, it may have better flight management software.
Tejas has been in development for a very long time. Indian Air Force delayed the delivery of Tejas for several years to perfect its technology. India wanted to develop an indigenous aircraft to replace the MiG-21 fighter jets. The Indian Air Force started working on the idea in 1983. By the year 1985, the IAF was able to come with the specifications. However, it was not able to launch the prototype until in 2001.
Pakistan and India developed JF-17 aircraft and Tejas with different purposes. The JF-17 was developed to help Pakistan replace its old fleet of Mirage III and Chengdu J7 jets. India on the other side wanted to have a technologically advanced aircraft with superior avionics. The production on the Tejas is a lot slower when compared to that of the JF-17. Only a handful of Tejas are given to the Indian Air Force so far. On the other hand, Pakistan Air Force has over a fleet 70 JF-17 aircraft in service.