Let me clear a few things!
The JF-17 Thunder is the output of the "Super-7 project", which is a joint venture of Pakistan and China and not just China.
It started in 1992 and served as the first major opportunity to stimulate the aviation industry in Pakistan.
The project is concieved with Chineese airframe and Western avionics and weapons package. Those who think that it is a modified MIG 21 are living in fools paradise.
Lots of technical aspects of F-16 Jet has been worked upon and implemented on JF-17's avionics and not to forget that its design is very flexible for future upgrades.
The first successful test flight involving various kinds of stunts, performance, firing capabilities and working of avionics was conducted on 2 september 2003, which involved experts from both Pakistan and China. This was actually a 2nd level prototype Jet.
Thus the project concluded in to a successful venture for both the countries in expanding the capabilities of their avonics industries despite of the sanctions imposed by WEST which have been removed by now due to Pakistan's role in FAT (Fight Against Terror).
A fourth prototype is under trails and lots of improvements have been made to it.
In short words the JF-17 Thunder is a Light Weight Multi-role and all weather capable fighter.
Note: The airframe of this aircraft is closely related to MIG 29 and not MIG 21, which is an obsolete design. And even the engine of this aircraft is similar in every aspect to that of MIG 29.
The JF-17 Thunder variant that will be inducted in PAF will carry European Avionics Suite with multi-mode Pulse Doppler Radar, a mission computer, INS and multi-functional display system. The weapons package include SRAAM and MRAAM.
The chineese variant is called FC-1 and they will induct 200 of these jets with some enhancements. Those who say that this Jet has been scrapped by China should provide a fair source to back their claims.
PAF will induct 150 of these aircraft and will replace its old fleet of Mirage III's and F7-PG's. The induction process will commense from 2006.
A single unit costs about $15 million. (Quiet cheap compared to others)
- Internal 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel cannon, one centreline attachment; two attachments under each wing and one at each wingtip.
- Beyond Visual Range (BVR)
- Anti-ship as well as anti-radiation missiles.
- Additionally, the carriage of different types of bombs such as LGBs would be catered for.