FC-1 / JF-17 - International Sales
China could export the modern FC-1 fighter jet to developing countries to take a bigger share of the international military aircraft market and boost its aviation industry. The standard export price for the JF-17 Block I is $20 million and Block 2 being $25 million.
'The FC-1 Fierce Dragon can meet the air defense tasks of most developing nations that can't afford more advanced, fifth-generation fighter jets,' said Wang Ya'nan, deputy editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge magazine. 'A lot of developing nations' air forces have neither menace from stealth aircraft nor requirements to launch long-distance airstrikes. For them, the FC-1 is a very sensible choice because it is reasonably priced and has a relatively strong capability,' he told China Daily 30 December 2014.
China has gained rich expertise and experience in the fields of composite materials, engines and avionics that can be adopted on the FC-1. 'Using cutting-edge composite materials to upgrade the aircraft will reduce the fuselage's weight, enabling designers to adopt a stealth airframe,' Wang said. 'In addition, AVIC can replace the plane's Russian-made RD-93 turbofan with China's latest engine.'
According to Air Commodore Khalid Mahmood from the Pakistan Air Force, who heads sales and marketing for the fighter jet, the joint sales team from China and Pakistan is 'in advanced negotiations with a Middle Eastern country (over sales of the FC-1), but the political situation there has delayed the deal'. Mahmood was speaking to Bloomberg in November 2014 in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, at the 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition. A report in World Tribune, an online newspaper based in the United States, said Saudi Arabian officials have begun to review the FC-1 project and are considering becoming a partner in it, possibly to replace the former F-5 Freedom Fighter force structure.
Argentine aerospace company Fabrica Argentina de Aviones told reporters at the 50th International Paris Air Show that they had had multiple discussions with Chinese officials over potential coproduction of the FC-1 combat aircraft. Fabrica Argentina de Aviones is the country's main aircraft manufacturer. According to Defense Industry Daily, Argentina is interested in the plane because it can carry C-802 subsonic and CM-400AKG supersonic anti-ship missiles that might come in handy against the British Navy in the Malvinas. According to a Burma Times report on 15 June 2014 ["Myanmar plans JF-17 production"], Myanmar is looking to obtain a license to produce the FC-1 domestically. Other prospective operators are reported to include Algeria, Malaysia, Nigeria and Sudan.
Pakistan and China have also been promoting the JF-17 to various countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Turkey and Zimbabwe. The JF-17 was offered to the Bangladesh Air Force on numerous occasions but it was declined in favour of more sophisticated multi-role combat aircraft from China and Russia.
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