JF-17 Thunder - Foreign Sales
Pakistan had long been trying to find countries to buy the JF-17 in order to reduce the per-unit cost the Pakistan Air Force pays. After 2010 the aircraft would be available for re-export through China and the share in the financial receipts would be paid to Pakistan. Thirteen countries have so far expressed interest in purchasing the JF-17 aircraft are Azerbaijan, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Algeria and Sudan.
In 2010 China was in negotiations with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Venezuela, while Pakistan was in talks with Turkey and Egypt. Later, there were reports that Argentina and China were in talks about a co-production deal for the FC-1, while Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro has confirmed Pakistan had offered his country the JF-17.
Farnborough’s 2010 edition airshow opened its doors to the trade visitors on 19 July. Highlights of this year's FIA included the eagerly awaited international debut of the JF-17 Thunder Fighter in the static park. JF-17 Thunder, also known as FC-1, being jointly built by China and Pakistan made its first appearance at an international air show. Two fighters touched down at Farnborough on the Sunday July 15 prior to the show opening after making refueling stops in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, making waves at this prestigious airshow in Farnborough.
On 19 July, Li Yuhai, Vice President of AVIC and Ma Zhiping, President of AVIC met with Pakistan Air Chief Marshal Rao Quamar Suleman in the Sino-Pak joint chalet. Li Yuhai expressed the gratitude of the Chinese side for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) sending the JF-17 Thunder fighters to the airshow. He pointed out that this would have a very positive impact on the marketing of JF-17 Thunder. Air Chief Marshal Suleman said, JF-17 Thunder belonged both China and Pakistan. The joint participation of this airshow was successful.
Later in November 2010, at the 8th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition held in Zhuhai, FC-1/JF-17 demonstrated its first aerobatic flight at an international air show. In November 2011, its first appearance in Middle East at Dubai International Airshow drew great attention again. Media speculated whether FC-1/JF-17 will become the most popular aircraft in the next ten years.
Numerous countries are interested in obtaining a fighter jet jointly developed by Pakistan and China, a senior officer of the Pakistan air forces said 24 May 2013. "We've been receiving inquiries and expressions of interest on the JF-17 Thunder from many countries in the Middle East, Africa and even as far as South America," Air Marshal Sohail Gul Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, told China Daily. A FC-1/JF-17 fighter with its weapons, which is the result of a joint China-Pakistan development program, was seen during the Dubai Airshow in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 17, 2013.
Saudi Arabia was reportedly considering purchasing the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet that was jointly produced by China and Pakistan. According to a January 2014 report in World Tribune, the Saudi Arabian Defence Ministry and Royal Saudi Air Force were reviewing the JF-17 program and considering becoming a partner in it. Pakistan had offered the JF-17 fighter to Saudi Arabia with technology transfer and co-production. The offer was apparently occurred when Saudi Arabian Deputy Defence Minister Prince Salman Bin Sultan visited Pakistan in January 2014, as he reportedly toured the JF-17 program while in the country.
Myanmar placed an order in 2015 for 16 JF-17 Thunder jets, each worth $35 million. Myanmar was the first country to order the jets from Pakistan. Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Egypt and Malaysia are reportedly also interested in the “affordable” jet,
Historic rival India had been negotiating the acquisition of 126 Rafale fighter jets from France for years, but the deal has proven difficult to complete. Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman told The News 04 December 2015 that the Pakistani Thunder JF-17 jet was being sold to 4 different countries. He did not reveal details about who the buyers were nor the number of planes being sold. Despite problems with supplying parts for the planes, Aman said that orders would be fulfilled and that there would be no compromise on the quality of the planes.
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