"All related work is being carried out," said Yang at a Thursday press conference featuring Chinese legislators and political advisers in aviation, China Aviation News reported Friday.
The third block will see the JF-17's informatized warfare capability and weapons upgraded, Yang said.
Pakistan, the main user of the JF-17, could further share information between the fighter and other platforms, taking advantage of the whole combat system to effectively defend against strong opponents like India, Wei said. With the new upgrade, Wei expects the JF-17 Block 3 to match an improved version of the F-16 fighter jet.
Yang said that the development and batch production for the JF-17 Block 3 are going simultaneously, thanks to the broad experience. Wei said this probably means while the upgrades like the new AESA radar are still in development, the airframe, which remains roughly the same, can be manufactured without waiting.
When asked about which countries have inquired about the JF-17 Block 3, Yang said "A lot of countries have come to buy. You sign [a contract for the JF-17], you benefit."
The JF-17 is often described by its manufacturer and military observers as an advanced but also cost-effective fighter. It is currently contending with India's Tejas and South Korea's FA-50 in Malaysia's new fighter jet purchase plan, with the JF-17 being the most competitive option, Wei said.
This article was originally published in Global Times.
*AESA — active electronically scanned array