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    The JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter performs its demonstration flight at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, north of Paris, Tuesday June 16, 2015

    Asian Thunder: China Signs Deal to Sell JF-17 Fighters

    © AP Photo / Remy de la Mauviniere
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    China has reportedly confirmed that it has finalized a contract to export JF-17 fighter jets.

    An agreement on the sale of JF-17 Thunder fighter jets was announced by China during the 14th Dubai International Air Show, media reports said.

    The JF-17 Thunder is a lightweight single-seat multirole supersonic combat aircraft which is jointly developed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the Chinese Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation.

    About 50 percent of the on-board equipment and avionics for the third generation fighter is manufactured in Pakistan at the Kamra plant, while the rest of its parts come from China.

    According to Pakistani Air Vice Marshal Arshad Malik, a total of 60 JF-17 Thunder fighters have already been purchased by the Pakistan Air Force, which he said will procure 40 more such planes in the future.

    He said that the JF-17 Thunder fighters "will soon be deployed into combat." Malik added that during the next few years, the JF-17 fighters will be equipped with advanced data links, electronic combat capability and new guided weapons.

    There was no immediate word on which country had agreed to buy the JF-17 Thunder fighters, but earlier it had been reported that the air forces of Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Burma, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Uruguay and Sri Lanka had repeatedly expressed interest in buying the aircraft.

    After the modernization, the JF-17 will most likely make forays into the international market, where it will replace Cold War-era second generation fighter jets such as the Soviet-made  MiG-21, the US-made F-5 and the French-made Mirage III and Mirage 5.

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    weapons, equipment, fighter jet, agreement, Pakistan, China
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