Major radar, weapons upgrade planned for Pakistan’s JF-17 jets
Pakistan’s JF-17 fighter jets are set for a major upgrade that will see the warplane jointly developed by Islamabad and Beijing on par with an improved version of the U.S.-made F-16s.
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The upcoming major upgrade are set to include an advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and a helmet-mounted sight (HMS) system, in addition to improved information warfare and weapon capabilities.
According to a chief designer on the JF-17 project, the upcoming Block 3 variant would make it a match for the “improved version of the F-16 fighter jet.”
The improved JF-17 will receive an edge in close-range combat with enemy jets and share information with “other platforms” thanks to the addition of a datalink system.
The JF-17 fighter engaged in its first dogfight last month after Pakistan’s military said that it has shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets that had entered Pakistani airspace
The JF-17 was originally developed to replace the PAF’s aging fleet of Dassault Mirage III/5 fighter jets by the early 2020s. The PAF is expected to induct 150 JF-17 combat aircraft over the next years, split into three productions blocks: Block I, Block II, and Block-III. PAC has so far produced 50 Block I aircraft and over 60 Block II JF-17s.