The JF-17 Thunder is one of the rarest and least known fighter aircraft in the world. Operated solely by the Pakistan Air Force*, it is a capable fighter in the same class as the F-16. On conditions of anonymity, we spoke to one JF-17 pilot to learn more.
The views expressed are not the official positions of the PAF.
“Best thing: Continuous upgrades of indigenous and Chinese weapons/electronic counter-measures suites, standoff capabilities of exceptional range i.e REK/IREK,CM-400,C-802AK etc. Worst : limited BVR load-out.”
What advice would you give to new pilots on the type? “Know your books and more importantly know the adversaries books. The modern jets are complex fighting machines so you must be at ease with all the systems in order to employ your jet with confidence.
“With the current config engine produces sufficient power – but who doesn’t like a bit of extra thrust?
“Currently we have PL-5(IR missile) SD-10(BVR). C-802 anti ship standoff , REK/IREK air-surface standoff with multiple warhead/seekers/roles and then all the GP Bombs, CM-400 and host of other A/G weapons for precision strikes. All that with the integrated ASEL Pod for targeting.”