First indigenously manufactured JF 17 Thunder handed over to PAF
ISLAMABAD, Nov 23 (APP): Pakistan on Monday formally joined the international community of fighter aircraft manufacturers as JF 17 Thunder, the first ever multi role state of the art rolled out of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra and was included to the fleet of Pakistan Air Force. Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani was the chief guest at the ceremony that marked a milestone in the Sino Pak joint venture in air defence system. Senate Chairman Farooq H. Naik, Federal Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, Defence Minister Ch Ahmed Mukhtar, Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Luo Zhaohui, Pakistan’s ambassador to China Masood Khan and three services chiefs attended the ceremony.
The sophisticated JF 17 Thunder,
painted green in the colour scheme of national flag appeared with
grandeur as the Prime Minister unveiled the fighter jet before the
audience. Manufactured with the cooperation of China, the event has
been termed as a beginning of new era of Pak China friendship.
Addressing a select gathering of local and foreign dignitaries and PAF
officials, the Prime Minister said the goals of progress and prosperity
could not be achieved without achieving self reliance in the defence
He termed the manufacturing of JF 17 Thunder aircraft as the
“achievement of an important milestone” in the government’s ongoing
efforts to attain self reliance.
The Prime Minister assured full cooperation, support and patronage to
the PAF in its projects and congratulated the entire nation, adding the
national project would be remembered as a landmark in the country’s
Referring to present challenges, the Prime Minister said the fast
changing technology intensive battle arena required intense involvement
of air power which had emerged as a major player in conflict scenarios.
He said the role of air force also becomes vital in tackling the threat posed by the forces of extremism and militancy.
Under these circumstances, he said, a modern air force was a national
requirement adding the government was making sincere efforts for a
strong and well equipped Pakistan Air Force.
He said the PAF had repeatedly proved equal to the task even in most
challenging times, measuring up to the expectations of the nation in
safeguarding the sacred soil and skies of the country.
In the recent drive against militants, PAF side by side with Pak Army
was endeavouring to root out terrorism from the country, he added.
The Prime Minister said, “The PAF has been able to achieve, both in the
form of meeting its operational requirement by co developing a fighter
aircraft and developing Pakistan’s Aviation Industry.”
He said following the example of Kamra, there should be more similar
centres of excellence in other fields, to attract youth towards a more
constructive approach to life that leads to a better and more
He appreciated that the JF 17 programme had provided employment to about 5,000 people.
The Prime Minister also reiterated the government’s firm resolve in
eradicating ignorance, illiteracy and backwardness to carve a
respectable place for the country in the comity of nations.
Referring to long and trust worthy relations between Pakistan and
China, the Prime Minister said, “It is not trade or economics that we
collaborate and cooperate for, but our association and fraternal ties
bind us in the everlasting embrace of friendship.”
He said, “China has always stood by us in our hour of need its
unflinching support and willingness, to go an extra mile for Pakistan,
has been a source of great strength for the people of Pakistan.”
The Prime Minister said there has been significant contribution by China towards the socio economic development of the country.
Gilani thanked the Chinese friends for providing PAF the required technical assistance for the programme.
The Prime Minister said the Chinese calm sagacity, futuristic thinking
and willingness to stand by its friends, even in the era of terrorism
and extremism promised not only hope and stability but also acted as an
example for others.
He also mentioned the Chinese cooperation in many other projects in the country and said it was a pride for the nation.
He especially highlighted the projects including Gwadar Deep Sea Port,
Korakoram Highway, Heavy Mechanical Complex, Heavy Electrical Complex
and Saindak Copper Project where China is helping the country.
He lauded the PAF’s initiative for appreciating and putting to use the
tremendous potential of Pakistan and jointly developing the industrial
Chief of the Air Staff Rao Qamar Suleman highlighted the efforts of
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra in establishing itself as a hub of
He lauded the support of Chinese government and Aviation Industries of
China without which, he said the project would not have succeeded.
He said that 40 JF 17 Thunder aircraft would be produced by PAC Kamra
within next three years and would be inducted in PAF replacing the
existing aircraft. He added that the first JF 17 Squadron would be
China’s ambassador Luo Zhaohui on behalf on the Chinese government
appreciated the technical acumen of PAC Kamra in acquiring complex
skills and expertise in fighter aircraft manufacturing.
He said the collaboration between the two peace loving countries in air defence was a major step for the region’s peace.
Earlier Air Marshal Farhat Hussain Khan, Chairman PAC Board Kamra in
his welcome address gave an overview of the JF 17 project and
highlighted the benefits of co production in terms of incorporation of
modern technologies of manufacturing and skill enhancement of
The Prime Minister was presented two souvenirs, including a painting of
JF 17 Thunder made by Squadron Leader Adnan Siraj and a handmade carpet
weaved with the impression of the same fighter aircraft.
In visitor’s remarks, Gilani termed the production of the aircraft as
“a testimony of the time tested all weather Pakistan China friendship.”
The JF 17 Thunder, the light weight and low cost multi role fighter
aircraft has high maneuverability and BVR capability. It has advanced
aerodynamics configuration and high thrust. The JF 17 Thunder will
replace the ageing fleets of A 5s, F 7Ps and the Mirages in the PAF
inventory thus fulfilling a multi role task.