JF-17 to Get Chinese-Developed Radar Upgrade, Expected to Boost Export Prospects

(PKONWEB Report) — The China/Pakistan JF-17 Thunder jet fighter is to get an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar– a world-class radar system that will substantially improve its combat capability and help boost its export prospects.

The JF-17 is the mainstay fighter of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and is co-produced by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).

The KLJ-7A AESA radar developed by the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology (NRIET) will be installed on the single-engined type, which is operated by the Pakistan air force, says NRIET’s head Hu Mingchun in a China Daily report.

“Our product will tremendously extend the fighter jet’s detection range, giving it a much longer sight that will help it detect the enemy’s aircraft before they do, and this is very important because in real combat if you see first, you fire first,” says Hu.

“The radar is capable of tracking dozens of targets and engaging several of them simultaneously. It also has a good jamming-resistant capacity that keeps the plane away from enemy’s electronic interference.”

Pakistan and China’s export firm CATIC have actively promoted the JF-17 on the international market for some years now. Adding AESA is expected to boost the type’s export prospects.

At the Paris air show in June 2015, a Pakistani air force official told FlightGlobal that a “contract had been signed” with an Asian country. The Asian country has yet to be officially named, but is believed to be Myanmar. Images on Chinese social media have shown a JF-17 in Myanmar air force markings.

Nigeria’s proposed 2018 budget document confirmed that the African nation will obtain JF-17s, with $36 million will be earmarked as partial payment for three of the fighter jets. The payment will also cover support equipment and spares.

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