MAMOSA Report — Pakistan has offered Sri Lanka an F-7 fighter for free for each JF-17 the Sri Lankan Air Force purchases from Pakistan. The F-7 is China’s license-built version of the MiG-21, a supersonic third-generation fighter jet, The Diplomat reports.
Pakistan is said to be in advanced stage of talks with Colombo to sell eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets, despite Indian pressure on Colombo to scuttle the negotiations.
These war planes are being manufactured in Kamra as a joint production of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and China’s Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (PAC/CAC).
Indian media reports claim Pakistan has hired a Singapore-based arms sale lobbying firm and allegedly using unconventional marketing tactics (sops and kickbacks allegedly) to sell its “inferior” aircraft.
Last year, the Sri Lankan government, headed by President Maithripala Sirisena, had reportedly put in abeyance its plans to procure the JF-17s after alleged pressure from India.
New Delhi purportedly sent a report to Colombo outlining that the JF-17 does not meet the Lankan Air Force’s (SLAF) requirements. As an alternative, India tried to pitch its Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, so far, however without success.
There were reports also of India offer to possibly transfer its used MiG-27 jets, something already in SLAF’s inventory.
Sri Lanka was reportedly looking from Pakistan for an offer of credit purchase or a financing program, it has emerged.
The SLAF fighting strength has been severely depleted as a result of inadequate pilot training and maintenance, as well as the Sri Lankan Civil War.
Colombo intends to purchase eight to 12 new multirole combat aircraft to strengthen its air force.
Up until now, Colombo has not made a selection and one can expect the India-Pakistan competition over the contract to intensify in the months ahead.
Myanmar is purchasing JF-17s on license-build basis. The deal is said to be in advanced negotiation stage, IHS Janes reported.
The first of 16 imported JF-17s ordered by Myanmar are expected to go into service with the Myanmar Air Force (MAF) later this year.
Sources told Jane’s that in the context of ongoing negotiations on licensed production, Myanmar is seeking to produce the aircraft’s Block III variant – third-generation fighter jets.
China produces 42% of the aircraft’s airframe and the rest is made by Pakistan.