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Pakistan: home-made fighter jets inducted to airforce

(Karachi – AFP) The head of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex said Tuesday that Pakistan had added 50 home-assembled multi-role JF-17 Thunder fighter jets to its airforce.

Air Marshal Javed Ahmed, chief of the state-owned PAC, said the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had already received 50 of the home-made aircraft and that the supply of a second tranche would start this month.

“The five aircraft of the next block would be inducted (into PAF) this year,” Ahmed told AFP on the sidelines of the International Defence Exhibition And Seminars in Karachi, an arms fair that brings together dealers from all over the world.

Pakistan has been manufacturing the JF-17 aircraft since 2009 with the help of a Chinese group.

“JF-17 is a modern aircraft, it fulfils all the needs of PAF. It is affordable, the cockpit is very user-friendly,” Ahmed said.

Pakistan’s defence budget sucks up about 20 percent of its national income annually, leaving a meagre share for education and health facilities.

Pakistani ordnance factories have recently been making attempts to develop arms to meet domestic needs, as well as seeking to tap into the export market.

“A lot of international customers from developing countries have shown interest in the aircraft and we are in active negotiations with many countries,” the PAC chief said.

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