Pakistan and China jointly launched the manufacturing of the first prototype of JF-17B (dual seat combat fighter aircraft) at an induction ceremony held at the Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (CAC), Chengdu, China. The occasion marked yet another milestone in the close co-operation during the JF-17 aircraft development between Pakistan and China, says a press release.
Air Marshal Muhammad Iqbal, Chief Project Director JF-17, Project Management Office, Pakistan Air Force, was the chief guest at the occasion. The other participants on the occasion were President CAC, Vice President CATIC, Vice President CADI, senior representative AVIC, related Chinese personnel and PAF officials.
Speaking on the occasion, Air Marshal Muhammad Iqbal highlighted that dual seat aircraft is of great value for the Pakistan Air Force in enhancing not only training value but also the operational capability. The induction of JF-17B aircraft would also improve its market prospects in future. He also thanked the Chinese leadership for their continuous support in the design, development and manufacturing phases of the JF-17 development project.
The Chinese leadership, while addressing on the occasion, paid tributes to the higher authorities of Pakistan Air Force for operationalising the aircraft and expressed their resolve to continue support for development work of the JF-17 project. The JF-17B dual seat aircraft is likely to make its maiden flight by the end of this year. The aircraft would be formally inducted in the PAF by April, 2017.