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Sri Lanka could become the first export customer of the PAC JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft

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World Aviation Defense & Security News - Sri Lanka
 
 
 
Sri Lanka could become the first export customer of the PAC JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft
 
According to the Pakistani daily 92NewsHD, Sri Lanka could become the first foreign country to acquire Pakistan's multi-role combat aircraft JF-17 Thunder, and the Pakistan Air Force will begin delivery of the fighter to Sri Lanka from 2017.
     
Pakistan Air Force's PAC JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft
     
The Taiwan based news website Want China Times, quoting a report in Pakistan-based 92NewsHD, said Sri Lanka will become the first foreign country to acquire the JF-17 Thunder, otherwise known as the FC-1 Xiaolong or "Fierce Dragon,".

The lightweight, single-engine combat aircraft is developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation of China. The JF-17 can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception.

According to the report, Sri Lanka's order, which could be for around 18-24 aircraft, confirmed claims made at the 51st Paris Air Show last week that the first contract for the sale of the JF-17 had been signed with "an Asian country".

Rumors that Sri Lanka might be the first to export the JF-17 arose earlier this month when a photo of the office of a Sri Lankan air force commander revealed a scale model of the JF-17.

According to the web site, the Pakistan Air Force has announced that they will begin delivery of the JF-17 to Sri Lanka from 2017, while the Pakistani and Chinese developers of the fighter will continue efforts to promote the aircraft to other countries.

However, Sri Lanka Air Force Spokesperson, Wing Commander Gihan Seneviratne has told local newspaper Daily Mirror that although both Pakistan and China have indicated the availability of the fighter jet and proposals have been submitted on the availability of the aircraft, the Sri Lanka Air Force has not made any decision on purchasing them.

Sri Lanka Air Force currently uses seven J-7 fighter jets and nine Y-12 transport aircraft acquired from China.