Pakistan’s JF-17 fighter jets are set for a major upgrade that will see the warplane jointly developed by Islamabad and Beijing on par with an improved version of the U.S.-made F-16s.
The upcoming major upgrade are set to include an advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and a helmet-mounted sight (HMS) system, in addition to improved information warfare and weapon capabilities.
According to a chief designer on the JF-17 project, the upcoming Block 3 variant would, supposedly, make it a match for the “improved version of the F-16 fighter jet.”
The improved JF-17 will receive an edge in close-range combat with enemy jets and share information with “other platforms” thanks to the addition of a datalink system.
The JF-17 was originally developed to replace the PAF’s aging fleet of Dassault Mirage III/5 fighter jets by the early 2020s. The PAF is expected to induct 150 JF-17 combat aircraft over the next years, split into three productions blocks: Block I, Block II, and Block-III. PAC has so far produced 50 Block I aircraft and over 60 Block II JF-17s.