SHAH ALAM: JF-17 at LIMA 19. Sino Pakistani JF-17 may make it’s debut in Malaysia this March, if everything goes to plan that is.
No one has confirmed the participation of the JF-17 but the likely debut of the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Tejas LCA at the biennial Langkawi air show this March, will definitely put pressure on Pakistan to send it’s own fighter jet to Malaysia.
Avic/PAC JF-17. Wikipedia commons
I was told that the Lima organisers had already asked the Pakistan government, defense ministry and the manufacturer, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) to get at least one JF-17 – even on static display – at LIMA 19. I was told the response have been lukewarm so far so the news that HAL is sending the Tejas to Langkawi may change the equation.
AVIC/PAC JF-17. YouTube
Again, it must be noted that both India and Pakistan have not yet confirmed officially that they are bringing their aircraft to Langkawi. Both countries have been invited to bring their military planes and ships to Langkawi for LIMA and it is likely both are willing to that. Bringing the Tejas and JF-17 are the icing in the cake as people like to say.
AVIC/PAC JF-17. Wikipedia
Recently pictures and videos of JF-17 in service with Myanmar Air Force were uploaded to various social media channels, proof that it is the first export customer of the type. Myanmar together with China and Pakistan have yet to confirm officially that the aircraft are in service in the neighbouring Asean country, however.
AVIC/PAC KF-17 of Myanmar Air Force. Internet.
Whether or not this will have any effect on the aircraft potential for RMAF, is beyond me. I am of the opinion that both the Tejas and JF-17 are not suitable for Malaysia, however. My opinion is of course not important.
The JF-17 has had a charmed life in Malaysia with Reuters news agency reporting that it was among the candidates for the MRCA project. It was never, ever considered actually for the MRCA.
As for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) requirement of which the Tejas is also being pushed for, the project remains in the wish list of the RMAF and it’s not yet been green lighted. Perhaps within late this year we may have inkling whether the funding will be made available or not. The attitude which prevailed over Jalan Padang Tembak – the same one for the last 40 years – does not inspire confidence,
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