JF-17B fighter makes first flight

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A dual-seat variant of the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet co-developed by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and China took its maiden test flight in Chengdu, China, on April 28, 2017, PAF said in a statement. The JF-17B “is currently entering the testing phase”, PAF said, terming the development of the dual-seater “a major milestone toward self-reliance”.

The PAF press release said the aircraft is needed to boost the operational and training capabilities of the Pakistan Air Force: “It will further enhance the advanced combat training of PAF fighter pilots on this indigenous war fighting machine.”

Development of the JF-17 aircraft began in 1999 with its first flight in 2003. The first JF-17B was unveiled by Pakistan and China during a joint ceremony at Chengdu Aerospace Corporation last year.

May 3, 2017

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