PM Mahatir Muhammad and the Malaysian delegates have been busy in talks with their Pakistani counterparts since their arrival in Islamabad on Thursday.
After one such talk on Friday, Minister of Finance Asad Umar revealed to the media that the Malaysia has shown interest in acquiring the JF-17 Fighter jets from Pakistan. He added that the Malaysian officials have encouraged the Pakistani side to further impress Malaysia’s defense experts by demonstrating the jet in an exhibition.
The Royal Malaysian Air force (RMAF) has been in a crisis situation since 2018 due to unavailability of fighter jets. After grounding the aging Migs and Sukhois awaiting maintenance RMAF is left with 8 F/A-18 Hornets, some British Hawks Mk108s and Italian Aermacchi MB339s.
JF-17 Thunder can be an affordable solution to RMAF’s current problems. Preliminary talks of the export of fighter jet were held in April 2018.
In the past, Pakistan Ordinance factory has provided Malaysia with Anza Mk1 in 2002 and Anza Mk2 in 2007 (A shoulder-fired Surface to Air Missile developed by KRL).
Pakistan expects deals and MoUs worth more than USD 900 million to be signed during this visit. A fighter Jet deal will further strengthen the diplomatic and military relations between the two countries.