In a bid to achieve self-reliance and indigenization, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has inaugurated its JF-17 Integration Facility last week. Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force was the chief guest for the ceremony where the first batch of 8 dual seat JF-17 was also rolled out.
Yao Jing, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, and Hao Zhaoping, Executive Vice President, Aviation Industries of China (AVIC) were also in attendance.
Working under the Avionics Production Factory, the facility is located at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra. This, along with a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) site at PAC and an RD-93 engine overhaul capability at Air Engineering Depot 102 at PAF Base Faisal, are likely to ensure complete support for the JF-17 for which Pakistan had to depend on China and subsystems from European countries including France and Turkey.
Now Pakistan will be able to assemble, install, test and qualify advanced weapon packages and electronics subsystems.
The timing of the launch highlights PAF’s resolve to strengthen its arsenal through local weaponry subsystems and custom electronics for its JF-17s.
With the first phase of trial tests already done in China, Pakistan will look to complete the integration and final flight tests at its own facilities. The main role of the newly launched facility will be to integrate avionics and weapon systems of choice to JF-17s.
To give you an account of PAF’s capabilities, it has already completed the integration of a stand-off weapon (SOW) in 2017 and 2019, and with the addition of a dedicated integration facility, the air force will further step up its game.
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