Argentina’s Top Army Official Visits Pakistan to Inspect JF-17 Thunder Fighters

Argentina’s Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Juan Martin Paleo, recently visited Pakistan to inspect PAF’s JF-17 Thunder fighter jets, which Argentina will procure in the coming months.

During his visit, General Juan toured Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra where he was briefed about the capabilities of JF-17 Thunder Block III 4+ generation multirole fighter aircraft.

He was also apprised of PAC’s world-class fighter aircraft production capabilities, and the already-proven ability to deliver aircraft on time and on the customer’s required specifications.

Besides, General Juan also called upon the senior administration of PAC Kamra and senior officials of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

Earlier this year in June, General Juan also visited Pakistan. During this visit, he called on the Chief of Air Staff of PAF, Air Chief Marshal, Zaheer Ahmad Babar.

Both top officials discussed bilateral military cooperation, including the acquisition of JF-17 fighter jets.

In December 2020, Argentina decided to procure JF-17 Thunder fighter jets after South Korea refused to supply Argentine Air Force FA-50 fighter jets due to diplomatic pressure from the UK, which is Argentina’s geopolitical rival.

Ties between the UK and Argentina have been strained since the 1980s after the latter invaded British Overseas Territories (BOTS), namely the Falkland Islands and its territorial dependency South Georgia, and the South Sandwich Islands in 1982. The move resulted in a 10-week long undeclared Falklands War that ended with a British victory.

Defense experts are of the view that the acquisition of JF-17 Block-III fighter jets by the AAF could have significant political and military ramifications for the UK next to the Falkland Islands and the South Sandwich Islands.

In September 2021, the Argentine government officially earmarked $664 million in the country’s 2022 budget for the purchase of 12 JF-17 Thunder fighter jets, of which 10 will be single-seater and 2 dual-seater.

About JF-17 Block-III

The JF-17 Block III is a supersonic, multi-role 4+ generation fighter aircraft. It is capable of performing combat air patrol, air interdiction, beyond visual range integrated battle, long-range maritime strikes, standoff range precision ground strikes, anti-radiation SEAD/DEAD missions, and electronic warfare.

Its primary weapon is the PL-15 active radar-guided long-range air-to-air missile with an operational range of more than 180 km. Its secondary weapon is the PL-10 IR missile which is a short-range air-to-air missile with an operational range of 20 km.

The JF-17 has a top speed of Mach 2.0, a service ceiling of over 55,000 feet, and a newer and much more powerful engine than its predecessors.

It also features superior sensor fusion and avionics (especially electronic warfare systems), a large HUD and Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) targeting systems, and 8 hardpoints for the assortment of missiles.

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