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Pakistan began on Tuesday the mass assembly of a JF-17 fighter
Pakistan began on Tuesday the mass assembly of a JF-17 fighter at an aircraft-manufacturing plant in the northwest of the country, national television reported.

The JF-17 Thunder, also known as the FC-1 Fierce Dragon in China, is a single-seat multirole fighter aircraft developed by China and Pakistan. About 50% of the on-board equipment and avionics for the fighter will be manufactured in Pakistan at the Kamra plant, while the rest of the assembly parts are to come from China.

Pakistani Air Force Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed, said last year that 15 aircraft would be manufactured in 2008, and a further 20 next year, with an ultimate goal of achieving the capability to manufacture 25 to 30 aircraft per year.

Pakistan has announced that it could procure 150-300 aircraft to meet the tactical and strategic needs of its Air Force and to replace the Chengdu F-7P fighters in current service.

Beijing delivered two $20-mln JF-17 fighters equipped with Russian-made RD-93 engines to Pakistan in March 2007, prompting Indian protests. India claimed the deal was a violation of the end-user agreement between Russia and China.


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