Islamabad [Pakistan], August 13 (ANI): Cracks on the engine, poor serviceability, high maintenance and the deteriorating performance of JF-17 have made the Chinese designed JF-17 Thunder aircraft a liability for the Pakistan Air Force, as per a media report.
In 1999, when Beijing and Islamabad signed the deal on joint production of the JF-17, it was touted as a combat jet comparable to Su-30 MKI, Mig-29 and Mirage-2000. The reality, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is finding out much to its chagrin, is nowhere near the boastful claims made by the Chinese, Daily Sun reported.
The JF-17 RD-93 aero-engines’ propensity to emit black smoke can make it an easy target of the enemy during close aerial combat. As time passed, Islamabad complained multiple times to Beijing about the aircraft and its engine’s vulnerabilities, China tried to replace the engine. But as the engine RD-93 is a Russian one, Beijing faced difficulties in accessing spare parts and other assistance from Russia due to sanctions.
Now, Beijing is developing Guizhou WS-13 Taishan, a new engine to replace the Russian engines from JF-17. But this will take a long time as the engine is still to be developed. (ANI)