JF-17 Thunder: Its Remarkable Capabilities And Astounding Performance In The Paris Air Show

JF-17 thunder

They say “Pakistan and China are all-weather friends”, which is quite right. Pakistan was among the first countries that recognized the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in her initial days. Ever since then, both countries have established cordial relationships. JF-17 Thunder is one of the evidence of their warm friendship.

PM Imran Khan Meeting Chinese President Xi Jin Ping

Source: The News

Moreover, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has truly followed the saying “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” when it comes to Pakistan. China has always helped Pakistan in adverse times.

One of the biggest projects of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) is China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In the construction of the project, China is providing Pakistan more than 62 Billion Dollars. The flagship has project further strengthened the friendship of the two neighbors.

Read Also: Is China Really Looking To Colonize Pakistan Via CPEC?

PAC JF-17 Thunder

The JF-17 is developed with the joint efforts of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China. The aircraft is a multi-performance, lightweight and an aircraft operated with a single-engine. The JF-17 can be utilized for aerial surveillance, ground attack, and aircraft interference. In Pakistan, it is called “JF-17 ” or “Joint Fighter-17” and in China, it is called “FC-1 Xiaolong” short for “Fighter China-1 Fierce Dragon”.

The JF-17 can deploy various ammunition, including a 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel. It has a top speed of 1.8 Mach; it has powerful Guizhou WS-13 or Klimov RD-93  engine.


Besides, JF-17 is the backbone of Pakistan airforce and Pakistan relies heavily on the aircraft owing to its efficiency. It became operational in the year 2008, in Pakistan. The total cost of the joint programme is US$ 500 million.

JF-17 Thunder, PAF

Source: Dunya News


As per Pakistan Aeronautical Complex brochure

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 14.93 m (49 ft)
  • Wingspan: 9.48 m (31.1 ft, including 2 wingtip missiles)
  • Height: 4.72 m (15.5 ft)
  • Wing area: 24.43 m² (263 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 6,586 kg (14,520 lb)
  • Useful load: 4,325 kg (9,535 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 12,383 kg (29,750 lb)
  • G-limit: +8 g / -3 g
  • Internal Fuel Capacity: 2,329 kg (5,135 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Klimov RD-93 Afterburning Turbofan, with DEEC
    • Dry thrust: 49.4 kN (11,105 lbf) 
    • Thrust with afterburner: 85.3 kN (19,180 lbf)


  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.6 (1,960.1 km/h; 1,217.9 mph)
  • Service ceiling: 16,916 m (55,500 ft)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.95.


  • Guns: 1× 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel cannon
  • Hardpoints: 7 in total (4 × under-wing, 2 × wing-tip, 1 × under-fuselage)
  • Missiles: **Air-to-air missiles:
      • PL-5EII (Short-range)
      • SD-10A (Beyond visual range)
    • Air-to-surface missiles:
      • CM-102 Anti-radiation missile 
      • C-802AK Anti-ship missile 
      • CM-400AKG Anti-ship missile 
  • Bombs:
    • Unguided bombs:
      • Mk-82 (General-purpose bomb)
      • Mk-83 (General-purpose bomb)
      • Mk-84 (General-purpose bomb)
      • Matra Durandal (Anti-runway bomb)
      • Rockeye Mk-20 (Anti-armour cluster bomb)
    • Guided bombs:
      • GBU-12 (Laser-guided bomb)
      • GBU-16 (Laser-guided bomb)
      • GBU-10 (Laser-guided bomb)
      • LS-6 (GPS/INS guided bomb)
      • Range Extension Kit (GPS/INS guided bomb) 
  • Others:
    • GDJ-II19 dual ejection rack 
    • Countermeasures (Flares, Chaff) 
    • Up to 3 external drop tanks (1 × centreline drop tank 800 liters and 2 × under-wing drop tanks 800/1100 liters) for extended range/loitering time 


  • KLJ-7 V2 Airborne Pulse Doppler Fire Control Radar
  • Externally mounted avionics pods:
    • AselPOD EO/IR Targeting System
    • KG300G Airborne Self-Protection Jamming Pod


JF-17 And The Paris Show 2019

In Paris, France the 53rd Paris Air Show held from 17th June to 23rd June 2019 at Le Bourget Airport. Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, inaugurated the show.

The spectacular performance of avionic virtuosity and maneuverability declared Pakistan’s growth in the aeronautics sector. PAF’s JF-17 Thunder has been chosen to perform on each day of the 53rd Paris Air Show.

Let’s have a look at the performance  JF-17 on day 1

The breathtaking show by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) pilot, Wing Commander Zeeshan Baryar left the viewers amazed. The spectators were astonished to see this smooth and quick multirole JF-17 thunder aircraft competing with the French produced Rafale, which also appeared performed at the Paris Air Show.
Check out the complete live video of the Paris Show
Undoubtedly, the performance of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) with its JF-17 thunder surprised the whole world. Many considering, JF-17 thunder a better option than French-made Rafale. It is not the first time that JF 17 stole the show, it has done it in yesteryears too on many Air Shows across the globe.
In a nutshell, Pakistan JF-17 thunder is proud of Pakistan. The machine is fast, agile and powerful. The immense power of its engine Guizhou WS-13 or Klimov RD-93 makes it one of the best fighting jets around the world.
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