In July 2015, Myanmar ordered 16 JF-17s from Pakistan and China. In late 2015, Myanmar ordered 16 RD-93 spare engines from Russia, which were received in 2018 and 2019. On 17 December 2018, Jane’s disclosed that the Myanmar Air Force had received the first batch of JF-17Ms. An official Myanmar Air Force video released on Air Force day showcased several JF-17s, both on static display and in the air. The Myanmar Air Force has taken delivery of 7 JF-17M Block 2s – 5 JF-17As and 2 JF-17Bs.
Myanmar Defence Review reported that with the induction of modern new aircraft equipped with precision-guided munitions, for the first time in history, MAF now has extensive night attack capabilities. Night attack capable aircraft are more deadly at night. Since the enemy can’t see the aircraft, they only have the option to shoot in the general direction of the sound from the aircraft. Therefore the aircraft can effectively engage the ground targets by using both guided and unguided munitions without any hindrance.
The PAC JF-17 Thunder is a lightweight, single-engine, fourth-generation multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China. It was designed to replace the A-5C, F-7P/PG, Mirage III, and Mirage V combat aircraft in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The JF-17 can be used for multiple roles, including interception, ground attack, anti-ship, and aerial reconnaissance. The Pakistani designation “JF-17” stands for “Joint Fighter-17”, with the “-17” denoting that, in the PAF’s vision, it is the successor to the F-16.
The JF-17 can deploy diverse ordnance, including air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, including anti-ship missiles, and a 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel autocannon. Powered by a Guizhou WS-13 or Klimov RD-93 after burning turbofan, it has a top speed of Mach 1.6. The JF-17 is the backbone and workhorse of the PAF, complementing the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon at approximately half the cost. In 2017, PAC/CAC began developing a dual-seat variant known as the JF-17B for enhanced operational capability, conversion training, and lead-in fighter training. The JF-17B Block 2 variant went into serial production at PAC in 2018.