JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, manufactured by Pakistan with the cooperation of China is getting international recognition with more export orders.
While Nigeria and Myanmar have already inducted these jets in their fleet, Argentina is the latest country which has shown its intent to purchase twelve JF-17 Thunder Block III aircraft.
The South American country has officially included $664m funding for purchase of the fighter jets in a draft budget for 2022.
What is really a matter of satisfaction for us is that the Argentinean Air Force selected our aircraft rejecting offers from other countries such as the US, Russia and India.
Undoubtedly, there is tremendous potential for JF-17 as it carries a lot of value at a low price to meet specific defence requirements.
While our flying machine has already proved its capability and agility during a dogfight with India back in 2019, the latest version of JF-17 Thunder is a supersonic, multi-role 4 plus generation fighter aircraft able to perform combat air patrol, air interdiction, beyond visual range integrated battle, long range maritime strikes, standoff range precision ground strikes and electronic warfare.
We are confident that this purchase by Argentina will prove to be an important milestone and also spur new buyers from other destinations.
In the past countries such as Malaysia, Azerbaijan and Egypt have also expressed their interest in our aircraft and we need to engage with them in order to get export orders from there as well.
The sale of these aircraft is good news for our defence industry, which has become well established over the years.
It has developed the potential of not only domestically meeting its requirements but also export products to other countries. Our Al-Zarrar tanks have made their way to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Nigeria.
The sale of fighter jets in fact will also help us further strengthen our defence industry on modern lines and earn valuable foreign exchange.
Given excellent relations that Pakistan enjoys both with China and Turkey, our authorities concerned should also explore further opportunities of entering into joint defence ventures with these countries.