JF-17 Thunder project â€˜flagshipâ€™ of Pak-China friendship: PM http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\09\story_9-2-2011_pg7_10 Staff Report ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday extended the governmentâ€™s full support for the continuity of JF-17 Thunder aircraft programme, saying the project would prove to be a flagship of the Pak-China friendship. â€œThis project can truly become a flagship of our historic cooperation and strengthen our time-tested partnership,â€ Gilani said while addressing a gathering of the Pakistani and Chinese technicians during his visit to the JF-17 production facility at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra. Prime Minister Gilani expressed his satisfaction and pride on successful achievement of JF-17 programme milestones and reiterated to provide full support for the project. While speaking on the occasion, the prime minister said, â€œThe JF-17 programme is one of the major on going joint projects between Pakistan and our strategic partner China. This project can truly be termed as the flagship of our historic cooperation and its success would certainly strengthen out time tested friendshipâ€. â€œThe support provided by China in JF-17 programme and in several other projects is greatly cherished by every Pakistani. I believe, the success of this project would write another glorious chapter in the long history of our cooperation,â€ he said. He said, â€œThe Pakistan Air Force, with its initiatives like JF-17 programme, is not only rendering valuable services for strengthening the national defence but is also affording a valuable opportunity to the countryâ€™s youth. An opportunity involving a more constructive and positive approach to life that offers education, livelihood and training, leading to a better life and respect in the league of nations.â€ Gilani witnessed the remarkable progress made in co-production of JF-17 aircraft during his visit to the facility. General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force were also present at the occasion. The PM was also given a presentation on the progress made on development and co-production of the JF-17 aircraft in Pakistan. JF-17 project is a national programme, which has successfully completed many milestones on the road to accomplishing various phases of conception, development and production. By virtue of this programme, Pakistan now stands proudly amongst the group of select countries, which are manufacturing modern combat aircraft. The cost-effective, multi-role combat aircraft has been specifically designed to meet the tactical and strategic needs of the Pakistan Air Force. The first batch of the high performance, low-cost 50 JF-17 Thunder aircraft will be equipped with Chinese and Pakistani avionics and missiles, while later aircraft will sport more advanced radars and missiles.