JF-17 Thunder / FC-1 Xiaolong

lcafanboy

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Why is Pakistan's JF-17 fighter a failure

The aircraft is far from its conceived capabilities as it is a low cost fighter developed with low quality Chinese avionics and weapons



In 1999, Pakistan and China signed an agreement to jointly develop and produce the JF-17 "Thunder" and equally share the development cost. The JF-17 was planned to be a low cost, light-weight, all-weather multi-role fighter with a Chinese airframe, equipped with Western avionics and powered by the Russian Klimov RD 93 aeroengine. Pakistan envisaged a fighter aircraft comparable to the Su-30MKI, Mig-29 and Mirage-2000. China even stated that it would induct the aircraft due to its superior capabilities. However, the aircraft is far from its conceived capabilities as it is a low cost fighter developed with low quality Chinese avionics and weapons. PAF has found that the Operations and Maintenance cost of JF-17 aircraft is very high as compared to modern weapon systems and needs to be reduced to make operations more cost effective. China, Pakistan's all weather friend, having spent a significant amount of money on developing the fighter, most probably forced Pakistan to accept Chinese avionics to offset some of its development costs.

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra is supposed to have a 58% share in production, but this is far from reality. Kamra procures raw material and production kits of important systems from China and assembles the JF-17 at Aircraft Manufacturing Factory, Kamra. PAC only manufactures some sub-assemblies like the wings, front fuselage and tail with material once again imported from China. While most of the systems are Chinese, South African and European, the ejection seat is from Martin Baker (UK). Therefore, it is fit to call PAC Kamra, a subassembly line which integrates all these components onto a full metal semi-monocoque airframe, which too mostly is manufactured in CAIC, China.

Since its operational induction in 2009, PAF has inducted more than 115 aircraft. The much awaited dual seat trainer aircraft has also been manufactured and recently inducted ceremoniously in December 2020. The induction ceremony was a mere formality as most of the trainer aircraft are unserviceable. There are five operational JF-17 squadrons and a Flight at Combat Commanders' School, which PAF overstates as the sixth squadron. Possibly a seventh training squadron would have been formed with the induction of the trainer version. The aircraft is available in two Blocks or variants. A third Block, which is supposed to be more advanced with better avionics and AESA radar, is still under development.

A modern fighter requires having reliable systems on board with minimal maintenance problems. The aircraft's capability is judged by the avionics, weapons and engine equipping it and the JF-17 fails to hit the mark in most areas. This was amply displayed on 27 Feb 19, during its poor performance against Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 and SU-30s, during an attempted retaliation to IAF targeting a Pakistani terrorist establishment. In the Air Defence role, it indigenous Link-17 data link is not only unreliable; it does not have sufficient data transfer rate and can never be integrated with the F-16 fighter's Link-16 to give the aircraft true interoperability capability. The "Thunder" does not have even an effective BVR or Airborne Interception radar. While touted to be the next best PAF fighter after the F-16, its unremarkable low endurance, poor accuracy and low weapon carrying capability were amply demonstrated on 27 February 2019, with all its Range Extension Kit (REK) bombs failing to hit the target in the face of effective jamming and attacks by Indian fighters. This has been publicly accepted by its politicians recently and PAF's lame excuse of the REK bombs being a token response without intent of causing casualties is hard to believe.

The heart of the JF-17 avionics is the KLJ-7 Al radar and Weapon Mission Management Computer (WMMC). Both systems are fraught with problems. KLJ-7 radar has multiple modes, but exhibits degraded behaviour and experiences several operational and maintenance problems since the beginning of the JF-17 project. Despite Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology forwarding recommendations for its improvement, the radar continues to experience high failure rates. The WMMC has limited capacity and a high failure rate of a number of its modules, including the Main Computer module. Malfunction of the WMMC has caused Launch Zones of Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles to shrink during combat exercises. Due to its unreliability, PAC is now attempting to indigenise the WMMCs. The weapon load that the aircraft can carry is also not remarkable. Its integral 23 mm Gun initially experienced gun stoppages in the air and now has problems with the 23 mm round bursting. Other than the Chinese SD-10 BVR, REK and C-802AK ant-ship missile, the aircraft carries the normal weapon load of a MiG-21. Efforts to integrate the aircraft with other Chinese weapons are in progress, but with limited success.

One of the main reasons for JF-17's dismal performance is because the aircraft has a single Russian RD-93 engine and it is renowned for its repeated failures and poor reliability since inception. A large number of engines experience cracks on Engine Guide Vanes, Exhaust Nozzle and Flame Stabaliser. The poor serviceability state of the RD-93 engines is a weak area and PAF has repeatedly expressed serious concerns to China on the quality of maintenance and high repair cost of the engines. Of late, China is also facing problems of procuring spares for the engine from Russia due to embargoes placed on financial transactions. The engine cannot be directly sourced by Pakistan from the OEM or further exported by it. China on its part plans to replace the engine with a Chinese WS-13 under development. Therefore future Chinese support for the RD-93 may not be readily available as China would want operators to replace the RD-93 with WS-13. The high rate of unserviceability, recurring snags on the engine and poor spares supply, makes JF-17 aircraft costly and a less reliable platform. It also reduces the availability of combat aircraft.

There are a number of other nagging problems on the JF-17 which have not been resolved. The Nose Landing Gear shimmies while taxing and a number of aircraft experience nose wheel vibrations. Ventral tails have been found to be cracked, indicating poor metallurgy or design. Even the four aircraft gifted to Myanmar by China have developed cracks in the Ventral Tail. Though Nigeria is procuring three aircraft, Sri Lanka was wise enough, shelving its plan of doing so. Nigeria's experience with the Super Mushshak trainer aircraft that it bought from Pakistan was also not pleasant with the aircraft plagued with numerous maintenance problems and extremely high maintenance costs charged by the Pakistanis.

PAF torn toms the aircraft at important air shows. However, its air display during the 2019 Paris Air Show was lacklustre, especially in the low speed run. So uninspiring is its performance, China which led its development isn't even inducting a single unit of the type, preferring the more capable J-10 fighter, now being eyed by Pakistan. Though its cheap at its purported price in 2018 at $25 million per fighter, with the Pak Rupee depreciating almost 30% over the past year, it would eventually cost much higher.

Moreover, with Government of Pakistan's inability to shore up its financial situation, any new customer of the JF-17 would find it extremely difficult to get material and spares support which Pakistan needs to procure from China. Pakistan's financial problems have led to it default on its payments to China for the JF-17 project with a large outstanding amount of over a few hundred million dollars. Even if China is able to supply these spares, it will do so at exorbitant prices which escalate every year, as it does with Pakistan. Pakistan has expended more than USD $3 billion on acquiring these 3.5 generation fighters. Whether this expenditure was truly worthwhile, is a question Pakistani tax payers must ask.


Ooops reality is out and it bites. Flying coffin FC-17..🙃🙃
 

Satybharat

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Why is Pakistan's JF-17 fighter a failure

The aircraft is far from its conceived capabilities as it is a low cost fighter developed with low quality Chinese avionics and weapons



In 1999, Pakistan and China signed an agreement to jointly develop and produce the JF-17 "Thunder" and equally share the development cost. The JF-17 was planned to be a low cost, light-weight, all-weather multi-role fighter with a Chinese airframe, equipped with Western avionics and powered by the Russian Klimov RD 93 aeroengine. Pakistan envisaged a fighter aircraft comparable to the Su-30MKI, Mig-29 and Mirage-2000. China even stated that it would induct the aircraft due to its superior capabilities. However, the aircraft is far from its conceived capabilities as it is a low cost fighter developed with low quality Chinese avionics and weapons. PAF has found that the Operations and Maintenance cost of JF-17 aircraft is very high as compared to modern weapon systems and needs to be reduced to make operations more cost effective. China, Pakistan's all weather friend, having spent a significant amount of money on developing the fighter, most probably forced Pakistan to accept Chinese avionics to offset some of its development costs.

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra is supposed to have a 58% share in production, but this is far from reality. Kamra procures raw material and production kits of important systems from China and assembles the JF-17 at Aircraft Manufacturing Factory, Kamra. PAC only manufactures some sub-assemblies like the wings, front fuselage and tail with material once again imported from China. While most of the systems are Chinese, South African and European, the ejection seat is from Martin Baker (UK). Therefore, it is fit to call PAC Kamra, a subassembly line which integrates all these components onto a full metal semi-monocoque airframe, which too mostly is manufactured in CAIC, China.

Since its operational induction in 2009, PAF has inducted more than 115 aircraft. The much awaited dual seat trainer aircraft has also been manufactured and recently inducted ceremoniously in December 2020. The induction ceremony was a mere formality as most of the trainer aircraft are unserviceable. There are five operational JF-17 squadrons and a Flight at Combat Commanders' School, which PAF overstates as the sixth squadron. Possibly a seventh training squadron would have been formed with the induction of the trainer version. The aircraft is available in two Blocks or variants. A third Block, which is supposed to be more advanced with better avionics and AESA radar, is still under development.

A modern fighter requires having reliable systems on board with minimal maintenance problems. The aircraft's capability is judged by the avionics, weapons and engine equipping it and the JF-17 fails to hit the mark in most areas. This was amply displayed on 27 Feb 19, during its poor performance against Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 and SU-30s, during an attempted retaliation to IAF targeting a Pakistani terrorist establishment. In the Air Defence role, it indigenous Link-17 data link is not only unreliable; it does not have sufficient data transfer rate and can never be integrated with the F-16 fighter's Link-16 to give the aircraft true interoperability capability. The "Thunder" does not have even an effective BVR or Airborne Interception radar. While touted to be the next best PAF fighter after the F-16, its unremarkable low endurance, poor accuracy and low weapon carrying capability were amply demonstrated on 27 February 2019, with all its Range Extension Kit (REK) bombs failing to hit the target in the face of effective jamming and attacks by Indian fighters. This has been publicly accepted by its politicians recently and PAF's lame excuse of the REK bombs being a token response without intent of causing casualties is hard to believe.

The heart of the JF-17 avionics is the KLJ-7 Al radar and Weapon Mission Management Computer (WMMC). Both systems are fraught with problems. KLJ-7 radar has multiple modes, but exhibits degraded behaviour and experiences several operational and maintenance problems since the beginning of the JF-17 project. Despite Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology forwarding recommendations for its improvement, the radar continues to experience high failure rates. The WMMC has limited capacity and a high failure rate of a number of its modules, including the Main Computer module. Malfunction of the WMMC has caused Launch Zones of Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles to shrink during combat exercises. Due to its unreliability, PAC is now attempting to indigenise the WMMCs. The weapon load that the aircraft can carry is also not remarkable. Its integral 23 mm Gun initially experienced gun stoppages in the air and now has problems with the 23 mm round bursting. Other than the Chinese SD-10 BVR, REK and C-802AK ant-ship missile, the aircraft carries the normal weapon load of a MiG-21. Efforts to integrate the aircraft with other Chinese weapons are in progress, but with limited success.

One of the main reasons for JF-17's dismal performance is because the aircraft has a single Russian RD-93 engine and it is renowned for its repeated failures and poor reliability since inception. A large number of engines experience cracks on Engine Guide Vanes, Exhaust Nozzle and Flame Stabaliser. The poor serviceability state of the RD-93 engines is a weak area and PAF has repeatedly expressed serious concerns to China on the quality of maintenance and high repair cost of the engines. Of late, China is also facing problems of procuring spares for the engine from Russia due to embargoes placed on financial transactions. The engine cannot be directly sourced by Pakistan from the OEM or further exported by it. China on its part plans to replace the engine with a Chinese WS-13 under development. Therefore future Chinese support for the RD-93 may not be readily available as China would want operators to replace the RD-93 with WS-13. The high rate of unserviceability, recurring snags on the engine and poor spares supply, makes JF-17 aircraft costly and a less reliable platform. It also reduces the availability of combat aircraft.

There are a number of other nagging problems on the JF-17 which have not been resolved. The Nose Landing Gear shimmies while taxing and a number of aircraft experience nose wheel vibrations. Ventral tails have been found to be cracked, indicating poor metallurgy or design. Even the four aircraft gifted to Myanmar by China have developed cracks in the Ventral Tail. Though Nigeria is procuring three aircraft, Sri Lanka was wise enough, shelving its plan of doing so. Nigeria's experience with the Super Mushshak trainer aircraft that it bought from Pakistan was also not pleasant with the aircraft plagued with numerous maintenance problems and extremely high maintenance costs charged by the Pakistanis.

PAF torn toms the aircraft at important air shows. However, its air display during the 2019 Paris Air Show was lacklustre, especially in the low speed run. So uninspiring is its performance, China which led its development isn't even inducting a single unit of the type, preferring the more capable J-10 fighter, now being eyed by Pakistan. Though its cheap at its purported price in 2018 at $25 million per fighter, with the Pak Rupee depreciating almost 30% over the past year, it would eventually cost much higher.

Moreover, with Government of Pakistan's inability to shore up its financial situation, any new customer of the JF-17 would find it extremely difficult to get material and spares support which Pakistan needs to procure from China. Pakistan's financial problems have led to it default on its payments to China for the JF-17 project with a large outstanding amount of over a few hundred million dollars. Even if China is able to supply these spares, it will do so at exorbitant prices which escalate every year, as it does with Pakistan. Pakistan has expended more than USD $3 billion on acquiring these 3.5 generation fighters. Whether this expenditure was truly worthwhile, is a question Pakistani tax payers must ask.


Ooops reality is out and it bites. Flying coffin FC-17..🙃🙃
China is looting Pakistan royally
 

Maharaj samudragupt

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Myanmar bought FC1 and not JF-17.
They named it Ruby Thunder.
I am trying to make a distinction because I feel the IP of FC1 is with China ( exclusively) and JF17 is jointly held between Pak & China.

You can think of Barak8 and MR SAM as an example. Barak 8 IP is with Israel exclusively, while MR SAM is jointly hold. MR-SAM has India supplied parts while Barak 8 is 100% Israeli product.

One may argue, JF17 and FC1 are one and the same. Correct. But only it ended up like that in the end as Pakistan couldn't secure western avionics and Italian radar for it.
JF17 was meant to be Chinese design with western avionics.

So, although Pak may be happy with the sale to Myanmar. I don't think they got paid as an IP partner. What they might have got paid for was as component supplier/ vendor.

It is probably agreed upon by both the parties that countries where China has influence, China will market FC1 and where Pakistan has influence, JF17 will be marketed.

In Nigeria both China and Pakistan had influence but Pakistan Air force had worked closely with Nigerian airforce in the past while servicing the Nigerian F7. Also they have/ had trained air officers of NAF. So Pakistan took the lead and so JF-17 was sold.

In terms of veto to sale either FC1/ JF17 to a third country, China has veto on sale of both FC1 and JF-17 but Pakistan has no veto for FC1 sales.
The same was observed in the sale of FC1 to Myanmar. The deal was made public when Pakistan had taken a strong stand against Myanmar over Rohingya issue.
It was a loss of face for GoP, as it was accused of duplicity. Opposing Myanmar over Rohingya but approving sale of Fighter jets to the same country. But did they really give consent? Or were they even asked for consent? I tend to agree with the second.
Or brahmos and oniks 800 missile .
 

Maharaj samudragupt

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I read the article , felt like maths.
 

IndianHawk

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Why is Pakistan's JF-17 fighter a failure

The aircraft is far from its conceived capabilities as it is a low cost fighter developed with low quality Chinese avionics and weapons



In 1999, Pakistan and China signed an agreement to jointly develop and produce the JF-17 "Thunder" and equally share the development cost. The JF-17 was planned to be a low cost, light-weight, all-weather multi-role fighter with a Chinese airframe, equipped with Western avionics and powered by the Russian Klimov RD 93 aeroengine. Pakistan envisaged a fighter aircraft comparable to the Su-30MKI, Mig-29 and Mirage-2000. China even stated that it would induct the aircraft due to its superior capabilities. However, the aircraft is far from its conceived capabilities as it is a low cost fighter developed with low quality Chinese avionics and weapons. PAF has found that the Operations and Maintenance cost of JF-17 aircraft is very high as compared to modern weapon systems and needs to be reduced to make operations more cost effective. China, Pakistan's all weather friend, having spent a significant amount of money on developing the fighter, most probably forced Pakistan to accept Chinese avionics to offset some of its development costs.

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra is supposed to have a 58% share in production, but this is far from reality. Kamra procures raw material and production kits of important systems from China and assembles the JF-17 at Aircraft Manufacturing Factory, Kamra. PAC only manufactures some sub-assemblies like the wings, front fuselage and tail with material once again imported from China. While most of the systems are Chinese, South African and European, the ejection seat is from Martin Baker (UK). Therefore, it is fit to call PAC Kamra, a subassembly line which integrates all these components onto a full metal semi-monocoque airframe, which too mostly is manufactured in CAIC, China.

Since its operational induction in 2009, PAF has inducted more than 115 aircraft. The much awaited dual seat trainer aircraft has also been manufactured and recently inducted ceremoniously in December 2020. The induction ceremony was a mere formality as most of the trainer aircraft are unserviceable. There are five operational JF-17 squadrons and a Flight at Combat Commanders' School, which PAF overstates as the sixth squadron. Possibly a seventh training squadron would have been formed with the induction of the trainer version. The aircraft is available in two Blocks or variants. A third Block, which is supposed to be more advanced with better avionics and AESA radar, is still under development.

A modern fighter requires having reliable systems on board with minimal maintenance problems. The aircraft's capability is judged by the avionics, weapons and engine equipping it and the JF-17 fails to hit the mark in most areas. This was amply displayed on 27 Feb 19, during its poor performance against Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 and SU-30s, during an attempted retaliation to IAF targeting a Pakistani terrorist establishment. In the Air Defence role, it indigenous Link-17 data link is not only unreliable; it does not have sufficient data transfer rate and can never be integrated with the F-16 fighter's Link-16 to give the aircraft true interoperability capability. The "Thunder" does not have even an effective BVR or Airborne Interception radar. While touted to be the next best PAF fighter after the F-16, its unremarkable low endurance, poor accuracy and low weapon carrying capability were amply demonstrated on 27 February 2019, with all its Range Extension Kit (REK) bombs failing to hit the target in the face of effective jamming and attacks by Indian fighters. This has been publicly accepted by its politicians recently and PAF's lame excuse of the REK bombs being a token response without intent of causing casualties is hard to believe.

The heart of the JF-17 avionics is the KLJ-7 Al radar and Weapon Mission Management Computer (WMMC). Both systems are fraught with problems. KLJ-7 radar has multiple modes, but exhibits degraded behaviour and experiences several operational and maintenance problems since the beginning of the JF-17 project. Despite Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology forwarding recommendations for its improvement, the radar continues to experience high failure rates. The WMMC has limited capacity and a high failure rate of a number of its modules, including the Main Computer module. Malfunction of the WMMC has caused Launch Zones of Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles to shrink during combat exercises. Due to its unreliability, PAC is now attempting to indigenise the WMMCs. The weapon load that the aircraft can carry is also not remarkable. Its integral 23 mm Gun initially experienced gun stoppages in the air and now has problems with the 23 mm round bursting. Other than the Chinese SD-10 BVR, REK and C-802AK ant-ship missile, the aircraft carries the normal weapon load of a MiG-21. Efforts to integrate the aircraft with other Chinese weapons are in progress, but with limited success.

One of the main reasons for JF-17's dismal performance is because the aircraft has a single Russian RD-93 engine and it is renowned for its repeated failures and poor reliability since inception. A large number of engines experience cracks on Engine Guide Vanes, Exhaust Nozzle and Flame Stabaliser. The poor serviceability state of the RD-93 engines is a weak area and PAF has repeatedly expressed serious concerns to China on the quality of maintenance and high repair cost of the engines. Of late, China is also facing problems of procuring spares for the engine from Russia due to embargoes placed on financial transactions. The engine cannot be directly sourced by Pakistan from the OEM or further exported by it. China on its part plans to replace the engine with a Chinese WS-13 under development. Therefore future Chinese support for the RD-93 may not be readily available as China would want operators to replace the RD-93 with WS-13. The high rate of unserviceability, recurring snags on the engine and poor spares supply, makes JF-17 aircraft costly and a less reliable platform. It also reduces the availability of combat aircraft.

There are a number of other nagging problems on the JF-17 which have not been resolved. The Nose Landing Gear shimmies while taxing and a number of aircraft experience nose wheel vibrations. Ventral tails have been found to be cracked, indicating poor metallurgy or design. Even the four aircraft gifted to Myanmar by China have developed cracks in the Ventral Tail. Though Nigeria is procuring three aircraft, Sri Lanka was wise enough, shelving its plan of doing so. Nigeria's experience with the Super Mushshak trainer aircraft that it bought from Pakistan was also not pleasant with the aircraft plagued with numerous maintenance problems and extremely high maintenance costs charged by the Pakistanis.

PAF torn toms the aircraft at important air shows. However, its air display during the 2019 Paris Air Show was lacklustre, especially in the low speed run. So uninspiring is its performance, China which led its development isn't even inducting a single unit of the type, preferring the more capable J-10 fighter, now being eyed by Pakistan. Though its cheap at its purported price in 2018 at $25 million per fighter, with the Pak Rupee depreciating almost 30% over the past year, it would eventually cost much higher.

Moreover, with Government of Pakistan's inability to shore up its financial situation, any new customer of the JF-17 would find it extremely difficult to get material and spares support which Pakistan needs to procure from China. Pakistan's financial problems have led to it default on its payments to China for the JF-17 project with a large outstanding amount of over a few hundred million dollars. Even if China is able to supply these spares, it will do so at exorbitant prices which escalate every year, as it does with Pakistan. Pakistan has expended more than USD $3 billion on acquiring these 3.5 generation fighters. Whether this expenditure was truly worthwhile, is a question Pakistani tax payers must ask.


Ooops reality is out and it bites. Flying coffin FC-17..🙃🙃
Chinese jets face all the same issues they just hide it better. One reason for china going for massive numbers of j10 is that more than half remain unavailable.
 

maximus777

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If all being said is true, why didn't we slaughter them on that infamous Feb 27th aerial engagement?!? Such a missed opportunity!:facepalm:

If only Abhinandan had chai on our side of the LoC instead :notsure:
 

sunshine

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These things are just to look at. The news is from the Greek website,It's not like Greece had any contact with Pakistani fighters. It's full of articles attacking Turkey And Pakistan

Greece and Turkey are century enemies.

Almost all fighters have been scolded.if search why ** a fail😂
Screenshot_20210309_083107.jpg

Screenshot_20210309_083620.jpg


but It's the same thing as a gun,All guns are deadly
 

IndianHawk

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These things are just to look at. The news is from the Greek website,It's not like Greece had any contact with Pakistani fighters. It's full of articles attacking Turkey And Pakistan

Greece and Turkey are century enemies.

Almost all fighters have been scolded.if search why ** a fail😂
View attachment 80828
View attachment 80829

but It's the same thing as a gun,All guns are deadly
Ok show us a single clear video of jf17 using a bvr.
 

sunshine

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Ok show us a single clear video of jf17 using a bvr.
JF17 has been able to launch SD10 missiles.
JF-17-SD-10-PL-12.jpg

6ecb64d819f6dfe417d41b49daa88a8c.jpg

However, the current JF17 can not launch PL15
 

IndianHawk

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JF17 has been able to launch SD10 missiles.
View attachment 80902
View attachment 80903
However, the current JF17 can not launch PL15
Video of launch of bvr missile not static photos .
This why no one trusts you chinese on military capabilities .

The fact remains jf17 still can't use bvr.
 

Okabe Rintarou

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:frusty:maths.......
Chose AI stream just to get rid of it.... sadly I found out that it is nothing but maths
:laugh:
I started learning about AI from the YouTube channel 3Blue1Brown: a channel dedicated to Maths. Don't worry though. I also used to suck at Maths. Once you watch 3Blue1Brown, you'll fall in love with Maths.


Sorry for OT post, I mistook it for a trash thread, which is technically right: Blunder is trash.
 

IndianHawk

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Obviously fake . Too granny for a airforce video . Aircraft and missile both are not shown together while firing in one from. Only IR launch is shown.

So I will give you this it can probably launch IR missile. No bvr proven.
 
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WolfPack86

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Pakistan’s JF-17 Fighter Jet An ‘Absolute Failure’; Could Opt For J-10s Instead- Greek Media
The JF-17 Thunder was said to have fulfilled Pakistan’s need for a low-cost, light-weight, all-weather multi-role fighter jet. However, these aircraft are now reportedly becoming a liability for Pakistan owing to their high operations and maintenance cost when compared with other fighter jets in the same bracket.

Islamabad considers the JF-17 is on par with the fighter jets like the Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Mikoyan Mig-29, and Mirage-2000. The Pakistan Air Force fighters were supposed to be “equipped with Western avionics and powered by the Russian Klimov RD 93 aero-engine”.

The capabilities of the fighter jet were judged on the basis of its avionics, armament, and engine that powers it. But the aircraft did not show the desired results, according to a report by Pentapostagma.

It is also believed that the fighters, which were a part of the retaliatory operations against the Indian Air Force during the February 2019 aerial skirmishes, performed poorly against India’s Mirage-2000 and SU-30 fighter jets.

The JF-17 Thunder was meant to be the successor of the F-16 fighter jets which Pakistan had procured from the United States.

However, as per reports, the Thunder jets showed low endurance, poor accuracy, and low weapon carrying capability during the 2019 conflict with India.

The JF-17 fighters used all of its Range Extension Kit (REK) bombs but failed to hit the targets due to effective jamming and counterattacks by Indian Air Force fighter jets.

The lightweight, single-engine, multi-role JF-17 Thunder fighter was designed after PAF sought a replacement for their aging combat aircraft like the A-5C, F-7P/PG, Mirage III, and Mirage V.

The Thunder jet has been developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China.

The two counties had decided to ink an agreement to jointly develop and produce the fighter way back in 1999, with both nations deciding to share the development costs.

Pakistan currently possesses a fleet of over 100 JF-17 fighter jets, which can be used for multiple roles, including interception, ground attack, anti-ship, and aerial reconnaissance.

However, it has failed to meet the expectations of experts. According to Greek media, in terms of the air defense role, the fighter jet’s Link-17 data link is not only unreliable, but it does not have a sufficient data transfer rate as well.

Besides, it is not compatible with the PAF’s American-built F-16 fighter jets’ Link-16 to give the aircraft true interoperability capability. As per reports, the Thunder does not even possess an effective beyond-visual-range (BVR) missile or airborne interception radar.

In addition, the critical elements of the JF-17 avionics are said to be the KLJ-7 Al radar and Weapon Mission Management Computer (WMMC), and both have been facing a host of problems, the reports suggest.

While the KLJ-7 radar displayed degraded behavior and faced several operational and maintenance problems, the WMMC had limited capacity and showed a high rate of failure of a number of its modules, including the main computer module.

Once considered the fighter of the future, the JF-17 has been plagued with several problems of late, with reports suggesting that Pakistan might be looking to procure the Chinese J-10 fighters instead.
 

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