Recently, according to the Pakistan Defense Information Analysis website, Pakistan is looking to Partner with Chengdu in the country’s stealth fighter program known as Project AZM.
The network accidentally exposed the model of three single-head stealth fighters named as JF-20, JF-17 and JF-17.6
- From the appearance, the JF-17.6 and the JF-17 model is the direct stealth improvement of the JF-17 fighter, retaining the basic aerodynamic layout of the JF-17, such as the DSI without the boundary layer air inlet, Gothic The pointed arch has a large side strip, but the side of the front fuselage adds a hidden ridgeline, and the rear fuselage is changed from a single vertical tail to a cambered double tail. JF-17.6 uses a belly-mounted semi-buried bomb and a stealth conformal weapon pod on the weapon mount. The unnamed model has a new built-in bomb bay on the belly, which is obviously more perfect in stealth design. However, it will adversely affect the flight of the aircraft due to the occupation of the internal oil space.
- The JF-20’s body shape has been completely redesigned, not only the nose radome is sharper, the cockpit cover is more integrated into the front fuselage, the transition between the lower surface of the fuselage and the wing is smoother, and JF-17 is also eliminated. The pointed arch is large. Like the unrecognized model, the JF-20 has a large bomb bay on the belly. This machine is obviously the best high-end solution in stealth performance of the three schemes. Of course, this means that the development cost is the highest.
Pakistani Ministry of Planning and Development officials confirmed that the project will expand China-Pakistan cooperation on JF-17 fighters. This is likely to indicate that Pakistan has chosen
The reason why the Pakistan Air Force is rejecting FC-31, and finally chose to develop and fly a single-engine stealth fighter jet based on JF-17 is the high procurement and maintenance cost of the dual-engine fighter.
In 2009, the cost per hour of F-16A/B flight was $4,900, and the cost of flying F-CK-1A/B fighters per hour was as high as $7,700.
The Pakistani Air Force with limited military spending has a long history of operating single-engine fighters, and its active main fighters Mirage III/5, J-7, JF-17, and F-16 are all single-engine, so they continue to be used in the AZM project. The single shot design is also understandable.
Pakistan Will Likely Work With China on a Stealth Fighter. In his statements before retiring, the previous CAS, ACM Sohail Aman, had said (in December 2017) that “Pakistan is engaged with Chinese experts in manufacturing the next generation aircraft.”
This is the most realistic scenario because — besides the fact that China is Pakistan’s top defence partner — but because China is the most accessible turnkey industrial power available to Pakistan. One can argue that besides the US, France, Russia, and China, there are no countries that can contribute to any part of a next-generation fighter. But for Pakistan, the US, France, and Russia are non-factors in this respect.