According to Muzammil Hatami, officials of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced an upcoming deal with Pakistan for an purchase of JF-17 Thunder fighter jets during the IDEAS 2018 exhibition.
“IRGC [Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] general giving remarks (to induct JF17 Thunder next year in Iranian air force fleet) after visiting Pakistan made fighter jet JF-17 Thunder fighter at 10th IDEAS exhibition in Karachi Pakistan,” said Muzammil Hatami.
Iran has long been in search of a replacement for its ageing 3rd generation fighter jets. After decades of financial and technological strangulation, Iran trying to rebuild its air force. Shortly before, Iran counted to sign a contract with Russia to buy the Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets. But because of the influence of the United States and several European countries, the deal never took place.
The option of buying JF-17 Thunder fighter jets is perfect for Iran and it is quite possible that a contract for new aircraft may be signed in the near future
Various countries including Algeria, Argentina, Myanmar, Qatar, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and Uruguay have shown interest in the JF-17.
Nigeria has ordered three JF-17 and Myanmar has ordered sixteen.
Pakistan Aeronautical complex kamra manufacturing 16+ JF-17 Fighter jets units per year. Till now PAF has inducted 100+ units of JF-17 block A and Block B
JF-17 “Thunder” is a multirole fighter developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China.
JF-17 Block 3 will have avionics advancements such as helmet-mounted display and sight (HMD/S) system, a new single panel multi-functional display (MFD), an active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar paired with an infrared search and track (IRST) system, and a cockpit with a flight-control stick on the side an NRIET KLJ-7A AESA radar. It will have more use of composites, a new engine, and a two-seater cockpit option, with a top speed of 2.0+ Mach.
The older JF-17 jets cost $25 million each. Newer jets with AESA radar and other improvements will cost $32 million each. The FTC-2000G is a less expensive multi-role fighter.