Pakistan’s air ‘Black Panthers’ received JF-17 Block III ‘killers’
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — Pakistan’s most famous air squadron – 16 Squadron PAF received new fighter jets. Nicknamed the Black Panthers, Airmen from the 16th Squadron will now fly the JF-17 Thunder Block III. The news was reported by several accounts on Twitter, among which stands out this one following what is happening in the Pakistani Air Force – Falcon Strike Syndicate.
- US agreed to provide a life-cycle upgrade to Pakistan’s F-16 Falcons
- JF-17 approaches 4++: Pilot helmets have full awareness HMD display
- Turkey bought 52 Pakistani Mushshak aircraft, the first three arrived
The JF-17 Block III is a Chinese fighter jet produced jointly with Pakistan. The third version flew for the first time in 2019, with several more flights to follow in 2020. 10 fighters in this series were produced, and their first photos appeared exactly a year ago. Even then it was known that they were intended for the Pakistan Air Force. With their delivery to the 16th PAF squadron, the information was confirmed.
The JF-17 Block III has its own characteristics and of course, upgrades compared to the second and first versions. First of all, the aircraft has a completely new radar. This is an NRIET/CETC KLJ-7A with an active electronically scanned array [AESA]. “The Third” has several new systems, including a new three-axis digital flight control system, as well as one for infrared search and tracking.
Like all modern fighters, the pilot’s helmet is connected to the aircraft’s onboard computer. This allows the pilot to receive vital information. It can be not only related to aiming at an enemy object, but also a warning of the approach of an enemy missile. Accordingly, these systems are part of the fighter’s software. Both systems are Chinese-made and have been successfully integrated into China’s J-10, J-16, and even the fifth-generation fighter, the stealth J-20.
Logically, “The Third” also gets a new engine. The Russian Klimov RD-93MA turbofan engine has been replaced with a Guizhou WS-13. This is one of the most impressive improvements in the JF-17. This engine is extremely powerful and gives Pakistani fighter jets an excellent thrust-to-weight ratio. Yes, the Guizhou WS-13 features increased thrust.
In the air, Pakistan’s Black Panthers will be able to simultaneously track up to 15 targets from an aircraft, and each aircraft will be able to attack four targets simultaneously. The Pakistanis describe the JF-17 Block III as a fourth-plus generation fighter, which comes very close to the categorized fourth-plus-generation Russian Su-35.
This is a huge advance for the Pakistan Air Force. Undoubtedly, their combat capability will be increased. The Pakistan Air Force is getting its “Third Block” just in time after India has been quite active in this direction in the last few months, buying the French Rafales.
Pakistan’s 16th Air Force Squadron, the Black Panthers, is part of Pakistan’s Northern Command. The squadron is based at Minhas Airbase. The squadron’s motto is “Brave & Big”.
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