Myanmar Air Force Inducts Pak Delivered JF 17 B
On the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the air force at a pilot training base in Meiktila, Mandalay Region two JF-17B multi-role combat aircraft were added to the fleet which are the joint production output of China and Pakistan.
Myanmar military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and senior military officers attended the as per the Irrawaddy.
Amongst the 10 aircraft inducted in the Myanmar Air Force were —two JF-17B multi-role combat aircraft, six Yak-30 light fighter aircraft and two MI-35P attack helicopters.
In the last decade 96 aircraft including 79 fixed wing and 17 helicopters have been added to the Myanmar Air Force
The main competitors of the Myanmar Air Force are smaller neighbours Thailand, Laos and Bangladesh. “We can’t compete with India and China, but we can compete with our three other neighbors,” said military spokesperson Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun as quoted by the Irrawaddy.
Myanmar is currently one of just two confirmed export clients for the JF-17 alongside the Nigerian Air Force
JF-17 were ordered as a complement to Su-30 air superiority fighters from Russia with a mix of light and heavy fighter aircraft.
JF 17 is expected to be used to target the ethnic militant groups in the peripheral areas of the country which have seen a rise in violence particularly in the Rakhine and Chin States recently.
The JF-17B is said to be a two seater with modified flight control systems, a three-axel fly-by-wire control system, an extended nose, a changed vertical stabiliser, altered material proportions and a greater wingspan as per industry reports.
Negotiations between Myanmar and Pakistan reportedly commenced in 2014.
A report in the Daily Times of Pakistan on 28 August 2014 stated that “Pakistan and Myanmar air chiefs on Wednesday (27 August) expressed satisfaction on the current level of cooperation between the two Air Forces and agreed to explore new avenues to enhance bilateral professional cooperation. Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, who is on an official visit to Myanmar, expressed these views during his meeting with Myanmar Commander-in-Chief (air) General Khin Aung Myint”.