The flaws of Pakistan Air Force's workhorse fighter jet — the JF-17 multi-role aircraft have once again surfaced as Myanmar Air Force remains unhappy over the performance of the jet.
According to Myanmar-based Narinjara News, the multi-role fighter jet, JF-17 Thunder, supplied by Pakistan to Myanmar have been deemed unfit for use.
The military junta in Myanmar has expressed its dissatisfaction with the situation and has sent a strong message to Islamabad demanding an explanation.
Earlier, in November 2022, reports came out that Myanmar Air Force was forced to ground these jets due to malfunctions and structural flaws.
From 2019 to 2021, Pakistan supplied Myanmar with eleven JF-17 Thunder combat aircraft.
According to the report, all of these aircraft have been declared unfit for operations.
These planes were part of a deal signed in 2016 between the Burmese military junta and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation of China.
However, soon after the delivery of the aircraft, the Burmese Air Force was forced to ground them due to malfunctions and structural flaws.
The failure of the JF-17 aircraft seems to have strained relations between Islamabad and Naypyidaw, and it has also prompted China to intervene in some way.
A recent visit to Naypyidaw by Myanmar's Chinese envoy is believed to have delivered a message from the top leadership of the Chinese Communist Party to Gen Min Aung Hlaing, according to Narinjara News.
Pakistan is reportedly making efforts to renegotiate its deal for the JF-17 aircraft, aiming to develop newer versions in collaboration with the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation of China.
However, there is very little information about the re-negotiated deal with Pakistan, as according to the Narinjara News, the military junta remains uncertain about the utility of the JF-17 fighter jet.
Sources indicate that the military junta is highly displeased with the non-utility of the aircraft, which has hindered its plans to enhance airpower for targeted strikes against the resistance groups in Myanmar.
These groups operate under the People's Defence Force (PDF), the armed wing of the National Unity Government (NUG).
Following reports of the crisis caused by the malfunctioning JF-17s, Pakistan's attempts to sell similar aircraft to Latin American countries have encountered obstacles, as well, reported Narinjara News.
As a result, the military junta has refused to enter into any new negotiations regarding the purchase of aircraft from Pakistan. Additionally, other countries have also shown reluctance to engage with Pakistan in this matter.
It is worth noting that China, despite being the manufacturer of the JF-17s, has not included a single one of these aircraft in its own inventory thus far.
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