Iraq and Pakistan have reportedly reached an agreement on the sale of 12 JF-17C Thunder Block III combat jets during Pakistani diplomat Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s recent visit to Baghdad.
There is no official confirmation on the deal from Iraqi or Pakistani authorities yet.
The alleged $1.1 billion agreement also covers the delivery of spare parts and ammunition. It will become Pakistan’s largest deal ever won if it reaches fruition, Pakistan Republic reported July 8.
Meanwhile, few other unconfirmed reports peg the value of the deal a little over $650 million.
The JF-17 Thunder is a Pakistani-Chinese co-production, with 42% of parts reportedly being manufactured in China, and 58% of manufacturing performed in Pakistan. Powered by the Klimov RD-33 engine of Russian design, the aircraft can achieve a maximum speed of Mach 1.6 at an altitude of 17,000 meters.
The JF-17 has been snapped up by Iraq, Malaysia, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, and Myanmar, with Argentina also showing interest in the past
The latest JF-17 Block III variant is equipped with advanced features, including an AESA radar, improved avionics, an IRST (Infra-red search and track) system, and an in-flight refueling boom.