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Pakistan, China building JF-17B prototype

Manufacturing of a prototype of the JF-17B trainer/combat aircraft has begun in China.

By Richard Tomkins
Pakistan, China building JF-17B prototype
An earlier variant of the JF-17 flown by the Pakistani Air Force. Photo by Eric Salard/Flickr

ISLAMABAD, April 28 (UPI) -- Pakistan and China have jointly started production of the first prototype JF-17B combat jet at the Chendu Aerospace Corporation facility in Chendu, China.

The induction for production of the two-seat aircraft took place Wednesday at a ceremony attended by senior Pakistani Air Force and Chinese officials, the Pakistan Air Force reported.

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The JF-17B will have a maximum speed of about 1,217 miles per hour, a combat radius of 840 miles and will carry both bombs and missiles. In addition to combat tasks, the plane can also be used for pilot training.

The JF-17B aircraft is likely to make its maiden flight by the end of this year, with induction into the Pakistan Air Force in April of 2017.

Speaking at the induction ceremony in Chendu, Air Marshal Muhammad Iqbal of the Pakistan Air Force said the aircraft is of great value for Pakistan Air Force, enhancing not only training value but also operational capability.

The trainer/fighter was jointly developed by Chendu Aerospace and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.

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