Monday, January 04, 2016

After Myanmar Deal for JF-17, Pakistan Pushes for Sri Lanka as Second Customer

Following the first export deal for its JF-17 multirole fighter to Myanmar, Pakistan is expected to be pushing hard for a follow-up agreement with Sri Lanka that would mark an important step in further extending its defence co-operation footprint in the Indian Ocean region.

With Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in the first week of January 2016, efforts to secure an agreement in principle for the sale of the JF-17 Thunder - a third-generation fighter co-produced by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and China's Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) - are likely to be high on his agenda, diplomatic sources have told IHS Jane's .

Sharif's upcoming talks in Colombo follow a mid-November visit to Pakistan by Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) commander Air Marshal Gagan Bulathsinhala during which the JF-17 was showcased by the Pakistanis. Immediately after the visit AM Bulathsinhala was invited to send an evaluation team of technicians and pilots to PAC's Kamra facilities near Islamabad, where the JF-17 is produced.

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