The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force is considering the purchase of Pakistani-made JF-17 Thunder fighter jets to progressively replace its ageing F-14 and MiG-29 fighter jets.
According to Muzammil Hatami, officials of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced an upcoming deal with Pakistan for an purchase of JF-17 Thunder fighter jets during the IDEAS 2018 exhibition.
“IRGC [Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] general giving remarks (to induct JF17 Thunder next year in Iranian air force fleet) after visiting Pakistan made fighter jet JF-17 Thunder fighter at 10th IDEAS exhibition in Karachi Pakistan,” said Muzammil Hatami.
Iran has long been in search of a replacement for its ageing 3rd generation fighter jets. After decades of financial and technological strangulation, Iran trying to rebuild its air force.
Shortly before, Iran counted to sign a contract with Russia to buy the Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets. But because of the influence of the United States and several European countries, the deal never took place.
The option of buying JF-17 Thunder fighter jets is perfect for Iran and it is quite possible that a contract for new aircraft may be signed in the near future.
JF-17 “Thunder” is a multirole fighter developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China.
The JF-17 can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception.