Sri Lanka has signed a memorandum of understanding with Pakistan on Tuesday to purchase at least 8 JF-17 Thunder fighter jets.
The deal was signed during a visit to Sri Lanka by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif this week, confirming earlier rumors about an imminent deal.
The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) which already flies several other Chinese-made Shenyang F-7 fighter jets – is currently looking to upgrade its fighter capabilities. At present these rely on the Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir.
The Thunders is expected to replace SLAF’s obsolete MiG-23 and MiG-27 fighter jets.
The JF-17 Thunder is the result of a joint program by Pakistan and China. In the latter, the same aircraft is designated Chengdu FC-1.