Azerbaijan signs $1.6B JF-17 deal with Pakistan

According to media in Azerbaijan, Pakistan has signed a $1.6 billion deal to export JF-17 Block 3 fighter jets, trainer jets, and ammunition to Azerbaijan. Official confirmation from the Pakistani or Azerbaijani government is awaited.

It is still not clear how many JF-17 jets Azerbaijan has ordered, and The News Mill hasn’t independently verified these reports.

About JF17 Block 3

The JF-17 is a single-engine light combat aircraft jointly developed by Pakistan and China. While Pakistan has more than 100 JF-17 Block 1 and 2 jets in active service, the country has ordered another 50 Block 3 variants and began induction of these fighter jets last year.

The JF-17 Block 3 has many improvements including a Chinese-made AESA radar, avionics, extended range, and combat capabilities.

Azerbaijan becomes the third export customer for the JF-17, following Nigeria and Myanmar.

Why Azerbaijan have chosen JF17?

The Azerbaijan air force currently operates two types of Soviet-origin aircraft: 10 MiG-29 and 40 Su-25 jets. Reports indicate that Azerbaijan plans to replace its MiG-29 fleet with new fighter jets. Due to budget constraints, the country is likely to choose low-cost options.

Azerbaijan maintains very close relations with Turkey, Israel, and Pakistan and has been largely dependent on Israel and Turkey for military hardware for decades.

Given that Israel has not developed fighter jets and the Turkish Hurjet is still under development, Azerbaijan might have chosen the JF-17 jet from its third closest ally, Pakistan.

JF17 vs Akash SAM

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been engaged in a decades-old clash over the dispute in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia’s relations with India are growing stronger, evidenced by numerous import deals signed last year, including for Pinaka MBRLs, ATAGS howitzers, and Akash air defence systems from India.

The Akash is a short-range air defence system with a 30 km range and will replace Soviet-era SAMs in Armenia’s inventory.

With Azerbaijan acquiring the JF-17 and Armenia acquiring the Akash, there is a possibility of clashes between these aircraft and SAMs in the future.

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About Vinay Sadham


The writer is a defence enthusiast and content creator with over 8 years of experience. He runs a YouTube channel called Telugu Defence News. He can be contacted at [email protected]