Pakistan agrees jet deal with Chinese: "Pakistan and China have agreed to start joint production of a new fighter aircraft intended as a replacement for the ageing French and Chinese aircraft used by Pakistan's air force, a senior Pakistani air force officer said yesterday.
The agreement comes only two months after the US offered to sell F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan, reversing sanctions applied almost 15 years ago over Islamabad's nuclear weapons programme. The move also comes as the US voices concern about the rise of the Chinese military. .. Tom Donnelly, defence analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, said the new JF-17 would enhance China's ability to intimidate Taiwan and mount an air campaign following a missile attack on the island. ..
The first four of the JF-17 "Thunder" aircraft would be delivered to Pakistan next year for trial flights, while the supply of 150 aircraft would begin in 2007." Total 150 are planned for Pakistan, 250 for China, with half produced in each country. 8:33:17 AM