China on Thursday launched an upgraded version of a fighter jet manufactured jointly with Pakistan that can be used for training in peacetime and for combat missions during wartime.
The dual-seat fighter trainer JF-17B is an upgraded version of the military aircraft JF-17.
The JF-17B was developed by Aviation Industry Corporation of China to meet the requirements of international customers and the global market, according to AVIC.
China and Pakistan jointly manufacture JF-17 Thunder – a lightweight and multi-role combat aircraft.
AVIC said in a statement that the plane can be used for training in peacetime and can also be used in combat missions during wartime.
The JF-17B climbed up and stayed in the air for about 26 minutes during its maiden flight and was witnessed by guests from home and abroad, reported state-run Xinhua news agency.
The debut flight symbolised a major milestone in the development of the JF-17 aircraft series, AVIC said.
Yang Wei, chief designer of the JF-17B, said the aircraft brings a new force to JF-17 family and will increase JF-17 series’ competitiveness in global market.
AVIC said the JF-17B was developed in a market and customer-oriented manner and has achieved a balance among performance, quality, cost and market needs.
Sources with AVIC said the F-17B aircraft has received overseas orders during its development stage.