DUBAI, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Officials from Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) command said Monday at the ongoing Dubai Airshow that an upgraded version of the jointly developed JF-17 fighter jet is expected to be exported to more customers.
Briefing the international media at the AVIC chalet on the tarmac of Al Maktoum International Airport, Liu Yu, Vice President of China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation, said the next generation of the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft will satisfy the growing market demand from third parties "as the future JF-17 aircraft is a comprehensive elevation of the aircraft."
The future JF-17 will have more advanced capabilities, such as air-to-air refueling, data link and electronic warfare, and will be integrated with more new guided weapons, said Liu.
A dual-seated version of the JF-17 fighter/trainer is also under development, added Liu.
Meanwhile, PAF Air Vice Marshal Arshad Malik said the Pakistani army expects the new version jet to get into service by the end of 2016.
The JF-17 fighter is co-produced by AVIC and PAF since 1998 based on the principle of "joint investment, joint development, and sharing risks and returns."
At present, JF-17 fighter is already procured by a third party customer, and several potential customers are conducting or plan to conduct the evaluation of the JF-17 fighter.
It is believed that in the near future, with its outstanding flight performance, strong operational capability and high performance-to-cost ratio, JF-17 fighter will be favored by more and more third party customers, said both sides.
The 14th Dubai International Airshow officially kicked off in Dubai on Sunday, and is going to run through Thursday.
AVIC participated in the airshow with a large-scale JF-17 fighter model, furthering its efforts in exploring the international market.
Previously, JF-17 fighter was displayed in several international airshows, including Zhuhai Airshow and Paris Airshow. In last two Dubai Airshow in 2013 and 2011, JF-17 fighter also made aerobatic performances.