Rezaul H Laskar
Islamabad, Feb 8 (PTI) The Pakistan-China JF-17Thunder combat jet programme has entered the serial productionstage, with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani today describingthe venture as the "flagship" of the strategic and defencecooperation between the two ''all-weather'' allies.
"This project can truly be termed as the flagship ofour historic cooperation and its success would certainlystrengthen our time-tested friendship," Gilani said whileaddressing a gathering of Pakistani and Chinese techniciansduring a visit to the JF-17 production facility at thePakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra.
Gilani said the Thunder combat jet programme hasentered the serial production stage.
Pakistan Air force chief Rao Qamar Suleman said 22JF-17 jets had been inducted into his force and eight moreaircraft were undergoing tests and trials.
The production of the jets began in June 2009 and thefirst made-in-Pakistan jet rolled out in November 2009, hesaid.
"A number of air forces around the world were eyeingthe new entrant into the arena with keen interest," Sulemansaid.
Gilani went around different sections of the facilityand expressed satisfaction that "project milestones were beingaccomplished in an efficient and timely manner".
He was informed that the PAC is providing three majorcomputer systems for the JF-17 jets.
These include the weapon mission management computer,electro-mechanical management computer and light warningcomputer.
The PAC is currently producing three jets a month andwill be able to scale up production, officials said.