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SOURCE: DEFENCE-BLOG

The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force is considering the purchase of Pakistani-made JF-17 Thunder fighter jets to progressively replace its ageing F-14 and MiG-29 fighter jets. According to Muzammil Hatami, officials of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced an upcoming deal with Pakistan for an purchase of JF-17 Thunder fighter jets during the IDEAS 2018 exhibition.

“IRGC [Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] general giving remarks (to induct JF17 Thunder next year in Iranian air force fleet) after visiting Pakistan made fighter jet JF-17 Thunder fighter at 10th IDEAS exhibition in Karachi Pakistan,” said Muzammil Hatami.

Iran has long been in search of a replacement for its ageing 3rd generation fighter jets. After decades of financial and technological strangulation, Iran trying to rebuild its air force.

Shortly before, Iran counted to sign a contract with Russia to buy the Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets. But because of the influence of the United States and several European countries, the deal never took place.

The option of buying JF-17 Thunder fighter jets is perfect for Iran and it is quite possible that a contract for new aircraft may be signed in the near future.

JF-17 “Thunder” is a multirole fighter developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China.

The JF-17 can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception.