Pakistani media sources have recently reported international interest in the Pakistani made, Chinese-designed JF-17s, specifically mentioned were to Sri-Lanka, Azerbaijan and Malaysia. The sale to Sri-Lanka was reported following Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent visit to Colombo. However, following stiff opposition from India, Colombo is likely to drop its plan to follow with the deal, that would have cost $400 million. the Pakistani plane was considered as a replacement for the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) ageing fleet of Israeli Kfirs and MiG-27s. Pakistan had been pushing for the sale of 10 to 12 JF-17s, each priced about $35 million.
The JF-17 Thunder was designed and developed by the Chinese AVIC company to meet the Pakistani requirement for lightweight and affordable supersonic fighter jet. Is currently produced by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex for the Pakistani Air Force. The complex produced 16 JF-17 Block-II Thunder aircraft in 2015.
Myanmar was the first international buyer for the aircraft, placing an order for 16 Thunders in 2015. Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain said recently that Azerbaijan and Nigeria are both interested in buying the Pakistani jet. Pakistan has also discussed potential sales with Egypt and Malaysia, but Malaysia’s Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has denied his country was interested.