In yet another embarrassment for Pakistan, the junta regime of Myanmar has sent a stern message to Islamabad for selling "faulty" multi-role fighter planes. According to a report by Myanmar-based Narinjara News, Pakistan had inked an agreement to manufacture JF-17 fighter jets for Myanmar. As per reports, the deal was signed in 2016 for at least 11 multi-role fighter jets.
Subsequently, Islamabad supplied combat aircraft to Naypyidaw between 2019 and 2021. However, the junta declared all the jets "unfit for operations" and grounded all of them. The report claimed that the jets were manufactured by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in collaboration with China's Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation.
But soon after the delivery of the aircraft, the Burmese Air Force was forced to ground the planes as malfunctions and structural flaws were detected. The failure of JF-17 appears to be shimmering tensions between Islamabad and Naypyidaw and somehow compelled China to intervene.
A recent visit by Myanmar’s Chinese envoy to Naypyidaw is said to have carried a message from the CCP’s top leadership to Gen Min Aung Hlaing, as per Narinjara News.
Pakistan again willing to sell upgraded versions of jets to Burma
According to sources, Pakistan is trying hard to renegotiate the deal with newer versions of the JF-17s. In all likelihood, these new variants will be developed by the same combination of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation of China.
However, so far there is little information on whether the renegotiated deal has been accepted by the military junta leadership. Informed sources said that the military junta is very upset as the non-utility of the aircraft has hampered most of its plans of beefing up its airpower to carry out targeted strikes on Myanmar’s resistance groups which are fighting under the banner of the People’s Defence Force (PDF) an armed wing of the NUG.
Following the news of the crisis arising out of the malfunctioning of the JF-17s, Pakistan’s efforts to sell similar aircraft to other countries, especially Latin American countries have hit a roadblock, reported Narinjara News. After this, the military junta refused to get into any new talks on procuring aircraft from Pakistan, other countries too have been reluctant to engage with Pakistan. Notably, China itself has not included a single JF-17s in its inventory to date.
(With inputs from ANI)