Pakistan Air force new fighter JF-17 Thunder Block-3 is an advanced fighter jet. Can it replace F-16 which is the top fighter aircraft in the Pakistan Air force arsenal?
Jamil KhattakLevel 1
Would JF-17 Thunder Block-3 replace F-16 Fighting Falcon?
JF-17 Thunder Block-3 would outnumber F-16 but would not be a match.
Below are some images showing the cross-comparisons of both JF-17 Thunder Block-3 replace F-16 Fighting Falcon.
JF-17 Thunder Block-3 vs F-16 Fighting Falcon
F-16 is the US multi-fighter aircraft which is the most successful fighter jet in the world with more than 4,400 aircraft produced for 25 countries. On the other hand, JF 17 is the most recent development compared to F-16.
In December 2019, the JF-17 Block 3 was introduced and is expected to enter service by 2022. The aircraft would leave behind all current Pakistani fighters jets by a significant margin, and probably the F-16C.
Although the new aircraft has a new engine with more light composition materials including the ability to exceed Mach 2 speeds for better flight performance. One of the most significant improvements is to reach beyond the visual range.
The JF-17 Block 3 avionics are just state-of-the-art and feature a head-up display, a fully-functional glass cockpit, modern multifunctional single panel display, and the aircraft also incorporates a strong active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar-possibly the KLJ-7A.
The AESA radar will be crucial to the success of the JF-17 Block 3. Its complexity will adjust for the relatively small size of the radar to provide the situational awareness necessary to make effective use of longer-range ammunition such as the air-to-air PL-15 missile.
The missile has about twice the AIM-120C range of the F-201C-about 200 km whereby the AIM-120 is limited to 105 km. The PL-15 was included in China’s new generation of fighters, all of which include AESA radars, the J-20, the J-16 and the J-10C.
The benefits of adding the AESA radar is that the JF-17 Block 3 would not only identify targets at much wider ranges and concurrently monitors and locks them for more targets. It is also less vulnerable to jamming and gives the radar a much lower signature- ensuring that it is both more accurate and makes it harder for the opponent to spot.
In addition to state-of-the-art Chinese electronic warfare systems, a combination of new avionics and AESA radar and PL-15 missiles would make the JF-17 Block 3 would make it better than any fighter currently in service in Pakistan, including the F-16.
Several modified F-16 models can be competitive to JF-17 block 3, such as F-16E and F-2. But they are limited to a few countries.
The F-16C would have a slower speed, lower output rate, lower altitudes, lower understanding of the situation and electronic warfare capabilities, lower anti-shipments, and a significantly lower air to air engagement range than the JF-17 Block 3.
The JF-17 Block 3 is expected to be the lead fighter jet in the Pakistani fleet. They would also be postnatally exported to customers such as Egypt and Myanmar.