The Diverterless Supersonic Inlet (DSI) is a novel air inlet design principle used by modern fighter aircraft to control air flow into their engines. It is a three-dimensional bulge loss without surface layer partition. It consists of a “bump” and a forward-swept inlet cowl. Both work together to divert boundary layer airflow away from the aircraft’s engine. DSIs can be used to replace the intake ramp and inlet cone, which are more complex, heavy and expensive. The purpose of the intake of an aircraft is to supply the engine with a proper airflow during various flight conditions. Characteristics of a good intake design includes provision of high pressure recovery and low distortion.
According to experts, the DSI inlet has three main advantages over conventional inlets. First it adopts a “cone flow” wave rider design, which has a higher total pressure recovery. It improves the stealth performance of the aircraft. Secondly it reduces the drag on the windward side of the aircraft. Third is that no auxiliary intake and exhaust valves are designed. Thus reducing the weight of the aircraft by hundreds of kilograms. It grants the provision of carrying extra load during operations. Overall the DSI inlet has the characteristics of simple structure, light weight, low resistance and invisibility.
JF-17 Thunder Block 2 S. No. 2P-60 for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is undergoing flight tests over the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). The two other aircraft for NAF, S. Nos. 2P-61 and 2P-62, are also undergoing flight tests. Moreover Nigerian pilots and maintenance crew have arrived in Pakistan for training. PAC will hand over all three JF-17s to NAF by mid Nov, 2020.
Nigeria had inked a contract to purchase threeJF-17 Thunder Block II fighter jets in March 2019. It was back in March 2019 when the deal was set in motion. Pakistani government’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved a $184.3 million sovereign guarantee covering the delivery of three PAC/CAC JF-17 Thunder fighter jets to the NAF.
The Nigerian JF-17 Block II’s price tag of approximately $60 million each include aircraft and an array of weapons including air-to-air and air-to-ground aircraft and guided munitions. The bare-bones price tag of a Block 2 JF-17 is around US$40 million. Myanmar is also a potential customer of JF-17. Pakistan is already in talks with Malaysia for sale of JF-17s to Malaysian Air Force. At the same time PAC has developed a twin seat version called JF-17 B for enhanced operational capability and training. There is potential to export close to a billion dollars worth of JF-17s.
The NAF is expected to push the aircraft into the thick of battle against BHT. Hence The air-to-ground capability of the JF-17 will be tested in terms of pin-point strikes against the BHT. The Block-II is capable of precision-strike through satellite-guided and laser-guided bombs. JF-17 Thunder has accumulated 19,000 hours of operational flight since its induction in 2011. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) used JF-17 Thunder to bomb militant positions in North Waziristan using both unguided munitions and guided missiles.
PL-10E, As per our information, is slated to be part of JF-17 Thunder Block-III upgrade . It will be PAF’s first short range missile with infrared Imaging IIR homing. PL-10E is a fifth gen SRAAMs that enables HOBS with HMD/S. Moreover CCMs mounted on JF-17 wingtip plays part in less drag. The missile also has a multi-element IIR seeker. Because of which it is capable of +/- 90 degree off bore-sight angles. The missile seeker can be slaved to a helmet-mounted display (HMD). Thus allowing the pilot to track a target beyond the aircraft’s radar scan envelope. This is done by using the missile’s high off-bore-sight capability. Flight is controlled by a “thrust-vector” controlled solid rocket motor and “free-moving type” control wings on the missile’s tail. In conclusion the missile is going to pose a serious threat to its enemies.
Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunder participated in the Virtual Air Tattoo Show-2020 at Royal Air Force Base Fairford (UK). It was a moment of pride for the nation. The event would go a long way in showcasing the potential of JF-17 for the international market. It will also help to project the soft image of the country across the world. Ranked among the biggest air shows of the world, the Royal International Air Tattoo features aircraft from the leading air forces across the globe. Various air forces, aircraft manufacturers, aerospace technology firms participate in this mega show each year.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is considering RD-93MA as an option for next block of JF-17 fighter jet. Russia’s United Engine Corporation (UEC)-Klimov is developing the engine. It has entered thermal chamber tests to confirm high-speed characteristics in simulated flight conditions. RD-93MA is an upgrade of the RD-93 engine which currently powers the JF-17 single engine fighter jets. With the successful completion of the thermal chamber test stage, it will be possible to proceed to flight design tests. Subsequently a set of tests in the TsIAM large thermal pressure chamber will be held as part of the experimental design work on the RD-93MA. The engine may enter fight test mode towards the end of the year. Thus the JF-17 Block III would enter flight tests with the RD-93MA engine sometime in 2021-22 at the earliest.
The reference to use in single-engine aircraft has given rise to speculation that the new engine is destined for the JF-17 fighter. Earlier reports said the RD-93MA engine will be directly sold to Pakistan. However, sources told us that a Chinese company is working on the contract to manufacture 100 such engines. The thrust of the RD-93MA is reportedly 9300 Kgf compared to 8300 kgf of the RD-93. RD-93 is the primary engine of Mig-29 jets and earlier versions of JF-17 Thunder jets. The RD-93MA engine has improved performance. In the first place it has increased thermodynamic parameters. Secondly an improved design of the fan and the hot part is provided. Further it features an upgraded automatic power-plant control system and emergency engine start mode. To Summarize it is a significant bump-up in power which will help the JF-17 to carry more armaments and fly at a higher speed.
Back in 27 Dec 2019 PAC Kamra witnessed yet another remarkable achievement when first batch of 8 JF-17 B dual seat aircraft was rolled out. Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan was the chief guest at the occasion. Later in the day, the air chief also inaugurated JF-17 Dual-Seat Integration facility at Avionics Production Factory, Kamra. The facility will enable PAF to integrate avionics and weapon systems of choice with JF-17 aircraft, ultimately providing the much needed self-reliance and operational flexibility.
JF 17 Block III prototype in picture is clearly using a new HUD (Head Up Display), possibly a wide angled holographic system. However the prototype was not equipped with a radar nor Helmet-Mounted Display and Sight HMD/S system though both are slated for Block – III version.
A recent report by aviation journalist Alan Warnes says that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has selected KLJ-7A active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the JF-17 Block-III. This radar is developed by the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology (NRIET), China. It was revealed in 2006 as a potential option for the JF-17 Block-III.