On 2 March 2007, the first consignment of two small-batch-production (SBP) aircraft arrived in a dismantled state in Pakistan. They flew for the first time on 10 March 2007 and took part in a public aerial demonstration during a Pakistan Day parade on 23 March 2007.
On 18 February 2010, the first JF-17 squadron, No. 26 Black Spiders, was officially inducted into the PAF with an initial strength of 14 fighter planes. Since then JF-17s have accumulated 19000 flying hours.
A re-equipment ceremony for No. 26 Black Spiders Squadron took place on 11 April 2011, during which it was stated that the JF-17 had “revolutionized the PAF’s operational concepts”.
No 27 Squadron “Zarrars” replaced its Mirage 5EF with JF-17 in 2013. No 2 Squadron currently tasked with sea strikes reequipped with JF-17s in Sept 2015 replacing the F7s. No 16 Squadron “Black Panthers” has also been equipped with the JF-17. The next squadron is supposed to be No 7 Squadron.
On 14 November 2011, at Kamra air base, one PAF JF-17 crashed, killing the pilot. On 27 September 2016, one PAF JF-17 crashed into the Arabian sea, the pilot ejecting safely. 15th day of Sep 2020 saw another incident when a JF-17 met with the same fate while on a training mission over Attock District.
JF-17 Thunder aircraft first saw service in the anti-terrorist operation in South Waziristan, during which various types of weapons were evaluated. They took part in the PAF’s High Mark 2010 exercise from 29 April, where they were used by the Blue Force to attack Red Land surface targets with precision air-to-surface weapons.
On 19 June 2017, it was reported that a JF-17 shot down an Iranian UAV operating in Pakistan’s Pangjur District.
On 27 February 2019, during the tense standoff between India and Pakistan, Pakistan claimed that its JF-17s had shot down two Indian aircraft: a Mig-21 and a Su-30MKI, operating in Pakistan’s airspace over the Pakistan’s part of Kashmir. An Indian pilot ejected from Mig-21 was also captured by Pakistan Army which was soon released in order to ease out the stand-off situation.