Azerbaijan State News Agency Reports Largest Ever Deal with Pakistan for J-F 17 Thunder while Islamabad is Silent

    Tazeen Akhtar
    According to Azerbaijani media , Azerbaijan has signed a historical defense deal with Pakistan worth $1.6 Billion. Azerbaijan is purchasing JF-17 Block-III fighter jets from Pakistan. Some Pakistani media and press have also published this development but interestingly concerned Pakistani quarters are silent even after the 24 hours of the published reports on the big deal.
    Neither ISPR the military media wing of all three forces nor the Air Force , the ultimate manufacturer of the jets has issued any statement in this regard. This is weird in a sense that all media wings of all armed forces of Pakistan are actively in touch with the media.
    Azernews , the state news agency of Azerbaijan has published two articles , one with the picture of the jet and Chief of Air Staff of Pakistan. Azernews has published referring  to Pakistani sources, that the two countries signed a deal on JF-17 Block-III fighter jets. Azerbaijan will purchase Pakistan-made fighter jets worth $1.6bn. In addition, a contract covers training pilots and the acquisition of ammunition for the jet.
    Bulgarian Military dot Com has also published a detail report about the agreement with all aspects including the number of the jets that is 60. It means Azerbaijan air force will soon be flying JF-17 mostly instead of aging MIG 29s of Russia.
    Azernews has quoted Turkish media report that the Pakistani company is aiming to produce a total of 62 JF-17 Block III versions and deliver all of them to the Pakistan Air Force by 2024. After delivery to the Pakistani army, it seems an export could happen.

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    Bulgarian Military dot Com shares  that according to available data, the going rate for this aircraft is roughly $25 million. A prospective deal, worth over $1.5 billion, aims to totally revamp Azerbaijan‘s entire military aircraft fleet. This would equate to the acquisition of about 60 of these JF-17C Block III crafts.It means Pakistan will keep only 2 JF-17 for her own Air Force. That is hard to believe.
    Pakistan Air Force and Military media wing ISPR is expected and supposed to come forward and share their side of story as soon as possible to stop the speculations on a sensitive matter. It is strange that no statement had been issued from their side even after many international media outlets including state news agency of Azerbaijan had broke the story more than 24 hours ago.
    The deal was being discussed in the previous years but signing it just came in limelight only on 23 Feb through Azernews and Bulgarian Military dot Com only while there was no such report from concerned official sources of Pakistan. Azernews has reported on 23 Feb that Pakistan Aeronautical Complex signed largest export deal in Pakistan’s history with Azerbaijan Air Force.
    Here it is confirm that Pakistan is selling JF-17 Thunder to Iraq as well but the worth of the deal and number of the jets is not clear. As long as Azerbaijan is concerned ,Defense Attaché Col Mehman Novruzlu in Sep 2022, responding to a question by this scribe confirmed that both countries are working on the possibility of joint ventures in defense sector including JF-17 of Pakistan Air Force. He did not go into details and it can not be said that it was about sale of ready to use jets or what.

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