Correction on air force jet names

A recent issue of The Zimbabwean carried a story entitled, “Chinese spy centre taps diplomats?” which stated that, “The government purchased from China six Hongdu JL-8 jet aircraft and twelve JF-17 ‘Thunder’ fighter aircraft, among other military hardware.” There is a need to make some clarifications on the names of the aircraft mentioned.

The K-8 Karakorum.
The K-8 Karakorum.

Zimbabwe does not have six JL-8 jet aircraft. The JL-8 is a Chinese-made jet trainer aircraft whose export version is called the K-8 Karakorum. Zimbabwe did not purchase 12 JF-17 fighter aircraft. China and Pakistan jointly developed a multi-role combat aircraft designated as the JF-17 Thunder in Pakistan and the FC-1 Fierce Dragon in China. The two aircraft are not exactly the same.

Zimbabwe did not purchase, but placed an order for 12 aircraft with China in 2004, so when the delivery is finally made, Zimbabwe will get the FC-1 Fierce Dragon and not the JF-17 Thunder. The eventual arrival of these fighter jets at Thornhill Air Base will mark a new chapter in military aviation in the region.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *