Islamabad, March 14: Amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, the Pakistan Air Force has announced that it successfully test-fired an indigenously developed "smart weapon" from a JF-17 Thunder fighter jet. The weapon systems bring to the PAF arsenal a potent day and night capability to engage a variety of targets with pinpoint accuracy.
"The successful trial has provided JF-17 Thunder a very potent and assured day and night capability to engage variety of targets with pinpoint accuracy," the PAF said on Tuesday on the fighter jet jointly manufactured by China and Pakistan. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan lauded the efforts of scientists and engineers. "Pakistan is a peace loving nation but if subjected to aggression by adversary, we would respond with full force," the PAF statement quoted Anwar as saying.
The exact technical details of the weapon test-fired were not shared by the PAF. A short video of the test was released online, which shows a Pakistani Air Force JF-17 Thunder jet dropping a missile in the desert. An enormous explosion bursts out across the desert landscape as a powerful shockwave punches through the sky.
The JF-17, which was previously referred as FC-1 Xiaolong, a single-engine multi-role light fighter was jointly produced by Pakistan with China for several years with engines supplied by Russia. The Block III version, which has been in development for over 2 years now is characterized by an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, helmet-mounted targeting system, an advanced targeting pod, data links and beyond visual range weapons.
The trial comes amid tensions between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 44 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14.
The Indian Air Force then carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26. This operation has brought the two countries on the brink of an open conflict for the first time in decades. (With Agency inputs)