November 13, 2011 / 10:58 AM / 8 years ago

Pakistan offers cut-price fighter jet

DUBAI (Reuters) - Pakistan is pitching its new JF17 Thunder fighter jet, developed jointly with China, at an aggressive discount to dominant Western rivals, the country’s defense minister said on Sunday.

“You can buy three of our aircraft for one F-16,” Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar told Reuters at the Dubai Air Show, where the aircraft is being displayed.

He said that the producer, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, was not able to keep pace with the requirements of the air force.

“Three squadrons are already flying the aircraft in Pakistan and one squadron in China,” he added.

Analysts expect the aircraft, which Mukhtar said was priced at $25-30 million, to be focused on emerging markets in Asia and Africa.

“Going to the (European) market is not very easy because you are cutting the profits of some other people,” Mukhtar said.

He said the development of the aircraft was not targeted at archrival India.

“India need not worry — it’s not India-specific. We are building very close relations with India.”

Reporting by Sitaraman Shankar and Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by David Cowell

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