JF-17 Thunder--FC-1 Project A Flagship of China-Pakistan Friendship

The FC-1 Xiaolong fighter jets, which are jointly developed by China and Pakistan, are seen by many as a symbol of the China-Pakistan friendship.

CRI reporters have visited the assembly plant in Pakistan where the jets are being produced and had a firsthand look at the joint project.

The FC-1 Xiaolong fighter jets are known as GF-17 Thunder in Pakistan.

They are assembled at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, or PAC in Kamra, the world's seventh largest fighter jets assembly plant.

Air Vice Marshal Arshad Khan is the Managing Director of Kamra Avionics & Radar Factory at the PAC.

He says the success of this project lays in the willingness of Chinese original equipment manufacturer to transfer its know-how to the Pakistani side.

"When we talk about the technology transfer, it is a model that the Chinese are helping us, transfer the Know-how that they have and to reduce the cost and have a real participation. So it is a good flexibility to help us to develop our aviation industry and benefit from the previous existing development project."

He says Pakistan hopes the technology transfer will be completed by next year.

35 Chinese engineers are in the PAC to train Pakistani workers and providing technical assistance.

Gao Yan is the Chief Representative in Pakistan from China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporatioin.

"The process of the production of FC-1 Xiaolong fighter is smooth, though there are still some small problems, Pakistani workers can manage the skills and learned very fast. It is not easy for a country without aeronautics infrastructures to build planes, however under the collaboration between experts and companies from both countries, we overcame difficulties and the current production is good. "

Meanwhile, local media reported that Pakistan hopes to receive 50 more Xiaolong fighter jets within the next six months.

The Kamra Aeronautical Complex says the new deal is part of the program to replace the old equipment.

Air Commodore Nudrat Kazmi is the Managing Director of Aircraft Manufacturing Factory in PAC.

"Basically, the new deal has been signed because of the requirements which has been generated by the Pakistan Air Force. The Pakistan air force has gone through a transition period, which the old equipment are being phased out and new equipment are being inducted. This fifty craft are part of that transitional phase. And therefore, it is part of that particular program."

The Pakistan Air Force officially inducted its first FC-1 Xiaolong squadron last year.