Iraq is turning from its rickety F-16s into Pakistani GF-17s

Iraq is turning from its rickety F-16s into Pakistani GF-17s


Iraq is turning from its rickety F-16s into Pakistani GF-17sInformation / translation.
Al-Akhbar International newspaper (Pakistan) revealed, on Sunday, that in an unexpected turn of events, Baghdad signed a deal with Islamabad, after two years of diplomatic discussions, to buy its GF-17 fighter jets.

The report, which was translated by the information agency, stated that “the Pakistani GF-17 aircraft is a joint project between China and Pakistan, as this fighter, which is called “Thunder”, attracted the attention of many countries, including Iraq, to ​​replace the old model of the dilapidated American F-16 aircraft.

He added, “Although the details of the Iraqi deal remained secret, it is rumored that Iraq bought 12 JF-17 Thunder Block 3 fighters, with speculation that the price would be around $664 million, as the new aircraft are scheduled to replace the F-16.” It is currently the only type of combat aircraft in Iraqi service, but unfortunately, it quickly deteriorated into an inoperable condition after delivery from the United States, requiring expensive repairs.

He continued, “Iraq was before that considering obtaining Russian planes, but given the severe sanctions imposed by Washington on the Russian military-industrial complex, Baghdad probably decided to avoid any potential complications and chose not to deal with Moscow.”

The report stated that “there are several reasons why the Iraqi F-16s did not fly, and one of the main reasons is the lack of spare parts and maintenance support, as the F-16s were purchased by Iraq from the United States, which were manufactured in the eighties of the last century, and the political tensions between the two countries, It made the United States reluctant to provide Iraq with the necessary spare parts and maintenance support and use it as a pressure card on the Iraqi government.

The report indicated that “the JF-17 aircraft possesses a more advanced weapons system than the Iraqi F-16 aircraft, as it is capable of carrying a wide range of weapons, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, and precision-guided munitions. This makes it a more versatile platform.” And effective for a wide range of missions, it is also a more cost-effective option for Iraq than modernizing its aging F-16 fleet and is also expected to provide Iraq with a more reliable and sustainable air defense capability.