Chengdu Aircraft has completed around 20 sorties of its first FC-1/JF-17 prototype since the type made its maiden flight last August. The company will roll out a second flying prototype at the end of this month, while the programme's third flight-test airframe and a fatigue-test article are in assembly. A fifth, static-test article is already in use.
Russia's Klimov RD-93 has been picked to power the fighter, and the prototype aircraft are equipped with Chinese avionics. A more advanced avionics suite will be installed after the project's performance evaluation phase concludes late this year and before the systems evaluation phase begins.
Pakistan, expected to acquire about 200 JF-17s, will decide on an avionics package next year. Pakistan Aeronautical Complex-assembled Fiar Grifo S7 and Elta EL/M-2032 fire-control radars are among the systems under consideration to equip its aircraft.