(A dual-seat FC-1B trainer/fighter jet makes its maiden flight on Thursday in Chengdu.)
China conducted the maiden flight of its dual-seat FC-1B trainer/fighter jet on Thursday morning, aiming to seize a bigger share of the global military aircraft market. The event took place at an airport of Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, the maker of the plane and a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corp of China. It was witnessed by AVIC executives, foreign guests and journalists.
(A JF-17 Fighter from the Pakistan Air force Performs Maneuvers at Airshow China 2016)
The FC-1B, also known as the JF-17B, is the latest variant of the single-seat FC-1 fourth-generation multirole combat aircraft co-developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, the leading aviation company in Pakistan. It was designed to meet the requirements of such planes from foreign clients and the international market, according to AVIC.The State-owned aircraft giant said the aircraft is capable of not only training pilots but also engaging in aerial combat and striking ground targets.
Currently, Pakistan is the only confirmed user of the FC-1, with more than 80 aircraft delivered to the Pakistan Air Force, according to Pakistani media.
China and Pakistan signed a contract with an unidentified buyer at the 14th Dubai Airshow in November 2015. The identity of the buyer and the number of FC-1s involved remain undisclosed. Earlier reports said that many nations including Myanmar, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia are interested in the FC-1 and its variants.