As per officials of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) at the 2015 Dubai Air Show, the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) has no plans to replace the JF-17 fighter’s Klimov/Sarkisov RD-93 powerplant despite Chinese suggestions otherwise.
A PAC senior representative recently told the media, “We are completely satisfied with this Russian-made engine.”
He further added that improvements to the JF-17’s design and the reliability of the RD-93 have attracted a number of interested parties.
“When we designed the JF-17 we evaluated a number of design alternatives and we determined that the RD-93 in this single-engine installation is absolutely right for this application,” he said. “We worked extensively with the people from Klimov bureau in St Petersburg [Russia] and this engine turned out to be an ideal solution.”
PAC is currently working to establish a full-scale servicing and overhaul facility for the RD-93 jet engine.
“What does this tell you?” asked one programme officer rhetorically. “If the situation was as it has been portrayed at times – that we are just utilising the RD-93 as a temporary solution until the Chinese can ‘save’ us with their own new engine – then we would not be expending the resources to set up this overhaul base. For us, changing to another engine would not make any sense and would be disruptive and cause a huge expense for the JF-17 programme.”