Saudi Arabia is considering cooperation with China and Pakistan in the development and production of the FC-1 Xiaolong multirole fighter jet, also known as the JF-17 Thunder, according to Military Parade, a website covering defense issues based in Russia.
General Raheel Sharif, the chief of staff of Pakistan's armed forces, ordered a JF-17 aerial maneuver display to welcome a military delegation from Saudi Arabia led by the country's deputy defense minister Prince Salman bin Sultan on Jan. 20, the site reported. The website's source said the representatives from the Royal Saudi Air Force have been eager to learn the details of the production of the JF-17 in Pakistan since 2013. The fighter was jointly designed by China and Pakistan.
As Pakistan is a major military partner to both China and Saudi Arabia, Military Parade said the South Asian country plays a key role in introducing Chinese weapons system to members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to providing advanced aircraft, tanks and submarines to these nations, Pakistan is also able to transfer Chinese military technology.
Military Parade was also informed that a representative from the Saudi delegation said that the Royal Saudi Air Force is interested in starting a new project based on the design of the fighter. Whether true or not, the website concluded that greater military cooperation between China and Arab nations will take place in the future with Pakistan as the agent.
I guess its time for JF-17 to receive some serious upgrades.