Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has received two F-7 aircraft, overhauled by the Aircraft Overhaul Wing at Katunayake Air Force Base, on July 10, the service said in a statement.
The jets were accepted by the Commander of the SLAF, Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy at a simple ceremony at Katunayake.
The event was also attended by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Sumangala Dias, members of the Air Force Board of Management and other officers as well as representatives of the Aviation Engineering Division of the China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC), who are partnering the SLAF in this technology transfer project.
The Aircraft Overhaul Wing was established in the year 2016 with the technical assistance of CATIC. The Chinese specialist are expected to assist and guide the SLAF in establishing the facilities and in the first few overhauls, after which they are expected to withdraw gradually, leaving the SLAF with the capability to independently handle overhauls.
Initially the project is expected to handle the airframe overhaul of Chinese origin aircraft although the SLAF expects that the technology acquired will facilitate the overhaul of other aircraft as well.
Chengdu J-7 (Chinese: 歼-7; third generation export version F-7; NATO Code: Fishbed) is a Chinese license-built version of the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21.
Though production ceased in 2013, it continues to serve, mostly as an interceptor, in several air forces, including the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.
The J-7 was extensively re-developed into the CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder, which became a successor to the type.