Pakistan and Myanmar are in “advanced negotiations” to licence-build the JF-17, a single-engine multi-role fighter jet, reported IHS Jane's Defence Weekly on Wednesday.

The news outlet, citing defence industry sources in Yangon and sources close to the Myanmar Air Force (MAF), said Myanmar would be able to significantly expand its local defence industry if an agreement is reached.

As the MAF phases out its obsolete fleet of F-7M Airguard and A-5C combat aircraft, licensed production of the JF-17 Thunder would also mean that the aircraft will likely become the MAF's workhorse over the coming decades in much the same way as it has moved to prominence within the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

At least 70 of the fighters are in service with the PAF, with the first ones having entered service in 2009. Expectations are that the PAF will induct up to 150 JF-17 Thunder fighters in the coming years.