The Information Technology University (ITU) Dean of the School of Business Management and Professor of Finance Dr Bashir Ahmed Khan has written first formal case study regarding a project of Pakistan’s Defense services, titled, “Pakistan aeronautical complex: JF-17 thunder and strategic technology transfer”.

ITU Vice Chancellor Dr Umar Saif said that the case study involving strategic technology transfer has made it a document of international interest. It has also underlined the major foreign relations shift in the South Asian region at a time when new alliances were emerging in the region in the backdrop of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he added.

Dr Saif further stated that it was also a concrete step towards academic linkages between the military-industrial complex and ITU, a University committed towards integrating technological change in economic activities in the country.

Although much of the material in the case is available in the public domain, the case also required the cooperation of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), and it benefitted from feedback, comments, and interviews of senior PAF officials as well as staff from PAC.

The case study focuses on technology transfer and its associated issues. The Thunder, jointly developed with the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAIC) in China, represents the acme of technological development in the domestic conventional defense industry, since it is a 4th generation multi-role fighter aircraft, designed to be the mainstay of the PAF.

The case study shows how the idea of technology transfer evolved from joint production to design collaboration; and how technologies were absorbed, assimilated, adopted, and adapted, to the extent that components from a number of countries(China, Russia, France, USA, UK, Brazil, and Pakistan) were successfully integrated into the airframe, weapons platform, and avionics.

Given its extensive combat use since its introduction into the PAF, the fact that it has evolved into multiple variants, and its export potential, both the PAC and the PAF regard the project as a major technological and business success story