After facing strong objections from India, Sri Lanka has dropped the plan of purchasing JF-17 fighter aircrafts from Pakistan, for now. Sri Lanka had on Tuesday signed an agreement worth USD 400 million (Rs 2675 crore) with Pakistan to buy fighter aircrafts, with each jet priced at USD 35 million.
As per the report, concerned India opposed SLAF plans to buy the JF-17s from Pakistan on the ground that Sri Lanka government does not need the fighter aircraft at present, beside mentioning a negative technical assessment of the aircraft.
It's been six years since the Sri Lanka government's war against LTTE came to an end. Since then, Sri Lanka government has been increasing their budget on defense. In 2016 alone, the Lankan government announced a budget of USD 3 billion, i.e., Rs 200 billion, to be spent on the defense sector.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan agreed to the landmark deal for the purchase of eight JF-17 fighter jets on the second day of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to Colombo.
Reportedly, India is concerned that if that the deal between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will enable the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and China's Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) to set up maintenance and training facility in Sri Lanka. This will further widen the proximity between Pakistan and Chinese security forces.