Shares of JF-17 plane-maker’s sister company in China surged after former Pak officer’s tweet: Report

Beijing: Shares of Chinese JF-17 fighter jet manufacturer’s sister company surged after a former Pakistani officer’s tweet claiming the planes were used by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to shoot down Indian military aircraft, according to a media report.

Retired PAF Air Marshal Shahid Latif had early on Wednesday tweeted, “Proud to announce, I was project director for JF-17 Thunder programme jointly produced by Pakistan and China during the [2001-2008] tenure of General Pervez Musharraf.”

“Today, same jets targeted and shot down Indian jets which entered Pakistani airspace.” he wrote.

Less than two hours after this tweet, shares of Shenzhen-listed Sichuan Chengfei Integration Technology (CAC-SCIT), a sister company of JF-17 maker Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC), rose 10 percent in five minutes – hitting the maximum daily rise allowed on the Chinese stock market, reported the South China Morning Post.

China has refused to confirm the claim made by Latif that JF-17 fighters were used by PAF to shoot down Indian military aircraft.

Chinese Defence Ministry refused to comment, but spokesman Ren Guoqiang said, “The most urgent and important thing is both India and Pakistan should keep restraint.”

PAF had said on Wednesday that it shot down two Indian fighter jets that entered Pakistani airspace near the Line of Control, and captured a pilot.

At a joint media briefing in New Delhi on Thursday, senior officers of the three armed forces had said that Pakistan used several US-made F-16 aircraft to target military establishments in India. However, no damage was done, they had said.

They had also presented proof of AIM-120 missile being fired by F-16 in Indian territory.

India had said that its air force lost only one MiG-21 Bison fighter jet on Wednesday.

The aircraft was piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who shot down a Pakistani F-16. He was taken into custody by Pakistan Army after he bailed out when his plane crashed. He returned home on Friday.

The lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft JF-17 was developed by CAC and is produced jointly with defense and aviation contractor Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.

Meanwhile, the Indian subsidiary of the United States F-16 fighter aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin rubbished claims by a senior official in Pakistan Information Minister’s office that it was going to sue India for “wrongly claiming” that an Indian Air Force MiG-21 had shot down an F-16 in a dogfight in Kashmir.

The claim was made by Danyal Gilani, Director in the Information Minister’s office and chairman of Pakistan’s Central Film Board in a tweet. “Lockheed Martin has made no such comments,” Lockheed Martin said in its March 1 reply to a tweet by Gilani, which he removed subsequently.