China is taking its arms trade relationship with Pakistan to another level as reports began circulating on social media about the latter’s plans to induct another, more advanced Chinese fighter jet into its Air Force.

Earlier this month, some news reports suggested that the most notable air squadron—PAF 16 Squadron—of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), nicknamed “Black Panthers,” had recently received the first batch of China’s state-of-the-art JF-17 Block III aircraft.

An anonymous Pakistani defense journalist confirmed to EurAsian Times that these highly upgraded fighters had been delivered and commissioned into the PAF Black Panthers, with 12 aircraft being welcomed in a low-key ceremony.

This is yet another significant arms transaction between two regional partners collaborating on economic development and militarization in recent years, with the same goal of counterbalancing the Indian-Western alliance in the region.

Islamabad made similar headlines less than a year ago when its Air Force received another advanced Chinese fighter jet, the J-10C (NATO reporting name “Firebird”)—a 4+ generation, medium-weight, single-engine, multirole combat aircraft equipped with fly-by-wire flight controls and is recognized as a more potent fighter than the newly commissioned JF-17s.