"Russian Engine Embargo Derails JF-17 Sale to Pakistan" was what I wanted it to read!
Good story here.
What a tangled web!
...China signed a $550 million agreement with Grumman in 1986 to modernise its J-7 fighter (MiG-21 copy) under the "Super-7" upgrade project, with US and British firms competing to provide the engine and avionics. The project was canceled after the Tienanmen Square massacre, but Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation managed to continue the programme with its own resources, and the project was re-branded as FC-1 (Fighter China-1). US sanctions related to Pakistan's nuclear program and Chinese-Pakistani use of ballistic missile components led Pakistan to seek helps from its Chinese ally. A joint development and production agreement was signed in June 1999, with China Aviation Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) and Pakistan each contributing 50% of the estimated $150 million development costs.
The Pakistan Government had hoped to sign a deal to acquire 150 JF-17/FC-1 fighters in 2007, with 8 aircraft in service by year's end. China had reportedly even bought 100 Klimov RD-93 engines from Russia for installing on JF-17s, with an option to contract another 400 engines.
There's only one problem: Russia has just refused permission for the transfer of its RD-93 engines, derived from the RD-33 that equips the MiG-29. The decision comes only a few days after a visit to India by Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov, during which a number of joint defense projects were discussed and agreements were signed. These include the MRTA transport aircraft, and reportedly a "5th generation fighter" project, even as the MiG-29OVT/MiG-35 is touted as the likely winner of the multi-billion MRCA fighter contract.
Coincidence? Not a chance. Replacement with another engine? Unless it's a very close copy, that requires re-work of the entire fighter design and takes years. Just ask the J-10 project team.
Bottom line? Pakistan's ongoing F-16 fleet upgrade and expansion program with the USA has just become much more important - giving the USA a larger lever to use over Pakistani behaviour vis-a-vis Afghanistan, al-Qaeda, et. al.