Friday, December 5, 2014

IDEAS 2014: Pakistan's Biggest Ever Arms Bazar in Karachi

International Defense Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS), Pakistan biannual arms show, made a modest beginning in year 2000 on President Musharraf's directive. It has since grown into a major international event with hundreds of exhibitors and delegates attending from several dozen countries. It has also served to help highlight and promote Pakistan's domestic defense industry and sign several arms export deals with friendly nations.



The just concluded IDEAS 2014 attracted 333 defense-related companies including 50 companies from Pakistan. Delegates from 50 countries attended the show this year.

The fact that Pakistan is the third largest importer of arms in the world is not lost on major arms merchants. World's top arms importer is India with 14% market share followed by China and Pakistan with 5% each, according to Stockholm-based SIPRI

International Arms Market Source: SIPRI


While Pakistan's traditional allies China and Turkey were the biggest exhibitors occupying the largest space at the show, the most notable new entrant this year was Russia, the biggest arms supplier to Pakistan's arch-rival India.  Russian defense minister visited Pakistan and agreed to sell Mi-35 attack helicopters. There was also a report in IHS Jane's 360 publication that, under a new Pakistan-Russia defense cooperation agreement, Russia will now directly supply RD-93 Klimov jet engine for JF-17 fighter aircraft jointly developed by China and Pakistan. 




While the JF-17 was the star of the show for Pakistan, other major Pakistan-made attractions included smart-bomb named Takbir, a high-tech weapon system POF Eye, and new drones Burraq and Shahpar and trainer aircraft Mushshaq and Super Mushshaq.  There were also armored car manufacturers catering to rising domestic demand fueled by security concerns in Pakistan. 




Pakistan-made Takbir ‪ is a 250 Kg air-launched smart bomb that can accurately hit target 80-100 km away. It expands its wings as soon as it is launched and makes its way while dodging the hurdles in its way to hit its intended target. 




Pakistan-made POF Eye is a special-purpose hand-held weapon system similar in concept to the Israeli-made CornerShot that can fire weapons (bullets, hand-grenades) around corners. It is designed for SWAT and special forces teams in hostile situations, particularly counter-terrorism and hostage rescue operations. It allows its operator to both see and attack an armed target without exposing the operator to counter-attack. 

Pakistani officials claim having closed several arms export deals to sell different weapon systems, including agreements with four Middle Eastern and African countries for the sale of one JF-17 squadron each. 

Here's a video discussion on multiple subjects including Karachi Defense Show:



PTI Plans; Junaid Jamshed Blasphemy; Modi Minister's Attack on Non-Hindus; Pak Defense Expo from WBT TV on Vimeo.




Related Links:













27 comments:

Syed said...

I am presently visiting Karachi and had had the opportunity to visit the exhibition.

The 'Takbir' is a great weapon. The model on exhibition was probably just a smaller version and replica of the actual equipment. Because, for it to be able to travel 80 KM after launch it would need a fairly large propulsion vehicle with solid propellant ( to reduce the size). Again, the targetting system would need very sophisticated avionics with guidance, preferably, from a settelite controlled by us.

Riaz Haq said...

From IHS Jane's 360:


The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is close to finalising an order for the purchase of one or two squadrons of the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft co-produced by Pakistan and China, a senior Pakistani Ministry of Defence official told IHS Jane's on 2 December.

Speaking at the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2014 in Karachi, the official said the NAF finalised its recommendation for the purchase of 25-40 JF-17s after NAF chief air marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu visited Pakistan in October. AM Amosu's engagements in Pakistan included a visit to the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) at Kamra, north of Islamabad, where the JF-17 is manufactured.

So far, the PAC has produced 50 Block 1 JF-17s and began work on another 50 Block 2 variants in late 2013. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officials have told IHS Jane's that a Block 3 variant is being planned. While the JF-17 has PAF capability plans, it has so far failed to find an export customer.

COMMENT
PAF officials have described the JF-17 Block 3 as a fourth-generation-plus fighter, a term that is used to describe Western aircraft such as Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 60s, the Saab Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon, and Dassault Rafale, among others.

Western officials have previously said that a first successful export of the JF-17 holds the key for the programme's long-term sustainment. Potential export customers mentioned as likely candidates for the JF-17 have included Egypt, Nigeria, Myanmar, and Venezuela.

Senior PAF officials have promoted the JF-17 as costing much less than comparable fighters produced by Western manufacturers. However, prospective customers are likely to consider established manufacturers ahead of PAC, which is a relative newcomer to the international market.

http://www.janes.com/article/46579/ideas-2014-nigeria-close-to-signing-up-for-jf-17

Riaz Haq said...

Yet Zaheer Ahmad, vice president of Kestral, representing a range of primarily North American contractors such as L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, and Sikorsky, said IDEAS2014 was comparable to any other large exhibition in terms of the variety of attendees and exhibitors.

A number of key smaller exhibitors were present for the first time.

ByField Optics, a developer of surveillance and security products and manufacturer of leading edge ultraviolet/kinetic eye protection and optics, came from Australia. Czech manufacturer Inflatech showcased its inflatable decoys that reflect radar energy and can simulate infrared signatures. Lithuania’s Helisota promoted its helicopter maintenance, overhaul and upgrade expertise. Yugoimport, Serbia’s arms export agency, was also a major presence.

With local industry the largest presence, the bulk of the remainder came from China, Turkey and the US.

The Sino-Pakistani Karakorum K-8 trainer was notable for being displayed armed for the first time with two AIM-9P Sidewinders, practice bombs and a 23mm gun pod in recognition that it now serves in the advanced jet trainer role.

Most eyes were on the JF-17, Pakistan’s flagship defense project, and Nigeria is reported to be in the final stages of negotiations to equip up to two squadrons.

“So far, there are 11 countries talking to us; so far we have not actually signed any deal,” said Air Commodore Khalid Mahmood, director of sales and marketing for the JF-17.

He outlined a wide range of improvements and weapons integrated with the aircraft. Weaponry now includes the CM-102 air-launched supersonic anti-radiation missile and GB-6 air-launched standoff submunition dispenser, which were unveiled at China’s Zhuhai Airshow last month.

Mahmood said Pakistan is “open to all suppliers” for advanced short-range air-to-air missiles, and dispelled rumors the active/passive SD-10A long-range missile was not fully operational.

He stressed the program continues to evolve and potential customers are being offered a partnership, not just an aircraft.

The expected deals for Chinese submarines and Russian Mi-35M helicopter gunships were not signed.

Russian Helicopters representatives said only that the deal is “for more than five.” Pakistan’s Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanvir Hussain also declined to directly address the issue, but did say Pakistan is also considering the Mi-28NE Havoc.

Similarly, Chinese and Pakistan Navy officials would not discuss the submarine contract, but Cmdr. Hasnain Ali of Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) said they would likely mostly be built in Pakistan.

Other deals have been quietly signed, including those for the third and fourth stealth missile boats being built at KSEW. The remaining pair have yet to be contracted.

Three batteries of the China Aerospace Long-March International LY-80 surface-to-air missile system have been purchased for nearly US $226 million, with eight units of the IBIS-150 air defense surveillance radar for $40 million.

A model of an LY-80 battery was displayed, but little further information was forthcoming.

Analyst Haris Khan of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank, who attended IDEAS2014, said the LY-80 was a “good system that looks like it will be very effective,” but does not yet know if it will be produced locally as speculated.

NORINCO displayed its SH-1 155mm wheeled artillery system, but Khan said its worn appearance proved it had at least been trialed by Pakistan’s Army, though officials would not comment on this.

State-owned armored fighting vehicle manufacturer Heavy Industries Taxilia (HIT) has been busy. Spokesman Lt. Col. Amer Ahmed Khan said it will partner with Belgian engineering firm and licensee Duma Engineering to produce General Dynamics’ Dragoon four-wheel-drive armored fighting vehicle (AFV).




http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141207/DEFREG03/312070011/Pakistan-Seeks-Prop-Up-Exports-Boost-Industry

Riaz Haq said...

ISLAMABAD: The country’s indigenous defence production has reached $1.5 billion per annum, according to a report published in the Jane’s Defence Weekly. The journal quoted an unnamed Pakistani official as saying: “We have substituted imported defence equipment worth $1.5bn [per year], which for us is a huge bonus.”

The defence industry has often been criticised for being inefficient and low tech because of which the cost of its products has been higher than that of comparable items in the international market.

But, the government’s decision to grant first right of refusal to the local industry, which is state-controlled, helped the ailing industry in boosting its sales. The right of refusal has not been fully accorded as Sindh province is yet to comply.

Under the first right of refusal, local buyers have to accord preference to local industry for their procurements. The Minister for Defence Production Rana, Tanvir Hussain, was quoted by the Jane’s as saying: “We have achieved self-sufficiency in several areas of defence production. We cannot lower our guard against the threat from our adversaries.”

Of the $1.5bn defence hardware produced locally, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex at Kamra, which manufactures JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, Mushak and Super Mushak aircraft and produced equipment worth a billion dollars last year.

Supplies worth another $500 million came from other production facilities catering for the Army and the Navy. These included the Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) and the Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF).

The Taxila complex builds Al Khalid and Al Zarrar tanks along with armoured personnel carriers, while POF produces small arms and medium-sized weapon systems for the armed forces. Another major contributor has been the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.

Despite the progress made by the local defence industry in meeting the needs of the armed forces, it (the defence industry) has not been able to find buyers for its products in the international market.

Officials are hopeful of some deals materialising in near future, including one for sale of JF-17 Thunder jets.

“For years officials have hoped a major export order for one of these would put the country on the list of the world’s emerging arms exporters,” Jane’s noted. It added that there was a small ray of hope, however. Nigeria, it said, was due to finalise plans to buy 15 to 30 units of the JF-17 in what would be the fighter’s first export.


http://www.dawn.com/news/1151174/pakistans-indigenous-defence-production-reaches-15bn

Riaz Haq said...

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) official becomes international law on Wednesday, which establishes for the first time global rules to stop the flow of weapons and munitions to countries where they could be used to commit serious human rights violations.

However, it does nothing about the hundreds of millions of guns already in circulation worldwide.

At Peshawar's Karkhano Market, for instance, anyone can find antique Enfields used by British troops in World War I, Soviet AK-47s from the 1980s, and M-16s stolen from NATO warehouses in Afghanistan.

Experts fear that many of these weapons wind up in the hands of Taliban fighters.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder reports from Peshawar, Pakistan

http://www.aljazeera.com/video/asia/2014/12/gun-sales-boom-pakistan-arms-bazaar-2014122452313180319.html

Riaz Haq said...

Creating a new breed of fighter pilots in #Pakistan #JF17 simulator #Qatar http://www.dawn.com/news/1154198


From the inside of the main cockpit, designed as an exact replica of the JF-17’s driving seat, Daniyal Masoom demonstrates what he calls his pièce de résistance, the most advanced flight simulation platform ever designed in Pakistan.

It’s a little like being in The Matrix, you strap in and are immediately transported several thousand feet above sea-level. The roar of the fighter jet’s engines bellows from the speakers as the instrument panel lights up. From the moment you gain control of the aircraft, you’re hooked.

The partnership that spawned this technological marvel was formed in Dec 5, 1997. “That’s the day we enrolled at the PAF Academy, Risalpur,” says Syed Mohammad Raza, the other half of the duo behind Thrust Factor. A technically gifted engineer and mathematician, Raza had already developed a working prototype of the simulator platform by the time the two men decided to collaborate.

While they have no plans to abandon their day jobs yet, both men confess that designing simulators is their real passion.

Although they still call themselves a start-up, the duo have already had great success marketing their wares to foreign buyers with deeper pockets. A fully functional version of the cockpit installed on the sixth floor of the Safa Gold Mall is already in place in Qatar, with several other projects in the pipeline.

Thrust Factor is more than just a flight simulator. In video gaming terms, the system that Daniyal and Raza have designed can ‘talk to’ most video games available on the market. The simulators can even be linked via LAN to enable multiplayer gaming.

They have integrated everything from driving simulators to Moto GP games, and there is even talk of a fighting simulator.

“Players will strap motion sensors to their hands and feet and then go toe-to-toe. It’s gonna change the way people think about playing video games.”

The platform they’ve designed, both hardware and software, is completely indigenous. “We’ve made sure that every single part, every bit of raw material is something that can be easily found in markets of Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad or Multan,” says Raza.

Asked how they get the simulator to replicate the in-game movements, Raza proudly explains his ingenious solution to the problem of clumsy hydraulics. “It’s an electronic actuator that we designed ourselves. The patent is currently pending,” he tells us with much aplomb.

The result of his efforts is a bumpy yet realistic ride. “During a race, a driver will experience up to 3Gs. We want our users to experience at least half that, so that when they get out, they feel physically exhausted,” he says.

Starting out with Microsoft Flight Simulator X, the two have now upgraded their system so that it is compatible with XPLANE, a hyper-realistic flight simulator that is used by many militaries of the world to train pilots. Intuitive and easy to use even for the lay-man, Daniyal says that some of their best customers so far have been pilots. “At our last location, we had a group of PIA pilots who would come and fly 777s for hours and hours. They are now our biggest fans on Facebook.”

But this, Raza assures us, is just the beginning. They have already scaled up their R&D operation and are moving their lab from its humble 2-kanal confines on Adiala Road to a purpose-built facility near Burhan. “Money is a by-product of our success,” Raza says, but Daniyal is quick to add, “We’d like a lot of by-product.”

The next stop for both engineers is a platform that people can buy and install at home. “Something that costs Rs50,000-60,000 and can be connected with most gaming consoles.”

Riaz Haq said...

Analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank said that since the French Al Khalid sight is too expensive, and the Franco-Pakistani defense relationship has deteriorated, Turkey is a viable alternative supplier.

He believes there may be further benefits in deepening the Pakistani-Turkish defense relationship that could allow export of the Al-Khalid, hitherto prevented by high foreign sub-systems content.

Indigenization of sub-systems and others from Turkey will potentially change this.

"I don't see any issue with exporting Al-Khalid with Turkish sub-systems as we are not competing for the same market, and Pak/Turkish relations are also deep and very well established," he said.

Aselsan is also partnered with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), and defense software firm Havelsan in bidding to upgrade Pakistan's ATR-72 patrol aircraft after the tender was reopened shortly before IDEAS2014.

Havelsan's Nejat Gokbakar (who revealed Havelsan had also submitted an independent proposal) and TAI's Gokberk Ozturk said the Pakistan Navy was impressed after examining the Turkish Navy's ATR-72s, the standard of which is now being offered to Pakistan. They are optimistic of success.

Ozturk also revealed TAI hopes to build upon giving subcontracting work on the Anka UAV to Pakistan Aeronautical Complex by "looking for opportunities to export it to Pakistan."

"We're aware the Pakistan Air Force is using FLIR-equipped C-130s, so the Anka is far better suited in every respect," he added.

TAI is pursuing multiple avenues of business with Pakistan, including promoting the T-129 helicopter.

Ozcan Ertem, executive vice president and head of Aircraft Group, said TAI is also ready to explore any opportunity to supply a variant of its Hurkus turboprop trainer.

However, one Turkish aviation expert said the Turkish military's persistent push to buy an extra batch of Korean-made KT-1 basic trainers could prune export prospects for the Hurkus.

"The reluctant potential buyers could include Pakistan, given the message of uncertainty over the Hurkus," he said.

The Turkish military has signed a deal with TAI to buy 10 Hurkus, but is pressing for a follow-on order from Korean Aerospace Industries for 15 KT-1s in an approximately $150 million deal. In 2007, Turkey and KAI signed a contract for the sale of an initial batch of 40 KT-1s, with an option for 15 more. The industry widely views the Turkish move to buy new KT-1s as a sign of mistrust in TAI's delivery schedule, planned for 2017-18.

Yonca Onuk, maker of advance composite fast attack, interception, and patrol craft, also seeks to deepen its relationship with Pakistan. Having already supplied it with MRTP-15 and MRTP-33 boats, it is now hoping for success with its MRTP-34.

Ekber I.N. Onuk said the MRTP-34, (of which he said Qatar has purchased three), was an improvement of the MRTP-33, which Pakistan's Navy has praised for "excellent sea keeping and handling qualities" plus lethality and versatility.

Consequently, he believes the MRTP-34 "is a boat the Pakistan Navy needs," specifically for operations in and around the contested Indo-Pakistani maritime border.

"The MRTP-34, when operated in the Creeks area, in conjunction with a network-centric warfare capability, means that they would be as lethal as a cobra in the bushes," he said.

Also being promoted is the larger, more capable MRTP-45, and there are hopes for wider cooperation.

"We see people have understood the strength of the Turkish defense industry, and we will be able to provide state-of-the-art naval platforms, equipped with state-of-the-art systems, including anti-ship missiles," Onuk said.


http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/industry/2015/01/03/turkey-pakistan-ties-industry/21106293/

Riaz Haq said...

He does not believe the JF-17 will be a victim of a divergence in the fighter market with affluent nations opting for high end fighters while others purchase lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) aircraft.

"Everyone needs a high tech aircraft. Those who can afford it buy them. Others think a LIFT will fill the gap, but it doesn't," he said. "We can offer customers a far more capable aircraft at a similar price. We can offer them support and maintenance. We don't just offer them aircraft. We don't walk away from our responsibilities."

Nor does he believe Russian competition will directly hamper sales.

"In this class of fighter, the Russians don't have any airplanes. The nations which consider the JF-17, the Russians cannot offer an alternative aircraft because the aircraft are big, twin-engined, mostly twin-tailed, and of course they need bigger infrastructure, the storage, everything has to be specialized for those airplanes.

"Nations make their own decisions, but what is the most popular requirement?" he added. "Everybody wants to retain the same infrastructure, without them changing everything; they want to buy an aircraft with similar capabilities."

Presently development is focused on the third variant.

"We are in the process of finalizing the conceptual design of the Block III," he said. "Production is still three years away. Block III will be a big jump. The capabilities will be enhanced with previous ones retained."

Speculation focuses on possible dedicated stations for targeting pods, but Mahmood would say only that this was possible, and highlighted the present practice of using dual ejector racks "to offset this smaller size of the airplane."

Hitherto, those seen on the JF-17 have carried bombs, but there is speculation regarding dual racks designed for SD-10 beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles being tested.

Considerable improvements have also been made to armament options in the past two years, with emphasis on survivability and multirole capabilities.

"We're presently in the age of standoff weaponry. The Chinese have cleared a number of weapons for export, including long range anti-radiation missiles and [LG6] standoff munition dispensers. The anti-ship missile armament is also quite potent and comprises of the CM-400AKG and C-802AK. Each JF-17 is capable of carrying anti-ship missiles. The software is there. There are no fleets within fleets."

Perhaps reflecting an impending deal, he highlighted 90mm rocket launchers have been fitted at the behest of a potential customer and that such requests are prioritized.

"As a matter of policy we will add anything to the aircraft that will increase its potential, and even consider a Western engine if the customer so desires. We have spoken to suppliers about this, to Rolls-Royce. So if a customer decides we can do it, we can integrate a new engine. It will take a bit of time, but it can be done."

This is believed to be a reference to an EJ200-powered JF-17 targeted at Saudi Arabia, which in early 2014 discussed possible co-production and financing.

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/strike/2015/01/25/pakistan-jf-17-china-egypt-mirage/22170455/

Riaz Haq said...


This test means the Hatf/Vengeance VIII Ra'ad (Thunder) has now been officially tested five times since 2007. It is generally comparable to the Anglo/French Storm Shadow or US AGM-158 joint air-to-surface standoff missile, but exact specifications are not available.

Analyst, author and former Air Commodore Kaiser Tufail said, "The test firing was a typical combo of a technical upgrade timed with political signaling, something that both India and Pakistan have turned into an art form."

Mansoor Ahmed, lecturer in the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies at Islamabad's Quaid-e-Azam University, who specializes in Pakistan's nuclear program and its delivery systems, said the test was not in answer to India's test-firing of its Agni V intermediate range ballistic missile.

The Agni V was test fired on Saturday.

"I am not sure if this is a tit-for-tat response," he said. "The fact that it is a 350 kilometer vs. a 5,000-8,000 kilometer test reflects Pakistan's emphasis on credible minimum deterrence with only an India-centric posture, while India is clearly moving far beyond the requirements of a minimum deterrent driven by global power projection ambitions."

Instead, he believes the test was part of ongoing efforts on "improving the effectiveness and validating the enhanced operational parameters of existing delivery systems that comprise the country's nascent triad."

He added, "Ra'ad and the land and sea versions of the Babur cruise missiles offer diversification in targeting options, greater operational and deployable flexibility and increase the overall survivability of its deterrent force."

He says the two cruise missiles are especially important for Pakistan's nascent "posture of full spectrum deterrence with added emphasis on counter-value targeting to offset India's strategic and conventional force modernization," which are integral aspects of India's "emerging proactive operations strategy."

Ra'ad is claimed to be operational, but is such a critical weapon it is still somewhat cloaked in secrecy.

Ahmed, however, said Ra'ad may have "finally matured as an operational and deployable system," but "this might also be a batch test coupled with the possible completion/accomplishment of required miniaturization of suitable warheads for this system. Hence this test."

He believes that aside from technical improvements, the timing is significant in terms of its non-conventional strike capabilities.

"Range remains the same; the only thing that might have improved is accuracy, guidance and control parameters, etc. Also this test comes at a time when plutonium production for miniaturized warheads is meeting the operational requirements, with the commissioning of the fourth production reactor at Khushab," he said.

Despite being described as a conventional and non-conventional weapon, analysts like Tufail are unconvinced Ra'ad can effectively be employed by Pakistan in the conventional role.

"Platforms like the Ra'ad have limited use as conventional weapons launching platforms, because a payload of 450-kilograms [at best] can do little harm unless launched in a shower of a few score, something that would be outrageously costly," he said.

"Glide bombs are an economical choice for stand-off delivery of conventional weapons," he added.

Indeed, Pakistan does seem to have made further steps in this regard and showcased the latest of its glide bombs, the Global Industrial Defence Solutions' 'Takbir', at December's IDEAS2014 defense exhibition.

The Ra'ad has been tested on the Mirage III strike aircraft, but it is unknown if it has been integrated onto Pakistan's F-16s.

Tufail said it is more likely the JF-17 will be the next delivery platform.

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/strike/2015/02/03/pakistan-cruise-missile-test-raad-india-agni/22814323/

Riaz Haq said...

No US Military Planes Will Fly At #ParisAirShow; #Pakistan’s #JF17 will as will #rafale

http://breakingdefense.com/2015/06/no-us-military-planes-will-fly-at-paris-air-show/ … via @BreakingDefense

One of the most intriguing aircraft to come to the show is the Pakistani JF-17 Thunder, designed and built jointly by China and Pakistan. Three of the aircraft left yesterday for Paris from Pakistan. One will fly, one will be on static display and the other is, presumably, a backup. The aircraft is presumably being shown to see if Pakistan and China can attract any export customers. It’s currently scheduled to fly on Tuesday afternoon.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan wins first JF-17 order at #ParisAirShow: #PAF

http://tribune.com.pk/story/903828/jf-17-wins-first-export-order-at-international-paris-air-show-report/ …



PARIS: After high expectations for a deal to pull through, Pakistan was successful in securing its first ever export order for its JF-17 Thunder fighter on Monday at the first day of the International Paris Air Show.

Air Commodore and Pakistan Air Force officer dealing in sales and marketing, Khalid Mahmood said “A contract has been signed with an Asian country.” However the name of the country was not disclosed and deliveries are likely to begin in 2017.

The report added that 80 people were promoting the JF-17 in Paris this year, reflecting a significant marketing push.

Read: Pakistan eager to secure first ever-order for the JF-17 at Paris Air Show

Due to security concerns and client sensitivities, Mahmood chose not to specify the name of the customer and the number of aircraft it will obtain from Pakistan.

Further, speaking to AFP from the Paris Air Show by phone, Air Commodore Syed Muhammad Ali said an order for the plane had been finalised but declined to give details.

“That’s the case, we’ve finalised the order,” he said, citing sensitivities for not naming the client, the number of aircraft or the date of delivery.

Mahmood further stated that the sales for the JF-17 had been delayed due to the political turmoil in numerous countries in the Middle East.

Having brought three aircraft to the show this year, one of them will make its flying debut.

Commenting on the success of the show, Mahmood said the choice of venue in terms of meeting prospective customers from French speaking countries is a good one.

Read: China to deliver 50 more JF-17 Thunder jets to Pakistan

Analysts believe the major selling point of the JF-17 is its cost, which is likely to be substantially less than the $16-18 million cost of an US-made F-16.

The latest models of the jets, which are locally produced in cooperation with China, are lightweight multi-role aircraft capable of Mach 2.0 (twice the speed of sound) with an operational ceiling of 55,000 feet.

With a total 11 countries including Pakistan, China also markets the aircraft.

Updating the guests and media on Pakistan’s induction of the type, he claimed that a total of 54 examples of JF-17 have been delivered till date. Out of which the first 50 were delivered in a Block I configuration and an update of these to a Block II standard is underway.

The Block II configuration features improved avionics and better software, and adds a fixed air-to-air refuelling probe. The JF-17 is powered by a single Klimov RD-93 engine.

An addition of Block III configuration with 50 aircraft and 46 aircraft delivered in the Block II configuration is expected to push Pakistan’s fleet to 150 examples, aiming to be delivered by the end of 2018.

“Though the aircraft’s developers are still working out the specifications of the Block III aircraft, upgrades are likely to include an active electronically scanned array (AESA) or Passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar”, Mahmood said.

Further, the configuration could also include an infrared search and track (IRST) sensor, stations under the forward fuselage for various pods, and expanded precision weapons capabilities.

With the aim to serve mainly as a trainer, a two-seat variant is also planned by the developers. Pakistan produces 58% of the airframe and China 42%.

Pakistan was eager to secure its first-ever order for the JF-17 at the international event as Canada’s Bombardier is particularly hungry for sales, after its new C Series aircraft struggled through development delays and difficult market conditions.

Airbus has also confirmed it will display its A400M military transport plane for the first time since a fatal crash in Spain last month caused by a massive engine failure.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif Visits #Russia to Forge New Ties

http://www.voanews.com/content/pakistan-army-chief-visits-russia-to-forge-new-ties/2825903.html …

This recent thaw between the cold war rivals is a “natural outflow of Russia’s concern about what is going to happen to Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the U.S.,” explained Nandan Unnikrishnan, who has served as Press Trust of India’s bureau chief in Moscow for several years.

If Afghanistan becomes unstable, the spread of militancy and Islamist radicalism is expected to spread to the weak states around it.

“The weak states are not China and Iran,” explains Center for Strategic and International Studies analyst Michael Kofman, who focuses on Russia and has worked on Pakistan.

Most of the Central Asian states around Afghanistan have porous borders, weak governments, and varying degrees of autocracies which makes them prone to instability or ethnic conflict. Militants from some of these states are already present in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Frankly Tajikistan, Turkemenistan, Kyrgyzstan, these are all great targets, and Uzbekistan too,” Kofman said.

This is Russia’s backyard. Russia has a military presence in several of these countries and a large military base in Tajikistan.

Furthermore, there is a sizeable Muslim population inside Russia. So far the country has not faced issues of radicalization and militancy but it is not immune from them, particularly if the neighboring states fall victim to them.

Another reason for Russian overtures toward Pakistan may be to gain leverage with the Afghan Taliban via Islamabad in case the elected Afghan government falls.

“In the minds of Russian security services there is little doubt that Pakistani intelligence services and Pakistani establishment have very strong links with some of the Afghan Taliban,” according to Indian journalist Nandan Unnikrishnan.

Russia’s attempt at redefining its relationship with Pakistan comes at the risk of upsetting India, its traditional ally and largest defense sector customer.

However, Russia has justified this by pointing out that India has also looked to its rival, the United States, for its purchases. In the last few years, the U.S. has surpassed Russia to become India’s largest arms supplier.

Russia may also be looking to Pakistan as an untapped market. Pakistan’s direct defense trade with Russia has been limited, $22 million a few years ago compared to billions of dollars of trade with India.

Pakistan has usually received Russian equipment through China, which is not known for making aircraft engines and often uses Russian engines in its planes.

One of the benefits for Pakistan in trading with Russia will be “to cut out China as the middle man and save a lot of money,” according to Kofman of CSIS, who pointed out that Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunder aircraft, jointly developed with China, and recently in the news for receiving its first foreign order, uses Russian engines.

He also explained that the extent of this defense cooperation will depend on how much money Pakistan can spend.

“Russia, at the end of the day, is not in a position like the United States to subsidize defense deals,’ he said.

However, in a post Ukraine world of increased hostilities between Russia and the West, it is in Russia's interest to show that it is not isolated and has partners willing to do business with it.

Meanwhile, the United States has long encouraged countries in the region to take a greater interest in the stability of Afghanistan and has strongly supported China’s efforts in facilitating peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and the government of Afghanistan.

Many analysts think that at this point the United States is happy to have any actor that can contribute towards stability in Afghanistan, including rivals Russia and China.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Continues Arms Export Efforts. #JF17 http://defnews.ly/1RsHIRk via @defense_news

Pakistan's Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) unveiled a new exhibition center showcasing defense products from the country's public and private sectors in the presence of Defence Production Minister Tanveer Hussain, foreign diplomats and defense officials as part of efforts to increase exports.

---
Increased export efforts have been underway for some time. Already experiencing some success has been state-owned conglomerate Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF), a producer of small arms, ammunition and explosives.

------------

The official has has led to the production of an improved anti-personnel round for the ubiquitous RPG-7 now used by the army in ongoing counter terror/insurgency operations. However, no tandem warhead anti-tank round has been developed to replace the obsolete unitary round still in service, even though it would be commercially successful.

Similarly, development of the PK-8, an improved Heckler & Koch HK33K 5.56mm assault rifle, was abandoned after the army dropped its requirement for a weapon of that exact caliber. The 7.62mm G3S, a carbine/para variant of the army's current G3P4 battle rifle, was ultimately adopted.

He admitted that the lack of a 5.56mm product hampered POF's earning potential, especially in the $5 billion US civilian market, but said little could be done by POF itself as it was dependent on development funds and direction from the government.

Pakistan, however, continues to forge closer defense cooperation links with countries it already has good military relations with. On Monday, the Malaysian army chief, Gen. Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Bin Raja Mohamed Noor, visited senior defense officials here including the head of Pakistan's army, Gen. Raheel Sharif, during which closer defense cooperation was discussed.

Further improving the already very strong Pakistani-Turkish defense relationship also was discussed recently during a meeting between defense officials from both countries here on Oct. 2 ahead of the 11th High Level Military Dialogue Group scheduled for November.

Pakistan has also sought to increase cooperation with newer partners including the Czech Republic, the deputy defense minister of which, Tomas Kuchta, met Sharif at Army Headquarters Tuesday. Closer defense relations are also being pursued with Poland, but there has been no agreement with that country as of yet.

Though receiving some official promotional help, private-sector companies have hitherto largely forged their own paths.

However, Nooruddin F Daud of Daudsons Armoury, a successful private-sector small arms manufacturer that also supplies bombs and weapon mounts to the military, who attended the DEPO launch, hopes for improvement.

"I am very confident indeed. We have our toe in the door. Now we need the government's assistance," he said.

As to how the government could help the private sector, however, he replied, "The fact has to be realized that each industry and product category has its own peculiar demands and requirements. There can't be blanket rules and assistance."

Daudsons Armoury officials are hopeful their new products – an automatic 40mm grenade launcher, an under-barrel grenade launcher and remote/undercover weapon mount able to be armed with a 7.62mm MG3 machine gun for security posts – will win exports.

However, analyst, author and former Australian defense attaché to Islamabad Brian Cloughley says Pakistan has a strong defense industrial base, but this may not be enough to ensure increased export success.

"Pakistan's defense industry is well-organized and produces high-quality material, especially in the way of ammunition, but the world market is saturated with defense products and it is extremely difficult to break into what is effectively a closed shop," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

#China, #Pakistan to jointly export upgraded jet fighter #JF17 #DubaiAirshow http://www.ibnlive.com/news/world/china-pakistan-to-jointly-export-upgraded-jet-fighter-1162704.html … via @ibnlive

Beijing: China and Pakistan will jointly export an upgraded version of the JF-17 multi-role fighter jet co-produced by the two countries since 1998. Officials from Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) command said on Monday at the ongoing Dubai Airshow that an upgraded version of the jointly developed JF-17 fighter jet is expected to be exported to more customers.
Briefing reporters at Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, Liu Yu, Vice President of China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation, said the next generation of the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft will satisfy the growing market demand from third parties "as the future JF-17 aircraft is a comprehensive elevation of the aircraft."

The future JF-17 will have more advanced capabilities, such as air-to-air refuelling, data link and electronic warfare, and will be integrated with more new guided weapons, state-run Xinhua quoted Liu as saying in Dubai. A dual-seated version of the JF-17 fighter/trainer is also under development, added Liu.
China, which maintained close strategic relations with Pakistan military for long has recently reached USD five billion deal to provide eight submarines to its all-weather ally. PAF Vice Marshal Arshad Malik said the Pakistani army expects the new version JF-17 jet to get into service by the end of 2016.

The JF-17 fighter is co-produced by AVIC and PAF since 1998 based on the principle of "joint investment, joint development, and sharing risks and returns." At present, JF-17 fighter is already procured by a third party customer, and several potential customers are conducting or plan to conduct the evaluation of the JF-17 fighter, Xinhua report said without giving details. The 14th Dubai International Airshow officially kicked off in Dubai yesterday and will run through Thursday.`

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Assists #Nigeria with Ammunition, Aircraft Maintenance in War Against #BokoHaram | THISDAY LIVE: http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/pakistan-assists-nigeria-with-ammunition-aircraft-maintenance-in-war-against-insurgency/228137/#.VnGSOqpCUoM.twitter …

The Pakistani government has disclosed that they have been assisting Nigeria’s counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations against Boko Haram terrorists, in the area of ammunition supplies and maintenance of military aircraft.


This disclosure was made on Tuesday in Abuja by the Pakistani Ambassador to Nigeria, Agha Umar Farook, during his meeting with the Minister of Defence, Mr. Dan-Ali,
Farook said that both countries with shared history have sustained their defence ties for over five decades.


He noted that the relationship in the area of security is further strengthened in the equally shared experience of terrorism and insurgency.
He said: “The two nations have certain similar challenges and opportunities that we share. Over the decades, we have built some tangible cooperation not only in defence, but also in agriculture and science and technology, as well as education.


“But the cooperation with the ministry of defence has been in the area of training, and capacity building among our military, the intervention has been tangible and we will sustain it over the years.”


“I am sure you are aware that Pakistan not only supports the entire anti-terrorism efforts anywhere in the world but most recently in Nigeria and we have been doing a good job in terms of the ammunition supply and maintenance of aircraft and operational worthiness of platforms.


“I am very much aware of the efforts being put in place for defence cooperation. A high level military delegation has been visiting Pakistan and vice-versa,” he added.


Farook, also stated that “Pakistan is willing to cooperate with the Nigeria military in fighting Boko Haram, and also because of Nigeria’s position in the African Union (AU).”


According to him, Pakistan is not only willing to cooperate in building security but also in the power and education sectors.


In the same vein, Dan-Ali said the cooperation between Nigeria and Pakistan has lasted more than four decades, adding that “a lot of things are common to all of us. We also know that we have very common thing especially with insurgency, you have long experience of fighting insurgency in your country, and we look for assistance in that direction.”


The minister revealed that a security team from Nigeria had visited Pakistan to access how Nigeria can train its personnel in fighting insurgency in the country.


“We need to borrow things like the border monitoring and intelligence gathering that you have, with guards looking after the borders. We share a common determination and we share common problems
“On the defence industry, we are working towards bringing you to come and access and assist us in that direction,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's tool of war: #PAF's rolling thunder #JF17 Fighter Jet http://www.dawn.com/news/1226734

Pakistan Air Force’s thunder
JF-17 is a single-engine multi-role fighter,capable of performing interception roles, ground attack and aerial reconnaissance. The fighter was inducted as a replacement for the ageing fleet A-5C, F-7P, Mirage 3 and Mirage 5 aircraft that were due to be replaced.

The initial Block 1 JF-17s were received in 2007, with production of the upgraded Block 2 JF-17s started in 2013. The upgraded models have upgraded avionics, air-to-air refuelling capability, data link, enhanced electronic warfare capability and enhanced load carrying ability.

The JF-17 is powered by a Russian RD-93 afterburning turbofan, which has a top speed for Mach 1.6. The engine is a derivative of the engine that powers the MIG-29 Fulcrum. With the recent improvement in Pakistan-Russia relations, it might be possible to source the engines directly from Russia, rather than through China. In November it was reported that PAF will stick with using the RD-93, and not opt for a Chinese-made engine.

It was also reported recently that PAF is interested in joint engine development with Russia. The air force for years has wanted to expand its technical capabilities in engine development, as they have lacked the capability in this highly-technical field.

Splash one bandit
The JF-17 can be equipped with air-to-air and air-to-ground ordinance, and has a 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel cannon mounted under the port side air intake.

The aircraft can carry 8,000lbs of ordinance on seven external hardpoints, which is an adequate amount of ordinance for any mission profile. The JF-17 enhances the much needed capability of the air force in beyond visual range (BVR) engagements.

JF-17 mounts both short-range infra-red air to air missiles along with longer ranged radar-guided BVR missiles, an essential capability for a frontline interceptor. Missiles used on the aircraft come from a variety of different nations.

Apart from a capable air-to-air mix, the aircraft can be fitted with laser-guided, satellite-guided and dumb iron bombs. The precision-guided weapons are paired with a targeting pod, mounted on the centreline hardpoint. JF-17's are also capable of carrying anti-runway munitions, specifically the Durandal, which crater a runway, denying its use to enemy aircraft.

The JF-17 Thunder, when equipped for an anti-maritime mission profile, can be equipped with the C-802 anti-ship missile (ASM) and the hypersonic CM-400AKG, often referred to as a ‘carrier-killer’ ASM. It hits the target at Mach 4 or above and its kinetic impact alone is enough to destroy any high-value target.

For Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD) missions, the Thunder can be equipped with anti-radiation missiles for neutralising the enemy's air defence radars, allowing the PAF to operate in a less restrictive airspace.

Overall, the varying ordinance carried by the JF-17 makes it a capable aircraft for multiple mission profiles.

The JF-17 fighter incorporates a fly-by-wire system, through which the aircraft’s pitch axis is controlled, with leading edge slats/flaps and trailing edge flaps automatically adjusted during maneuvering to increase turning performance. The performance of the jet reportedly is similar to the F-16.

Incorporating a defensive aids system (DAS), sensors such as radar warning receivers (RWR) and missile approach warning (MAW) enable the pilot to have a clear picture of the threats in an operational area. The electronic warfare (EW) suite of the aircraft is mounted in the tail of the JF-17.

It is reported that the pilots can be equipped helmet mounted sights, which gives the pilots a distinct advantage in visual-range air combat, as they can simply look at and guide the missile onto their intended target.

Riaz Haq said...

Sunday Times - #Pakistan to sell JF-17 Thunder aircraft to #SriLanka. #JF17 http://goo.gl/aOr8yh via @TimesOnlineLK

Pakistan to sell eight combat JF-17 Thunder aircraft to Sri Lanka under an agreement signed during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit on Tuesday.

The multi-roll fighter aircraft is the joint production of Pakistan and China.

Defence officials accompanying the prime minister said that both countries signed eight agreements related to defence, security, anti-terrorism, trade and science and technology and Pakistan would provide eight JF-17 fighter jets to Sri Lanka at the first phase.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena were present at the ceremony of signing agreements.

Speaking on the occasion, Nawaz said that Pakistan was ready to give Sri Lanka the most favoured nation (MFN) status in trade. He said that there were vast opportunities for bilateral trade and its quantum should be taken to one billion dollars annually.

He said that Pakistan was cooperating with Sri Lanka in defence sector and the two countries would work together to choke financial assistance to terrorists. He said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka were intended to strengthen bilateral relations as they had unanimity of views on the international and regional issues. He said that his visit was reflective of close relationship between the two sides.

On this occasion, Sri Lankan President said that his country enjoys close relationship with Pakistan and Sri Lankan people acknowledged Pakistan’s role in promotion of bilateral ties between the two countries. He said that the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has created political stability in Pakistan.

Later, addressing a seminar on Pakistan-Sri Lanka relations at the Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies in Colombo, the prime minister urged all regional countries to enhance their literacy rate and overcome diseases, poverty and malnutrition. “We should also strengthen our bonds of trust for resolution of these problems,” he said.

He said that both the countries enjoy commonality of views on international issues and Sri Lanka was the first country entered into a free-trade agreement with Pakistan.

He called for greater parliamentary exchanges between the two countries to learn from each other’s experiences. He said that Pakistan desired to enhance its maritime relations with Sri Lanka and looking forward for increased engagements between the two countries and Pakistan would continue to provide training facilities to the armed forces of Sri Lanka.

About relations with India, the prime minister said that he would be remained committed to promoting peace and stability in the region. “The foreign secretaries of the two countries are meeting within the next few days to determine the modalities of the dialogue process,” he said.

He also said that Pakistan had consistently supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and would continue to do so in future for the sake of regional peace. (Daily Times)

Riaz Haq said...

#Nigeria Air Force buying JF-17 fighter jets and Super Mushshak trainers from #Pakistan. #JF17 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/nigeria-to-buy-jf-17-thunder-fighter-jets-from-pakistan-for-25m/ …

Nigeria plans to acquire three JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter jets this year from Pakistan for $25 million, which would make the West African country the first export operator for the warplanes. The Nigerian government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, has also set aside money to purchase 10 PAC Super Mushshak basic trainers and two Mi-35M helicopters, Nigerian newspaper Punch reported Wednesday.

The local newspaper said it obtained the information on the Nigerian government’s procurement plans from a leaked copy of the 2016 budget, which Buhari presented to the National Assembly in December. Buhari reportedly proposed to spend some $326 million for the acquisition of various combat aircraft, equipment, vehicles and ships in the 2016 fiscal year, as the Nigerian military aims to defeat Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast.

Nigerian military officials have apparently been interested in obtaining the JF-17 since the 2014 International Defense Exhibition and Seminar in the commercial capital of Pakistan. During the exhibition, a Pakistani defense official said Nigeria was close to signing a contract for the fighter jets to upgrade its air force. But a deal was not subsequently finalized, according to South Africa’s defenceWeb.

Sri Lanka has reportedly signed a deal with Pakistan for an initial eight JF-17 Thunder jets, as the two countries aim to boost defense cooperation. There has been no official confirmation of the agreement, though it has been widely reported, according to Defense News.

The JF-17 Thunder is a lightweight, single-engine, multirole combat aircraft developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and China’s state-owned Chengdu Aircraft Corporation. The jet is equipped with a 23mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel autocannon and can also be armed with both air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. The JF-17 Thunder is currently only in service in Pakistan, according to UPI.

Riaz Haq said...

Closer #Pakistan-#China military ties irk #Europe, #America. #Burraq - http://FT.com http://on.ft.com/1RInMfc via @FT


When Pakistan’s military claimed its first attack in October using a home-built drone to hit a Taliban stronghold, western officials were quick to search for clues to a Chinese connection.
Experts say Pakistan’s “Burraq”, one of the first two indigenously built armed drones, bears a striking resemblance to China’s CH-3.

Officials lauded the drone that equipped Pakistan with a technology that has been denied them by the US in 15 years as a key Washington ally in the campaign against terror.
“The Americans have given us billions of dollars and military equipment like F-16s since the 9/11 attacks,” says one senior Pakistani foreign ministry official. “But whenever we asked for armed drones, we were refused and the Americans always told us that was sensitive technology.”
Though Pakistani officials deny suggestions of Chinese involvement in the country’s drone programme, western officials remain unconvinced as military links between Beijing and Islamabad tighten.
Earlier this year, China confirmed an agreement to sell eight submarines to Pakistan in Beijing’s largest ever single defence export order.

“The gap between Chinese capabilities and those of the west have been narrowed, except in a few areas such as the production of aero-engines, for which Chinese-built platforms remain dependent on Russian imports.”
Mr Felstead’s reference to Russian components is most visible in the case of the JF-17 “Thunder” fighter jet, jointly manufactured by China and the Pakistan Air Force at its Pakistan Aeronautical Complex facility just north of Islamabad. A senior Pakistan defence ministry official confirmed that the JF-17, which will become the PAF’s main second-line fighter jet, will be “powered for the foreseeable future” with the Russian-built RD-93 engine, overlooking Beijing’s offer of a Chinese engine.
Pieter Wezeman of the SIPRI says Chinese military equipment is at a disadvantage for not having been used in conflict situations, unlike hardware from western suppliers which comes with a combat history. “The only place where Chinese equipment is known to have performed alongside equipment from other suppliers is Pakistan,” he notes.
In the case of Pakistan’s use of its first armed drone, Mr Wezeman says it is important to remember that it was used against Taliban targets in a remote region along the Afghan border, and it was not challenged by enemy aircraft. “One has to be careful before one sees this as a breakthrough,” he adds.
Still, western defence officials say Beijing’s strategy of offering significantly lower prices and a virtual absence of political strings gives China a rising presence in international markets.
Rana Tanveer Hussain, Pakistan’s minister of defence production, has confirmed that half of the eight submarines will be built at the Karachi shipyard and engineering works, boosting Pakistan’s shipbuilding capacity.
“The two projects [building four submarines in China and four in Pakistan] will begin simultaneously,” he said, while commending China as an “all-weather friend”.

Riaz Haq said...

With or without the #F16s, #Pakistan Air Force will remain a regional game changer. #India #JF17

http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/31608/pakistan-and-f-16-a-tale-of-romance-pakistan-is-and-will-remain-a-regional-game-changer-now-and-forever/ … via @tribuneblogs


Fighting Falcon F-16, an American built multi-role fighter jet, has enjoyed a deep-rooted relationship with Pakistan for over three decades. Thanks to its design, it offers an almost complete solution to the tactical and narrowed strategic demands of a compact Air Force like Pakistan’s. Its matchless aerodynamics and upgraded avionics put it a notch above its peers of third generation fighters.

The prime factor of its marriage to Pakistani Air Force is its war tested (Afghan-Soviet) history. It was the first advance jet fighter of the American region that became the green tail, replacing the renowned F-86, the Sabre. F-16, just after its induction, was very promptly employed and operationally proved its lethality against one of the world’s superpowers. Exactly like its predecessor, it enjoyed the best multi-role utility and discovered its utmost war potentials in Pakistan than in the US itself. The Americans themselves must have had a jaw-dropping moment when they saw its employment in both tactical and strategic theatres by Pakistan. It was, and still is, the most romantic of unions.

Soon after the Cold War, the US, cautious of its future designs in the region, initially deferred and subsequently cancelled the next F-16 deal with Pakistan. Realising the need for a regional power balance, Pakistan looked for alternatives and focused on its Super Sabre (now the JF-17) program with China. With committed devotion and sheer hard work, it proved to be quite successful. Pakistan became the only Muslim country to design, develop and produce a high-tech modern combat aircraft. This was not expected by the global and regional hegemons.

Pakistan, once again, attempted an F-16 deal with an upgraded package, which due to obvious reasons was overwhelmingly accepted. Meanwhile, the JF-17 program was also pursued with the same diligence. Diplomatic efforts were employed to entice Pakistan into acquiring upgrades from foreign powers and abandon its indigenous development of weapons. Pakistan, however, chose to be self-reliant. Finally, the long awaited dream came true and the JF-17 was fully in service in 2012.

Recent developments in the US Senate, to stall the sale of eight F-16 jets to Pakistan, find their roots in the same fears I’ve mentioned above. The emerging role of Pakistan in the regional tug of war has further raised the apprehension of US policymakers. The increased Indian influence in both the US Congress and Senate has added fuel to the fire by raising false alarms against the Sino-Pak economic handshakes. It is not worthless to highlight that Henry Kissinger’s recent publication “World Order” admits the underestimation of the regional importance of Pakistan as a whole. He further adds that it would now be impossible to arrest the increased role of Pakistan in both regional and Islamic platforms. With sustained and stabilised continuation of diplomatic and strategic policies, Pakistan will perform a copious role in the region.

US congressmen and think-tanks have not realised the obvious reality that the supplementary sale of F-16s will not distract Pakistan from indigenisation but would further strengthen its war potential. The world is also cognisant that Pakistan has embedded the F-16 in its tactical nuke delivery system, which can again be an extremely unconventional potential affecting the new world order in the Middle East. However, Pakistani military minds have already envisaged this development, and have gone far in developing alternative options.

Pakistan is and will remain a regional game changer, now and forever.

Riaz Haq said...

Commenting on the parade, analyst, author and former Australian defense attache to Islamabad, Brian Cloughley, said there were “no equipment surprises, but the main thing about the parade is that it took place at all, which is a positive indicator concerning the never-ending fight against terrorism.”

The (Pakistan Day) parade (2016) had generally been an annual event, but the deterioration in the security situation led to a seven-year break from 2007 until last year. It has also been notable in the past for the public debut of new equipment.

The JF-17 Thunder made its debut in 2007, and last year the FM-90 SAM system was displayed for the first time. The Z-10 and Shaheen (Falcon) III made their debuts this year.

The Z-10 has been in the country undergoing an operational evaluation since last year. Official details of this have not been revealed, but what unofficial information is available indicates the army is impressed with the machine.

Pakistan has a requirement to replace the AH-1F Cobra helicopter gunship currently operated by the 31st, 33rd, and 35th Army Aviation Combat Squadrons, and is awaiting delivery of the AH-1Z, but is also pursuing up to 20 MI-35 Hind gunships from Russia.

The Hind appears to have been acquired to fulfill the requirement for an armed and armored helicopter also capable of carrying troops.

It was announced today that the Z-10 was in service with the 35th "Mustangs" Squadron of the Army Aviation Corps, which would paradoxically see Pakistan operating three types of helicopter gunships.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence Production, which also handles procurement, declined to provide confirmation of the purchase of the Z-10 and how many were to be obtained.

In spite of the other gunship purchases, Cloughley believes there is still room for the Z-10.

“It seems that Pakistan has firmed on 15 AH-1Zs and will probably get 20 Hinds. So there is certainly room for the Z-10, which does seem to be in squadron service,” he said. “It's much cheaper than the [AH-1Z] Viper, of course, and the Hind, though cost-effective, is a big machine.”

Though it would seem dated over today’s battlefield, members of the Army Aviation Corps have acknowledged it is the best counterinsurgency gunship available. Cloughley says the Hind also has one other clear advantage.

“The main thing with the Hind is economy in maintenance — it's probably the best in the world from that aspect for its type,” he said.

Nevertheless, he believes the Z-10 will be the mainstay of Pakistan’s gunship capability. “My assessment is that the Z-10 will be acquired in larger numbers.”

There has been speculation regarding the presence of the Chinese Harbin WZ-19 armed scout in Pakistan, but the spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence Production also declined to comment on this.

Cloughley says the presence of the medium range Shaheen III amounts to some predictable signaling that was aimed squarely at India, Pakistan’s main security threat.

The solid-fueled, multi-stage Shaheen III was tested for the first time in March 2015 and is Pakistan’s longest range missile with a stated delivery limit of 2,750 kilometers, though this is believed by many analysts to be an understatement.

Nevertheless, the range allows it to cover all parts of Indian territory with a worthwhile payload, even the Indian strategic military facilities in the Andaman and Nicobar island chain in the Bay of Bengal/Andaman Sea.

Mansoor Ahmed, a Stanton nuclear security junior faculty fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center and expert on Pakistan's nuclear deterrent and delivery systems, said that “the Shaheen III is in service, but more user trials or batch/training tests might take place as is the usual practice with other similar missile systems.”

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/international/asia-pacific/2016/03/23/z10-shaheen-ballistic-missile-chinese-helicopter-pakistan/82174498/

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Seeks #France's Thales Damocles Targeting Pod For JF-17 Fighter Aircraft for precision targeting http://www.defenseworld.net/news/15768/Pakistan_Seeks_Thales_Damocles_Targeting_Pod_For_JF_17_Aircraft#.VwbwLXqidWs.twitter …

Pakistan is assessing the Thales-made Damocles targeting pod to be mounted on its JF-17 aircraft for giving the fighter precision-targeting capability.
Pakistan Air Force deputy chief Muhammad Ashfaque Arain, currently in Paris to discuss the possibility of acquiring the Domacles pod was quoted by Reuters today as saying, “the Damocles is a battle- proven system and the other options are not. If we do not get the Damocles pod for example, then we will need to look for alternate options that may not be proven.”
The JF-17 is a China- Pakistan joint venture manufactured in Pakistan. Arain said that the JF-17 with the Pakistan Air Force had been performing well but its usefulness in current operations was limited because it lacks precision-targeting, a need which would be fulfilled if Thales sold it the Damocles pod.
Arain revealed that 16 JF-17s will be produced this year in Pakistan and a further 20 in 2017. The aircraft are equipped to carry air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and bombs.
The Damocles is a 3rd generation targeting pod, modular, eye-safe laser and a high performance pod. It is currently operated by Malaysia’s Su-30MKM jets, UAE Mirage 2000-9 jet, Saudi’s Tornado and Typhoon aircraft, as well as France’s Rafale and Mirage 2000D jets.

Ameer A. said...

Highly unlikely that France is going to sell these Damocles Pods to Pakistan because of its navigation sensors and air-to-air target identification capabilities. Further PAF will need to integrate the pods to Chinese avionics and weapon systems (read bucks).

Riaz Haq said...

Ameer: "Highly unlikely that France is going to sell these Damocles Pods to Pakistan because of its navigation sensors and air-to-air target identification capabilities"

Is there an alternative source for equivalent pods?

Ameer A. said...

Riaz,

Pakistan currently uses Lockheed Martin F-16 Sniper Targeting Pods (2010 version). The latest version is Sniper XR. In addition Northrup Grumman also supplies an Israeli designed LITENING Pod. Thales also has a newer Talios targeting. These systems are being continuously improved with day/night targeting.


FLIR sensors, CCD cameras, weapon delivery, target updates, target tracking at altitudes, air speeds and slant ranges consistent with tactical weapon delivery maneuvers. Here is the real issue, for precision targeting in our tribal areas we have been using F-16s thereby reducing its effective life as an air to air combat aircraft. The addition of a precision targeting pod on JF-17 will improve its mission capabilities as well as reduce the burden on F-16. Another reason why Pakistan is seeking these pods is that they are already being integrated to Russian aircraft(s) and will be produced under license in Russia. So there is a path there for JF-17 aircraft integration.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan to provide further support for defense exports


Pakistan's Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain has outlined a requirement for the country to provide greater support for defence exporters in order to build on recently claimed successes.

Speaking at a session of the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Defence Production on 29 June, Hussain recommended the setting up of a company in Pakistan dedicated to promoting international defence sales as well as the establishment of business units within state-owned enterprises focused on securing exports.

"We should create our own company, [with] professionals and experts, for [the] effective marketing of the products," he said in comments reported by the government-run Associated Press of Pakistan.


http://www.janes.com/article/61897/pakistan-to-provide-further-support-for-exports

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan flight in force at #Africa Aerospace & Defense Show 2016 | IHS Jane's 360 #AAD2016 http://www.janes.com/article/63857/pakistan-flight-in-force-aad16d3#.V9wLp0OyHnU.twitter …

Visitors to AAD are being treated to the aerial prowess of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Mushshak, a light, robust primary flight trainer and utility aircraft, whose display includes deliberate spinning.

PAC (Hangar 7, Stand CE12) entered the field of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of aircraft in the early 1970s, as well as components of Chinese origin for the Pakistan Air Force. PAC subsequently moved towards MRO of Mirage III and V aircraft.

In the field of aviation manufacturing, PAC progressed from the manufacture of the Mushshak and Super Mushshak aircraft for primary training to the Karakorum-8 (K-8) advanced jet trainer. The Super Mushshak is a powerful two-/three-seat trainer with a more advanced avionics package. The K-8 has a multi-role mission capability including air-to-air and air-to-ground weapon delivery.

Today, PAC has advanced technology to design and manufacture the multi-role JF-17 fighter aircraft and upgrade the avionics of fighter aircraft. The JF-17 Thunder is a new-generation single-seat multi-role light fighter with high manoeuvrability and beyond visual range capability. It has a long-range operational radius and advanced aerodynamic configurations.

The PAC contingent at AAD is headed by chairman Air Marshal Arshad Malik.