Sunday, January 24, 2016

Pak-China Defense Tech Ties "Irk West"

Growing defense collaboration between China and Pakistan irks the West, according to a report in the UK's Financial Times newspaper.  The paper specifically cites joint JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, armed drone Burraq and custom AIP-equipped submarines as examples of close cooperation between the two nations.

Pakistan's bitter experience with the unreliability of its cold war allies as weapons suppliers has proved to be a blessing in disguise. It has forced Pakistan to move toward self-reliance in production of the weapons it needs to defend itself from foreign and domestic enemies.

It all started back in 1965 when the US and its western allies placed an arms embargo on Pakistan during war with India. The bitterness grew stronger when the US forced France to cancel its contract to supply a breeder reactor to Pakistan in 1974 soon after India conducted its first nuclear test.

Khushab Nuclear Reactor:

Fortunately for Pakistan, the French had already given Pakistanis scientists drawings and specifications before canceling the breeder reactor contract. Work on Khushab reprocessing plant stated in 1974 when Pakistan signed a contract with the French company Saint-Gobain Techniques Nouvelles (SGN). In 1978, under U.S. pressure, France canceled the contract. Pakistan then proceeded to indigenously produce its own nuclear breeder reactors at Khushab. Four such reactors are now operating to produce plutonium for Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. Having done its first nuclear test in 1998, Pakistan now has a large and growing nuclear arsenal it needs to deter any enemy adventurism against it.

Babar Cruise Missile:

Since MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) prevented Pakistan from acquiring delivery vehicles from other countries, the country had to develop its own ballistic and cruise missiles to carry nuclear weapons.

The story of Babar Cruise Missile development is particularly interesting. It is believed that Pakistani engineers learned the technology by dismantling and studying a US Tomahawk cruise missile that fell in Pakistani territory when President Bill Clinton fired these missiles to target Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

JF-17 Thunder Fighter:

The development of JF-17, a modern highly capable and relatively inexpensive fighter jet, is the crowning achievement to-date of the Pakistan-China defense production cooperation. It's being deployed by Pakistan Air Force with Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) on recently rolling out the 16th Block 2 JF-17 aircraft for PAF's 4th squadron. The latest version is capable of launching a variety of nuclear and conventional weapons ranging from smart bombs and air-launched cruise missile Raad to anti-ship missiles.

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) got its start decades ago by setting up maintenance facilities for advanced fighters like French Mirage and US F-16s and by manufacturing Mushshak and Super Mushshak trainer aircraft. It is now also building JF-17s as well as a variety of drones, including combat UAV Burraq being used in Pakistan's war against militants in Waziristan.

Nuclear-Capable AIP Submarines:

Pakistan is expanding and modernizing its underwater fleet with 8 additional AIP-equipped submarines. Four of these subs will be manufactured in Pakistan.  These will reportedly be custom versions of Yuan class diesel-electric subs with additional wider tubes from which cruise missiles can be launched. A key requirement for  these submarines is to be stealthy—and the AIP-equipped Yuan class is indeed very quiet. The trick is in the submarine’s air-independent propulsion fuel cells, which provide power under the surface as the diesel engines—used for running on the surface—rest and recharge. Though relatively limited in range, this system is quieter than the nuclear-powered engines on American and Russian submarines, which must constantly circulate engine coolant.

Arms as Pakistan's Cottage Industry

Pakistan has a long history of arms manufacturing as a cottage industry. The dusty little town of Darra Adam Khel, only a half-hour drive from Peshawar, reminds visitors of America's Wild West. The craftsmen of this town are manufacturers and suppliers of small arms to the tribal residents of the nation's Federally Administered Tribal Areas who carry weapons as part of their ancient culture. The skilled craftsmen of FATA make revolvers, automatic pistols, shotguns and AK-47 rifles. Until five years ago, the list also had items such as anti-personnel mines, sub-machine guns, small cannons and even rocket launchers. Pakistani government has forced the tribesmen to stop making heavy assault weapons to try and prevent the Taliban and Al Qaeda from getting access to such weapons.

Pakistan's arms industry has come a long way from making small arms as a cottage industry in the last few decades. The US and Western arms embargoes imposed on Pakistan at critical moments in its history have proved to be a blessing in disguise. In particular, the problems Pakistan faced in the aftermath of Pressler Amendment in 1992 became an opportunity for the country to rely on indigenous development and production of defense equipment.

Pakistan's Military Industrial Complex

The country now boasts a powerful industrial, technological and research base developing and manufacturing for its armed forces a wide variety of small and large weapons ranging from modern fighter jets, battle tanks, armored vehicles, frigates and submarines to armed and unarmed aerial vehicles and high tech firearms and personal grenade launchers for urban combat. Some of these items were on display at IDEAS 2014, the 5-day biennial arms show held November 2014 in Karachi, Pakistan.


A country can not be truly independent unless it can manufacture the arms it needs to defend itself. Pakistan is just starting to build the weapons it needs but it has a very long way to go. This goal can only be achieved if Pakistan develops significant human capital and builds a vibrant economy.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

IDEAS 2014 Arms Show

Pakistan Defense Industry

Silicon Valley Book Launch of "Eating Grass"

Pakistan's Human Capital

Pakistan Economy Nears Trillion Dollars

Pakistan's Sea-Based Second Strike Capability


Mo said...

PAF still hasn't learnt its lesson fromt the Pressler Amendment when
Pakistan paid for the F16's but U.S sanctioned them. Now PAF wants to
buy 8 F16's for 1.5 billion when they could buy 36 J10B's with no strings

Riaz Haq said...

Mo: "PAF still hasn't learnt its lesson fromt the Pressler Amendment when Pakistan paid for the F16's but U.S sanctioned them. Now PAF wants to buy 8 F16's for 1.5 billion when they could buy 36 J10B's with no strings attached."

F-16 has been a very useful vehicle for Pakistani pilots and engineers to learn advanced US technology....the kind of technology that China currently lacks.

Mo said...

Dr. Sahab, those days are gone now and China is currently at least in early 2000 in terms of aircraft technologies in many cases and in some cases the deference is now marginal.

Anonymous said...

When did Paki pilots ever convert that knowledge into something useful - that is win a war.

Riaz Haq said...

Mo: "Dr. Sahab, those days are gone now and China is currently at least in early 2000 in terms of aircraft technologies in many cases and in some cases the deference is now marginal."

A big advantage US has is the fact its stuff uses battle tested technology coming out of Silicon Valley.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "When did Paki pilots ever convert that knowledge into something useful - that is win a war."

Here's what legendary US pilot Chuck Yeager @GenChuckYeager tweeted recently

Q: What did u think of Pakistan pilots? A: When I was there in 1971-73, they were the best. They kicked the Indians butt!

Here's what Yeager wrote in his autobiography:

"This airforce(the PAF), is second to none"

"The air war lasted two weeks and the Pakistanis scored a three-to-one kill ratio, knocking out 102 Russian-made Indian jets and losing thirty-four airplanes of their own. I'm certain about the figures because I went out several times a day in a chopper and counted the wrecks below."

"They were really good, aggressive dogfighters and proficient in gunnery and air combat tactics. I was damned impressed. Those guys just lived and breathed flying. "

Compare this to the incompetent Indian Air Force that bombed its own territory in Rajasthan today, India's Republic Day,

Mo said...

Battle tested against what? Some third, nah fourth world country with no logistics, air force and battlefield formations to talk of.
Get it battle tested against an equal peer and then we can talk, otherwise it's just a term good only for marketing purposes nothing more.

Plus don't forget you might have the best weapons in the world but if you can't procure the right ammunition and spares for it then it's worse than useless.

Riaz Haq said...

Mo: "Battle tested against what? Some third, nah fourth world country with no logistics, air force and battlefield formations to talk of."

No one with any real knowledge of the facts questions US superiority in the air regardless of the enemy. Countries with large air forces equipped with sophisticated Russian and European equipment have failed time again when confronted with US technology in the Middle East and elsewhere.

As to comparison of US Air Force with F16s vs Indian Air Force with Su30 MK at Red Flag exercise, watch this video of an American colonel talking about it:

MesquiteIce said...

All these playthings are just ways of US to project power. From Vietnam to Iraq to Afganistan, the US and their capabilities have been exposed. China=US=russia. Could you please tell me if ever any country has won a significant war after WW2 with these toys around?

Mo said...

Now a days technology is so advance and already test in various phase of production that these things are not consider any more. Yes only things matter is man and machine interface.

Riaz Haq said...

Mo: "Now a days technology is so advance and already test in various phase of production that these things are not consider any more. Yes only things matter is man and machine interface."

Technology is not static. It's constantly changing and US spends far more on research than any other nation.

Please take a look at this chart to see the huge gap between US and its various competitors:

Chandra said...

Let's analyze Pakistan's Military track record. For all the praise, support and admiration it lost 50% of the country in 1971. Thousands of Pakistani soldiers died and many more became POWs. Prior to that, all the hype of getting "kashmir" in 1960s simply failed. Yet more attempts were planned. The Military was yet again got embroiled in the Kargil fiasco and got international condemnation and here it was China who told on Pakistan!

Riaz Haq said...

Chandra: "Let's analyze Pakistan's Military track record."

About 1971 war, the Indian Field Marshal speaks. "The Pakistan Army in East Pakistan fought very gallantly. But they had no chance. They were a thousand miles away from their base. And I had eight or nine months to make my preparations [while they were being worn out in a counter insurgency war against the secessionist forces of the Mukti Bahini]. I had a superiority of almost fifty-to-one." From the BBC archives.

About 1965, read RD Pradhan's "Inside 1965 War":

"...a major battle the west of the Beas would end in the destruction of the Indian Army and thereafter allow the enemy (Pakistani) forces to push to the gates of Delhi without much resistance."

In Chapter 8 titled "Of Cowardice and Panic" of his book "1965 War-The Inside Story", R.D. Pradhan describes the cowardice of Maj. Gen. Niranjan Prasad, the Indian general commanding officer in Lahore sector. When Pakistan Defense Forces counter-attacked the intruding Indian military and the general was fired upon on Sept 6, 1965, he "ran away". Here's an excerpt:

"On learning that, Lt. Gen. Harbakash Singh and the corps commander drove in a Jonga (Nissan P60 Jeep) to the battlefront. Army commander found that the enemy (PAF) air attack had created a havoc on G.T. Road. (Indian) Vehicles were burning and several vehicles of 15 Division abandoned on the road, the drivers having run away, leaving some of the engines still running. Maj. Gen. Niranjan Prasad was hiding in a recently irrigated sugar cane field. As described by Harabakash Singh: "He (Prasad) came out to receive us, with his boots covered with wet mud. He had no head cover, nor was he wearing any badges of his rank. He had stubble on his face, not having shaved." Seeing him in such a stage, Harbakhash Singh asked him: "Whether he was the General Officer commanding a division or a coolie? Why had he removed badges of rank and not shaved? Niranjan Prasad had no answer."

Riaz Haq said...

Stop chasing France’s Rafale: India’s air warriors can’t fly on foreign wings forever

Incidentally, Rajiv Gandhi, then a newly elected member of Parliament and Congress general secretary, saw it put through its paces at the Paris Airshow. He was very impressed. He sat in on the official meeting in the ministry of defence that decided to acquire Mirage 2000. Gandhi had just become a qualified Boeing 737 pilot and this was presumably considered expertise enough.
Nevertheless, the deal to make 110 more Mirage 2000s in Bengaluru made eminent sense—both for the IAF and the economy. But it was dropped no sooner than when the first lot of 40 fighters in a flyaway condition were delivered. Why this deal was terminated remains a mystery, but one reason was certainly the price. The MiG -29 was available to India at Rs5 crore a unit, while the Mirage 2000 cost double that.
Replacing MiG-21 and MiG-27

The Indian Air Force will soon retire several squadrons of MiG-21 and MiG-27 jets at the end of their life cycle. Replacing these aged fighters will be the latest Su-30MKI, a 4+ generation long endurance air dominance fighter, now being assembled by HAL.
The MiG-21 is a short endurance lightweight and high-speed interceptor with limited ground attack capability. The Russians describe it as a frontal aviation aircraft. The Sukhoi, being an air dominance fighter, can perform both these roles, as well as undertake deep penetration strikes. The Su-30 is a Mercedes Benz SUV compared to the MIG-21’s Maruti 800. Now let’s say the IAF wants to intercept a Pakistan Air Force or People’s Liberation Army Air Force JF-17. The IAF’s fighter of choice for this is likely to be a MiG-21bis rather than the Su-30MKI. While the Sukhoi can do the job effectively, sending a 4+generation aircraft weighing in at over 18 tonnes against a much older and cheaper JF-17 weighing less than 6.5 tonnes would not only be overkill but also very cost ineffective.
The MiG-27 is a mid-sized, variable geometry, ground attack aircraft developed to support mechanised infantry and armoured columns. Its swing-wing configuration allows it to swiftly reach the target area and then swoop in at a much-reduced speed to effectively attack enemy ground forces. But what would be just another day in the office for the MiG-27 could prove expensive with the much bigger and heavier Su-30. Since ground attacks are often by flying low and slow, a bigger aircraft is more vulnerable to ground fire. The IAF learned this in 1971 with the Su-7. Besides risking a Su-30MKI costing about Rs400 crore each against relatively low-cost ground targets doesn’t sound sensible.
A permanent solution

What the IAF needs for its interceptor and ground attack roles are smaller fighters and attack helicopters. Clearly, the IAF needs a permanent solution, not a high-cost fix like the Su-30MKI. The Rafale too, then, becomes another, yet more expensive, interim fix. Hence, the IAF needs to shed its reluctance and urgently induct the Tejas light combat aircraft and push for newer and more powerful versions.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your top class Chinese planes with WS10A and WS15 engines which cannot supercruise. China is behind USA an Europe by at least 15-20 years in terms of technology.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Air Force pilot M.M. Alam among 7 of the Greatest Flying Aces in World Aviation History - … via @PopMech

A dogfight between two aircraft is perhaps the most fascinating type of combat. The technical knowledge and precision required to operate a fighter aircraft combined with the physical and mental strain of a dogfight make the fighter pilots who excel at them truly exceptional.

Unofficially, a flying ace is a fighter pilot who shoots down at least five enemy aircraft, though the number a single pilot can achieve has steadily decreased because anti-aircraft and tracking technology has made dogfights rare in modern warfare. From Erich Hartmann, the Nazi fighter pilot credited with the most aerial victories of all time, to Giora Epstein, the ace of aces of supersonic jet pilots, these men are among the most skilled fighter pilots to ever enter a cockpit.

Muhammad Mahmood Alam was a Pakistani Air Force jet fighter pilot in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. He was the last fighter pilot to become an ace in a day, shooting down five Indian Hawker Hunter fighter jets in less than a minute on September 7 1965, the last four of which he downed within 30 seconds. A national hero in Pakistan, Alam holds the world record for becoming an ace in the shortest amount of time. This bold feat also makes him the only jet pilot to become an ace in one day. Alam was already a respected leader and proficient pilot and gunner when the war started in April 1965. He piloted an F-86 Sabre and downed a total of nine Indian Hawker Hunters in the 1965 war, as well as damaging two others.

Top 7:

Manfred von Richthofen - World War I

Erich Hartmann - World War II

James Jabara - Korean War

Muhammad Mahmood Alam - Indo-Pakistani War

Charles B. DeBellevue - Vietnam War

Giora Epstein - Arab–Israeli Wars

Cesar Rodriguez - Gulf War

Sammy Dara said...

The West cannot trust Pakistan. Not only recently, but it has been that way for a while. The A Q Khan Nuclear proliferation with North Korea and Iran and the capture and killing of Bin Laden has left many leaders in the West with a gaping trust deficit.

This Pakistan-China arms deal irks the West - you are right. This "irk" will just add to previous major "irks".

Riaz Haq said...

SD: "The West cannot trust Pakistan."

Nor can Pakistan trust the West.

The distrust is mutual.

Here's how ex sec of defense Robert Gates explains it:

"Well, first of all, I would say, based on 27 years in CIA and four and a half years in this job, most governments lie to each other. That's the way business gets done."

That was Defense Secretary Robert Gates' straight talk in response to the phony outrage by Senator Patrick Leahy on the news of Pakistan arresting 5 CIA informants following Osama bin Laden's killing by US Navy Seals in Abbotabad.

Here is the text of the exchange between Gates and Leahy during the US Senate hearing on Pakistan that began with Leahy asking Gates how long the U.S. will be willing to "support governments that lie to us?"

GATES: Well, first of all, I would say, based on 27 years in CIA and four and a half years in this job, most governments lie to each other. That's the way business gets done.

LEAHY: Do they also arrest the people that help us when they say they're allies?

GATES: Sometimes.

LEAHY: Not often.

GATES: And -- and sometimes they send people to spy on us, and they're our close allies. So...

LEAHY: And we give aid to them.

GATES: ... that's the real world that we deal with.

Anonymous said...

What will happen to the financing of CPEC if Yuan depreciates ?

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "What will happen to the financing of CPEC if Yuan depreciates ? "

Nothing. It will go on as planned. Yuan depreciation will help Chinese exports and swell up their reserves even more.

Riaz Haq said...

Falconistan: The Long History of #Pakistan and #US F-16s | The Diplomat. #Afghanistan #Taliban #India …

Last week’s statement announcing the prospective sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan follows a well-established pattern of the U.S. attempting to induce Pakistani action through incentivization. A few observations can be made to provide context around the proposed supply of F-16s to Pakistan.

First and perhaps most obviously, the announcement comes at a time when the U.S. again seeks Pakistan’s cooperation in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table with the Afghanistan government. A previous attempt at negotiations last year, under the aegis of Pakistan, ended abruptly when it was revealed that the Taliban’s reclusive leader, Mullah Omar, had been dead for over a year.

It remains to be seen as to whether or not the Pakistanis wield sufficient influence over the Taliban, which is in the throes of an internal leadership struggle following the announcement of Mullah Omar’s death. However, the U.S. no doubt feels that it must do what it can to coax Pakistani action on the Afghan front. The thinking of the Obama administration appears to be that a promise to supply of F-16s, a key demand of Pakistan’s for some time, might induce favorable action from Pakistan.

Second, U.S. concerns over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program remain unabated. Indeed, even as the Obama administration appeared ready to supply the eight F-16s to Pakistan, the State Department’s deputy spokesman underscored U.S. concerns over the reported rapid growth of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons stockpile and its induction of the so-called tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs) to its arsenal. The U.S. has reportedly considered offering Pakistan a civil nuclear deal in exchange for its commitment to roll back its TNWs. It is not inconceivable then that the supply of F-16 fighter aircraft could be part of a broader U.S. approach to elicit commitments from Pakistan on Afghanistan and on nuclear security. Indeed, the Carter administration contemplated the sale of F-16s to Pakistan with the hope that it could convince Pakistan to scale back its nuclear weapons program.

Third, the announcement underscores the transactional nature of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, despite the rather curious language in the notification, which describes Pakistan’s as a “strategic partner.” The United States’ past dealings with Pakistan show that although Pakistan desires a more broad-based strategic relationship with the U.S. in order to effectively counter India, the relationship continues to be anything but strategic and is unlikely to transform into one anytime soon.

Fourth, despite considerable strategic convergence between the United States and India in the Indo-Pacific, the announcement highlights that a gulf still exists between the two countries on Pakistan. The Indian government is unhappy with the sale, which will augment Pakistan’s nuclear delivery capabilities, and chided the U.S. for its perceived lack of sensitivity toward the potential threat the sale presents to India’s security. Many in India view the United States’ inducements as incentivizing Pakistan’s bad behavior in the region.

And lastly, domestically, the announcement further brings into focus the schism between the Obama Administration and Congress on a host of issues, including foreign policy. The Obama Administration has since moved Congress for approval of the deal, but it is likely that it will run into opposition from lawmakers of both political parties. The Obama Administration could potentially invoke the national security waiver to override Congressional resistance over the supply of the F-16s to Pakistan. There is likely a sense of urgency in the Obama Administration and anxiety in Islamabad to conclude the deal prior to the U.S presidential elections in November.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's $222 Billion Make-in-#India Haul Masks Hurdles To Come. #MakeInIndia Inauspicious start with fire … via @ndtv

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's glitzy campaign this week to showcase India as the world's next manufacturing hub met with a few unpleasant realities of life in Mumbai: a fire engulfed one of the event stages and a strike by rickshaw drivers paralyzed traffic in the financial hub.

More worrying is the conflicting data and vague timelines that raise questions about Modi's "Make in India" drive, which on Saturday he called "the biggest brand created in India."

The tally for investment pledges soared on the final day to 15.2 trillion rupees ($222 billion) - more than triple what India has attracted through foreign direct investment since Modi came to office in May 2014.

Whether any of that will materialize remains to be seen. Right now the campaign launched in 2014 is best known for its logo - a lion made of cogs - that has shown up on billboards from Hannover to San Francisco.

"It hasn't really taken off," Radhicka Kapoor, a fellow at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, said of the campaign. "It'll take a lot more than a flashy new website, a new lion symbol, and catchy phrases to make India a manufacturing powerhouse and create productive jobs for its rapidly rising workforce."

Modi is pushing to lure manufacturers that can create millions of jobs, allowing India to take advantage of a demographic dividend as its population surpasses China in the next decade. While India's 1.3 billion people and high growth rate make it a stand-out among emerging markets, other indicators are grim: Investment remains weak, exports have fallen for 14 straight months, borrowing costs are relatively high and trade deals have stalled.

Modi's efforts to make it easier to operate in Asia's third-biggest economy have yet to show up in key external indicators. In the World Bank's Doing Business index, for instance, India still ranks 130 of 189 economies - well short of Modi's goal to crack the top 50 in two years.

One of the problems of Make in India, Kapoor said, is that it fails to address the outsized influence of states - many governed by Modi's opponents - on regulatory environments. Unions have opposed changes to some of the world's most rigid labor laws, and a fractious parliament has blocked a goods-and-services tax that would create a single market in India for the first time.

"India is a difficult place to govern, and one needs to have patience," said Nilmadhab Mohanty, a former civil servant and honorary senior fellow at the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development in Delhi. "But we don't have much time - other countries are competing for this and investors will go elsewhere."

"Under the pressure of this campaign, the government machinery will be required to make a number of corrections on the policy front," Modi said in the speech on Saturday, speaking to an audience that included his Swedish and Finnish counterparts. "We are committed to make India an easy place to do business."


Added to promises Modi has drummed up from foreign leaders, total investment pledges come to at least $421 billion since he took power - more than what has come in during the past 14 years for which data is available.

There's reason to be skeptical that India will see the money. About 8 percent of nearly 40 trillion rupees proposed at investment summits during Modi's 11-year tenure as Gujarat chief minister was actually implemented, according to data from the state's Directorate of Economics and Statistics.

Modi, for one, knows the pressure is on to deliver.

"There is no time for incremental changes," he said last week. "We want a quantum jump."

Riaz Haq said...

#SIPRI: #India world's top arms importer #China 2nd #Australia 3rd #Pakistan 4th. Top exporters: #US, #Russia, China …

China, the third largest arms exporter and importer, sold most of its weapons to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, says according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report on global arms purchases.

India remains the world’s largest weapons importer over a five-year period according to latest report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on global arms purchases released on Monday. The report also says that China sold most of its weapons to India’s neighbours.

India accounted for 14 per cent of total imports between 2011 and 2015. China ranks second with 4.7 per cent, Australia (3.6 per cent), Pakistan (3.3 per cent), Vietnam (2.9 per cent) and South Korea (2.6 per cent) the report titled “Trends in international arms transfers-2015” said.

However on an annual basis India ceded its top spot to Saudi Arabia in 2015 which is reflective of the turmoil in the West Asia.

While Pakistan remains the main recipient of Chinese weapons accounting for 35 per cent, a growing trend for India to watch out for is that Pakistan is followed by Bangladesh and Myanmar, accounting for 20 and 16 per cent respectively, all three being neighbours of India.

India merely extended its top run from 2006-2010 period. The top five exporters in the period were U.S., Russia, China, France and Germany.

The report noted that a major reason for the high level of Indian imports is because India’s arms industry has so far largely failed to produce competitive indigenously designed weapons.

While Russia maintains a strong lead as the top supplier, purchases from U.S. are sharply increasing.

While the government has embarked on an ambitious Make in India drive to increase domestic manufacturing it is yet to bring in any meaningful technology build up in the country.

Chinese exports on the rise

Interestingly, China figures at third place as an exporter and importer.

China which has emerged as the world’s third largest arms exporter after U.S. and Russia has increased its exports of major arms by 88 per cent between 2006-2010 and 2011-2015 and concurrently China’s global share of arms exports rose from 3.6 to 5.9 per cent.

“China supplied major arms to 37 states in 2011-15, but the majority of these exports (75 per cent) were to states in Asia and Oceania,” the report said. Major arms include big platforms like aircraft, tanks and so on.

Chinese exports of major arms to states in Asia and Oceania in 2011-15 were 139 per cent higher than in 2006-10, the report added. This is likely to cross path with India’s own increased forays in the Indian Ocean region with emphasis on military diplomacy and capacity building.

Riaz Haq said...

F-16 Fightrer Jets Dispatched to #Pakistan (and $700 Million Dispatched to #Lockheed Martin?) -- The Motley Fool …

Few people realize it, but Pakistan currently boasts one of the most powerful air forces in the Middle East, including hundreds of Chinese F-7 fighter jets and French Mirages combined -- and nearly four dozen early model Lockheed F-16s (the most popular fighter jet on the planet). But as recently revealed in a notification to Congress by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the Pakistani air force is about to tip more heavily toward the F-16, thanks to an impending sale of eight new F-16 "Block 52" Falcons.

As revealed in the notification, Pakistan has asked Congress to approve the sale of two new F-16C fighters and six F-16Ds. Each aircraft will be powered by United Technologies' (NYSE:UTX) F100-PW-229 turbofan engine. Including the cost of a set of helmet-mounted cueing systems for the pilots, this portion of the sale comes to $564.7 million in value -- about $70.6 million per fighter jet.

The remaining 20% of the deal's value, according to DSCA, is made up of non-"Major Defense Equipment" not subject to the federal government's notification requirements. Comprising radar systems and defensive electronic warfare (EW) equipment for the planes, plus "spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services," this portion of the sale comes to $134 million in value.

Who gets the loot?
Curiously, although Lockheed Martin is providing the planes that are both the core of this arms deal and also the most expensive equipment, Lockheed will not necessarily be named primary contractor. DSCA says, "Contractors have not been selected to support this proposed sale."

With Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) building the radar, Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) the EW equipment, and United Technologies the engines, it seems it's at least possible the Pentagon will ultimately run the contract through one of these three -- and leave Lockheed Martin the role of subcontractor!

What it means to investors
Even if the Pentagon does choose a company other than Lockheed to handle the sale, however, this deal promises to be very good for Lockheed. The reason is contained in a single line buried within DSCA's notification, noting that "this sale will... support transition training for pilots new to the Block-52."

The implication of this statement seems to be that the sale of eight new-model F-16s to Pakistan may be only a prelude to a larger deal to upgrade Pakistan's 46 older F-16s with more advanced models. Given that such a sale could rise into the billion-dollar-plus range, we'll be watching developments here closely.

Riaz Haq said...

6th Annual #Pakistan #US Strategic Dialogue Planned to Start Monday in #WashingtonDc with #Kerry Sartaj meeting …

It will be the third annual meeting since the present government has come to power. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the U.S. in October last year had given the necessary impetus

Pakistan and the U.S. will on Monday hold a ministerial-level strategic dialogue on key areas including economy, security and counterterrorism, amid strong opposition by India as well as U.S. lawmakers on the proposed F-16 deal to Islamabad.

Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz will lead the Pakistani delegation while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will lead the U.S. side for the 6th round of the strategic dialogue to be held in Washington, Radio Pakistan reported on Monday.

The six segments of the strategic dialogue include cooperation in economy and finance; energy; education, science and technology; law enforcement and counterterrorism; security, strategic stability and non-proliferation and defence.

It will be the third annual meeting since the present government has come to power. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the United States in October last year had given the necessary impetus to the dialogue mechanism, the report said.

The dialogue process began in 2010 but interrupted in 2011 when the U.S. forces killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in a midnight raid. The process resumed in 2014 when Mr. Aziz and Mr. Kerry met in Washington in January.

The key meeting will take place soon after the U.S. announced to sell eight F—16 fighter jets worth $700 million to Pakistan, despite objection from India and mounting opposition from influential American lawmakers.

Mr. Kerry has strongly defended the Obama Administration’s decision, arguing that these fighter jets are a “critical” part of Pakistan’s fight against terrorists.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who is in Washington as part of the Pakistani delegation, has said the dialogue will provide an opportunity to operationalise key future making initiates between the two countries.

He was speaking at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

The Foreign Office had earlier said that the upcoming meeting will “afford an important opportunity to take stock of the entire gamut of Pakistan’s bilateral relations with the U.S”.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Seeks #France's Thales Damocles Targeting Pod For JF-17 Fighter Aircraft for precision targeting …

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.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan army chief’s #Beijing visit heightens #US, #India jitters - #China #CPEC via @FT

The arrival of General Raheel Sharif in the Chinese capital on Monday — a day after India successfully tested an interceptor missile designed to destroy incoming nuclear capable missiles — follows a report by the Pentagon warning that China is seeking to establish a naval base in Pakistan.

The report, published last week, said China would “most likely seek to establish additional naval logistics hubs in countries with which it has a longstanding friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan.”
Chinese companies have helped Pakistan build the port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea, the centrepiece of the $46bn pledged by Beijing for infrastructure spending linking China to Pakistan, known as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. Many observers believe that China will ultimately seek to use the port as a naval base.
However, both Pakistani and Chinese officials said their understanding of the economic corridor is that it is limited to economic co-operation and has no security component.
Andrew Small, an expert on China Pakistan relations at the German Marshall Fund, said it was reasonable to expect some sort of basing arrangement “Having crossed the threshold with the Djibouti [in the Horn of Africa] deal, Pakistan would be a very obvious choice, and it appears that the PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy) views it that way.”
Such a step would be sure to anger India, and raise questions in Washington. Xu Jin, a professor of international relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, said that the Chinese-Pakistani friendship is “the closest thing China has to an alliance.”
While in Beijing, Gen Sharif met Chinese premier Li Keqiang and held talks with Fan Changlong, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, which oversees the country’s military.
Pakistan has long viewed China has a counterweight to its historic enemy, India. There are concerns in Islamabad that this week’s interceptor missile test may tip the balance of power between the two nuclear armed neighbours in India’s favour.
“In times of difficulty, Pakistan has always turned to its close friend China for help. I am certain the Indian test came up for detailed discussions between General Raheel Sharif and the Chinese,” a senior Pakistani foreign ministry official said.
Gen Sharif’s visit to China follows a recent squabble between Pakistan and Washington over congressional objections to US funding for eight new F-16 fighter jets meant for sale to Islamabad.
Following the spat, Pakistani officials said they were considering alternatives such as the Chinese J-10 for future purchases. Pakistan is already by far China’s main client for arms exports.
“The timing of this visit is very significant,” said Masood Khan, Pakistan’s former ambassador to China and now head of the Islamabad Strategic Studies Institute (ISSI). “There’s a long history of China’s co-operation with Pakistan.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan flight in force at #Africa Aerospace & Defense Show 2016 | IHS Jane's 360 #AAD2016 …

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.