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). 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.
|Global Arms Producers. Source: SIPRI|
India-Pakistan Aerial Combat:
Squadron Leader Hasan Siddiqui of Pakistan Air Force (PAF), flying a Pakistan-made JF-17 Block 2 serial 15-201 fighter jet, shot down Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of Indian Air Force (IAF) flying a Russia made MiG 21. Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan last week.
Indian officials have confirmed the loss of IAF's MiG 21, acknowledging that MiG-21 Bison, Su-30MKI and Mirage 2000 aircraft were all scrambled to head off the PAF strike squadrons over Kashmir.
The confirmation that JF-17 Thunder was used in successful aerial combat came in a tweet from Retired PAF Air Marshal Shahid Latif who tweeted: "Proud to announce, I was project director for JF-17 Thunder program jointly produced by Pakistan and China during the [2001-2008] tenure of general Pervez Musharraf. Today, same jets targeted and shot down Indian jets which entered Pakistani airspace."
Stock Market Reaction:
Within hours of the Pakistan Air Marshall's tweet, the publicly traded shares of Shenzhen-listed Sichuan Chengfei Integration Technology (CAC-SCIT), a sister company of JF-17 maker Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC), rose 10% five minutes on Wednesday - hitting the maximum daily increase allowed on the Chinese stock market, according to the South China Morning Post. The shares in CAC-SCIT, which makes car parts, rose a further 10% on Thursday. CAC is not publicly listed. CAC-SCIT shares had dropped back 5.57% by midday on Friday.
JF-17 Export Potential:
The JF-17 recently won an export order from Nigeria. Next possible customer is Myanmar where JF-17 was recently seen in an air force parade. The New York Times has reported that a joint China-Pakistan defense manufacturing hubs in Pakistan is being set up to win new export customers among Muslim countries. Pakistan is already in talks with Malaysia for sale of JF-17s to Malaysian Air Force. There is potential to export close to a billion dollars worth of JF-17 Thunders.
PAF's Tail Choppers:
Squadron Leader Hasan Siddiqui is a member of PAF's 14 Squadron called ‘Tail Choppers’ which was officially re-equipped with Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) JF-17 fighters on February 16, 2017, according to AirForces Monthly magazine. Here's an excerpt from the magazine:
"The initial batch of 16 JF-17s replaced some of the last remaining Chengdu F-7Ps that had been in service with the ‘Tail Choppers’ at PAF Base Minhas. The ‘Tail Choppers’ became the fifth PAF squadron to operate the type after 26 Squadron ‘Black Spiders’, 16 Squadron ‘Black Panthers’, the Combat Commanders School, and 2 Squadron ‘Minhas’. The squadron was the second to re-equip with Block 2 aircraft. However, it the first to fly the Block 2 operationally with the air-to-air refuelling probe fitted. On June 19, 2017, a JF-17 shot down an Iranian reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over Panjgur, Balochistan, 28 miles (45km) inside Pakistani territory."
Confirmation that PAF's Squadron Leader Hasan Siddiqui flying JF-17 Block 2 shot down an Indian fighter jet has boosted investor interest in the aircraft with double digit percentage increase in CAC's share price. It is likely to boost Pakistan's exports of this fighter jet to Nigeria, Myanmar and Malaysia.
Here's a 2018 Pakistani music video featuring Squadron Leader Hasan Siddiqui:
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The equipment is only as good as the people who use it. That is the problem Gulf Countries face. New equipment goes bad. Has to be used.
The video is mostly about F 16s, it seems. The air intake is under the belly. And the combat sequence is staged in broad daylight.
Ahmad: "The video is mostly about F 16s, it seems. The air intake is under the belly. And the combat sequence is staged in broad daylight. "
This is a music video that was shot last year
Just FYI the serial number of Hassan's JF-17 15-201 means that it was produced in 2015, its a block 2 and its the first one to be produced that year.
The JF-17 in the picture serial number 09-112 means that it was produced in 2009, its block 1 and its the 12th unit to be produced that year.
Wait til India gets Rafale.
Singh: "Wait til India gets Rafale"
Pakistan can only use jf-17 against Rafale & Su30 if they are used with Awacs support as the Rafale is 4.5gen and uses AESA radar and both neither jf-17 nor F-16 has that radar, both being 4th gen fighters.
Jf-17 block 3 will be 4.5 gen and have AESA radar and will be a better match for Rafale on its own (defensively). But Rafale will perform better in offensive role as it has more engine power, greater range and payload. Its more expensive as well.
After block 3 PAF is acquiring J-31 5th gen stealth fighter jet. Neither Rafale nor Su-30 can compete with J-31.
Next possible customer is Myanmar where JF-17 was recently seen in an air force parade.
Myanmar already is a customer, as delivery has already been made at least some out of 16 they ordered.
News from India: Pakistan eyes 62 JF-17 jets from China as Rafale dogfight continues in India
While the Indian Air Force requires a total of 126 new Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) plane, it will only be getting 36 Rafale jets by 2020.
While the opposition is targeting the NDA government on the Rafal fighter plane deal, neighbouring Pakistan is engaged in taking full advantage of the opportunity. The Pakistani government has approached China to make the JF-17 (Block 3) Jet fighter plane available for the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) as soon as possible.
According to the Indian Air Force (IAF) intelligence report accessed by Zee News, the Pakistani Air Force is in the process of adding 62 JF-17 jets before India gets the 36 Rafale jets . As per the agreement with Dassault Aviation of France, the delivery of Rafale jets will commence from 2020.
Pakistan's JF-17 is a Multi Combat Aircraft which is jointly developed by Pakistan's Aeronautical Complex and China's Chengdu Aircraft Corporation. The Pakistani government is keen to induct most advanced version of JF-17 series -- the new JF-17 Block-3 -- to make its air force match its Indian counterpart.
Singh said... Wait til India gets Rafale.
Rafale is not much superior then Block 3 of JF-17, which is to be inducted in August 2019 (highly likely).
Rafale definitely has more hard points to carry few extra weapons and because of more fuel capacity can travel farther then JF-17. I do not see it as threat to JF-17 or PAF. Watch this video interview of retired Air Chief of PAF, Sohail Aman https://youtu.be/Bw_B0dwJX1s?t=390
JF-17 is better in manoeuvrability and block 3 will have AESA as well. Don't forget the training, experience and techniques of pilot. Recent speech of Modi and other politicians did mention that if IAF had Rafale situation could have been different, while suddenly Modi have forgotten about ill fated home made Teja's. He did not say situation could have been different if superior Teja's were flying for the mission. Teja's are another blunder as of today, I hope to see Teja's flying one day.
Also watch this interview of ACM Sohail Aman, its about 5th and next generation aircraft project AZM. https://youtu.be/kvODSWFnwVc?t=413
New Order for 15 JF17 from Malaysia has been confirmed. Some localization requirements are currently in discussion. China insisting on USD payment while Malaysia has requested for Ringgit payment. Pakistan has been requested to intervene in negotiation.
Even India AF getting Rafale, it also take sometime like 2-3 year for pilot learning/training/different combat skill/strategic before going to IOC and 3-4 year for FCC (full Combat Capability) i don't think India will take risk use brand new jet fighter in real combat before archive IOC.
There is a phone call between him and the tower where he says only 30% of what he has done is known publicly.
This mini war has helped Pakistan at many levels and sale of their Military equipment is one. I was told by my Brother in Law who is retired from the Military, this plane sells very well already.
AESA radar will extend Block 3 JF-17 capability
Published in Show Daily 2018 - Day 2
By Asian Military Review - December 27, 2018
With over 100 Block JF-17s built, attention is now being switched to the production of the more capable Block 3 jets.
After starting production in 2008, PAC Kamra manufactures 58 percent of the JF-17 Thunder, while Chengdu Aircraft Corporation builds the remainder. The JF-17 Thunder started life as the Super-7 in the late-80s, but sanctions by the US and its allies delayed development of the aircraft for over a decade. That was until the decision was made by the late Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir in 2000 to decouple the development of the avionics from production of the airframe.
With contracts for 50 Block 1 and 50 plus 12 Block 2s signed and almost delivered, attention is now being switched to a contract for 50 Block 3s. With production of the Block 3 being delayed until 2019, while the PAF searched for a new AESA radar, PAC opted to manufacture an 14 additional Block 2s this year to ensure production does not halt at the PAC’s Aircraft Manufacturing Factory.
A decision on a new AESA radar for the Block 3s is expected to be made by the end of the year. There are now two Chinese contenders: one is the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology KLJ-7A being marketed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC). The second one, which was displayed at Zhuhai Air Show, China, in November by Leihua Electronic Technology Research Institute (LETRI) is a new air-cooling AESA known as the LKF601E. CATIC has thrown its weight behind this option and claim that not only is it the first air-cooled radar, but replacing the JF-17’s original KLJ-7 is simply a case of taking out the old system and inserting the new one. Both radars are being evaluated by the PAF.
Another improvement over the Block 1 and 2s is an air-to-air refuelling system. Trials and qualifications of a new Chinese in-flight refuelling system, saw the first aircraft, Block 2 No. 29 being fitted in mid-2017.
Block 3 enhancements will include new avionics, better electronic warfare systems, increased payload and more sophisticated weapons. It will be the ultimate JF-17 and with an AESA radar, will have the capability to employ longer range weapons and track multiple aircraft.
JF-17 Block3 fighter will be equipped w/ #China's KLJ-7A Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, a X band fire control radar which will tremendously extend the detection range, provide superior target identification, to make full use of the jet's long range strike capabilities
China And Pakistan Finalize Block-III Design Of JF-17 Thunder
LAHORE (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 06th March, 2019) Pakistan and China have finalized the latest Block III design of JF-17, making the jets capable of competing for the world’s modern fighter planes.
The Thuder jets, after upgrading, will be able to compete American F-16, Australian FA-18, F-15, Russian Sukhoi 27 and France Miraj 2000. A Turkish website reported that Beijing and Islamabad have agreed to finalize the up-gradation plan for JF-17.
The upgrade, it is reported, intended to match latest fourth-generation military jets. The new plan aimed at enhancing engine power and speed. Lightweight material will be used for preparation and an active electronically scanned array radar will be fitted in it.
Block-III design was finalized after a period of two-and-a-half years. On the other side, JF-17 received worldwide fame after hitting the Indian jets on violation of Pakistan air. A military aviation website and American online magazine reported that prices of the shares of went up to 10 percent after five minutes of Indian jets crash.
An online magazine of East Asia reported the Indian jets were the first prey of JF-17. The jets won international praise during Paris Air show. Pakistan and China jointly developed the fighter jet.
JF-17 Thunder Block 3 Specifications
Pakistan Air force has announced that Jf-17 block 3 design has been finalized and it's development has been finalized and will be started in 2017.After success of Jf-17 Block 2 and Block 3 , Pakistan And China are working for an advanced version of Jf-17 .
Jf-17 block 3 will have AESA Radar system which is the latest in Military Aviation.Most of the Modern aircraft such as F-22 ,Su-35 ,F-35 Etc use this Radar .AESA radar can detect targets for greater ranges than previous versions and it is very hard to Block by Enemy Radars .
HMD (Helmet Mounted Display )
Jf-17 Block 3 will be equipped with HMS .With HMS ,Pilot can track and lock on target without Having to use it instruments.Pilot just have to move its head towards the target and the Missile will lock on target.This enables pilot to view around its cockpit to lock on target instead of turning to that direction.
New Engine (WS-13 )
It is in news that Pakistan will use a new engine for Jf-17 block 3 preferably Ws-13 Engine.The Block 1 and 2 version of Jf-17 uses RD-93K Engine which was tested and rated good for flying.The RD-93 Engines are also used in Mig 29 .RD-93 engines produces a maximum thrust of 19000 lbs while WS-13 Engines produce upto 22,000 Your Internet Address For Life™-13 is a Chinese made turbofan engine and Pakistan will have no problem in getting these engines from China.The Announced date for the Induction of JF-17 BLOCK 3 is 2019 .
It is said in reports that Block 3 of Jf-17 will have no significant change in its shape and size.I think that the Jf-17 will have more fuel capacity like in F-16 Block 52 aircraft thus enabling Jf-17 to carry more weapons on its hardpoint and increased combat range.
Jf-17 block 3 will be a Mach 2.0 + aircraft.The previous version was limited to Mach 1.8 .This will help in dogfight against enemy aircraft.
The above addition in the Jf-17 block 3 will make it a true 4.5 generation fighter .Pakistan will be able to produce aircraft independently not depending on west or any other countries for spare parts .It will also help Pakistan economically as Jf-17 cost Less than any modern fighter.
Indian Air Force is currently having around 1400 Aircraft, leaving Sukhoi 30mki, Mirage 2000 and Mig 29 behind, All of them are old and outdated, so the UPA government at 2004 decided to retire some of them, and decided to buy more Mirage 2000 fighter jets from Dassault (due to the outstanding contribution of Mirage 2000 in 1999 Kargil War).
The government gave the order to the french company Dassault aviation for the Mirage 2000, but dassault said that they have stopped the mass production of mirage 2000, and they told IAF to buy upgraded version of mirage 2000, the RAFALE.
Rafale would beat the JF-17 to the punch. It is a force multiplier compared to the JF-17. The Rafale possesses better first look, first shot, first kill technologies that the JF-17. A head to head BVR combat between the two aircraft would possibly be 80:20 in favor of the Rafale due to the reduced RCS of the Rafale and its superior Meteor BVR missile.
If Pakistan ties in the JF-17 Block 3 AESA radar with the PL-15 ultra long range missile (which may have its own AESA radar) the equation could change to being less one sided. The PL-15 would be expected to use INS/Multi GPS after launching, get mid course guidance through secure JF-17 or AWACS radar datalink, and turn to internal AESA radar during a much longer range active terminal guidance phase in compared to other missiles If adapted for the JF-17 block 3 aircraft, it would narrow down it's disadvantage with the Rafale in BVR Combat to perhaps 60:40 with greater missile range. Due to a smaller RCS, Rafale would still be in a better position to lock on and get a first shot at the JF-17 before being detected. The Rafale RCS is <0.5m2, while the JF-17 is >4m2. In the event of the Rafale pilot not wanting to expose his position, he could theoretically instruct a nearby AWACS radar to generate a weapons quality track and use it to fire 2–3 missile salvo at the JF-17 to increase kill ratio to 30–50% The same would also be possible for the JF-17, which would overcome the radar resolution issue, since AWACS radar can search and track at smaller RCS aircraft at greater distance.
If the JF-17 successfully evades the initial Rafale missile salvo and persists head on into a dogfight, the Rafale would still retain its substantial advantage. Therefore, unless it were to become a tactical necessity, the JF-17 pilot would be advised to bug out of a WVR combat. Being a multi-role aircraft, the Rafale will be required to fulfil ground attack and SEAD roles in case of war with Pakistan, the Pakistani military would therefore use it's ground to air missiles to target it within Pakistani territory, or pounce upon it in a surprise ground launched missile/air launched attack on the Rafale air base as a high priority target. The French Rafale, alongwith the Sukhoi Su-35 and Eurofighter Typhoon are the best designed 4th generation fighter/interceptor aircraft in existence. Rafale is a twin engined aircraft that has a very high thrust to weight ratio even when fully loaded, and it also possesses the ability to supercruise in order to avoid IRST detection. In comparison, the JF-17 has much lower thrust to weight ratio, and non availability of supercruise, which puts it at a decided disadvantage in energy maneuverability and range.
Like the JF-17 Block 3 aircraft, the Rafale is equipped with long range IRST. Both aircraft can also carry short range Laser guided weapons. The Rafale comes with the the world's most advanced METEOR air to air missile compared to the less deadly but dangerous PL-12 BVR missile. Both aircraft are rated for operation in SEAD, ground attack and anti-ship warfare. The Rafale has a greater edge in the range and quality of these weapons. Combined with a much more robust engine and airframe design, the Rafale is a more capable aircraft than the JF-17 and the Pakistani Block 52 F-16 (which isn't the latest F-16 model in production) Pakistani F-16 also have a poor threat detection capability due to a downgraded RWR and below average Radar suite. The newer block 70 F-16 that are being offered to India are also inferior to the Rafale.
Evolution of JF-17
Excerpt from Quora answer by Danial Shazly, Ex Editor Asian Defence and Diplomacy
The evolution from the F-7M to the Super-7 was evident and Grumman’s involvement was to improve existing design to become even more better. Grumman was very good at during the design stages and inputs of avionics as well as weapons system. The design elements was evident in how it evolved and Grumman played a major role on design testing. When sanctions was slapped on China, Grumman pulled out which led to China going on its own to further develop the Super-7 for the last 10–13 years.
Major design changes was tested on F-7 Airguard such as the aircraft below. China had to test new design approach to see the best results in overall flight improvements.
The design was further improved from the Super-7 to the FC-1/JF-17 where some minor redesign was made which includes a new rear fin and tail as well as enlarge on the wings, new air intake as well as extension of the body of the jet to the wings, a kind of wing body blending which is not evident on the Super-7…Most of the improvements from Super7 to the JF-17 was from Pakistan inputs on its knowledge from the F-16..The tail has been redesign and so was the fin. A bigger engine was incorporated using an improved engine from the MiG-29…This approach was evident on the MiG-21–97 Fishbed which was earlier incorporated with the MiG-29 engine. The Fulcrum engine was used as the main engine for the JF-17 due to similar fitment arrangement of the MiG-21–97
In summary, the JF-17 was not from the F-16 but there was an element of F-16 technology in the JF-17 such as the Fly-By-Wire, mechanical actuators in the rear and fin as well as modification of the tail from Super-7 to that of similar design to the early model F-16.
The JF-17 is very much a hybrid of the Super-7 which was then a hybrid of the F-7 which was a copy of the MiG-21…A great DNA though. The Chinese and Pakistanis did a very good job of turning and improving a 50s architecture and made it into a modern jet fighter at minimal cost of development of only US$500 million. Its just to show that modernising an aircraft to become a much more lethal of today do not cost a huge amount of money. The JF-17 has proved it…With the Block III, its considered a 4+ generation fighter, along the lines of the Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Gripen!
From Wikipedia on Project Sabre II:
Project Sabre II was the Pakistan Air Force's program to develop a feasible and low-cost multirole combat jet based on an existing design—the Chengdu F-7 Skybolt, a Chinese variant of the MiG–21PFM. The Pakistani Air Force (PAF) initiated Project Sabre II in 1987, hiring the American aerospace firm Grumman, to provide crucial expertise to refine the baseline aircraft design along with specialists from the PAF and the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).
After studying the Sabre II concept with Grumman, the PAF terminated the program as unfeasible on economic grounds. Grumman withdrew from the project after sanctions were imposed by the United States on the China after Beijing's suppression of the Tiananmen Square student protests in 1989. A embargo on military aid to Pakistan imposed by the United States further hampered the Sabre II development effort in the 1990s. In 1995, Pakistan and China began a collaboration which led to the successful JF-17 Thunderprogram.
The idea of developing an indigenous fighter in Pakistan goes back to the 1980s when Pakistan hired Northrop Grumman to help develop Sabre II as replacement for its aging fleet. Chinese were also involved in it, Then the US imposed sanctions on China and Pakistan that forced Grumman to withdraw from the project. .
Pakistan picked it up again during Musharraf years to develop JF17. Pakistan Air Force inputs based on its knowledge of F-16 have heavily influenced JF-17 design.
#Pakistan-#China jointly developed #jf17thunder Block 3 fighter jet expected to be fitted with active electronically scanned array radar (AESCAN) . The upgrade will see the JF-17's informatized warfare capability and weapons upgraded- Global Times http://disq.us/t/3chwupa
The development and production of the JF-17 Block 3 are underway, said Yang Wei, a Chinese legislator and chief designer of the China-Pakistan co-developed fighter jet, as he aims to enhance the jet's informatized warfare capability and weapons.
"All related work is being carried out," said Yang at a Thursday press conference featuring Chinese legislators and political advisers in aviation, China Aviation News reported Friday.
The third block will see the JF-17's informatized warfare capability and weapons upgraded, Yang said.
Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times on Monday that the JF-17 Block 3 is expected to be fitted with an active electronically scanned array radar, which can gather more information in combat, enabling the fighter jet to engage from a farther range and attack multiple targets at the same time. A helmet-mounted display and sight system could also allow pilots to aim whatever he sees.
Pakistan, the main user of the JF-17, could further share information between the fighter and other platforms, taking advantage of the whole combat system to effectively defend against strong opponents like India, Wei said.
With the new upgrade, Wei expects the JF-17 Block 3 to match an improved version of the F-16 fighter jet.
Yang said that the development and batch production for the JF-17 Block 3 are going simultaneously, thanks to the broad experience.
Wei said this probably means while the upgrades like the new AESA radar are still in development, the airframe, which remains roughly the same, can be manufactured without waiting.
Once new developments are complete, they can be fitted on the airframe very fast, ensuring a quick delivery time, Wei said.
The JF-17, or the FC-1, is a single-engine multi-role light fighter jet jointly developed by China and Pakistan for export, according to the website of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.
When asked about which countries have inquired about the JF-17 Block 3, Yang said "A lot of countries have come to buy. You sign [a contract for the JF-17], you benefit."
The JF-17 is often described by its manufacturer and military observers as an advanced but also cost-effective fighter. It is currently contending with India's Tejas and South Korea's FA-50 in Malaysia's new fighter jet purchase plan, with the JF-17 being the most competitive option, Wei said.
Myanmar and Nigeria have reportedly purchased the Chinese-Pakistani warplane.
Newspaper headline: Development of JF-17 Block 3 jet underway
THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > PAKISTAN
Pakistan successfully test-fires long-range ‘smart missile’ from JF-17 Thunder
By Ahmed MansoorPublished: March 12, 2019
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) successfully test-fired indigenously developed extended range “smart weapon” from JF-17 multi-role fighter aircraft on Tuesday.
The experiment marked a great milestone for the country as the weapon has been developed, integrated and qualified solely through indigenous efforts of Pakistani scientists and engineers, said a statement issued by the PAF.
“The successful trial has provided JF-17 Thunder a very potent and assured day and night capability to engage variety of targets with pinpoint accuracy,” it added.
Lauding the efforts of Pakistani scientists and engineers, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan congratulated the PAF personnel on the achievement of this monumental indigenous capability.
“Pakistan is a peace loving nation but if subjected to aggression by adversary, we would respond with full force,” he was quoted by the PAF spokesperson as saying.
The key test comes amid a tense military standoff with India, which was triggered by Indian claims of carrying out air strikes, targeting alleged terrorist camps inside Pakistan on February 26.
A day later, Pakistan retaliated with similar air strikes that led to dogfight, leaving two Indian warplanes downed. Pakistan also captured an Indian pilot but released it within 72 hours as gesture of peace.
However, an internal assessment of the government has now concluded that the threat of further escalation in tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours is over.
In 1980s, #Pakistan Air Force shot down 4 Su-22s supersonic fighter-bombers, 1 Su-25 “flying tank” piloted by future #Russian vice president Alexander Rutskoy. #PAF lost a single #F16, apparently struck by a missile fired by its own wingman. https://news.yahoo.com/pakistan-long-controversial-love-affair-095900593.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=tw via @YahooNews
Pakistan’s F-16s have been no stranger to controversy for nearly four decades.
In response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Islamabad and Washington collaborated to train, organize and arm mujahideen resistance fighters in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan. In retaliation, Afghan and Soviet warplanes began bombing the camps—and the PAF’s Chinese-made J-6 jets proved too slow to catch them.
Thus in 1981, Pakistan convinced the United States to sell it F-16 Fighting Falcon single-engine multi-role fighters—a then cutting-edge yet inexpensive-to-operate design with fly-by-wire controls affording it extraordinary maneuverability. The agile Falcon could attain speeds as high as Mach 2 and lug heavy weapons loads, though it did have a limited combat radius (around 350 miles) and early production models lacked beyond-visual-range missiles.
Between October 1982 and 1986, a total of twenty-eight F-16As and twelve two-seat F-16Bs were delivered to Pakistan via Saudi Arabia in Operations Peace Gate I and II. These outfitted the PAF’s No. 9, 11 and 14 Squadrons which flew patrols along the Afghan border, typically carrying two advanced AIM-9L and two cheaper AIMP-9P-4 Sidewinder heat-seeking missiles.
Unlike earlier heat-seekers which could lock on to the hot tail-pipe at the rear of an aircraft, the AIM-9L “Lima” Sidewinders could engage from any angle. The AIM-9L’s ability to hit opponents in a head-on-pass would soon prove particularly effective.
Between 1986 and 1990, the PAF credited th F-16 with shooting down ten Afghan and Soviet jets, helicopters and transport planes, with many additional claims unconfirmed. Soviet and Afghan records definitively confirm only six losses: four Su-22s supersonic fighter-bombers, one Su-25 “flying tank” piloted by future Russian vice president Alexander Rutskoy, and one An-26 cargo plane.
The PAF lost a single F-16, apparently struck by a missile fired by its own wingman. The F-16 patrols reportedly deterred more extensive bombardment of refugee camps on Pakistani soil, and disrupted Soviet efforts to resupply isolated outposts.
The Nuclear F-16 Controversy
By 1990 Pakistan had already placed Peace Gate III and IV orders for seventy-one improved F-16A/B Block 15s. But in October 1990, Pakistan’s nuclear research program led the United States to impose sanctions. Thus, twenty-eight newly-built F-16s for which Pakistan had already paid $23 million apiece were consigned to the desert Boneyard facility in Arizona, where they remained for over a decade.
In the late 1990s, the Clinton administration offered to deliver the jets in return for Pakistan refraining from nuclear tests—but such was not to be. On May 28, 1998 Pakistan detonated five underground nuclear devices in response to an Indian nuclear test. It became evident that the heavy-lifting F-16s would serve as one of Pakistan’s primary nuclear-weapon delivery systems, and intelligence reports indicated that No. 9 and No. 11 squadron F-16s were modified to deliver nuclear gravity bombs on their center pylons.
A year later the two nuclear powers engaged in a limited war when Pakistani commandos infiltrated the mountainous Kargil region of India. As Indian Mirage 2000s pounded the infiltrators while escorted by MiG-29s, F-16s flew combat air patrols along the Pakistani side of the Line of Control reportedly painting the Indian jets with their targeting radars—and vice-versa—in an effort to intimidate.
However, neither air arm was authorized to engage the other, so no air battles occurred. Nonetheless, three years later a PAF F-16B shot down an Indian Searcher II drone that had penetrated deep into Pakistani airspace.
Who will buy the JF-17?
Danial Shazly, Ex-Editor, Asian Defence & Diplomacy
Answered Mar 11
There are many countries interested to look at what the JF-17 have to offer. The Block III version is a significant milestone for this multirole fighter. It carries forth some of the most advance systems and weapons that is associated with 4+ generation fighter. This includes
Advance BVR missiles
Helmet Cueing System
IRST & advance BVR active missiles
The JF-17 Block 1 and 2 models. Both versions are very capable. Able to conduct air-dominance mission equipped with short range and medium range missiles.
This could probably be the JF-17 Block III with some elements of new design to the existing air frame. It is quite amazing that the JF-17 Thunder has potential growth….Once it was from the DNA of Super 7, which was a DNA of the MiG-21. From that design to this with some modifications has transform the JF-17 into a modern design. Amazing. The Iranians did theres on the trusted F-5E Tiger II but it did have the same DNA after slight modification to the twin tail. But for the JF-17, it was a big transformation.
The aircraft is:
As agile as the early model F-16A. Tested by Pakistan the newer Block 50 is not as agile. The JF-17 is expected to be the premier fighter in the PAF
Uses proven Russian engine, currently under license in China. The engine comes from the MiG-29 Fulcrum. This would be an ideal jet for countries who are already using the MiG-29
It is have a strong supply chain management from Pakistan and China.
The aircraft is an ideal export opportunity for nations who can’t afford Western and Russian jets or was barred from buying
The aircraft is affordable at US$25 million per unit
The aircraft was developed with Pakistan’s experience in using the F-16 and combat missions
The JF-17 should be easier to maintain
It is equipped with Fly-By-Wire
It has an inflight refuelling probe
The jet with this price should be a formidable player on the fighter market. Countries in Asia, Middle East and Africa are evaluating the jet.
Here is a list of countries that is evaluating the JF-17 Block 3: Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, Albania, Malaysia, Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Oman, Algeria, Morocco, Argentina, Peru and Jordan.
Malaysia is currently evaluating the JF-17 alongside the F/A-50, Tejas and M-346 FA under its RfI for light combat aircraft. Saudi Arabia has shown great interest in the Block 3 model with a potential order of up to 120 jets. That would certainly beef up the Pakistani income and provide Saudi Arabia a very capable machines to fly alongside its more expensive and high technological jets like the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-15SA Eagle. Nigeria has taken on 3- jets for evaluation and has an option on 21 jets as per various sources.
At US$25 million per unit. This would sound a very good proposition for any air force to build numbers. The product is backed by China. For US$1 billion, a country is able to acquire 40 units as well as training, spares and weapons, with
AM Shahid Latif (Retd)
I'm often asked if JF-17 Thunder can be a substitute of F-16 or Rafale Jets. Yes, after all this was the idea behind its development before we initiated its manufacturing in 2001. Like other technologies, this too would need a timely upgrade to meet all of our future requirements
#Pakistan sends subtle messages to #India, #UniteStates with military parade. “eyeing regional #defense alignments. procurement, joint production and military sales..... #Turkish and #Chinese military cooperation beyond just #JF17Thunder & helicopters.”
The annual Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad, held on a rainy March 23, showcased the country’s military arsenal in a big way to allies, while sending clear but distinct messages to India and the United States.
The three most celebrated foreign guests were Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad; Azeri Defense Minister Col. Gen. Zakir Hasanov; and the commander of the National Guard of Bahrain, Lt. Gen. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa.
Azerbaijan and Malaysia are being courted as customers for the Sino-Pakistani JF-17, whereas Bahrain has recently become the first export customer for armored fighting vehicles designed by Pakistan’s Cavalier Group.
Other countries that participated in the parade included China, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Turkey. China and Turkey also sent aircraft to perform at the parade.
Coming soon after tensions flared with India, the presence of foreign participants demonstrated Pakistan was not alone, but also reflected aspirations for increased cooperation with regional allies.
According to Kamal Alam, a visiting fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, “Pakistan is eyeing regional defense alignments, which include procurement, joint production and military sales. It is seeking to further entrench Turkish and Chinese military cooperation beyond just JF-17 and attack helicopters.”
By comparison, Malaysia, Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia are historic allies that Pakistan wants to expand as military system buyers, touting Pakistani manufacturers as cheaper alternatives to Western equipment.
“The regional geopolitics and defense economics sits with [Pakistani Prime Minister] Imran Khan and the Army’s regional economic diplomacy,” Alam added.
Notably absent this year were any Indian observers, though Pakistan’s president used the parade to send a message: Pakistan’s continuing desire for peace should not be misconstrued as weakness.
Analyst, author and former Australian defense attache to Islamabad, Brian Cloughley, said India’s prime minister “could not have permitted attendance at the occasion by guests from India,” as it would have been electorally damaging. Substantial moves toward rapprochement are also improbable unless the Indian government wins a substantial majority, “which is unlikely.”
Cloughley noted, however, that the “not-so-subtle message" for the U.S., and perhaps also for Moscow, was the participation of the Mi-35P Hind helicopter gunships, recently delivered by Russia, which he said was “part of the drift away from the U.S. as an arms supplier.”
#Malaysian PM #MahathirMohamad: "Anyone will think twice before planning to attack #Pakistan". “They [Pakistan] have been able to build aircraft [JF-17 Thunder]. The aircraft [during the Pakistan Day parade] performed very well". #JF17Thunder https://tribune.com.pk/story/1939014/1-anyone-will-think-twice-planning-attack-pakistan-mahathir-mohamad/
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that the military might of Pakistan was enough to make any country think twice before planning to attack it, Malaysian national news agency Bernama reported.
Hailing the armed forces of Pakistan, the Malaysian prime minister said that the performance of the aircraft he witnessed during the Pakistan Day Parade in Islamabad on March 23 showed that Pakistan Army was well-prepared to defend its borders.
“They [Pakistan] have been able to build aircraft [JF-17 Thunder]. The aircraft [during the Pakistan Day parade] performed very well. I don’t know how strong the Pakistani army is, and [if] those missiles can carry nuclear warheads, people will think twice about attacking Pakistan,” he said.
Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad arrives on 3-day visit to Pakistan
Regarding the efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan in his fight against corruption, Mahathir said that both Malaysia and Pakistan faced similar issues which were related to the efforts to bring the previous corrupt rulers before the court.
“They [Pakistan] want to take action against people from the past [government] who are corrupt but they are facing difficulties. We are also facing a similar problem because it looks like the courts have their own ideas about how serious this matter [is]. As a result, we have not made much progress. We have taken cases to the courts but there are no trials,” he said.
Mahathir further said that during his visit to Pakistan he came to know about the capabilities of Pakistan and the potential for trade between the two countries.
“There are many fields … but (before this), we did not know of their capabilities and they did not know of our capabilities. Only when we are here, can we see their strengths,” he said.
The Malaysia premier visited Pakistan last week on the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He was the chief guest at the Pakistan Day parade on March 23.
#Pakistan outlines 5th gen fighter #aircraft industrial aims. "Such large-scale (Project Azm) requires synergetic efforts from a number of #industrial (public and private) and #academic organizations to fulfill the enormous task." #jf17thunder |Jane's 360 https://www.janes.com/article/87669/pakistan-outlines-fgfa-industrial-aims#.XKYrRPt9RKY.twitter
The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) has outlined ambitious plans to support its development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) - otherwise known in Pakistan as Project AZM.
The PAC enterprise, which is owned and run by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), has established a new office - the Aviation Research, Indigenization & Development (AvRID) unit - to lead the FGFA programme, it confirmed.
The development programme is supported through Pakistan's development of a new aerospace complex - named 'Aviation City' - that was launched in 2017 to support Project AZM and other national military aerospace requirements.
"The office of DG [Director General] AvRID has been established to transform into reality the [PAF's] air staff vision… with the long-term goal of developing our own fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA)," PAC said on its website.
"[The] development of [the] FGFA would be a major national programme that would entail a massive amount of work, not all of which may possibly be carried out within PAC or even within Pakistan.
"Such large-scale development requires synergetic efforts from a number of industrial (public and private) and academic organisations to fulfill the enormous task," it added.
In order to "manage an engineering development programme of this magnitude", effective technical, engineering, and project management processes need to be established, PAC said.
PAC also outlined several specialist project teams that it will establish in collaboration with other national agencies as part of the Aviation City initiative.
These include an engineering management and support office, an Aviation Design Institute, a Mission Electronics Design Institute, an Aero Structures Design Institute, an Advanced Technologies Centre, and a Flight Test Centre.
PAC states that AvRID will collaborate with and leverage the capabilities of these various Aviation City agencies in undertaking Project AZM. "This [will] put together components of industry and academia to build a high-end research centre to enhance indigenisation capability.
Rafale Vs F-16: Which Fighter Jet Will Win The Dogfight?
Referring to the aerial combat with Pakistan last week, Attorney General KK Venugopal said that the country needs Rafale to defend itself from Pakistan's F-16s. He also added that two squadrons of Rafale fighter jets are coming to India in flyaway condition and the first one will be in by September, which begs the question: is Rafale really that good?
Manufactured by Dassault Aviation, Rafale jet is a twin-jet fighter aircraft which is able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base. Whereas, F-16 Fighting Falcon is a fourth generation single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Approximately 3,000 operational F-16s are in service today in 25 countries. So, in a face-off which aircraft will have the advantage? Which aircraft will win the dogfight? Pakistan's F16 or India's Rafale? Let's compare the stats, shall we?
In a dog-fight, advantage lies with one who targets the enemy first. And Radar helps in doing just that. In F16, Lockheed Martin has integrated technologies derived from the F-22 and F-35 including the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) APG-83 radar that provides F-16 with 5th generation fighter radar capability. It can detect enemies in a range of 120 kms. Its maximum engagement range is 20 targets at 84 kms.
Rafale on the other hand is fitted with 4 key technologies:
A multi-directional radar which can detect 40 targets at the same time in a range of over 100 kms.
An undetectable passive radar sensor which is an extremely precise optical camera.
Recognisance pod: a massive digital camera which can take photos at any speed with a precision of 10 cms.
And finally, Spectra, an integrated defence aid system which can jam or counter-jam enemy radar signals, give missile-approach warnings and send out decoy signals in case an enemy missile gets too close to the Rafale.
Decoy signal is an electromagnetic pulse sent from the rear of the plane which de-roots enemy missile.
So, clearly, it's a tough fight between Rafale and F-16. And predicting a clear winner is a bit difficult. Victory depends also on the pilot's skills. So, who do you think will win the battle? Let the facts decide.
#Russia Competes With #China for #Arms Sales to #Pakistan. Total bill could top $9 billion with likely purchase of Russian heavy and medium fighter #jets, medium and short-range air defense systems, combat helicopters, tanks, and warships. https://www.theepochtimes.com/russia-competes-with-china-for-arms-sales-to-pakistan_2885710.html via @epochtimes
or years, Beijing has been the biggest arms supplier to Islamabad, with defense purchases as a key element of their close ties. Now, Russia is looking to make inroads into the Pakistani weapons market.
Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on April 15 that Pakistan has expressed interest in making a huge purchase of Russian military hardware, citing comments from Konstantin Makienko, deputy director of the Moscow-based defense think tank Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.
The total invoice could top $9 billion, according to Makienko, who added that Pakistan would likely purchase Russian heavy and medium fighter jets, medium and short-range air defense systems, combat helicopters, tanks, and warships.
Makienko named two types of Russian military hardware that would likely be on Islamabad’s shopping list: the new Russian fighter jet MiG-35 and the heavy transport helicopter Mi-26T2.
Pakistani authorities haven’t confirmed this planned purchase, nor have Pakistani media reported on it thus far.
But Makienko noted that given the low-competitive nature of the military market in Pakistan, which is dominated by China, Russia would likely receive extremely favorable terms on the purchase contracts.
He added that Pakistan has not made requests such as technology transfer or localization of production as terms for any purchases.
China supplied weapons worth over $6.4 billion to Pakistan from 2008 to 2018, making it Pakistan’s biggest supplier, according to data from the independent arms research institute SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute), followed by the United States with $2.5 billion, and Italy with $471 million worth of weapons.
Currently, Chinese-made jets make up the bulk of Pakistan’s fleet of fighter jets: the Chengdu J-7, and JF-17 Thunder. The former was modeled after the Russian jet MiG-21, while the latter was developed jointly by the Pakistani state-owned aerospace company Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and China’s state-owned Chengdu Aircraft Corp.
In 2016, one of the biggest arms deals between China and Pakistan was signed, with the sale of eight Chinese diesel-electric attack submarines manufactured by state-run China Shipbuilding Trading Corporation, to be delivered to the Pakistan Navy by 2028, according to Pakistan’s English-language newspaper The Express Tribune.
Aside from arms sales, there have been other recent signs that Russia and Pakistan plan to enhance their military ties.
On March 24, Russia’s Federal News Agency (FAN) reported comments by Pakistani Major General Asif Ghafoor about expanding defense cooperation between Moscow and Islamabad. Ghafoor said that there could be more military contracts between the two countries, as Pakistan had just received its orders of Russian attack helicopters Mi-35, a purchase made in 2015.
A week later, on March 30, unnamed senior officials at Pakistan’s foreign ministry told local English-language daily newspaper The Nation that Islamabad and Moscow had agreed to exchange high-level visits more frequently, with defense being the main component of growing ties between the two countries.
Russia and China are competing for customers for their military equipment worldwide. Russian news agency TASS, in an editorial published on March 29, noted that China was a market competitor in the sale of submarines, citing the case of Thailand’s navy choosing to buy submarines from China over shipbuilders in Russia, South Korea, and Germany.
#Indian defense analyst Pravin Sawhney: Fighting tactical battles for one-upmanship. #Rafale and #S400 would certainly help Indian Air Force, but would not tilt the operational level balance in #India’s favor in conflict with #Pakistan https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/fighting-tactical-battles-for-one-upmanship/760082.html via @thetribunechd
The issue, thus, is about tactics and operational level of war. The Pakistan military, learning from the Soviet Union, has always given importance to the operational level. This is why in the 1965 and 1971 wars, despite being more in bean-counting of assets, India never won in the western sector. Proof of this are the ceasefire line and the Line of Control, which otherwise would have been converted into international borders.
The situation, regrettably, remains the same today. Separate doctrines of the Army and the Air Force, and with each service doing its own training is evidence that no amount of modernisation would help if the focus of service chiefs remains on tactics. For example, after the Balakot operation, a senior Air Force officer told me that the PAF would not last more than six days. He believed in tactical linear success. What about the other kinetic and non-kinetic forces which impact at the operational level?
This is not all. Retired senior Air Force officers started chest-thumping about the Balakot airstrike having set the new normal. Some argued that air power need not be escalatory, while others made the case for the use of air power in counter-terror operations like the Army. Clearly, they all were talking tactics, not war. Had India retaliated to the PAF’s counter-strike, what it called an act of war, an escalation was assured. It is another matter that PM Narendra Modi had only bargained for the use of the IAF for electoral gains.
Talking of tactics, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa spoke about relative technological superiority. Perhaps, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman would not have strayed into Pakistani airspace if his MiG-21 Bison had Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Operational Data Link (ODL). The SDR operates in the VHF, UHF, Ku and L bandwidths and is meant to remove voice clutter. The ODL provides the pilot with data or text, in this case from the ground controller. The officer, separated from his wing-man, and without necessary voice and data instructions, unwittingly breached the airspace and was captured by the Pakistan army. There are known critical shortages of force multipliers in addition to force levels in the IAF. Surely, the IAF Chief can’t do much except keep asking the government to fill the operational voids. But, he could avoid making exaggerated claims since his words would only feed the ultra-nationalists, and support the Modi government’s spurious argument of having paid special attention to national security.
The same is the case with Rafale and S-400. These would certainly help, but would not tilt the operational level balance in India’s favour. For example, the IAF intends to use S-400 in the ‘offensive air defence’ role rather than its designed role of protecting high-value targets like Delhi, for which it was originally proposed. For the protection of high-value targets, the Air Headquarters has made a strong case to purchase the United States’ National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS). This is ironic, because while S-400 can destroy hostile ballistic missiles, NASAMS can’t do so. It can only kill cruise missiles and other aerial platforms. The thinking at the Air Headquarters is that since there is no understanding on the use of ballistic missiles — especially with Pakistan — both sides are likely to avoid the use of ballistic missiles with conventional warheads lest they are misread and lead to a nuclear accident. So, NASAMS may probably never be called upon to take on ballistic missiles.
Given the direction of the relationship between the India and Pakistan, this assumption may not be the best to make when procuring prohibitively expensive high-value assets.
#India's Air Force making excuses for failures against #Pakistan Air Force. Claims #tech failures in aerial battles with Pakistan. #IAF says Pakistan “has been consistently enhancing its air defense and offensive capabilities.” #Balakot #Kashmir – https://www.rt.com/news/457701-iaf-report-admits-failures-pakistan/
Airstrikes against ‘terrorist’ targets in Pakistan and subsequent aerial battles with Islamabad’s warplanes would have been more successful if India had better technology, a service report cited by local media admits.
The Indian Air Force’s ‘lessons learnt’ assessment primarily covered February’s retaliatory airstrike on a suspected jihadist training camp in Balakot, Pakistan, resulting in a military flare-up with its neighbor. It found that IAF warplanes would have been able to do serious damage to their Pakistani adversaries – if they had access to weapons capable of doing so in the first place.
The wording of the report was somewhat careful about admitting this fact openly, suggesting that they would have been able to compete with their opponents more effectively if they had possessed “technological asymmetry.”
A litany of technical issues was found to have hampered the IAF’s combat prowess. On top of problems integrating new weapons with the available hardware, one of the fighter jet’s missiles apparently failed to deploy from the aircraft altogether due to issues with its navigation system. The same issue had featured in an earlier embarrassing report which suggested that India had likely shot down its own helicopter with a malfunctioning missile while attempting to target encroaching enemy craft.
The latest review also noted that since 1999’s Kargil War, Pakistan “has been consistently enhancing its air defense and offensive capabilities,” demonstrated in the recent clashes by their use of F-16 fighter jets, giving Islamabad an edge. India’s hardware, meanwhile, has become increasingly outdated.
“We felt we could not punish the adversaries appropriately. So we need to bolster technological asymmetry so that the enemy does not even dare to come close to the border,” one source told India’s Economic Times. While things didn’t go exactly as expected, the report reminds readers that “no battle plan ever survives the first contact with the enemy.”
India also maintained that it carried out the assault into Pakistani airspace in order to strike a training facility used by the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which had carried out an attack in Pulwama, killing 40 Indian troops. However, Pakistan has consistently denied the existence of such camps, and said that the raid had merely destroyed some trees.
#Pakistan Air Force to get final Block II #JF17, JF17B fighter aircraft. AMF has built more than 100 JF-17s since the first JF-17 (serialled 09-111) was rolled out in Nov 2009. Production of the Block III variant to begin later this year. #PAF | Jane's 360 https://www.janes.com/article/88534/pakistan-air-force-prepares-for-arrival-of-final-block-ii-jf-17-and-jf-17b-fighter-aircraft#.XNyZvxp759I.twitter
The final three Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) JF-17 Thunder Block II multirole combat aircraft are set to be delivered to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) by late June, the service has told Jane's .
The aircraft are part of an order placed by the PAF in late 2017 for an additional 12 platforms that are currently on the Aircraft Manufacturing Factory (AMF) final assembly line at PAC Kamra. AMF has built more than 100 JF-17s since the first JF-17 (serialled 09-111) was rolled out in November 2009.
Production of the Block III variant is expected to begin later this year PAF Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan told Jane's, adding that the service "will make a decision on one of the two new Chinese AESA [airborne electronically scanned-array] radars we are currently evaluating for these aircraft". He noted that, although supportability and cost will be factors in the decision, the service hopes to have the aircraft operating with the new radar by March 2020.
The Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology's KLJ-7A radar is being marketed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) with air-cooling and liquid-cooling options. The second contender is Leihua Electronic Technology Research Institute (LETRI), which offers an air-cooling AESA radar known as the LKF601E.
Meanwhile, the Aircraft Repair Factory (ARF) at PAC Kamra recently completed its first 1,000th hour inspection on the first JF-17. This comes after PAC Kamra and China's Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC), which co-developed the fighter, worked on two JF-17s each to develop the working procedures.
#Qatar #Rafale, #Pakistani hands: "#Pakistan Air Force pilots will fly all these aircraft being procured by Qatar. It is irrelevant whether they have been trained in #France on the Rafale. In all likelihood, they would have" #India #IAF
Over the last few weeks, much has been written about the controversy emanating from the possibility of Pakistan Air Force pilots having trained and flown the Rafale aircraft in France. One needs to examine the possibilities of PAF pilots being engage...
Most critical would be the operational knowledge of the AESA radar. However, deeper technical knowledge of systems like the radar would not be available to Qatar. Given the nature of the long-standing relationship between France and Qatar, any
More importantly, it is inevitable that it would need pilots on hire to fly these aircraft. This is where the Pakistani relationship comes into focus. That PAF pilots fly for the Qatar Air Force is well established.
PAF fighter pilot Sattar Alvi who flew a Syrian Air Force MiG 21 and shot down a much more advanced Israeli Mirage III claims that his knowledge of Mirage weakness helped him in the dogfight over Syria:
"A Mirage is good at high speeds and poor at slow speed combat. The Mirage leader made his high speed pass at me and as I forced him to overshoot he pulled up high above me. His wingman followed in the attack and I did the same with him; followed by a violent reversal and making the aircraft stand on its tail. The speed dropped to zero. The wingman should have followed his leader.
To my surprise he didn’t, and reversed getting into scissors with me at low speeds. That was suicidal and a Mirage should never do that against a Mig-21. But then, the game plan probably was for the wingman to keep me engaged while the leader turned around to sandwich and then shoot me. It was a good plan, but not easy to execute. The only difficulty in this plan was that the second Mirage had to keep me engaged long enough without becoming vulnerable himself. This is where things began to go wrong for the wingman because his leader took about 10 seconds longer than what was required."
#India to buy 100 more of the #Israeli bunker-buster "smart" bombs... the kind that failed to hit targets in #Balakot #Pakistan in February this year. #Modi #IAF — RT World News https://www.rt.com/news/461289-israel-india-bombs-spice-pakistan/
The Indian Air Force has inked a deal with an Israeli defense firm to restock its arsenal with an advanced version of a bunker-buster bomb it had used in an airstrike against an alleged terrorist hideout in Pakistan in February.
New Delhi will purchase 100 more SPICE-2000 bombs for an estimated $43.2 million. SPICE stands for “smart, precise-impact and cost-effective” and is manufactured by the Israeli defense technology company Rafael. The munitions are expected to be delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) within the next three months.
Designed to destroy bunkers and other buildings, the bombs are an advanced version of the munitions deployed when the IAF attacked the suspected terrorist compound in Balakot, Pakistan, earlier this year. Islamabad responded with strikes of its own the next day, eventually downing an Indian F-16 after a brief dogfight.
The high-tech SPICE bomb has a range of 60 km and uses real-time data to adjust its flight path according to changing factors.
Since February’s brief clash, India and Pakistan have traded hostile rhetoric, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing Pakistan in April of allowing terrorists to attack India, and threatening to hit Pakistan with“the mother of all nuclear bombs.”
That comment prompted Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor to warn India against testing his country’s “resolve.”
India’s Air Force hasn’t always been so lucky to possess cutting-edge technology. Last month, Modi was widely mocked after suggesting that the IAF may have used clouds to evade Pakistani radar during February’s air raid.
#Sino-Pak JF-17 Thunder and #France's #Rafale are the only two fighter jets performing at #ParisAirShow . In fact, three #Pakistan Air Force (PAF) #JF17s are attending this year’s #ParisAirShow2019. #PAF https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2019-06-15/jf-17-thunder-lightning-strikes-twice
The Pak-Sino JF-17 Thunder has flown over 40,000 hours in service with six squadrons, including 2 ‘Minhasians’ Sqn. The fighter is set to mature even more rapidly with the integration of an AESA radar in the Block 3 JF-17s.
BLOCK 3 JETS
The JF-17 Block 3 enhancements will involve new avionics, including a helmet-mounted display and a holographic wide-angle head-up display, better electronic warfare systems with integrated self-protection kit, as well as a missile approach and warning system, an increased payload, and more sophisticated weapons like a fifth-generation short-range air-to-air missile. It will be the ultimate JF-17, and with an AESA radar will have the capability to employ longer-range weapons and track multiple aircraft.
A decision on a new AESA radar for the Block 3s is expected to be made by the end of the year. There are now three Chinese contenders, which were all shown at last year’s Zhuhai Air Show, while Leonardo’s Grifo-E is still on the table.
Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology's KLJ-7A is being marketed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation in air- and liquid-cooling options. The second contender, which was displayed at the Zhuhai Air Show last November along with the two Nanjing examples, comes from Leihua Electronic Technology Research Institute (LETRI), another air-cooling AESA known as the LKF601E. AVIC has thrown its weight behind this option and claims it was the first air-cooling radar. Replacing the JF-17’s original KLJ-7 is simply a case of taking out the old system and inserting the new one. The PAF’s Flight Test Group is currently working the options.
The PAF’s JF-17s are operational with the SD-10 beyond visual range air-to-air missile (AAM) with a data link and initial mid-course guidance, PL-5EII infrared short-range AAM, C-802 anti-shipping missile, and a stand-off capability courtesy of its Indigenous Range Extension Kit integrated with the Mk80 series of general-purpose bombs. The PAF chief of air staff recently told AIN that the JF-17 is better than many contemporary aircraft in three areas but would not provide any more details, although the air-to-sea mode is undoubtedly one of them.
At IDEF 19, held in Istanbul in early May, an Aselsan source confirmed that deliveries of the first of 50 Aselsan targeting pods for the JF-17s will commence "within a few months," which will provide the JF-17 with a laser-designator capability, working with JTACs on the ground in the air-to-land integration role.
Air Commodore Rashid Habib, JF-17 deputy chief project director, told the audience at the IDEAS 18 Air Power Conference in Karachi, that the JF-17 had flown 40,000 operational hours. He added that the JF-17B would be fitted with a missionized rear cockpit for combat training and operations, a three-axis fly-by-wire kit, and a fifth-generation advanced short-range air-to-air missile.
#Pakistan to induct JF-17 Block 3 fighter. Key feature will be its active electronically scanned array (AESA) #radar “1 of 2 new #Chinese AESA radars,” or #Italy's Leonardo Grifo-E “is still on the table.” #jf17thunder https://quwa.org/2019/07/01/pakistan-inches-closer-to-inducting-the-jf-17-block-3-2/ via @QuwaGroup
The centerpiece of the Block 3 will be its active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. Though the PAF CAS stated that the selection is now down to “one of two new Chinese AESA radars,” (i.e., the KLJ-7A and the LKF601E) Alan Warns reported that the Leonardo Grifo-E “is still on the table.”
Leonardo unveiled the Grifo-E in 2018 as a low-cost AESA radar solution for lightweight combat aircraft. However, the Grifo-E uses gallium-nitride (GaN)-based transmit/receive modules (TRM), which are more efficient in terms of power consumption than older gallium-arsenide (GaA)-based TRMs.
The Grifo-E can simultaneously track up to 24 targets (the LKF601E can track 15), but its range for picking up “fighter-sized targets” are 139 km to 157 km (Leonardo). The LKF601E can track “fighter-sized targets” at up to 170 km. Otherwise, the Grifo-E, KLJ-7A, and LKF601E appear to have similar features, though the Grifo-E also includes an “inverse synthetic aperture radar” (ISAR) for “seaborne and airborne targets.”
Seeing how Leonardo opened an office in Islamabad, the company’s willingness to sell the Grifo-E is not a concern. Rather, the main constraint with selecting any Western radar is that the PAF will have trouble in integrating Chinese radar-guided munitions – i.e., the SD-10 beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile (AAM) and the C-802 anti-ship missile (AShM) – to the radar. The PAF’s Chinese and Western partners will not share their respective source-codes to enable for such integration.
How Would Pakistan Take On the Indian Air Force? China's JF-17 Fighter
Pakistan is not alone.
by Charlie Gao
As the JF-17 is one of China’s “clean slate” designs, this bodes well for the reliability characteristics of the current generation of Chinese aircraft. However, the JF-17 still uses a Russian engine, and the PAF rejected offers to use Chinese engines in their JF-17s in 2015. Engines remain a critical weakness in the Chinese aerospace
The 2019 India-Pakistan border skirmish resulted in major shake-ups within the Indian Air Force (IAF). The most accepted narrative, that of a loss of an IAF MiG-21 Bison to no losses of the Pakistan Air Force bodes poorly for the IAF. But interestingly, according to a July interview, the skirmish marked one of the first “hot” use of Pakistan’s new Chinese JF-17 “Thunder” fighters.
The JF-17 is a relatively new single-engine fighter, meant to compete against other light fighters like the F-16, Gripen, and MiG-29 for export contracts. As the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is the only large user, most solid information about the aircraft is from Chinese marketing documents. But the July interview gives one pilot’s opinion on how the JF-17 stacks up against most common adversaries, from Sukhois to F-16s.
The extent of the JF-17’s “hot” usage following the border skirmish was in patrols near the border. In some incidents, the pilot said that during these patrols, he was getting radar lock-on Su-30MKIs at ranges in excess of 100 kilometers.
However, this doesn’t mean that a JF-17 could kill with a missile at that range. The JF-17’s primary beyond-visual-range (BVR) armament is the PL-12 missile, which is still undergoing integration (as of February 2019). During the actual border air skirmish, PAF F-16s lobbed AIM-120C-5 AMRAAM missiles at similar ranges, which forced IAF aircraft to go defensive to dodge the missiles, but no kills were scored. As the PL-12 is said to have a similar range to the AMRAAM, it’s likely that its kinematic performance at range is similar, and it too wouldn’t be able to score a kill.
But if the JF-17 allows the pilot to “lob” a missile at planes at such ranges, it still might be a step ahead of the IAF’s Su-30MKIs. According to an NDTV report, the Russian R-77 missiles cannot engage targets past 80 km.
Despite the Su-30’s missile limitations, the JF-17 pilot said that the Su-30 was one of the most formidable threats the PAF faces. This is likely due to the strong engines and maneuvering capability of the Su-30, which allows it to recover energy quickly after maneuvering and makes it hard to shoot down in a within visual range (WVR) engagement.
Interestingly, the pilot then goes onto state that he’s not that afraid of the Su-30 because he’s trained against F-16s with AMRAAMs, which he thinks is a far superior missile. The pilot also states that the MICA on the Mirage is also a significant threat.
This suggests that the pilot probably thinks that the fight will be largely decided, or largely influenced by the BVR stage of the engagement and that the JF-17’s capabilities in that arena are competitive to the F-16 and Mirage. However, the pilot does say that the JF-17’s limited BVR loadout is its main weakness, as most models of the JF-17 can only carry four BVR missiles, compared to the Su-30MKI which can carry eight or more.
The pilot also gives good marks to the JF-17 for reliability, flight characteristics, and maintenance. As the JF-17 is one of China’s “clean slate” designs, this bodes well for the reliability characteristics of the current generation of Chinese aircraft. However, the JF-17 still uses a Russian engine, and the PAF rejected offers to use Chinese engines in their JF-17s in 2015. Engines remain a critical weakness in the Chinese aerospace industry.
Pakistan deploys cutting edge JY-27A Very High Frequency (VHF Band) Counter-stealth Radar system. The Radar is believed to be capable of detecting Stealth aircraft from a distance of 500km, effectively neutralizing the element of surprise.
C4iSR & Missions Systems
JY-27A radar spotted in Pakistan
Sean O’Connor, Indianapolis - Jane's Defence Weekly
The defense analysts have identified a JY-27A counter-very-low-observable (CVLO) radar at Mianwali Air Base of Pakistan Air Force. In imagery from 29th August this year, it has been revealed that the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) manufactured radar.
The jamming-resistant and highly mobile VHF radar uses an active phased array antenna capable of detecting stealth aircraft like F-22 from a distance of 500 km.
According to the details, the 3-D long-range air surveillance and guidance radar was not fully operational as of 2nd September, however, it had arrived only between 5th June and 29th August.
It is worth mentioning that the news of the JY-27A’s acquisition hasn’t been made public, however, there have been reports about Pakistan’s desire to import advanced Chinese surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems.
The Pakistan Air Force has been actively working on increasing its arsenal especially after the staged Pulwama incident which led to an aerial faceoff between Pakistan and India.
PAKISTAN APPARENTLY RECEIVED A JY-27A RADAR FROM CHINA
Open source satellite imagery revealed the presence of a radar system, potentially the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation’s (CETC) JY-27A, at the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) M.M. Alam Air Base.
According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, which had reported that the radar is a JY-27A, the system was likely delivered from 05 June to 29 August 2019, but was not activated as of 02 September 2019.
Revealed at the 2016 Zhuhai Air Show, CETC had advertised the JY-27A as VHF (very high frequency) radar, in which state it offers 2D electronic-scanning in azimuth and elevation.
Of its benefits, CETC promoted the JY-27A’s ability to detect low-observable (LO) or ‘stealth’ aircraft, such as the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, at long-range.
The JY-27A CVLO (counter-very-low-observable) radar’s range is not known, but Shephard Media (citing unverified news reports) pegged its capability at roughly 500 km. In addition, the JY-27A can also provide situational awareness of incoming ballistic missiles.
It is not known if this was a single-unit procurement, or if it is part of a larger batch. Given the long-range detection capabilities of the JY-27A, it would follow that Pakistan could procure a long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM). In this regard, Pakistan had reportedly expressed interest in three or four FD-2000 (i.e., the export variant of the HQ-9) long-range SAM systems from China.
Notes & Comments:
One interesting aspect of a potential Pakistani VHF radar purchase is that in the 2017-2018 release of the Pakistani Ministry of Defence Production’s (MoDP) report, the Pakistani armed forces’ Directorate General of Munitions Production (DGMP) signed-off on a VHR radar program.
However, a DGMP program would suggest that the radar would have been a local project (either through an original design or via a transfer-of-technology agreement). It is unclear where the JY-27A stands in that equation. Moreover, a single-unit purchase at this stage would make sense since Pakistan could be looking at evaluating it before committing to a larger order.
As for the utility of VHF radars in detecting LO aircraft at long-range, an issue of this nature actually came up in 2014 when the Russians inducted VHF radars of their own.
Though a VHF radar might provide some situational awareness of a LO aircraft, it is generally not equipped to guide a missile to that target, at least at a sufficient accuracy. Moreover, a strike package consisting of LO aircraft will rarely operate alone; in fact, they will operate in a network-enabled system comprising of electronic warfare (EW) systems, drones (e.g., loyal wingman drones), and other assets.
Thus, situational awareness – while essential – is not enough to pose a credible threat to LO intruders. For the JY-27A to result as a serious acquisition, Pakistan would need to follow-up with long-range SAMs (with sufficiently long-range target tracking and missile guidance radars). At the minimum, it will need to develop a procedure to pair the early warning potential of the JY-27A with its existing response mechanisms (e.g., scrambling its multi-role fighters and using airborne early warning and control to support the intercept mission).
In any case, it should be noted that M.M. Alam Air Base has become an area where the PAF seems to test Chinese equipment. In 2017, the same air base was host to a Wing Loong drone apparently undergoing tests.
#Pakistan Completes Production of First Batch of #JF17 B #Fighter #Aircraft. Block III will receive a new electronic warfare system, upgraded avionics including a 3-axis fly-by-wire digital flight control system & helmet-mounted display #PAF @Diplomat_APAC https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/pakistan-completes-production-of-first-batch-of-jf-17b-fighter-aircraft/
The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra completed production of the first batch of eight twin-seat Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17B Thunder for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in late December.
The aircraft were rolled out during an official ceremony held in Kamra on December 27, 2019. The rolling out of the aircraft was attended by the PAF’s chief of air staff, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, and China’s ambassador to Pakistan, Yao Jing, next to a host of other dignitaries.
According to a statement by the PAF, Khan congratulated PAC Kamra and its Chinese partners for the “successful accomplishment of [the] 2019 production target and on completing [the] first 8 dual-seat JF-17 aircraft in [a] record time of five months.”
He also noted that the JF-17 constitutes the “backbone” of the PAF and is “battle proven” as a result of combat missions conduced in February 2019 against the Indian Air Force (IAF). Pakistan at the time claimed that IAF fighters were engaged with beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAM) fired from a JF-17 Block II. One Indian Mig-21 was shot down and the pilot captured.
The JF-17B aircraft will be available in an attack and trainer variant. The first prototype of the twin-seater was reportedly completed in late 2016 and made its maiden flight in April 2017. The aircraft has a deeper dorsal spine and an added fuel capacity in comparison to other one-seat JF-17 variants.
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In addition to the eight aircraft rolled out in late December, the PAF expects to receive a further 14 JF-Bs in 2020 and four more in 2021, according to the chairman of the PAC.
Another variant of the aircraft, the JF-17 Block III, conducted its maiden flight on December 15 of last year.
Notably, while JF-17 Block I and II variants are reportedly powered by a Chinese license-built Klimov RD-93MA turbofan engine, the Block III version is expected to receive the RD-93MA or Chinese WS-13 engine. As I explained elsewhere:
F-17 Block III fighters will apparently receive a new electronic warfare system, upgraded avionics including a three-axis fly-by-wire digital flight control system, a helmet-mounted display and sight system, and Pakistan’s first Chinese-made active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system. Two such radar systems are currently under evaluation, according to the PAF Air Chief: the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology’s KLJ-7A radar and the Leihua Electronic Technology Research Institute’s (LETRI) LKF601E.
Another contester reportedly is Leonardo’s Grifo-E AESA radar system. The PAF will reportedly procure at least 50 JF-17 Block IIIs by 2024.
#Pakistan #PAF to receive first 12 of twin-seat JF-17B combat aircraft with active electronic scanned-array (AESA) radar. 8 of these aircraft were built at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra, while 4 were constructed in #China. #jf17 | Jane's 360 https://www.janes.com/article/94094/pakistan-air-force-to-receive-first-12-jf-17b-combat-aircraft-in-near-future#.Xjo1MoWIrVY.twitter
The aircraft, several of which are equipped with aerial refuelling probes, had been rolled out at PAC Kamra in late December 2019 during a ceremony that was also attended by the PAF's Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan. Delivery of the remaining JF-17Bs is expected to be completed by 2021.
Speaking to Jane's on 20 January, ACM Khan explained that the JF-17Bs will help to streamline the PAF's training process for the Thunder. "The JF-17 pilots are currently being posted to Lockheed Martin F-16, Chengdu F-7PG or Dassault Mirage IIIEA ROSE aircraft before converting to the JF-17," he said. "But they will start going straight to a JF-17 OCU [operational conversion unit] after completing their advanced jet training." ACM Khan added that this "will ensure that pilots transitioning to the Sino-Pakistani jet are a lot younger than they are now".
The JF-17B prototype made its first flight in China in April 2017.
Meanwhile, the PAF revealed that after a lengthy evaluation the air-cooled Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology (NRIET) KLJ-7A active electronically scanned-array (AESA) radar has been selected for the Block III variant of the JF-17/ FC-1 Xiaolong, the first prototype of which made its maiden flight on 17 December from CAIG's production facility at Chengdu-Huangtianba. PAC Kamra's newly appointed chairman, Air Marshal Syed Noman Ali, said a second Block III prototype will assist in May with the test and evaluation process.
600 kilometer range Ra'ad 2 air launched #cruise #missile is #Pakistan's latest response to #India's acquisition of #Russian S-400 & #American “Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS). #Raad2 #ALCM can hit #Delhi, #Agra, #Ahmedabad, #Jaipur, #Indore https://thediplomat.com/2020/02/pakistan-test-launches-raad-ii-nuclear-capable-air-launched-cruise-missile/
The new longer-range Ra’ad II “significantly enhances air delivered strategic standoff capability on land and at sea,” ISPR said in a February 18 statement. “The weapon system is equipped with state of the art guidance and navigation systems ensuring engagement of targets with high precision.”
A video of the launch released by ISPR shows the Ra’ad II being launched from a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Mirage III fighter aircraft. ISPR referred to the new weapon system as “a major step towards complementing Pakistan’s deterrence capability.”
The Ra’ad II was first publicly revealed as a mock-up in 2017 during Pakistan’s annual military parade in Islamabad.
The 4.85 meter-long Ra’ad-II had a stated range of 550-600 kilometers. It is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear payloads.
Pakistan’s Ra’ad (also known as the Hatf VIII) series bears a resemblance to several South African stand-off missile projects, including the MUPSOW cruise missile and Torgos long-range guided weapon. Pakistan and South Africa have worked together on advanced weapons development in the past.
The 350-kilometer variant of the Ra’ad cruise missile was first test-launched by the Pakistan Air Force in 2007. The development of the latest Ra’ad II variant may in part be influenced by India’s air defense modernization efforts.
Pakistan’s February 16 test launch comes after the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 10 February that the U.S. Department of State had approved a potential $1.86 billion Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to India of an “Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS).”
The IADWS sales package includes a range of sensors, weapons systems, and support equipment. The potential sale also includes AN/MPQ-64Fl Sentinel radar systems, AMRAAM AIM-120C-7/C-8 missiles and associated guidance and control equipment, and Stinger FIM-92L missiles.
India is also in the process of procuring Russian-made Almaz-Antei S-400 Triumf air defense systems (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler). India placed a $5.5 billion order for five S-400 air defense squadrons (regiments) for service in the Indian Air Force.
Given compatibility and interoperability issues, India would have to operate the two systems in isolation.
The acquisition of the Russian long-range air defense systems has caused strong opposition from the United States, which has threatened economic sanctions on India under U.S. legislation known as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
#India’s #French #Rafale to be ‘outgunned’ by #Pakistan's #JF17 fighter aircraft with longer-ranged #Chinese PL-15 missiles. “The IAF allowed itself to be outgunned by focusing on platform acquisitions, rather than weapon system and sensor upgrades" #Modi http://shr.gs/kID6TzP
INDIA's Air Force chief Rakesh Kumar Bhadauria has issued a strong warning to the political leaders of India, as $7.8billion Rafale jet is insufficient to meet the country's defence requirements. India previously signed a $7.8billion contract with French Dassault Aviation to buy the aircraft in 2019.
However, Indian Air Force (IAF) veteran, Vijainder Thakur, believes it is the best aircraft in the forces’ inventory now. He said: “The IAF allowed itself to be outgunned by focusing on platform acquisitions, rather than weapon system and sensor upgrades. The technical advantage gained by the IAF through the acquisition of the Rafale would be transient because it would be based largely on the weapon systems and sensors of the Rafale.
“With sufficient military foresight, the IAF could have armed its Su-30MKI with longer range air-to-air missiles acquired from Russia rather than continuing to rely on the lesser ranged missile ordered years ago from Ukraine.
“The IAF fulfilled the expectations only after it made an emergency purchase of Laser-Guided Bombs and targeting pods.”
However, a determined nemesis like the Pakistan Air Force, could deploy longer-ranged Chinese PL-15 missiles on an updated version of the JF-17 jet.
The Pakistan Air Force’s single engine multirole fighter, the JF-17 manufactured by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation, is due for a major upgrade.
The Chinese newspaper, Global Times, reported earlier this year that the upgraded JF-17 fighter jet will have “an infrared search and track system and a radar cross section reducing ‘pseudo-stealthy’ airframe”.
The Indian Air Force’s focus on platforms rather than sensors and weapon systems was evident during the Kargil conflict with Pakistan two decades ago.
The JF-17 fighter jet has also been equipped with an PL-15 Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile that has posed serious concern among the US air force.
The former head of the US Air Force, Herbert Carlisle, believes that the missiles’ long range is an ‘exceedingly high priority’.
He said: “The PL-15 and the range of that missile, we’ve got to be able to out-stick that missile.”
Last year, a day after the IAF struck an alleged terror training camp at Balakot, the Pakistani Air Force surprised the IAF with its longest range AMRAAM.
The Indian Air Force ordered a large amount of Russian air-to-air missiles, such as R-27 and R-73’s very shortly after.
Emphasising the importance of air-to-air missiles, the Indian Air Force Chief, Bhadauria, attended a seminar on it in New Delhi on Friday.
He said that when the missile goes on to the SU-30 And MiG-29, that the power of parity and better performance will spread across the air force.
The Indian Air Force will start taking delivery of the Rafale jets in May 2020.
Mr Thakur’s comments come one year after Pakistan’s military accused India’s aircraft of crossing into its territory and carrying out an airstrike.
Pakistani villagers were in the area where Indian jets struck and said they heard four loud bangs at approximately 3am on February 26th 2019, according to Reuters.
A senior government source said 300 militants had been killed in the strikes, but no further details were provided.
However in a conflicting report, Pakistan’s military has said there were no casualties from the air attack.
#USAF Col Fornoff on #Indian Air Force in Red Flag 2008 at Nellis
1. Indian pilots are prone to fratricide – killing friendly aircraft
2. #IAF require 1 min between takeoffs vs 30 secs for other air forces
3. IAF not keen on 1 on 1 dogfights
https://youtu.be/35nBQF5-qhc via @YouTube
The Pakistanis whipped their [Indians’] a**es in the sky, but it was the other way around in the ground war. 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.
Charles Yeager, a retired brigadier general in the United States Air Force and record-setting test pilot, was posted to Pakistan as the US Defense Representative from 1971 to 1973, during the Indo-Pak war on East Bangladesh. Yeager provided the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) with a great opportunity to learn from someone who was at that time the most experienced and perhaps the best fighter pilot in the world.In 1947, he became the first pilot confirmed to have traveled faster than sound.z5The PAF and its fighter pilots learnt as much as they could in that short period.
During the war, he was constantly at hand to advise and organise the PAF’s defences. After the war ended, Chuck Yeager, who had experienced it first had, briefed at length the PAF on what it had done right and on what it had done wrong.Many of Chuck Yeager’s training and combat advice to the PAF was incorporated into PAF training and combat tactics manuals. Chuck Yeager’s affiliation with the PAF was an honour to it. The PAF remains the only foreign air force in the world to have received Chuck Yeager’s admiration – a recommendation which the PAF is proud of.
Here is how he admired the Pakistan Air Force, in his own autobiography:
“When we arrived in Pakistan in 1971, the political situation between the Pakistanis and Indians was really tense over Bangladesh, or East Pakistan, as it was known in those days, and Russia was backing India with tremendous amounts of new airplanes and tanks. The US and China were backing the Pakistanis.
My job was military adviser to the Pakistani air force, headed by Air Marshal Rahim Khan, who had been trained in Britain by the Royal Air Force, and was the first Pakistani pilot to exceed the speed of sound. He took me around to their different fighter groups and I met their pilots, who knew me and were really pleased that I was there.
They had about five hundred airplanes, more than half of them Sabres and 104 Starfighters, a few B-57 bombers, and about a hundred Chinese MiG-19s. 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.”
z7One of Yeager’s first jobs there was to help them put US Sidewinders on their Chinese MiGs, which were 1.6 Mach twin-engine airplanes that carried three thirty-millimeter canons. The US government had furnished them with the rails for Sidewinders. Pakistan bought the missiles and all the checkout equipment that went with PAF, and Yeager had an interesting experience watching PAF electricians wiring up American missiles on a Chinese MiG.
He writes: “I worked with their squadrons and helped them develop combat tactics. The Chinese MiG was one hundred percent Chinese-built and was made for only one hundred hours of flying before it had to be scrapped – a disposable fighter good for one hundred strikes. In fairness, it was an older airplane in their inventory, and I guess they were just getting rid of them. They delivered spare parts, but it was a tough airplane to work on; the Pakistanis kept it flying for about 130 hours.
Did PAF shoot down an IAF Su 30? India denied it as asked Pakistan to prove its claim.
1. Pakistan Air Force’s Hassan Siddiqui shot down an Indian Air Force Su 30 using BVR AMRAAM missile parts of which were displayed by Indians as proof that Pakistan used F-16s
2. An Indian Air Force squadron leader reported killed in a road accident near Pulwama, according to Indian media. These were most likely the pilots shot down by PAF on Feb 27, 2019.
Two IAF personnel including a squadron leader were killed a road accident near Awantipora Air Force station in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama ..The slain include a squadron leader.
#UnitedStates to Upgrade F-16 Fighter Jets of #Pakistan with precision advanced target pods (ATP). An indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Pakistani F-16s has been awarded to Lockheed Martin. #PAF #F16 #ATP https://www.researchsnipers.com/united-states-to-upgrade-f-16-fighter-jets-of-pakistan/
Foreign Military Sales (FMS) for Sniper, Infrared Search and Track (IRST), and Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) navigation pod (fixed wing) hardware production are part of the contract.
On its website, the US DOD confirmed the development stating, “This contract provides the necessary resources required for the management, fabrication, upgrade/retrofit, integration support and testing and shipping of its non-developmental item (NDI) Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP) System, NDI LANTIRN Fixed Image Navigation Set upgrades, and the NDI IRST system as it relates to the requirements document associated with each specific delivery order placed under this contract.”
In Orlando, Florida the work on the production will begin. It will be completed by May 2025. The FMS is basically for the US allies that include Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.
Pakistan F16 upgrades contract to Lockheed Martin
The Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod provides precision targeting and situational awareness to combat aircraft crews, and is among the most widely deployed targeting system for fixed-wing aircraft in use by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. allies.
The pod provides precision strike, as well as non-traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (NTISR) for close air support of ground forces. The pod has electro-optical imagery capability, a video datalink, and J-series coordinates.
The pod has image processing algorithms, stabilization, high-resolution, mid-wave forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and daylight TV sensors, dual-mode laser for geo-location, laser spot tracker, infrared marker, meta-data for video, and common software and hardware interfaces.
The pod has been flown on U.S. Air Force and international F-15E, F-16, B-1, A-10C, Harrier GR7/9, and CF-18 combat aircraft, and is suitable for the B-52 strategic bomber.
LANTIRN is a combined navigation and targeting pod system for use on the F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon. It enables these aircraft to fly at low altitudes, at night, and under-the-weather to attack ground targets with a variety of precision-guided weapons.
The LANTIRN's AN/AAQ-13 navigation pod provides high-speed penetration and precision attack on tactical targets at night and in adverse weather, and contains a terrain-following radar and a fixed thermographic camera, which provides a visual cue and input to the aircraft's flight control system, enabling it to maintain a pre-selected altitude above the terrain and avoid obstacles.
The system's AN/AAQ-14 targeting pod contains a high-resolution, forward looking infrared sensor, which displays an infrared image of the target to the pilot; a laser designator and rangefinder for precise delivery of laser-guided munitions; a missile boresight; and software for automatic target tracking. LANTIRN has been in full-rate production since 1986.
IRST is a longwave infrared detection system that targets aircraft in a radar-denied environment. The system uses infrared search and track technology to detect and provide weapon-quality track solutions on potentially hostile aircraft.
Related: Raytheon to provide UAV electro-optical targeting systems in $50.2 million contract
The system has a processor, inertial measurement unit, and environmental control unit that fit inside the sensor pod, which attaches to a weapons station underneath the aircraft.
Infrared sensors like the IRST detect the heat from an aircraft's engine exhaust or even the heat generated by the friction of an aircraft as it passes through the atmosphere. Unlike radar, infrared sensors do not emit electronic signals, and do not give away their presence to adversaries.
On this contract Lockheed Martin will do the work in Orlando, Fla., and at locations to be identified with each order, and should be finished by May 2025. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control online at www.lockheedmartin.com, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center-Robins at www.robins.af.mil/Units/AFLCMC.
USA, Pakistan and the F-16: What lies behind US's $125 mn military sales to Pakistan to monitor F-16s
By Brig Kuldip Singh (India)
As in 1979 and in 2001, once again, a crisis in Afghanistan has allowed Pakistan to reset its relations with the US.
Between 2002 and 2018, the US has given Pakistan about $34.2 billion ($11.3 bn as economic aid, $8.3 as security aid, including $4 billion as Foreign Military Financing (FMF), and about $14.6 billion as Coalition Support Fund (reimbursement for deployment of Pakistan military in aid of US objectives).
Since 2002, Pakistan has received 60 Mid-Life Update (MLU) kits for its 1980s vintage fleet of F-16A/B aircraft. The US partly subsidised these kits, paying $477 million from FMF. This MLU, carried out in Turkey, a NATO member, had upgraded the older F-16A/B aircraft to Block-52 standards. It received 18 new F-16 C/D Block-52 aircraft for $1.43 billion, including 500 x AMRAAMs, advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles — of the kind used to bring down Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG-21 in the February 27 dogfight this year.
Another 14x F-16 A/B aircraft were given free by the US, after being deemed Excess Defense Articles. Additionally, Pakistan received six second-hand F-16s (Block-15 Air Defence Fighter (ADF) version) from Turkey.
Enter the US Technical Support Teams
The Pakistani military operates with a mix of western, Soviet/Russian and Chinese equipment — and there are documented instances of Pakistan providing China access to western military technology — particularly that from the US — which Beijing then reverse-engineered
When the US commenced supplying F-16s to Pakistan in the early 1980s, China had expressed explicit interest in its avionics and associated technology. Later, in 2006, when the US agreed to upgrade the PAF’s existing fleet of F-16 A/B and also supply new F-16 C/D aircraft, it did not want China to get access to the advanced F-16 technologies in view of the changed geopolitical circumstances.
Hence, the US insisted that the MLU be carried out outside of Pakistan, and the upgraded and the new F-16s be segregated from PAF’s other air bases where Chinese technicians operate.
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Peace Gate: US F-16 Sales to Pakistan 1984
The sale of 40 F-16 Multi-role fighter aircraft to the
emerging nation of Pakistan not only encompasses a variety
of geo-political, economic, and military consequences for the
country itself but subsequently creates unique challenges
for USAF foreign military sales program managers. This
thesis examines the managerial challenges and program management performance during the acquisition and logistics
support phases of the Peace Gate program. By first analyzing
Pakistan as an emerging nation and recipient of F-16 aircraft
under the Zia dictatorship, the thesis then discusses program
management impediments and consequent management action taken
by the USAF, Pakistan Air Force, and contractor management
teams. Managerial decisions and strategies applied during
the sale and support phases are assessed in light of accomplishing Peace Gate program objectives. Conclusions regarding the contribution of specific managment techniques toward
program success are made.
As of May 1984, 15 aircraft have been
delivered (six from PG I and nine from PG II); the entire
program cost for PG I has been aid by the Government of
Pakistan (GOP); and ten PAF pilots and over 100 maintenance
technicians have been trained in CONUS. CIS work for PG I
has been completed and PG II CIS work has begun (19).
Because the economic, political and military elements of
the Peace Gate environment determine, to a large extent, the
potential for program success and the character of program
decision making during the life of Peace Gate, this chapter
attempts to provide some insight into the program's operating
Pakistan's world position and perception of international events is largely determined by its strategic loca- r
tion. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a South Asian Third
World country approximately the size and shape of California, *.
is surrounded by either historic or current adversarial
nations. Pakistan has four neighboring states: Iran to the
southwest, Afghanistan to the north and west, China to the
northeast, and India to the east; all of which play an
important part in determining its security requirements
(14:680). Pakistan is a country of considerable environmental variety. The northern border of its 1100 mile expanse
is comprised of the Hindu Kush mountains--the greatest
concentration of high peaks in the world.
Because of Pakistan's tenuous agricultural and industrial development, it is one of the 49 United
Nations (UN) designated "low income countries of the world"
(28:1367). Its low per capita Gross National Product (GNP)
of about $300 (70:128) is aggravated by its 3.2 percent
population growth rate--one of the highest in the world
(66:37). The full extent of Pakistan's economic plight is
perhaps best expressed by the tragic fact that 34 percent of
its population is still classified as "living in a state of
absolute poverty" (28:1367).
Needless to say, the industrial capacity and economic
base of Pakistan are of great concern to American Foreign
Military Sales decision makers (66:41). Pakistan lacks the
industrial capacity to sustain a technical defense program
without substantial support. Additionally, economic conditions have led a number of U.S. government officials to
question Pakistan's ability to afford a major military
modernization program, either in the short run or long term
Given Islamabad’s intimate relationship with China and the economic problems currently gripping the country, acquiring the JH-7 heavy strike fighter can both provide its navy with much needed aerial strike capability as well as free up PAF’s core assets to engage with the IAF for supremacy over the battlefields of Kashmir and Punjab.
The JH-7, while utilizing an old air frame, is a highly effective aircraft for deep strike operations. The jet first flew in 1988 and small numbers were delivered to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force during the 1990s. An improved version of the JH-7 fighter-bomber, also known by the NATO designation Flounder, began to be inducted in large numbers after 2004, after the Chinese aviation industry was able to indigenously manufacture a derivative of the Rolls Royce Spey engine. The Spey engine was designed specifically by the British for development of a low flying naval strike aircraft to counter the Soviet Navy in the Cold War.
Faced with cuts in defense expenditure and decreasing global influence after World War II, Britain could no longer afford to operate a sizable navy to deter the Soviet threat. Instead, the British opted for developing naval strike aircraft, such as the Blackburn Buccaneer, to extract a heavy toll on large Soviet Navy cruisers in a future conflict. The Spey engines were later utilized on the Royal Air Force’s fleet of F-4 Phantoms, giving the aircraft greater range and a shorter takeoff distance.
In addition to their low maintenance and impressive safety record, the Spey engine’s utility lies in the fact that it is designed specifically for sustained low altitude flight below the radar horizon of enemy naval vessels. Despite significant advances in jet engine development since the Cold War, the majority of engines today are designed for mid-to-high altitude flight. Flying at low altitude to avoid radar detection for longer periods thus decreases much of the engines’ range.
The JH-7 also complements the Pakistan Navy’s combat doctrine, which is based on the anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) blueprint. The PN’s three Khalid-class submarines form the linchpin of their A2/AD strategy, with the wartime objective of preventing an attempted blockade of the vital Karachi port by the Indian Navy. Acquisition of the JH -7 by Pakistan would provide Islamabad with lethal capability to considerably limit the maneuvering capacity of the Indian Navy in the proximity of Karachi port.
Also, the JH-7, with its longer combat range, heavy payload capacity, and ability to fly under enemy radar cover provides Islamabad with an offensive capacity targeted at India’s protracted western coastline. Hence, acquisition of the JH-7 by Pakistan serves both defensive and offensive purposes. The improved JH-7A variant currently in service with the PLA Air Force is capable to carry over seven tonnes of armament, including four KD-88/YJ-83 anti-ship missiles.
The capability to carry long range anti-ship missiles, which can be launched more than 100 miles away from their targets, means that the JH-7 is able to utilize an asymmetric “hit and run” strategy before enemy air defenses can effectively engage with it. This doctrine was perhaps most aptly demonstrated by the Argentine Air Force during the 1982 Falklands War, as French Super Etendard strike aircraft armed with Exocet missiles sank two British warships.
One alternative to the JH-7 for Pakistan is its existing arsenal of cruise missiles, but this option has its own pitfalls. First, cruise missiles follow a predictable trajectory and are vulnerable to interception by India’s air defense network and fighter aircraft such as the Sukhoi 30 MKI. Second, the use of cruise missiles, even in an all-out conflict, presents a significant leap in terms of escalation. As such, a cruise missile attack by either New Delhi or Islamabad can lead to an eventual nuclear exchange.
#PAF has upgraded its 150 #French #Mirage III/V jet fighters from 1960s with modern radars, new avionics, IFF (ID Friend/Foe) #technology at #Pakistan Aeronautical Complex under ROSE program. Pakistan is acquiring more used Mirage III/Vs for spares. https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2019/02/26/Mirage-2000-is-IAF-warhorse-but-Pakistan-has-an-older-French-ROSE.html
About a year ago, Agence France Presse (AFP) did a special report on an older French-built fighter, which holds a similar reputation with the Pakistan Air Force—the Mirage III/V.
The American-built F-16, of which the Pakistan Air Force is thought to operate around 75 jets, is Pakistan’s most advanced fighter. But strict US export controls and monitoring has meant Islamabad has been unable to modify the F-16 for long-range attack missions.
This has left the Pakistan Air Force heavily reliant on the Mirage III/V for the stand-off strike role. And Pakistan has virtually trawled the world for used Mirage III/V jets, buying variants from the likes of Australia, Libya, Lebanon, Spain and, of course, France.
Since the mid-1990s, Pakistan has upgraded dozens of Mirage-III/Vs with Italian radars and other electronics at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex under the ROSE programme.
In addition to improved air-to-air capabilities, Pakistan has modified the Mirage ROSE aircraft with the capability to fire long-range glide bombs developed with South African assistance. The Mirage ROSE was also the launch aircraft on tests of the Ra’ad cruise missile, which has been fired at least seven times since 2007. The Ra’ad has been claimed to have a range of up to 350km and can carry conventional or nuclear warheads.
The AFP report was intended to mark the 50th anniversary of the Mirage III/V’s entry into Pakistani service. The AFP feature specifically covered the upgrade of the Mirage III/V called the retrofit of strike element, or the morbidly ‘romantic’ acronym, ROSE. Over the past five decades, Pakistan has purchased nearly 150 Mirage III/V fighters.
The Mirage III was the first European combat aircraft capable of flying at twice the speed of sound and made its maiden flight in 1956. The Mirage V was a dedicated ground attack variant of the Mirage III, with greater space for fuel, in place of avionics. The only thing these aircraft share in common with the Indian Mirage 2000 is their ‘delta wing’ design. The Mirage 2000 is a far newer and capable design that uses ‘fly-by-wire’ technology (flight control by computers) instead of hydraulic controls on the older jets.
The AFP article from 2018 mentioned the Pakistan Air Force intended to replace the Mirage ROSE aircraft with the Chinese-designed JF-17 as the French aircraft are becoming difficult to maintain. However, Pakistan officials praised the Mirage ROSE aircraft as being “very agile” and capable of penetrating deep into enemy territory without being detected.
So, while tension rises between India and Pakistan, it is difficult to miss the irony in the fact that two French-designed aircraft play key roles in the two militaries.
P.S.: In the mid-1990s, Asif Ali Zardari, husband of then Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was accused of taking a bribe of $200 million from Dassault to facilitate a deal for 32 advanced Mirage 2000 fighters for the Pakistan Air Force. The deal was scuppered when Bhutto's government was dismissed in 1996.
#Pakistan’s #Chinese made 3D long-range anti-stealth radar is capable of detecting #stealth aircraft like F-22 from 500km (310 miles) away with its active phased array antenna. it could also guide surface-to-air missiles to strike incoming aircraft. #PAF
China is reported to be boosting its arms links with South Asian nations, with further supply of an advanced anti-stealth radar to Pakistan as well as frigates to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Jane’s Defence Weekly, a magazine reporting on military and corporate affairs, said it had identified Chinese-made JY-27A counter-very-low-observable radar from satellite images of Pakistan’s Mianwali Air Base, captured on August 29.
This 3D long-range radar is capable of detecting stealth aircraft such as the F-22 from 500km (310 miles) away with its active phased array antenna using very high frequency waves. Either installed on land or mobile on vehicles, it is jamming-resistant and could also guide surface-to-air missiles to strike incoming aircraft.
The radar is believed to have arrived at the airbase in northeast Pakistan between June 5 and August 29, and was not fully operational as of September 2, according to Jane’s.
Neither Pakistan nor China made the sale of the JY-27A public, but earlier this month representatives of both sides attended a ceremony at a Shanghai shipyard to mark the steel-cutting of a second batch of Type 054A guided-missile frigates.
They were the third and fourth vessels the Chinese shipbuilder CSSC had built for the Pakistan Navy. Construction on the first two of the Type 054A/P began in December 2018 and they are expected to be delivered in 2021.
Is China’s US$62 billion investment fuelling resentment in Pakistan?
3 Jul 2018
Type 054A frigate has been the main strength frigate in service with China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy since 2007. The Pakistan Navy already has four F22P frigates in service – a Chinese design based on the previous Type 053 and Type 054 – and three of them were built in China.
“Compared with their potential adversary the Indian Navy, the Pakistani navy will be better equipped,” Shi Lao, a Shanghai-based military commentator, said.
Last week’s amateur photos also showed that two newly retired PLA Navy frigates, Type 053H3 Putian and Lianyungang, had been refurbished in Shanghai and painted in the colours and numbers of the Bangladesh Navy. They had been bought by the latter and are expected to be handed over by the end of the year.
China also gifted a retired Type 053H2G ship, Tongling, to the Sri Lanka Navy. It was renamed Parakramabahu and commissioned in Colombo in late August, adding to the Chinese-built warships operating in the Indian Ocean.
Chinese efforts to strengthen military ties in the region have long caused concern in India, whose “string of pearls” theory contends that China is encircling India by developing relationships with its neighbours around the Indian Ocean.
“China’s military cooperation with South Asian nations is nothing new. It has been going on for decades,” said Wang Dehua, a South Asia expert at the Shanghai Municipal Centre for International Studies.
Wang said that what China offered to those countries, including Pakistan, would not pose much threat to India because it could not match the level of armament that India possessed or had access to, such as aircraft carriers and Su-30 fighters.
India’s military ties with countries including Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were also much stronger and more long-standing, he said.
“India sees South Asia as its backyard and is paranoid about China’s presence in the region,” Wang said. “Such a mindset should end.”
Retired PAF Air Commodore Kaiser Tufail:
Mr. Modi has apparently not yet been briefed by his Air Staff about the JF-17’s upcoming PL-15 BVR missile guided by the new AESA radar, which beats the Rafale’s ramjet-powered Meteor by several tens of kilometers. It is manifest that long range BVR combat will take precedence over close combat in any future conflict, and enemy aircraft will be shot out of the skies while remaining well inside their own territory.
While we are at it, it may be worthwhile to have a cursory line comparison of the Rafale, F-16A and JF-17 in one-on-one visual air combat.
All three aircraft have a ‘clean’ configuration Thrust-to-Weight Ratio of 1:1 and can climb and accelerate equally well. In a turning fight, Aspect Ratio and Wing Loading are critical parameters. The JF-17 and F-16A enjoy better Aspect Ratios of 3.7 each, compared to the Rafale which stands at 2.6. A better Aspect Ratio (square of wing span to wing area) implies better aerodynamic efficiency due to less induced drag during turning. As for Wing Loading, or the weight of the aircraft per unit area, the lesser the better. The Rafale has a slight edge, having 68 lbs/sq ft compared to the JF-17 and F-16A, both of which have Wing Loadings of 77 lbs/sq ft. A lightly loaded wing helps in a tighter turn, though in case of the Rafale, this advantage is overcome by greater induced drag due its lower Aspect Ratio. In sum, all three fighters are at par, more or less, in a turning fight.
Induction of the Rafale in IAF has created considerable media interest, and the impression has been created that with immediate effect, IAF will rule the Indian skies. It must, however, be remembered that it will be at least two years before the Rafale achieves anything close to Full Operational Capability. PAF, on the other hand, has been flying F-16s for 37 years, including hot scenarios during the Afghan War, in local counter-insurgency operations, and the latest Operation ‘Swift Retort,’ downing half a dozen enemy fighters in these operations. The JF-17 has been fully operational for over a decade, and is expected to replace the legacy fighters over the next five years. These combat-proven PAF fighters are fully integrated with the air defence system, and are mutually data-linked, alongside all AEW and ground sensors. Such capabilities are not achieved overnight, and it will be several years before the Rafales can be considered a threat in any real sense.
Any immediate impact of the Rafale on IAF’s air power capabilities is, thus, simply over-hyped. This inference, however, must not be dealt with lightly, as there is a distinct possibility of the Indian Prime Minister using the Rafale for a false-flag operation in a surreptitious manner, to prove his point that, “with the Rafale, the results would have been different,” from those of 27 February 2019.
RUSI Paper on Chinese military aircraft development:
China has developed J-11 and J-16 series Flanker derivatives featuring AESA radars, new datalinks, improved EW systems and increased use of composites, which give them a superior level of overall combat capability to the latest Russian Flanker, the Su-35S.
This advantage is increased by Chinese advances in both within-visual-range (WVR) and beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missiles. Unlike the latest Russian R-73M, the PL-10 features an imaging infrared seeker, improving resistance to countermeasures. More significantly, the PL-15 features a miniature AESA seeker head and outranges the US-made AIM-120C/D AMRAAM series. China is also testing a very-long-range air-to-air missile, known as PL-X or PL-17, which has a 400-km class range, multimode seeker and appears to have been designed to attack US big-wing ISTAR and tanker aircraft.
China has developed and introduced into service the first credible non-US-made LO, or fifth-generation, fighter in the form of the J-20A ‘Mighty Dragon’. Subsequent developments are likely to increase its LO characteristics and sensor capabilities, as well as engine performance, with construction of the first production prototypes of the J-20B having begun in 2020.
Overall, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and People’s Liberation Army Navy are rapidly improving their combat air capabilities, including a focus on the sensors, platforms, network connectivity and weapons needed to compete with the US in cutting-edge, predominantly passive-sensor air combat tactics.
The Russian Su-57 Felon is assessed as not yet having matured into a credible frontline weapons system, and as lacking the basic design features required for true LO signature. However, it does offer the potential to correct many of the Flanker family weaknesses with greatly reduced signature and an AESA radar, while improving the already superb agility and performance of the Flanker series.
The Russian Air Force (VKS) does not currently field targeting pods for its ground-attack and multirole fleets. This limits the ground-attack aircraft to internal equivalents with inferior field of view and tactical flexibility, and the multirole fighters to reliance on either pre-briefed GPS/GLONASS target coordinates, radar-guided weapons or target acquisition using fixed seekers on the weapons themselves. This limits VKS fixed-wing capabilities against dynamic battlefield targets compared to Western or Chinese equivalents.
China is actively pursuing unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) designs with multiple programmes at various stages of development. Detailed assessment is hindered by tight control of information leaks by the Chinese Communist Party. Of those known to be in development, the GJ-11 subsonic attack UCAV appears the most advanced.
Russia is also pursuing UCAV-style technologies and has produced the Su-70 ‘Okhotnik-B’ technology demonstrator. However, it is not yet clear what degree of practical operational capability the Russian aircraft industry will be able to develop through the Su-70, especially given the demands for significant levels of in-flight autonomy inherent in UCAVs designed for state-on-state warfare in heavy EW conditions.
China’s advanced and efficient Flanker derivatives, as well as lightweight multirole fighters in the shape of the J-10B/C series and potentially a developmental FC-31 LO fighter programme, are likely to provide the leading source of non-Western combat aircraft from the mid-2020s onwards. Likewise, their air-launched munitions will increasingly outcompete Russian equivalents on the export market. As such, the development of Chinese capabilities should be closely monitored even by air forces which do not include the PLAAF in their direct threat assessments.
‘It will be several years before Rafales can be considered threat to Pakistan’Tufail is a popular aviation historian, strategic affairs commentator
Writing in Pakistan Politico, a Pakistani magazine, Tufail noted, "the inadequacy of IAF’s Su-30MKI and MiG-29 twin-engine fighters in the air superiority role led to the decision to acquire the Rafale, ostensibly a more modern and capable multi-role fighter". Both the Su-30MKI and MiG-29 are Russian-designed fighters.
The Su-30MKI is numerically the most important aircraft in the Indian Air Force, with over 250 units in service, while the MiG-29 has undergone an upgrade to give it enhanced multirole capabilities. The Indian Air Force operates over 60 MiG-29 fighters.
Tufail acknowledged both the Su-30MKI and MiG-29 were "highly manoeuvrable in a visual dogfight", but "they seem to have shortcomings in network-centric, beyond-visual-range (BVR) combat". Tufail alleged the Su-30MKI jets that participated in the aerial skirmish with Pakistan Air Force jets over Jammu and Kashmir in February 2019 lacked datalinks to exchange information securely and their radars were unable to lock on to "two dozen PAF fighters". The Indian Air Force had stated Pakistani F-16 fighters fired AMRAAM air-to-air missiles in the skirmish.
"While a definitive conclusion about the shortcomings of the Su-30 fire-control radar and missiles cannot be made on the basis of a single engagement, it is clear that they are not at par with the PAF F-16/AMRAAM combo," Tufail wrote in Pakistan Politico. “The IAF was aware of these limitations of the Russian fighters, which is why it had initiated measures for the acquisition of Western multi-role combat aircraft instead of more Su-30s, as far back as 2012,” Tufail wrote.
Tufail noted the Rafale had longer range and heavier payload than the F-16 and JF-17 fighters of the Pakistan Air Force. The Chinese-designed JF-17 is numerically the most important fighter in the Pakistan Air Force, with over 100 units in service.
Tufail noted the Rafale, JF-17 and F-16 had comparable performance in a turning dogfight, where the aircraft's capability to turn quickly is a decisive factor.
A key capability that the Rafale brings to the Indian Air Force is the Meteor long-range air-to-air missile, which has a range in excess of 150km. The Meteor uses a 'ramjet' engine, allowing it to have powered flight to the point of impact, unlike earlier air-to-air missiles that rely on rocket engines, which only burn for specific period. The ramjet engine gives the Meteor a significantly higher 'no escape zone', the zone in which a target aircraft cannot use manoeuvrability or speed to evade a missile strike.
Tufail noted the Pakistan Air Force was set to acquire the Chinese-made PL-15 air-to-air missile for its JF-17 fighters. Experts have estimated the PL-15, which is significantly longer than the Meteor, has a range in excess of 200km. US officials have cited the development of the PL-15 as an argument for the US military to have a new long-range air-to-air missile.
Tufail argued, " It must… be remembered that it will be at least two years before the Rafale achieves anything close to full operational capability." He claimed the Pakistan Air Force has operated the F-16 for 37 years and the JF-17 for a decade. "These combat-proven PAF fighters are fully integrated with the air defence system, and are mutually data-linked, alongside all AEW (airborne early warning) and ground sensors. Such capabilities are not achieved overnight, and it will be several years before the Rafales can be considered a threat in any real sense. Any immediate impact of the Rafale on IAF’s air power capabilities is, thus, simply over-hyped."
#China is a major global #arms-maker, meets own military needs, exports from #Pakistan to #Serbia. 4 of top 25 arms makers are #Chinese accounting for 16% of global arms sales worth $56.7 billion. Only 2 #Russian companies in top 25, just 4% of total at $13.9 billion.@NikkeiAsia https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/China-rises-from-Russian-customer-to-competitor-in-arms-industry
In a flashy recruitment video released by China's People's Liberation Army Air Force last week, four J-20 fighters are seen soaring through stormy skies, deftly maneuvering between lightning strikes.
Lost in the dramatic digital imagery was an important detail: For the first time ever, the Chinese jets will be powered by domestically made engines instead of Russian ones.
Beijing's decision to replace the J-20's engines, noted by the state mouthpiece Global Times, is just the latest sign that China is rapidly closing the military gap with its northern neighbor. For decades, China leaned heavily on Russian weapons to modernize its armed forces. But that has begun to change, as China builds its own powerful defense industry and even starts to challenge Moscow in the global arms market.
By some measures it may already have the advantage -- a shift likely to change the dynamics of the countries' at times awkward but increasingly close relationship.
Data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in December puts China ahead of Russia as the world's No. 2 arms producer in the period from 2015 to 2019. The U.S. remained No. 1.
The leading arms research center found that four of the top 25 arms manufacturers in 2019 were Chinese. This quartet, three of which were in the top 10, accounted for 16% of overall arms sales and earned $56.7 billion. By contrast, only two Russian companies cracked the top 25, making up just under 4% of the total and generating $13.9 billion.
Some Russian defense industry officials and analysts dispute SIPRI's findings, arguing that it is impossible to accurately calculate China's arms sales volume since it keeps information about its military-industrial complex under wraps. They also protest SIPRI's decision exclusion of Russian state technology conglomerate Rostec, one of the country's largest arms exporters, in its top 25 ranking.
Even so, few in Moscow deny that China is gaining ground fast, not just in terms of the quantity of arms produced but also quality.
Vadim Kozyulin, director of the Asian Security Project at the PIR Center, a Moscow-based think tank, told Nikkei Asia that China has already surpassed Russia in developing unmanned aerial vehicles, certain kinds of warships and possibly even hypersonic missiles -- an area of great pride for the Kremlin in recent years.
"We see that China is producing new weapon models very rapidly, releasing a new generation every 10 years like the Soviet Union once did," he said. "Under these circumstances, it is difficult for Russia to compete because we have a smaller budget which is only decreasing."
For much of the post-Cold War period, Russia has been China's primary arms supplier.
The two neighbors began cooperating in the early 1990s, when China had just launched an ambitious campaign to upgrade the PLA's outdated weaponry. Beijing initially looked to the West as a potential source of advanced military technology, but those hopes were dashed after the U.S. and Europe imposed an arms embargo against China in response to the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
China soon found a replacement in Russia. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 devastated Russian arms manufacturers. Old sources of revenue such as domestic military spending and lucrative contracts with foreign client states quickly dried up. China's emergence as a prospective customer provided Russia's ailing defense industry with a much-needed economic lifeline.
Powerful Jets With One Weakness: Pakistani JF-17 Pilot Recalls Clash With Indian Su-30MKIs by Delhi-based Indian journalist Younis Dar
According to warfare experts, real-world dogfights don’t ever happen at close ranges, so the battle usually tilts in the favor of the side with potent BVR missiles. The aerial fights are largely decided, or largely influenced, by the BVR stage of the engagement. And in that arena, the capabilities of the JF-17 are competitive to the F-16 and Mirage.
The JF-17’s main weakness is its limited BVR loadout as it has the ability to only carry four BVR missiles, unlike the Indian Su-30MKI which can carry eight or more.
To close this air-to-air capability gap, the IAF is inducting the indigenously built all-weather Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Astra missile. It is also considering integrating the Israeli I-Derby Extended Range missile on its Su-30MKI fighter, IAF’s frontline fighter aircraft.
These missiles are going to be the mainstay of the Indian air-to-air capability, along with the MICA medium-range BVR, and the long-range Meteor missiles.
Several of these jets managed to cross the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto India-Pakistan border, releasing precision-guided glide bombs on Indian military installations in the Rajouri sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) scrambled eight fighter aircraft, including two Russian Sukhoi-30 MKI, to intercept the Pakistani aircraft when the launch of several AIM-120 C5 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) was detected in their direction. The AMRAAMs, launched when the PAF jets were well inside the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, surprised the IAF while they outranged their air-to-air missiles.
The two Su-30MKIs were caught within the 100-km range of the Pakistani AMRAAMs and managed to dodge them. The IAF fighters were saved from being shot but were unable to retaliate against the adversary F-16s as the Russian R-77 missiles they were armed with did not have enough range.
The IAF later said the Russian missiles were unable to deliver the advertised range and cannot engage targets farther than 80 km.
The aerial duel between India and Pakistan had proved that the IAF had to work on its air-to-air missile inventory, which is where the Pakistanis had outpaced them. An Indian MiG-21 Bison was shot down and its pilot captured, while the Indian government claimed its fighter aircraft had downed one Pakistani F-16 during the dogfight.
Pakistan’s Home-Grown JF-17 Fighters
Pakistan’s indigenously-produced JF-17 had proved its mettle during the February 27 dogfight with India, and it was this jet that had managed to shoot down IAF’s MiG-21 Bison, according to the PAF.
The single-engine light fighter is a relatively new combat aircraft and has been competing with fighters like the F-16, Saab Gripen, and MiG-29 for export contracts.
According to the pilots who have flown the JF-17, the aircraft scores high on reliability, flight characteristics, and maintenance. And according to the JF-17 pilot who participated in the February 27 dogfight, the aircraft was getting a radar lock-on Su-30MKI at more than 100-km ranges.
#Nigeria benefits a lot from #Pakistan, says #Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. He thanked the Pakistani government for its support to the Nigerian #military, saying Nigeria has benefited a lot from the Islamic republic. https://punchng.com/nigeria-benefits-a-lot-from-pakistan-says-buhari/
In the statement, Adesina quoted the President as saying that Pakistan has remained faithful and consistent in assisting Nigeria, particularly in the training of members of the armed forces.
“We greatly appreciate your help in terms of training members of our armed forces, officers and men. Some of my colleagues trained in your country, and you have remained consistent in assisting us. We benefit a lot from Pakistani, and we are grateful,” Buhari said.
Raza said Nigeria was its most important ally in Africa, “and we value our collaboration. We learn and benefit a lot from each other.”
#Argentina allocates 664M for JF-17 Block III purchase in FY2022. Argentine Air Force (#FAA) has chosen #Pakistan-#China made #JF17Thunder as its next #supersonic fighter, rejecting offers from #Russia, #USA and #India. #PAC #PAF https://www.aviacionline.com/2021/09/argentina-allocates-664m-for-jf-17-block-iii-purchase-in-fy2022/ via @aviacionline
Yesterday, the draft budget for fiscal year 2022 was presented to the National Congress, which includes a request of US$ 664 million for the acquisition of JF-17 Thunder Block III fighters.
Thus, it is now clear which is the choice of the Argentine Air Force (FAA) for its next supersonic fighter, discarding the offers from Russia, USA and India.
The budget requested would be enough for the purchase of 12 JF-17 Thunder in its latest and most modern standard, taking into account the rumored price of 50 million per unit (which the Government would have tried to lower). Also, within this U$S 664 million, 20 million are contemplated for the repair and modernization of the runways and infrastructure that would host the new aircrafts.
So far, this is the clearest sign in favor of the Chinese option, which evidences the Air Force’s firm intention to complete the purchase as soon as possible. However, no one can claim victory yet. Until the contract is signed and the first funds are disbursed, there may still be counter-offers from other countries.
And it should also be remembered that in 2015, during Agustín Rossi’s first term as Argentina’s Minister of Defense, a budget of U$D 360 million had been authorized for the purchase of 14 IAI Kfir, which was then frozen in view of the imminent change of government. And finally, the administration of President Mauricio Macri decided to dismiss the acquisition of the Israeli fighters.
Therefore, the presence of the Thunder in the 2022 budget should be taken only as a purchase intention (a serious and firm indication, that’s for sure), and not as a deal already closed. One cannot underestimate the current economic and political situation in the country, in which the incorporation of modern weapon systems may not be seen as a priority.
Pakistan to Arm Super Mushshak Aircraft for Counterinsurgency Operations
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex is tailoring the Super Mushshak training aircraft for counterinsurgency operations.
Pakistan is in the process of retrofitting its fleet of MFI-395 Super Mushshak military training aircraft with new intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and light-weight laser guided munition, IHS Jane’s reports. State-owned Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) is upgrading the training aircraft for use in counterinsurgency (COIN) operations.
The MFI-395 Super Mushshak is a PAC license-built variant of the Saab MFI-17 Supporter aircraft, which Pakistan acquired from Sweden in the 1980s. As I explained elsewhere:
In comparison to its Swedish predecessor, the upgraded MFI-395 variant features a new engine and a new flight control system, among other things.
Fitted with six hardpoints under the wing pylons, the aircraft can be armed with rockets and missiles. The MFI-395 entered service in 2001. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is currently operating around 300 Super Mushshaks at various training facilities.
It is unclear how many of the 300 training aircraft will be reconfigured for COIN operations. According to IHS Jane’s, the aircraft could possibly be armed with the Chinese-built 25 kg FT-10 precision-guided bomb.
“Complete integration of the weapons is expected to take another three to four months, which will also cover the design and manufacture of the pylons, quality checks, flight test, and eventually a test drop,” the report notes.
PAC is also outfitting the aircraft with an L3 Wescam MX-10 electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) pod following an inquiry by international customers as to whether the aircraft could be used as an ISR platform. “We have had several customers inquiring about integrating an ISR system, so we are looking at options,” PAC chairman, Air Marshal Arshad Malik, said in an interview with IHS Jane’s.
“While sitting in the cockpit’s right seat, the turret operator would control the camera and watch the video feed on the glass screen. At the same time the imagery could be downlinked to the battle commander on the ground. It’s a very simple system,” Malik added. One training aircraft has reportedly already been equipped with a L3 Wescam MX-10.
According to Malik, “PAC is in the process of incorporating servos for the autopilot, too,” in order to ease the pilot’s workload and to help control the aircraft following.
PAC has exported the MFI-395 Super Mushshak to a number of countries including Nigeria and Qatar. Earlier this month, it scored its biggest export order so far when the Turkish Undersecretary for Defense Industries (SSM) awarded PAC a contract for the sale of 52 Super Mushshak aircraft. PAC won the competitive bidding process in July 2016.
Nigerian Air Force using Pakistan-made JF-17s and Super Mushshak aircraft for counter-insurgency ops.
The (Nigerian COIN) platforms include 10 Super Mushshak aircraft, five Mi-35M helicopter gunships, two Bell 412 helicopters, four Agusta 109 Power attack helicopters, two Mi-171E helicopters, three JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, which were delivered and inducted in May 2021.
#Azerbaijan (Su-25), #Pakistan (JF-17) And #Qatar Emiri Air Force Combat Aircraft (Rafale) and #Turkey (F-16) Stole the Scene At Anatolian Eagle 2021 in Turkey, attracting aviation spotters from many foreign countries. https://theaviationist.com/2021/07/14/anatolian-eagle-2021/
Anatolian Eagle (AE) does not need introductions: organized by the Turkish Air Force at Konya Air Base, in central Anatolia, south of Ankara, Turkey, AE is a very well-known series of exercises hosted by the Turkish and attended each year by several foreign air arms. It is inspired by the U.S. Red Flag and Maple Flag series, the aim of which is to train fighter pilots for the first few days of a modern conflict.
The exercise provides the participating Turkish and foreign nations air forces an interesting opportunity to perform joint combat training in real-world scenarios that include Combined Air Operations (COMAOs) on tactical and strategic targets defended by Aggressors aircraft and Surface to Air Missile (SAM) threats of all types. A wide array of missions are planned and executed during Anatolian Eagle, spanning from CAP (Combat Air Patrol), Fighter Sweep and SEAD/DEAD (Suppression/Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses) to AI (Air Interdiction), CAS (Close Air Support) and CSAR (Combat SAR).
This is what we wrote about Konya, in one of our previous reports about the drills (you can find on our site the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019 reports):
Konya is an important base, the headquarters of the Anatolian Eagle Training Center Command, that plans, organizes and conducts the AE drills and has the important role of testing and validating TuAF’s aircraft and units’ ability and preparedness for combat, establishing a background knowledge to achieve the military aims at war in the shortest time and with minimum effort. In simple words, Konya is where tactics are developed and put to test. Moreover, it hosts the 131 Filo, the squadron that operates the E-7T (B737AEW&C); 132 Filo that flies the F-16C/D Block 50; 135 Filo, equipped with AS532AL, CN235M-100 and UH-1H helicopters and it is the homebase of the Turkish Stars, the TuAF display team.
The latest iteration of the exercise, AE 2021, was held at Konya between Jun. 21 and Jul. 2, 2021 and saw, for the first time, the participation of the Azerbaijan Air Force. Four Azerbaijani aircraft, two MiG-29s from Nasosnaya AB and two Su-25s from Kürdəmir AB joined the drills along with four Qatar Emiri Air Force Rafales from Tamim, Qatar, and five Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Thunder from Minhas/Kamra Air Base, Pakistan. The foreign attendees cooperated with the Turkish Air Force contingent, including 39 F-16C/D jets and several supporting assets (among them, at least one E-7T and one KC-135R). A NATO E-3A AWACS also supported the exercise.
Pakistan buys Chengdu #J10C fighter jets from #China. 25 newly acquired J-10Cs are expected to take part in the flypast on March 23 2022, as part of #Pakistan’s national day celebration. #PAF https://www.aviacionline.com/2021/12/pakistan-buys-a-squadron-of-chengdu-j-10-from-china/ via @aviacionline
The rumor that has been going around for a couple of years has just been confirmed. Pakistan is acquiring more than 25 Chengdu J-10 «Vigorous Dragon» multirole fighters, to face India’s purchase of the Dassault Rafale.
The news was made public by Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, during a public event. According to the Minister, the induction into service of the Chinese-origin fighter would begin as early as March 2022. In fact, according to the Minister, 25 J-10s are expected to flypast on March 23, as part of Pakistan’s celebration of that national festivity.
There is still no official confirmation of the number of units purchased, but reliable sources in Pakistan claim that 36 aircraft are involved, enough to equip two squadrons of 18 fighters each.
There are also no details yet on the model of the Vigorous Dragon purchased for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), but Minister Sheikh Rasheed also commented that the addition of the J-10s are a direct response to the purchase of the Rafale by the Indian Air Force (IAF), and that these aircraft are far superior to the French fighters. It can therefore be assumed that the squadron of aircraft purchased are the J-10C model, the latest and most modern version of this fighter currently in production.
The J-10C (or a derivative version of it adapted to the needs of the PAF) is a modern, agile and powerful 4.5 generation fighter. Equipped with an AESA active electronically scanning radar, powerful ECM, low RCS and a wide range of smart munitions at its disposal, it is in the same league as the Rafale acquired by India.
If the minister’s predictions come true the J-10C (or CE or CP)would be the first fighter aircraft in active service in the Pakistan Air Force to incorporate AESA radar technology, even before the JF-17 Block III, a domestic product. Or will we hear news of the new version of the Thunder soon?
Probably, as more funds become available, it should be followed by the purchase of a second J-10 squadron, and even a third, as the PAF’s re-equipment needs are great because it still has a large number of F-7 and Mirage ROSE fighters to replace. They could even end up replacing the 40+ of Lockheed Martin F-16s in service, if they are not upgraded in the short/medium term to the Viper variant.
What's behind Pakistan's rumoured purchase of Chinese fighter jets?
While there is no official confirmation from Islamabad, Ejaz Haider, a Pakistani military analyst, also says that “the purchase has been made and the first batch will fly on 23rd March, which is Pakistan's Republic Day,” according to multiple reports.
The primary threat against Pakistan comes from India, resulting in wars and conflicts, says Haider, reminding us that the most recent escalation happened in Feb 2019 “when India aggressed against Pakistan.”
“India operates the French Rafale and the capability is boosted by the Russian S-400 A2-AD system. As a result, that threat has to be tackled not just in relation to intentions but also capabilities. Pakistan cannot afford to allow major asymmetries in relation to its adversary,” Haider tells TRT World, explaining why Pakistan is making the purchase.
In July, the Indian defence ministry announced its purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. Interestingly, Pakistan will also procure 36 warplanes from China, suggesting it’s a direct retaliation against New Delhi’s move.
“Pakistan’s F-16 fighters are aging already and Pakistan’s own JF-17 Thunder is in the making. We actually needed to create a deterrent to face India’s purchase of Dassault Rafale,” Javed tells TRT World.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jet F-16 performs to commemorate the country's 'Operation Swift Retort', following the shot down of Indian military aircrafts on February 27, 2019 in Kashmir, during an air show in Karachi, February 27, 2020.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jet F-16 performs to commemorate the country's 'Operation Swift Retort', following the shot down of Indian military aircrafts on February 27, 2019 in Kashmir, during an air show in Karachi, February 27, 2020. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters Archive)
While Pakistanis cannot create a direct symmetry with the Indians considering the size of New Delhi’s military, Islamabad wants to ensure with the purchase of Chinese jets that it can compete in near-equal terms, according to Javed.
“The Pakistan air force is one of the top air forces in the world,” he says.
Haider agrees with that assessment.
“PAF is a professional air force which, despite constrained resources, has performed brilliantly against the Indian Air Force. The February conflict proved that once again. That said, even top-shelf human resource and training requires state-of-the-art platforms,” he says.
Why Chinese jets?
China is a close ally of Pakistan due to various clashing points between Beijing and New Delhi across South Asia as Asia’s two major powers compete with each other to secure their political and economic interests in the strategically vital region.
This equation means Pakistan and China share plenty of common ground on a number of issues, developing strategic ties and increasing military cooperation. But there are also other reasons for Pakistan’s purchase of Chinese jets.
“Pakistan Air Force needs a 4.5 generation multirole fighter. European fighters are very expensive and the US is not an option because of suspension of security assistance with Islamabad, despite Pakistan being nominally a Non-Nato Ally,” Haider says.
“Pakistan faces remarkable sanctions from the US despite its purchase of F-16s,” Javed says. As a result, like Turkiye, Pakistan has moved to create indigenous solutions to develop its military hardware in the face of US opposition, he says.
Even operating F-16s is problematic for Pakistan because Washington places restrictive conditions on their use, Javed says. There are also problems related to its repair process, he adds. China does not usually place conditions on the weapons it sells to other countries.
Pakistan’s interest in the J-10 spans over 10 years. The country was first interested in the FC-20 export variant of the single seat J-10A. This was part of the wider Armed Forces Development Plan 2015, derailed by a lack of funding by the 2008-2013 Pakistan Peoples Party administration.
Pakistan’s interest in the FC-20 was partially driven by a need to complement its F-16, when further acquisition of that program appeared unlikely.
Pakistan also reportedly examined acquiring the Russian Su-35 “Flanker-E,” potentially to help better cover naval operations in the Arabian Sea.
When speculation first arose of a Pakistani J-10C purchase in early 2021, it was linked with one of the Pakistan Air Force squadrons based in Karachi.
China’s naval air arm, the PLANAF, operates the earlier J-10AH and J-10SH Firebird variants from shore as multirole aircraft.
Though unconfirmed, Pakistan may operate its aircraft similarly. Pakistan’s Firebirds are believed to be the J-10CE export variant of the latest J-10C, featuring an AESA radar and long range PL-15 air-to-air missiles. Twenty-five aircraft could equip two squadrons of 12 aircraft.
Royal United Services Institute airspace analyst Justin Bronk said the J-10C will significantly boost Pakistan’s air power.
“The J-10C is a potent modern multirole light fighter, which represents a rough Chinese equivalent to a modern F-16 Block 60/70,″ he said.
However, he noted it’s not quite on a par with the Rafale.
“The AESA radar and access to the long-ranged PL-15 air-to-air missile make it a potentially serious long range threat to non-stealth aircraft, although it might still struggle as a counter to India’s Rafale at long ranges. The latter’s superior kinematic performance and access to the Meteor missile providing a decent counter to the PL-15″, Bronk said. “The J-10C is also unlikely to be able to match the Rafale for electronic warfare capabilities.”
#Pakistan To Add 50 #JF17 Block 3 To Counter #India’s Powerful S-400 Missiles. “JF-17 Block III fighters are near stealth with advanced software and radar capabilities that can be used to deceive the tracking system of S-400 missiles, among other systems". https://eurasiantimes.com/pakistan-to-add-50-jf-17-block-iii-fighter-jets-to-its-air-force/
For the uninitiated, S-400 is considered one of the most powerful air defense systems in the world. It is claimed to be effective against various weapons such as rockets, missiles, cruise missiles, and even aircraft.
As previously highlighted by The EurAsian Times, while the missile system is known for its defensive capabilities such as anti-access and area-denial, it can also be used in an offensive role. This can apparently restrict an adversary’s use of their own airspace. Pakistan may particularly feel vulnerable as India’s S-400s would cover most of its territory, including key cities.
The system provides layered coverage via a combination of the 40-kilometer-range 9M96E, 120-kilometer-range 9M96E2, 250-kilometer-range 48N6, and the 400-kilometer-range 40N6E missiles. Such a concentric circle of defense enables the S-400 to protect large areas, high-value targets as well as the system itself from potential attacks.
China also possesses the S-400 system, which is believed to have been deployed in Xinjiang and Tibet regions.
Pakistan Getting More JF-17s
According to Nikkei Asia, PAF will receive 50 JF-17 Block III fighter jets next month. A rollout ceremony was held in December and the new jets will apparently fly during the Pakistan Day military parade on March 23.
The JF-17 is a medium-sized multi-role fighter plane developed jointly by China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) for PAF. The service has inducted more than 100 Thunder jets since 2007. Of this, 26 are Block II variants that were added in 2020.
Block III is the latest version of JF-17 and is believed to have made its maiden flight in December 2019. Last year, the JF-17 Block III was seen carrying PL-10E, which China calls its most advanced air-to-air missile (AAM). Two infrared (IR)-guided PL-10E AAMs are also seen for the first time on a JF-17.
According to reports, the new aircraft has a wide-angle holographic head-up display and a new imaging infrared (IIR)-based missile approach warning system.
A military expert in Beijing was quoted by Global Times as saying, “With the PL-10, the JF-17 Block 3 will gain tremendous dogfight capability and have an edge even against its heavier opposing counterparts in homeland air defense.”
It has an integrated cockpit display similar to the one used by the J-20 stealth fighter besides an advanced infrared missile approach warning system. The aircraft is equipped with KLJ-7A airborne active electronically scanned array fire-control radar.
New jets boast improved “high off-boresight” capability. This means the “aircraft can fire from whatever position, and its missiles will adjust thrust, speed and trajectory to hit targets.” Experts believe this will boost PAF’s capability against India’s S-400 air defense system.
“These jets possess capabilities that make them the best option to counter S-400,” Taimur Fahad Khan, a research associate at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, told Nikkei Asia.
“JF-17 Block III fighters are near stealth with advanced software and radar capabilities that can be used to deceive the tracking system of S-400 missiles, among other systems,” he said.
Khan claimed Block III variant can detect adversary’s jets from almost 170 kilometers and launch attacks preemptively, thanks to the latest fire control radar system that improves detection of enemy aircraft by 65 percent.
S-400 Can Detect Advanced Jets
But there is a counterview to this argument. Not only Russia, but western military experts also claimed that S-400 can detect both conventional and stealth warplanes. It has an interception range of up to 400 kilometers.
China will deliver 25 J-10C fighter jets to Pakistan within weeks as part of a deal that will bolster Islamabad’s military capabilities against mutual rival India.
Beijing’s first export of the advanced jets marks a big step-up in its decades-old arms relationship with Islamabad and entails providing its ally with some of the latest equipment that China’s own armed forces are using. China will also broaden its support to Pakistan’s navy.
The first batch of the combat aircraft is being tested in Chengdu, the base of its manufacturer Chengdu Aerospace Corporation, according to a journalist at a Chinese military publication.
“They will be transferred to Pakistan once Pakistan air force pilots and technicians have completed an introduction to the aircraft,” he said.
Senior officials in Islamabad said the jets would be delivered before the end of the month.
Last week, Chinese and foreign military watchers posted photos and a video showing several J-10C aircraft flying the colours of the Pakistan air force on social media.
China is also selling Pakistan four Type 054A frigates, the first of which began service in November, and is expected to begin delivery of up to eight Type 041 submarines, its quietest attack submarine, this year.
India, which has been engaged in a stand-off on its Himalayan border with China for nearly two years, believes the arms deliveries to Pakistan are an attempt to amplify the threat from Islamabad. India shares long land borders with both Pakistan and China.
“There’s a clear strategic nexus between China and Pakistan,” said Brahma Chellaney, a professor of strategic studies at the Centre for Policy Research, a New Delhi think-tank. “That nexus is clearly designed to contain India, to pin India down and keep it preoccupied. That’s the Chinese strategic aim.”
He described the latest arms deals as a significant shift, adding that “China is now selling or transferring its top of the line weapons systems to Pakistan”.
The J-10C aircraft will help Pakistan close the air-power gap with India following New Delhi’s acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. “This is our response to [India’s] Rafale,” Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Pakistan’s interior minister, said when he revealed the J-10C agreement in December.
The new Chinese ships would boost Pakistan’s capabilities in the Indian Ocean, an area of strategic importance for Beijing.
“They want Pakistan to have naval bases ready that China could also use, and to be able to protect them,” said Siemon Wezeman, an arms trade expert at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
“The Chinese have shown that they will sell to Pakistan when others won’t. I suspect that China is very easy to persuade [to sell], not only for commercial but also for political reasons,” he said.
India is also planning a naval expansion. The navy’s deputy chief said late last year that it aimed to increase the size of its fleet from 130 vessels to 170 by 2027, including four frigates being developed in partnership with Russia.
Despite the upgrades, Chellaney said the Himalayan stand-off was draining India’s defence resources. “The Indian navy is supposed to be undergoing modernisation, but the modernisation is happening at a relatively slow pace, largely because of the land military confrontations that India faces,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, much of the attention from the media has focused on how the latest acquisition of the supersonic jets could boost Pakistan's military and national defense, but it is worth noting that closer defense cooperation between China and Pakistan is always of great significance to the advancement of their manufacturing ability.
While it is unknown whether the J-10C deal will involve supply chain transfer or other areas of cooperation, the jets' usage and maintenance will have the potential to accelerate an upgrade of Pakistan's defense industry.
Take the bilateral cooperation over the Xiaolong fighter as an example. China and Pakistan have a long history of cooperation when it comes to joint development and manufacturing of the light fighter project. In fact, the JF-17 Thunder, also known as FC-1 Xiaolong, which was jointly developed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group of China, has already become a good example as to how defense cooperation between the two friendly peoples has enhanced the manufacturing strength in Pakistan.
After years of research and development partnership with Chinese peers, Pakistan's aviation industry has registered a considerable improvement. Now Pakistan has the capability to independently manufacture the Xiaolong fighter aircraft, which is uncommon among developing countries.
While there are no statistics available on how many JF-17 Thunder jets Pakistan has exported so far, it is no secret that the country has become a defense exporter with JF-17 being the mainstay of its arms exports. The development is sufficient to demonstrate the rapid development of Pakistan's aviation industry aided by China's assistance.
As the aviation industry has always been regarded as representing a country's high-end equipment manufacturing strength, it can be said that China-Pakistan cooperation in the aviation area is of great significance to Pakistan's manufacturing sector progress.
Meanwhile, China has also benefited from the close defense collaboration with Pakistan. Pakistan is the first foreign buyer of China's J-10C fighter jet, which is equipped with China's domestically developed WS-10B Taihang turbofan engines.
Therefore, the exports of the first batch of J-10C fighter jets will reassure all the potential buyers that the aircraft model has overcome all technical difficulties.
The export of military equipment is closely related to the development of a country's manufacturing power, as the manufacturing of military equipment belongs to a high-end category. In other words, if China can continue to achieve constant progresses in military equipment manufacturing and export, which indicates that the country's overall manufacturing strength has reached a new and high level.
Images emerge of J-10C fighters for Pakistan
A CAIG J-10C fighter aircraft on display at the China Airshow 2021. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has been identified as the first export customer of the J-10C, after images emerged on 15 February of at least two aircraft in PAF markings. (VCG via Getty Images)
Images have emerged of two Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) J-10C ‘Firebird' multi-role fighter aircraft in Pakistan Air Force's (PAF's) markings, suggesting that a contract is in place and deliveries will start soon.
The images, which emerged on social media on 15 February, show two aircraft (serial number 22-102 and 22-106) equipped with a single Chinese-made Shenyang-Liming WS-10B ‘Taihang'-series turbofan engine, undertaking test flights at an undisclosed location in China – likely the manufacturer's factory in Chengdu.
The recent images confirm that a procurement programme is progressing, although no information is available on the value of the contract and the number of aircraft involved. Janes assesses that the PAF will receive at least two squadrons of J-10C fighters, although past reports have mentioned as many as 36 aircraft.
The latest development comes after Pakistan Interior Minister Skeish Rashid Ahmed told the media in December 2021 that a first batch of J-10Cs will be introduced during the fly past that will be held for the commemoration of Pakistan's Republic Day on 23 March 2022.
Pakistan is the first confirmed export customer of the J-10C, and these aircraft are likely an export derivative of the J-10C currently in service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PAAF).
The J-10C deal builds upon past collaboration between China and Pakistan in the manufacturing of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (PAC/CAIG) JF-17 Thunder/FC-1 Xiaolong light fighter aircraft.
China’s J-10C secures Pakistan as its first export market
A Pakistani J-10 buy has been rumoured for over a decade. It is not clear how many examples Islamabad will obtain, but reports have placed the number in the 25 to 36 range. So far, two distinct serial numbers have been spotted, with the aircraft apparently conducting flight tests.
Judging from the aircraft’s thrust petals, the Pakistani J-10s use are powered by the Shenyang WS-10B engine, as opposed to the Saturn AL-31F. It was only in May 2021 that the first clear images emerged of a Peoples’ Liberation Army Air Force J-10Cs powered by the WS-10B.
Mounted inside the J-10, the WS-10 can be identified by a few subtle features. One is that the afterburner nozzle petals are notably wider on the WS-10 than on the AL-31. The WS-10 also has a ring structure around the interior of the nozzle that is absent on the AL-31.
A Pakistani J-10 buy has been rumoured for over a decade. It is not clear how many examples Islamabad will obtain, but reports have placed the number in the 25 to 36 range. So far, two distinct serial numbers have been spotted, with the aircraft apparently conducting flight tests.
Judging from the aircraft’s thrust petals, the Pakistani J-10s use are powered by the Shenyang WS-10B engine, as opposed to the Saturn AL-31F. It was only in May 2021 that the first clear images emerged of a Peoples’ Liberation Army Air Force J-10Cs powered by the WS-10B.
Mounted inside the J-10, the WS-10 can be identified by a few subtle features. One is that the afterburner nozzle petals are notably wider on the WS-10 than on the AL-31. The WS-10 also has a ring structure around the interior of the nozzle that is absent on the AL-31.
Compared with previous versions of the J-10 – the J-10A and J-10B - the J-10C is equipped with an active electronically scanned array radar and an updated cockpit. It carries a broader array of weapons, including the long-range PL-15 air-to-air missile, which is believed to have a range greater than 107nm (200km).
According to AVIC, the export version of the J-10C is designated J-10CE. It claims that the aircraft has several advanced capabilities, including the ability to carry advanced beyond visual range missiles, and that it can also operate in a challenging electromagnetic environment. Moreover, it can perform a range of ground attack missions.
How China and Pakistan Built a Rival to the F-16
It is yet to be seen whether it can actually perform at its price point in combat, but Pakistan seems to be satisfied with what the JF-17 can do in trials.
In 1998 China and Pakistan recommenced serious development of the Super 7. Costs were split 50/50 between the Pakistani government and CAC and the aircraft was renamed JF-17 As Grumman had dropped out, the fighter needed a new powerplant. A solution was found in the Russian Mikoyan design bureau, which offered the Klimov RD-93 engine which was originally designed for the canceled MiG-33 fighter jet. The RD-93 was an advanced version of the RD-33 used on the MiG-29, however, only one RD-93 is used on the JF-17 in contrast to two RD-33s in a MiG-29.
Another key innovation that occurred during the development process was the inclusion of diverterless supersonic intakes (DSI) on the JF-17 design. The design went through several iterations but is seen on current JF-17 production aircraft. In 2003 the first prototype took to the air. By 2006 the JF-17 was finalized and ready to enter serial production. It was formally adopted in 2007. The first fully Pakistani-manufactured JF-17 was created in 2008.
The JF-17’s designers have proven adept at keeping up with the times following its entry into service. The initial run of fighters for Pakistan have been referred to as Block I JF-17s. Block II JF-17s introduced a multitude of new capabilities and upgrades, including composites in the airframe for reduced weight, air to air refueling, a full fly-by-wire system, and a better radar. China offered to replace the Russian RD-93s with their own WS-13 in Block II JF-17s, but Pakistan opted to stick with the Russian engine.
For the Block III, China hopes to add an AESA radar to the JF-17 and further improve the avionics and weapons compatibility of the JF-17. The standard JF-17 features the MIL-STD-1760 databus in some implementations, allowing for compatibility with Western and Eastern weapons. One potential weakness of the JF-17 is its internal cannon, which is still the double-barrel GSh-23, a legacy of its MiG-21 heritage. This cannon is outperformed by practically any other autocannon mounted on a modern combat aircraft. However, given the relative infrequency of cannon usage in modern air combat, this is not a big issue.
The largest advantage of the JF-17 is its cost. At only 15 million per plane in its most basic configuration, the JF-17 is far cheaper than any of its competitors, even used. Block II JF-17s cost around the same margin, with Myanmar buying them for only 16 million per unit. This has been the key to the JF-17’s export success. A poor nation can field a relatively modern fighter for a very low price. It is yet to be seen whether it can actually perform at its price point in combat, but Pakistan seems to be satisfied with what the JF-17 can do in trials. In many ways, China has updated the budget fighter of the last generation, the MiG-21, for the modern era with the help and additional design cues from the F-16.
Pakistan showcased its latest defense equipment at its annual Pakistan Day Parade on Wednesday, highlighting ongoing efforts to maintain a credible conventional deterrent against India.
One notable element of the parade including aerial displays, which this year began with an F-16C Block 52 escorted by a pair of newly inducted Chinese J-10C Firebird fighters. Three Firebird fighters from an initial order of 25 are believed to be in Pakistan.
Kaiser Tufail, an analyst who previously flew the F-16 during his military career, thinks the Firebird was a good choice for the Pakistan Air Force.
“The J-10, being in the class of the F-16C Block 52 in terms of range and weapons payload, it was the obvious choice for adding to the numbers of PAF’s [fourth-generation-plus] fighters,” he said.
However, he added, “any acquisition from [the United States] under the current ‘cold’ relationship was neither possible nor feasible.”
He also believes the acquisition was an “appropriate response” to India’s Rafale purchase. Although Pakistan has historically been a committed French customer, the high costs of that country’s hardware encouraged Islamabad to look to Beijing, “an old and trusted friend.”
He also said the J-10C and Rafale are comparable due to the former’s active electronically scanned array radar and PL-15 beyond visual range air-to-air missile.
“While the radar and [beyond visual range] missile capabilities of the Rafale and J-10 are highly classified, it is fair to say that they have broadly similar capabilities,” he noted. “With no possibility of [the Pakistan Air Force] being able to upgrade its [advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles] to the longer-ranged versions, the PL-15 is considered the right antidote to the Rafale’s Meteor.”
The Firebird is also a high-end complement to the more numerous JF-17 jets.
“The J-10 is by no means a substitute to the JF-17, as it is in a different class altogether. With more range and weapons payload, the J-10 forms the ‘high’ end of the high-low mix, with the JF-17 workhorse performing the bulk of ‘routine’ operations. Both types can also be perfectly ‘paired,’ as both share many avionics, data link and [electronic warfare] capabilities,” Tufail explained.
Other new equipment showcased during the parade included the Chinese-supplied SH-15 155mm truck-mounted howitzer and HQ-9P long-range air defense system, as well as the indigenous Shahpar-2 combat drone.
The SH-15 has a maximum reported firing range of about 53 kilometers, making it Pakistan’s longest-range tube artillery system, and helping the country standardize on a single caliber along with its U.S.-supplied M109 and M198 howitzers.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a think tank that tracks arms sales, has not listed the HQ-9P in Pakistan’s inventory, and the Asian nation has not officially confirmed its acceptance into the military. SIPRI does, however, list the CH-3.
Raja Khan, who leads drone-maker Integrated Dynamics, previously told Defense News the Burraq was locally developed based on the configuration of a 1970s kit plane designed by Burt Rutan. China helped rig the finished product with missiles, but then copied and exported it as the CH-3.
The Shahpar-2 is a larger and more heavily armed combat UAV based on the same design lineage.
Despite Pakistan’s ability to domestically develop UAVs, the country still purchases Chinese and Turkish drones. None were on display.
The parade was witnessed by foreign ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, who are attending a conference in Islamabad.
China ramps up arms exports to Pakistan, aiming to squeeze India
Beijing and Islamabad grow closer with eye on mutual rival
BEIJING/NEW DELHI -- From the sale of stealth fighters to submarines, China is accelerating its defense cooperation with Pakistan in a bid to exert pressure on India, a rival in border disputes with both.
China is believed to want to expand its influence in South Asia while the U.S. and Europe are focused on the war in Ukraine. Beijing "stands ready to provide assistance within its capacity for Pakistan to overcome difficulties and recover its economy," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in a Tuesday meeting, according to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Khan expressed hopes for joint achievements and cooperation "in all fields," the ministry said. Ukraine was among the other topics discussed.
China this month delivered six J-10CE fighter jets to Pakistan, the Communist Party-affiliated Global Times has reported. An update to China's homegrown J-10s, they are a key part of the Chinese air force and often fly into Taiwan's air defense identification zone.
The J-10CE is a so-called 4.5-generation fighter, placing it somewhere between the F-15s used widely by Japan and the U.S. and F-35 stealth fighters in terms of capability. The delivered jets later took part in a military parade in Pakistan.
Pakistan this month is also adding 50 new JF-17 fighters, which were developed jointly with China. They do not match the performance of the J-10CE but do come with near-stealth capability.
India recently deployed the Russian S-400 missile defense system with an eye toward Pakistan. China looks to bolster its response to potential Indian air operations through greater cooperation with Pakistan.
China is actively contributing to improvements in Pakistan's navy as well, concerned that the Indian military could wield greater clout in key Indo-Pacific sea lanes. Pakistan in January inducted a Chinese-built Type 054 frigate, which is designed for anti-surface, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare.
"Pakistan is reportedly also planning to purchase from China eight submarines, which Pakistan is positioning as the 'backbone of the Navy,'" Japan's Ministry of Defense said in its 2021 white paper. "Four will be built in China, with the remainder to be built in Pakistan."
Sino-Indian relations have deteriorated since the deadly 2020 border clash in the Himalayas. India also announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics at the last minute after a Chinese soldier who had been involved in the fighting was chosen as a torchbearer.
Chinese President Xi Jinping invited Khan to the Olympics' opening ceremony. At a Feb. 6 summit, Xi told Khan that bilateral ties had gained greater strategic significance amid global turbulence and transformation. He expressed firm support for Pakistan's sovereignty -- a likely signal that China stands with Pakistan in the latter's own border dispute with India.
Khan expressed hopes for greater cooperation with China. No force can stop China's advance, he said.
AEROSINT Division PSF
#Pakistan has inducted state-of-the-art, “game changer” EW systems from a friendly strategic partner and has already successfully built an integrated offensive+defensive ECM and electronic warfare force by early 2022.
The capability is simply unrivalled in the region and beyond.
AEROSINT Division PSF
These systems are mostly ground based & were inducted in 2021. They represent the Pakistan Air Force’s renewed focus on smart inductions, with EW playing a big role meant to significantly erode the adversary’s capability to operate near Pakistan’s borders and deny tactical space.
AEROSINT Division PSF
These systems are highly mobile, and rapidly deployable to the front lines and consist of multiple jammers for different bandwidths, comprising an integrated electronic air defence system.
#US State Dept OKs Possible Sale of #F16 Fighter Jet Equipment Worth $450 Million to #Pakistan. The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corp, the Pentagon said. #PAF https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-09-07/u-s-state-dept-oks-possible-sale-of-f-16-equipment-to-pakistan-pentagon?src=usn_tw
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Pakistan of F-16 Case for Sustainment and related equipment for an estimated cost of $450 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
The Government of Pakistan has requested to consolidate prior F-16 sustainment and support cases to support the Pakistan Air Force F-16 fleet by reducing duplicate case activities and adding additional continued support elements. Included are U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics services for follow-on support of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet to include:
Participation in F-16 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program
Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program
International Engine Management Program
Engine Component Improvement Program, and other technical coordination groups
Aircraft and engine hardware and software modifications and support
Aircraft and engine spare repair/return parts
Accessories and support equipment
Classified and unclassified software and software support
Publications, manuals, and technical documentation
Precision measurement, calibration, lab equipment, and technical support services
Studies and surveys
Other related elements of aircraft maintenance and program support.
The proposed sale does not include any new capabilities, weapons, or munitions.
The estimated total cost is $450 million.
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by allowing Pakistan to retain interoperability with U.S. and partner forces in ongoing counterterrorism efforts and in preparation for future contingency operations.
The proposed sale will continue the sustainment of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet, which greatly improves Pakistan’s ability to support counterterrorism operations through its robust air-to-ground capability. Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corporation, Fort Worth, TX. There are no known offsets proposed in conjunction with this sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Pakistan.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law. The description and dollar value is for the highest estimated quantity and dollar value based on initial requirements. Actual dollar value will be lower depending on final requirements, budget authority, and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded.
All questions regarding this proposed Foreign Military Sale should be directed to the State Department's Bureau of Political Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, email@example.com.
US's F-16 package to Pakistan "predicated on US interest associated with our defence partnership with Pak, wch is focused on counter terror or nuclear security as Sec. Austin made it clear to Min. Singh, it doesnt includes any upgrades", says US Asst Sec of Defense Dr. Ely Ratner
US has limited security partnership with Pakistan, says Pentagon official
Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
The Pentagon has said that it has a "limited security partnership" with Pakistan, key comments in the backdrop of the recent Washington announcement of a $450 million package for Islamabad to sustain its F16 fleet. The Biden government's decision, which was announced earlier this month reverses the decision of the previous Trump govt and helps Pakistan sustain its F16 programme.
Speaking to a selected group of reporters, US Asst Sec of Defense Dr Ely S Ratner explained that the US has been engaging with its Indian counterparts on the issue "both in advance of the announcement.." and "during the " mini 2+2 that happened earlier this month in Delhi.
Dr Ely Ratner, along with Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary of State (South and Central Asian Affairs) were in Delhi for the India-U.S.A 2+2 Inter-sessional Dialogue with Indian diplomat Vani Rao. Rao is the Additional Secretary (Americas) in the Ministry of External Affairs.
Ratner said, "It is important to be transparent as we could with Indian counterparts both in advance and during the decision and good opportunity for health exchange on both the US rationale for its limited security partnership with Pakistan and good opportunity to hear India's concern about that".
In the aftermath of the US announcement on F16, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Indian Defence minister Rajnath Singh spoke to each other in which the latter raised New Delhi's concerns. The package doesn't include any upgrades.
In response to the question, the Pentagon official also clarified that the package was not "designed as a message to India, as it relates to its relation to Russia."
He pointed out that the "decision inside US govt around F16 issue was made predicated on US interest associated with our defence partnership with Pakistan which is primarily focused on counter-terrorism and nuclear security". US comments come even as Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif is in New York.
India and US defence ties have increased in the past few years significantly. In 2016, the defence relationship was designated as a Major Defence Partnership (MDP). Several defence agreements have been signed in recent years. These include, Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Association (August 2016); Memorandum of Intent between the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defense Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defense Excellence (2018); Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (September 2018); Industrial Security Agreement (December 2019); Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (October 2020).
Was China a factor in US$450 million US-Pakistan F-16 deal, or is it all about airspace access?
by Tom Hussain
A deal struck to maintain and upgrade Pakistan’s warplanes has prompted speculation the US military may have secured airspace access in return
Both sides share a common enemy in Afghanistan-based terror groups. But some analysts see China as part of the reason for the F-16 deal as well
For the first time since the United States cancelled military aid to Pakistan in 2018, Washington this month approved a US$450 million package to maintain and upgrade the South Asian nation’s fleet of F-16 fighter jets, hinting at a thaw in bilateral ties that had turned decidedly frosty of late.
The deal announced on September 9 followed a flurry of diplomatic activity, prompting speculation that in return for agreeing to keep Pakistan’s warplanes airborne for the next five years, the US military covertly secured access to the country’s airspace to carry out counterterrorism operations.
Though Islamabad has repeatedly denied any such conspiracy, the assassination in late July of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul is widely believed to have been carried out by a US drone that traversed Pakistani airspace en route to its target.
Was China a factor in US$450 million US-Pakistan F-16 deal, or is it all about airspace access?
A deal struck to maintain and upgrade Pakistan’s warplanes has prompted speculation the US military may have secured airspace access in return
Both sides share a common enemy in Afghanistan-based terror groups. But some analysts see China as part of the reason for the F-16 deal as well
In the first decade after 9/11, the United States agreed to sell Pakistan 18 advanced Block 52 F-16s for approximately $1.4 billion, as well as targeting pods and electronic warfare pods. It also sold mid-life upgrade kits for 53 of Pakistan’s older model F-16s, which made them essentially as capable as the Block 52 version of the aircraft. Turkey, which also flies the F-16, did the upgrades of Pakistan’s fighter aircraft.
The U.S. decision to deliver advanced versions of the F-16 as well as targeting and electronic warfare equipment to Pakistan did not come without strings. And this is where the Pakistan model may hold the key to resolving the impasse over Turkey and the F-35. When it approved the sale of advanced F-16s to Pakistan and the upgrade of older models, the United States also insisted on an unprecedented level of oversight of the program. In order to protect the technology it was exporting, Washington required Islamabad to accept and pay for the deployment of a U.S. technical security team at the Shahbaz and Mushaf air force bases — the two locations where the advanced F-16s were to be deployed.
One of the authors of this article served in the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan at the time and was involved in this program, making several visits to Pakistani F-16 bases to ensure the required security upgrades were completed before the aircraft were deployed there. Each technical security team is made up of four to five U.S. Air Force personnel and some 30 contractors who keep a round-the-clock watch on Pakistan’s advanced F-16s. In total, Pakistan has around 85 F-16s, 66 of which are older Block 15 aircraft and 19 of which are the more modern Block 52. Most of the Block 15 aircraft have received the mid-life upgrade, meaning they are also subject to technical security team monitoring. The mission of the teams is to ensure that the Pakistan Air Force uses its F-16s as intended, does not modify them or the weapons they carry, and does not share the technology with unauthorized parties. In Pakistan’s case, the latter issue is especially salient, because the air force also flies the JF-17 fighter, which it jointly manufactures with China. On bases where advanced F-16s are present, the United States requires that Pakistan separate them from other aircraft and strictly limit access to the area where they are located.
Despite its behavior in other areas, Pakistan has been a steady partner in its F-16 program. The Pakistan Air Force uses its F-16s extensively to attack militants in its tribal areas and shares cockpit footage of these operations with the United States (which one of the authors was able to view while stationed in Pakistan). The presence of technical security teams allows the United States to monitor how Pakistan uses these jets, since their weapons load is configured differently for air-to-ground and air-to-air operations. Of course, in a national emergency, even continuous monitoring can’t prevent the Pakistan Air Force from using its F-16s in ways the United States doesn’t like. For example, in February 2019 India claimed a Pakistani F-16 shot down one of its jets in a skirmish over the border between the two. Pakistan denies this, claiming a Pakistan Air Force JF-17 downed the Indian plane. The U.S. State Department has expressed concern about the incident, but did not directly accuse Pakistan of using its F-16s against India. Instead, it admonished Islamabad for moving some of its F-16s to bases not approved by the United States, indicating that both sides would prefer to let the issue rest. This incident highlights a limitation on all U.S. oversight of military equipment it sells to foreign partners, not just Pakistan. When national survival appears to be at stake, U.S. partners will not be deterred by admonitions to use weapons only for certain missions or against certain threats. This needs to be considered early in the process, before an export license is issued.
"You're Not Fooling Anybody...": S Jaishankar On US' F-16 Deal With Pak
"It's a relationship that has neither ended up serving Pakistan well nor serving the American interests," S Jaishankar said at an event in Washington
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has raised questions over the "merits" of the US-Pakistan relationship and said that Washington's ties with Islamabad have not served the "American interest".
"It's a relationship that has neither ended up serving Pakistan well nor serving the American interests," Mr Jaishankar said at an event organised by the Indian American community in Washington on Sunday.
The remarks were made when the Indian minister was questioned by the audience on US action on F-16 fighter jets with Pakistan. Just weeks ago, for the first time since 2018, the US State Department approved a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Government of Pakistan for the sustainability of the Pakistan Air Force F-16 fleet and equipment at the cost of USD 450 million.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh promptly conveyed to US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin India's concerns over Washington's decision to provide a sustenance package for Pakistan's F-16 fleet.
"It's really for the United States today to reflect on the merits of this relationship and what they get by it," Mr Jaishankar asserted.
"For someone to say I am doing this because it is all counter-terrorism content and so when you are talking of an aircraft like a capability of an F-16 where everybody knows, you know where they are deployed and their use. You are not fooling anybody by saying these things," Mr Jaishankar noted.
"If I were to speak to an American policy-maker, I would really make the case (that) look what you are doing," he asserted.
Mr Jaishankar on Saturday concluded the high-level United Nations General Assembly debate in New York and is scheduled to spend the next three days in Washington.
The minister is scheduled to meet with his American counterpart, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and other top officials of the Biden administration.
The US state department spokesman Ned Price has put External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on the mat as regards the latter’s remarks questioning the raison d’etre of the US-Pakistan relationship.
By M.K. Bhadrakumar
Yet, some national dailies have rushed to eagerly attribute it to the US displeasure over India’s stance on the conflict in Ukraine. One daily rather churlishly advised the government, “As Delhi demonstrates “strategic autonomy” to engage with every side — Quad one week, and Russia and China the next at the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) in Samarkand — and work around Western sanctions to buy oil from Russia, and keep friends in all camps, it may have to come to terms that others in world play the same game.”
In this unseemly hurry to link Ned’s remarks with India’s strategic autonomy, what these commentators overlook is that the US spokesman was speaking on a special day when the Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto was visiting the state department at the invitation of the Secretary of State Antony Blinken — and on top of it, the two countries were commemorating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Indeed, it is another matter that Jaishankar’s remarks were not only unwarranted — casting aspersions on the US-Pakistan relationship — but untimely, and perhaps, even provocative. The only charitable explanation could be that Jaishankar was grandstanding as a consummate politician before an audience of Indian-Americans, with an eye on his “core constituency” in India. The mitigating factor, of course, is that he has only given back to the Americans in their own coin, who consider it their prerogative to butt into other countries’ external relations with gratuitous comments — India’s with Russia, for instance.
Ned Price’s remarks have all the elements of a policy statement. He said: “We don’t view our relationship with Pakistan, and … our relationship with India as in relation to one another. These are both partners of ours with different points of emphasis in each. We look at both as partners, because we do have in many cases shared values. We do have in many cases shared interests. And the relationship we have with India stands on its own. The relationship we have with Pakistan stands on its own. We also want to do everything we can to see to it that these neighbours have relations with one another that are as constructive as can be possible. And so that’s another point of emphasis.”
What stands out at the most obvious level is that Price reiterated the US policy in the recent decades since the Cold War ended to “de-hyphenate” Washington’s relationships with India and Pakistan while also promoting a normal relationship between the two South Asian rivals who are not on talking terms. Price pointed out that the two relationships have “different points of emphasis in each.”
Interestingly, Price equated India with Pakistan as partner countries with which the US has “in many cases shared values” and “in many cases shared interests.” This needs to be understood properly. Washington has taken note of Pakistan’s objection over the prioritisation of India in the US’ regional policies in South Asia in the past.
This shift removes a major hurdle in the trajectory of US-Pakistan relationship and is necessitated by a variety of factors following the humiliating defeat that the US suffered in Afghanistan. Here, security considerations certainly constitute one key factor.
The killing of the al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri was only possible due to the help from Pakistan. Equally, Afghan situation remains dangerous and the US cannot turn its back on what’s happening out there. The US’ dependence on Pakistani intelligence has only increased.
JF-17 Block 3 vs. F-16C: How Pakistan’s New Fighter Will Leave the American Fighting Falcon Far Behind
With the JF-17 Block 3 fighter unveiled in December 2019, and expected to enter service from around 2022, the aircraft will outperform all existing Pakistani fighters, the F-16C included, by a considerable margin. While the new aircraft has a new engine and makes more use of light composite materials for a superior flight performance, including the ability to exceed Mach 2 speeds, the platform’s most significant improvements are arguably those made to its beyond visual range capabilities. The JF-17 Block 3’s avionics are nothing less than state of the art, with a heads up display, a full glass cockpit and new single panel multi functional display, and the aircraft also integrates a powerful AESA radar - possibly the KLJ-7A. An AESA radar will be key to the JF-17 Block 3’s performance, and its sophistication will compensate for the relatively small size of the radar the fighter can accommodate and provide the situational awareness needed to make effective use of longer ranged munitions such as the PL-15 air to air missile. This missile has approximately double the range of the AIM-120C used by the F-16C - approximately 200km where the AIM-120 is restricted to around 105km. The PL-15 has been integrated onto China’s new generation of fighters which all integrate AESA radars, the J-20, J-16, and J-10C, and has reportedly begun integration onto older designs such as the J-11B.
Advantages of integrating an AESA radar not only allows the JF-17 Block 3 to detect targets at far longer ranges, and to track and lock onto more targets simultaneously, but its is also less prone to jamming and leaves a far lower radar signature - meaning it is both more reliable and makes the fighter more difficult to detect. Alongside state of the art Chinese electronic warfare systems, and what appears to be a radar cross section reducing profile, a combination of modern avionics, and AESA radar and PL-15 missiles will make the JF-17 Block 3 an extremely lethal fighter for beyond visual range combat considerably more capable than any fighter currently in Pakistani service including the F-16. While some more sophisticated variants of the F-16 can boast capabilities which rival the JF-17 Block 3, namely the F-16E and F-2, only two countries operate these aircraft which have not been made available to the vast majority of clients. Compared to the JF-17 Block 3, the F-16C is expected to have a slower speed, lower sortie rate, lower operational altitude, poorer situational awareness and electronic warfare capabilities, inferior anti shipping capabilities and a considerably lower air to air engagement range. The JF-17 Block 3 is thus expected to form the elite of the Pakistani fleet, and have considerable export success to a range of interested clients such as Egypt and Myanmar. A more ambitious light fighter project is currently under way to succeed the JF-17 Block 3, the Project AZM stealth fighter program, which is also being pursued jointly by China and Pakistan.
Nigerian Air Force using targeting pod with JF-17
by Jack Iraboh
The Aselpod is almost certainly in service with the Nigerian Air Force. (Aselsan)
A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter has been seen carrying what is almost certainly an Aselpod targeting pod made by Turkish company Aselsan.
A short clip posted on social media on 14 August showed a Nigerian JF-17 with the number 720 taxiing with a dark grey pod on its centreline hardpoint.
Earlier this year, a photograph emerged showing a man next to a JF-17 carrying a targeting pod with an air intake on its starboard side that looked more like the one on the Aselpod than the smaller intakes on the Chinese WMD-7 targeting pod that has also been integrated with the aircraft.
The man, evidently not Nigerian, wore a badge with the Pakistani flag and what appeared to be ‘Aselpod' written on it. However, his cap had the name of the NAF's 131 Engineering Group on it, indicating he was helping that unit with the new pod.
Aselsan integrated the Aselpod on the Pakistan Air Force's JF-17s under a contract that was first reported in 2017. The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex delivered the three JF-17s ordered by the NAF in March 2021.
The photograph also showed a bomb with a laser-guidance kit on one of the JF-17's wings. This could be an Mk 82 fitted with a GBU-12 Paveway II kit as the United States approved the sale of these weapons to Nigeria along with the 12 A-29 Super Tucano turboprop aircraft that were delivered to the NAF in 2021.
Pakistan F-16 Package: US Fooling Whom? – OpEd
The Pentagon said the proposed sale “greatly improves Pakistan’s ability to support counterterrorism operations through its robust air-to-ground capability”. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar took a sharp dig at the US deciding to send the F-16 fighter jet fleet sustainment programme to Pakistan earlier this month to meet ‘current and future counterterrorism threats’, he said “you are not fooling anybody by saying these things”. On F-16 aircraft he said, “For someone to say I am doing this because it is all counter-terrorism content and so when you are talking of an aircraft like a capability of an F-16 where everybody knows, you know where they are deployed and their use. In 2019, Pakistan had used the same aircraft to target India after the Balakot strike and used American supplied AIM-120 C-5 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile), to shoot down then Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG 21 Bison.
This is the first American military assistance package to Pakistan after the Trump Administration ended defence and security co-operation with the country in 2018 after accusing it of giving only “lies and deceit” for the billions of dollars that the US had “foolishly” given it.
Despite considerable strategic convergence between the US and India of late in the Indo-Pacific through QUAD, the announcement by the Biden administration at this stage, however, approved a $450 million F-16 aircraft fleet sustainment programme for Pakistan sends confused signals. The US government led by President Joe Biden decided to overturn the decision of his predecessor Donald Trump to suspend military aid to Pakistan in lieu of it providing safe havens for the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network.
State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference in response to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s statement; “We look to both as partners, because we do have in many cases shared values. We do have in many cases shared interests. And the relationship we have with India stands on its own. The relationship we have with Pakistan stands on its own.”
US government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics services for follow-on support of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet aircraft sustainment programme includes modifications and support of aircraft and engine hardware and software as well as repair and return of the jets and engine spares, classified and unclassified software and software support among others. The Pentagon statement also said that the proposed sale will continue the sustainment of the country’s F-16 fleet, which “greatly improves Pakistan’s ability to support counterterrorism operations through its robust air-to-ground capability”.
Reasons for US F-16 support:
Among the major speculated reasons for the Biden Administration’s reversal of Trump’s policy on Pakistan, one revolves around the killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul. Questions ;who provided the intelligence for the drone strike that killed the al-Qaeda chief in a posh house that belonged to Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani.
Pakistan Displays India’s MiG-21 Bison’s Tail Shot Down By PAF F-16 Fighter Jet At Its Defense Expo — Reports
November 17, 2022
The tail section of a MiG-21 of the Indian Air Force is on display at IDEAS-22 that was shot down on February 27, 2019, during Operation Swift Retort, by a Pakistani F-16. New Delhi and Islamabad made different statements about the event’s occurrence at the time.
Meanwhile, the J-17C’s informative photos, one of which also shows the cockpit, are being presented at the event. A video module of the aircraft is also showcased at PAF Pavilion during IDEAS 2022.
Pakistan’s JF-17C, also known as Block 3, is the latest version of the J-17 aircraft. The Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) collaborated to develop the medium-sized multi-role JF-17 ‘Thunder’ fighter aircraft for the Pakistan Air Force.
The service has received more than 100 Thunder jets since 2007.
The JF-17 C model is thought to have taken to the skies for the first time in December 2019. The PL-10E, which China describes as its most advanced air-to-air missile, was also spotted being carried by the JF-17 Block 3 in 2021.
The JF-17C has notable upgraded capabilities, such as Missile Approach Warning Systems (MAWS), Wide Angle Smart HUD, more Chin Hardpoints, and an integrated EW suite.
Another photograph that has gained popularity on the internet is thought to be the finest image of a PAF JF-17C – dubbed Block 3 – so far.
The DEPO organizes IDEAS every two years. Since its beginning in 2000, IDEAS has established itself as a worldwide staging ground for defense manufacturers, business owners, R&D professionals, finance experts, and top-level officials.
However, in terms of space, reservations, exhibitors, and delegates from domestic and international countries, this year’s event has reportedly eclipsed all records.
The defense expo was inaugurated by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari at the city’s expo center in Karachi. IDEAS 2022 officially started on November 15 and will last through November 18.
In his remarks at the occasion, FM Bhutto-Zardari discussed the current coalition government’s difficulties while noting that it succeeded despite the economic downturn. About 300 exhibitors are showing off their latest products from 32 nations.
This exhibition is attended by about 500 national and international delegates, including high-level delegations from friendly nations.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tweeted that the nation’s defense industry is meeting the demands of the technological era, and he emphasized that IDEAS had grown into a significant platform in the global defense market.
He stated that this year’s event’s ‘Arms for Peace’ theme represented Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability. Sharif added that IDEAS had developed into a platform that showcased Pakistan’s expanding impact in the global defense market.
“Good to see that our defense sector is catering to demands of the tech era,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Air Force is presenting its aerospace, avionics, cyberspace, and other related technologies at its pavilion. The National Aerospace Science and Technology Park (NASTP) is the PAF pavilion’s biggest attraction.
It is a Pakistan Air Force project to promote industry-academia linkage to provide an ecosystem of critical elements required to nurture design, research, development, and innovation in the aviation, space, and cyber sectors.
Speaking at the event, the Air Chief stated that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is dedicated to creating advanced technologies in the nation to deliver the most cutting-edge, efficient, and impenetrable aerial defense.
A jet built by China and Pakistan may soon be the most widely operated combat aircraft in the world
Pakistan considers the Block III JF-17 a 4.5-generation jet, and its air force plans to acquire at least 50 of them, the first of which arrived in January. The jets have already been seen carrying one of China's most advanced air-to-air missiles.
In early November, three JF-17 fighters of the Pakistani Air Force conducted aerial demonstrations at the Bahrain International Air Show.
At the same time, China was showcasing the JF-17 at the annual China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zuhai, China.
The events were the latest attempts by China and Pakistan to market their jointly developed fourth-generation fighter jet to international customers.
The JF-17 is only in service with three countries — Pakistan, Myanmar, and Nigeria — which operated a total of 145 as of October 2021, according to Aviation Week.
At the time, Aviation Week data showed that total was set to rise to 185 JF-17s by mid-decade — growth that would make it the most widely operated Chinese combat jet in service overseas by the end of 2023.
Developed by China's Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, the JF-17 first flew in 2003. The single-seat, single-engine jet is known in Pakistan as the JF-17 Thunder and as the FC-1 Xiaolong in China.
With a service ceiling of 50,000 feet and a top speed of about 1,200 mph, the JF-17 can perform several missions, including aerial intercept and ground attack. It can carry roughly 7,000 pounds of ordnance on seven hardpoints and is armed with a single twin-barrel 23 mm autocannon.
The first few JF-17s were made entirely in China, but Pakistan now does most of the production. At present, 58% of the aircraft is made in Pakistan and 42% in China.
Despite its joint development, only Pakistan chose to introduce it into service, officially doing so in 2007. The jet is meant to replace Pakistan's aging fleet of Nanchang A-5, Chengdu F-7, and Mirage III and V attack and fighter jets.
With at least 125 in service, the JF-17 is the backbone of the PAF. They have reportedly been used to conduct airstrikes against militants in northwestern Pakistan and, according to one report, to down an Iranian-made drone in southwestern Pakistan in 2017.
Current and retired Pakistani air force officials also said a JF-17 shot down an Indian MiG-21 during an air-to-air skirmish in February 2019. (India said its jet was downed by a Pakistani F-16.)
The JF-17 has been upgraded several times since its introduction. The most recent version, the Block III, first flew in late 2019 and features several considerable improvements, including an additional hardpoint, a quad-redundant digital fly-by-wire system, and an active electronically scanned array radar.
Pakistan currently operates the most JF-17s. Myanmar, the first international customer, operates six and Nigeria has three.
Ranging from $15 million to $25 million each, the JF-17 is considerably cheaper than virtually every other fourth-generation jet on the market. Add-ons that increase its lethality, like targeting pods, makes it attractive to countries with low defense budgets that want multirole combat jets.
"Its not cutting edge, but it is a reliable performer," Timothy Heath, a senior international and defense researcher at the Rand Corporation think tank, told Insider.
A jet built by China and Pakistan may soon be the most widely operated combat aircraft in the world
Pakistan currently operates the most JF-17s. Myanmar, the first international customer, operates six and Nigeria has three.
Ranging from $15 million to $25 million each, the JF-17 is considerably cheaper than virtually every other fourth-generation jet on the market. Add-ons that increase its lethality, like targeting pods, makes it attractive to countries with low defense budgets that want multirole combat jets.
"Its not cutting edge, but it is a reliable performer," Timothy Heath, a senior international and defense researcher at the Rand Corporation think tank, told Insider.
"This is not an aircraft that is designed to compete head-to-head with the F-22, so it doesn't need the most sophisticated engines and parts," Heath said. "It's a cheap multirole budget aircraft that is suitable and probably most appealing to developing countries that are looking for a basic aircraft to either bomb their own people, like insurgents, or to carry out basic defense against similar-type countries."
Several countries have expressed interest in the JF-17. Iraq has reportedly agreed to buy at least 12, and Egypt has said it's interested in acquiring JF-17s as part of expanded defense cooperation with Pakistan. Azerbaijan has said for years that it wants JF-17s, and both Bolivia and Argentina are considering the jet.
Argentina has also sought to expand its local fighter production. Should it receive a license to build JF-17s domestically, it could make the jet more appealing to its neighbors.
Expanding JF-17 sales could help China increase its share of the market for "value arms" — weapons that are less sophisticated but still effective — among middle- and lower-income countries, which have long relied on Russia for jets, armored vehicles, and heavy artillery.
But selling more JF-17s may not translate into greater dependence on Chinese military hardware. Many countries still covet higher-end Western-built aircraft and are generally wary of becoming reliant on a single supplier, which is why many operate a mix of US, European, Russian, and Chinese aircraft.
"That's a pretty common strategy in the developing world," Heath said. "Most countries want autonomy, so they tend to want to have diverse suppliers, even though that does complicate their ability to operate all these foreign systems."
Pakistan’s PL-15 Missile Equipped JF-17 Block 3 is a Serious Game Changer - How India Can Respond to Regain Superiority
Despite considerable investments in modernisation, the balance of power in the air with neighbouring Pakistan may soon deteriorate as the Pakistani Air Force pursues a far cheaper modernisation program for its own fighter fleet centred around two main programs - the JF-17 and Project AZM. The most advanced variants of the JF-17 the JF-17B and JF-17 Block 2 currently have capabilities comparable to lower end Indian fighters. These jets are overall slightly superior to the Mirage 2000, but face a considerable disadvantage if facing the MiG-29 or Rafale - let alone the Su-30MKI which would retain an overwhelming advantage across the spectrum. These JF-17 variants nevertheless represent a considerable upgrade for the Pakistani Air Force from reliance on near obsolete J-7 and Mirage III fighters, and currently form the elite of the fleet alongside American F-16C Fighting Falcons. The JF-17 is the only Pakistani fighter other than the F-16 equipped with active radar guided air to air missiles - namely the PL-12 with a 100km range.
While the JF-17 Block 2 represents is far from a qualitative peer to the majority of the Indian fleet, the upcoming JF-17 Block 3 variant unveiled in December 2019 appears set to be a game changer for Pakistani aerial warfare capabilities. The fighter integrates some limited stealth features, a more powerful engine, a larger AESA radar, the first ever infra red search and track system on a Pakistani fighter, new electronic warfare systems and PL-15 long range air to air missiles. With an estimated range of 200-300km, the PL-15 will outrange all of India’s existing air to air missiles built for use against fighters - from the 80km range MICA used by Rafale and Mirage 2000 jets to the 110km range R-77 used by the MiG-21, MiG-29 and Su-30MKI. With Pakistan potentially fielding over 100 of these new fighters, including both single and twin seat variants, the JF-17 Block 3 could be a serious game changer.
A Threshold Alliance: The China-Pakistan Military Relationship
Wednesday, March 22, 2023 / BY: Sameer P. Lalwani, Ph.D.
Geopolitical shifts in South Asia over the past decade, driven by sharper US-China competition, a precipitous decline in China-India relations, and the 2021 withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, have pushed the Chinese and Pakistani militaries closer together. The countries’ armies and navies are increasingly sharing equipment, engaging in more sophisticated joint exercises, and interacting more closely through staff and officer exchanges. Yet, as this report concludes, a full China-Pakistan alliance is not inevitable, as Chinese missteps and other sources of friction could slow its consummation.
Despite China’s eschewal of formal alliances, the China-Pakistan military partnership has deepened significantly over the past decade, approaching a threshold alliance. The trajectory toward a military alliance is not, however, inevitable.
China is Pakistan’s most important defense partner since the end of the Cold War. Beijing has become the leading supplier of Pakistan’s conventional weapons and strategic platforms and the dominant supplier of Pakistan’s higher-end offensive strike capabilities.
China’s military diplomacy with Pakistan quantitatively and qualitatively rivals its military partnership with Russia. China and Pakistan have accelerated the tempo of joint military exercises, which are growing in complexity and interoperability. Increasingly compatible arms supply chains and networked communications systems could allow the countries to aggregate their defense capabilities.
The prospects for China projecting military power over the Indian Ocean from Pakistan’s Western coast are growing. Chinese basing has meaningful support within Pakistan’s strategic circles. The material and political obstacles to upgrading naval access into wartime contingency basing appear to be surmountable and diminishing over time.
Pakistan remains China’s priority in its neighbourhood diplomacy, top Chinese General tells Pak Army chief
Gen Zhang said that China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners and iron-clad friends, China military online, the official media of the Chinese defence ministry, reported
China always puts Pakistan as a priority in its neighbourhood diplomacy, a top Chinese General told Pakistan Army chief General Asim Munir, assuring him that their all-weather friendship will continue notwithstanding the perilous economic and political crisis faced by Islamabad and Beijing’s increasing concern over the security of its personnel working there.
General Zhang Youxia, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) - the high command of the Chinese military headed by President Xi Jinping - held talks with Gen Munir here on Wednesday and discussed matters of mutual security interests and military cooperation. Gen Munir is on a four-day visit to China.
Gen Zhang said that China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners and iron-clad friends, China military online, the official media of the Chinese defence ministry, reported.
The long-lasting mutual trust and friendship between the two countries, as solid as rocks, are important factors for regional and even world peace, stability and prosperity, Gen Zhang said.
He stressed that no matter how the international situation changes, China always puts Pakistan as a priority in its neighbourhood diplomacy and firmly supports Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity, development interests and national dignity, the report said.
The Chinese military is willing to work with the Pakistani military to further deepen and expand practical cooperation, continuously push the mil-to-mil relationship to a higher level, and jointly safeguard the common interests of the two countries, as well as the regional peace and stability, General Zhang added.
He said China is willing to build a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era, a reference to the period headed by President Xi since he came to power in 2012
Gen Munir, on his maiden visit to China amid the serious economic and political crisis back home, discussed the “regional security situation” with his PLA counterpart General Li Qiaoming.
“Matters of mutual security interests and military cooperation were discussed. Both military commanders reiterated the need for maintaining peace and stability in the region and enhancing military-to-military cooperation,” said a press release issued by the Pakistan Army’s media wing - the Inter-Services Public Relations - in Islamabad.
Gen Munir will hold further meetings with military leaders in China to enhance the long-standing relations between the two militaries, the release said.
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