Project Azm: Pakistan to Develop 5th Generation Fighter Plane

Pakistan has announced plans to develop and produce 5th generation fighter plane, according to media reports. It's part of Pakistan Air Force's highly ambitious Project Azm that includes building Kamra Aviation City dedicated to education, research and development and manufacturing of advanced fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and weapon systems.

Pakistan's JF-17 Jet Fighter
Human Capital:

Development of a new advanced fighter is a wide-ranging effort that will encompass building human capital in a variety of fields including material science, physics, electronics, computer science, computer software, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, avionics, weapons design, etc etc.

Air University:

Pakistan Air Force's Air University, established in 2002 in Islamabad, will add a new campus in Kamra Aviation City. The university already offers bachelor's master's and doctoral degrees in several subjects. Pakistan Air Force Chief Sohail Aman told Quwa Defense News that the campus will “provide the desired impetus for cutting-edge indigenization programs, strengthen the local industry and harness the demands of foreign aviation industry by reducing … imports and promoting joint research and production ventures.”

Defense Exports:

Air forces of about a dozen developing nations are buying and deploying Pakistani made aircrafts. The reasons for their choice of Pakistan manufactured airplanes range from lower cost to ease of acquisition, maintenance and training.

Pakistan started developing defense hardware for imports substitution to reduce external dependence and to save hard currency. Now the country's defense industry is coming of age to lead the way to high value-added manufactured exports.

Pakistan Super Mushshak Trainer Aircraft
Nigerian Air Force is the latest to announce purchase of Pakistan made Super Mushshak aircraft after the United States' refusal to sell to Nigeria, according to American periodical Newsweek.  Nigerian Air Force chief Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar was quoted by the Nigerian media as saying that "Pakistan has accepted to sell ten trainer airplanes. And that is why the Pakistan Chief of Air Staff is coming for the induction ceremony which is going to take place in Kaduna".

Several other countries are in the process of making decisions to purchase aircraft from Pakistan. A report in Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper says that Turkey has decided to buy 52 Super Mushshak trainer aircraft.  The Tribune also reported that Azerbaijan may buy a couple of dozen JF-17 Thunder fighter jets jointly developed by Pakistan and China.

Along with exporting existing hardware, Pakistan is continuing its efforts to enhance the capabilities with new versions. For example, fighter-jet JF-17’s Block III is expected to open up new opportunities for Pakistani defense exports.

The new JF-17 Block III will be a twin-seat trainer version with advanced Active Electronically-Scanned Array radar and mid-air-refueliling probe. It will use new composite materials to increase its performance, besides addition of other updates in cockpit and weapons’ pods, according to Pakistani media reports.

Pakistan's Defense Industry Collaboration With China, Turkey:

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

More recently, Pakistan has also begun to collaborate with Turkey in developing arms. In particular, Pakistan has been mentioned as a prospective partner in the TFX, Turkey’s next-generation fighter effort.

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

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

Khushab Nuclear Reactor:

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

Babar Cruise Missile:

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

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

JF-17 Thunder Fighter:

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

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

Nuclear-Capable AIP Submarines:

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

Arms as Pakistan's Cottage Industry

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

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

Pakistan's Military Industrial Complex

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

Praise by Vice Chief of Indian Army:

General Sarath Chand, the Vice Chief of Indian Army, has been quoted by the Indian media as saying:  “I would even go to the extent of saying that Pakistan probably has a better industrial base, as far as defense production is concerned, than our country. In fact they export defense equipment abroad, definitely more than what we are doing.”

Summary: 

Pakistan has announced plans to develop and produce 5th generation fighter plane as part of the country's Air Force's highly ambitious Project Azm that includes building Kamra Aviation City dedicated to education, research and development and manufacturing of advanced fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and weapon systems. It's a recognition that the country can not be truly independent and have real national security unless it can develop and manufacture the arms it needs to defend itself. Pakistan is just starting to do it but it has a very long way to go. Pakistan is also beginning to export defense hardware to developing nations.  Pakistan is recognizing the need to develop significant human capital and build a vibrant economy to make progress on this front.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan-China Defense Industry Collaboration Irks West

Pakistan's Aircraft Exports

Pakistan Navy Modernization

IDEAS 2014 Arms Show

Pakistan Defense Industry

Silicon Valley Book Launch of "Eating Grass"

Pakistan's Human Capital

Pakistan Economy Nears Trillion Dollars

Pakistan's Sea-Based Second Strike Capability

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
#Nigeria President unveils five Super Mushshak aircraft bought for Air Force from #Pakistan - Premium Times Nigeria

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/239590-osinbajo-unveils-five-super-mushshak-aircraft-bought-pakistan.html

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday in Kaduna unveiled five Super Mushshak trainer aircraft acquired by the federal government to boost the capacity of Nigeria Air Force personnel in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the five aircraft are among the 10 acquired by the government from Pakistan.
Mr. Osinbajo, who was represented by Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said Nigeria would welcome more support from friendly nations in its efforts to mow down Boko Haram insurgency.
“I will not fail to mention that the decision to acquire the Super Mushshak aircraft from Pakistan has greatly promoted the existing bilateral relationship between the two sister countries.
“It is our hope that we will continue to have the support and collaboration of other friendly nations, especially as we continue to combat insurgency and other security challenges in our country.”
The Acting President, who also witnessed the graduation of 16 young student pilots from 401 Flying Training School, for the first time in 30 years, pledged that the administration would continue to invest in the country’s air arsenal.
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had two years ago pledged to build the capacity of the armed forces to effectively address Boko Haram insurgency and other national security threats.
“These achievements are a demonstration of the commitment and visionary leadership of the administration,’’ he said.

Mr. Osinbajo stressed that the administration had remained committed to its desire of ensuring a peaceful country.
“This has been a major security policy thrust of this administration.
“We have since embarked on qualitative training and acquisition of new platforms and other supporting equipment for the Armed Forces and security agencies.
“We have also sanitised the procurement process of military hardware with a view to eliminating corruption and inefficiency.
“I make bold to say that we have achieved remarkable savings and infused quality into the system.
“This has contributed in no small way to the acquisition of these new aircraft without any encumbrances.
“It is now your responsibility to make good use of the aircraft as we await the delivery of the last batch by the end of the year.
Riaz Haq said…
India to finalize fifth-gen fighter deal

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2017/08/09/india-to-finalize-fifth-gen-fighter-deal/

India is going ahead with the acquisition of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft with Russia after an internal committee of the Ministry of Defence recommended that the purchase of the aircraft will duplicate India’s plan to develop a homegrown advanced medium combat aircraft, according to an MoD official.

“The internal committee, headed by retired Indian Air Force Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman, after studying technical parameters, has recommended India to acquire the Indo-Russian FGFA,” the MoD official said, referring to the fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

On the road ahead, the official said, a final agreement between India and Russia will be prepared that will pave the way for the release of over $5 billion toward India’s share to develop the FGFA

A preliminary development agreement was signed in 2010 between Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, or HAL, when India paid its 50 percent share of $250 million toward initial development cost.

“A firm order of 108 will be put in the final draft of the agreement being prepared,” said an IAF official.

India and Russia have yet to finalize the work share for the production and technology transfer.

“Defence Research and Development Organization has been involved regarding the work share and transfer of technology, whereas the IAF is involved in finalizing the operational requirements and the number of fighters,” said Daljit Singh, retired Indian Air Force air marshal and defense analyst.

“The involvement [of both Russia and India] is huge in the FGFA program, wherein HAL will be doing many systems like flight controls, avionics with inputs of DRDO and other establishments,” said the MoD official.

Riaz Haq said…
#Indian T-90S tanks crash out of #TankBiathlon2017 military games after engine troubles. #India http://toi.in/QDOusa via @timesofindia

The Indian Army has crashed out of a 19-nation military competition after its Russian-origin T-90S main-battle tanks broke down due to mechanical snags in the grueling sport, even as the armoured fighting vehicles from Russia, China, Belarus and Kazakhstan raced ahead to enter the finals.
The Army swears by the T-90S "Bhishma" tanks, which are being licensed-produced in India after the first 657 of them were imported for Rs 8,525 crore from Russia from 2001 onwards, though the DRDO accuses the force for cold-shouldering the indigenous Arjun tanks.

Sources said both the main and reserve T-90S tanks, shipped by India for the Tank Biathlon in the International Army Games at the Alabino ranges in Russia, developed "engine problems" after performing "exceedingly well" in the initial rounds of the competition.
"The fan belt snapped in the first tank. The reserve tank was then deployed for the race but its entire engine oil leaked just two kilometres before the end...it could not complete the race. It was sheer bad luck that led to the Indian team being disqualified," said an officer.

China, incidentally, has fielded its indigenous Type-96B tank in the competition, which includes firing on the tanks on the move by machine guns and anti-tank projectiles at a 2-km range while they negotiate rugged obstacles. Russia and Kazakhstan have deployed T-72B3 tanks, while Belarus has a modernized T-72 tank. The four are now competing for the top honours.

The T-90S tanks are the fulcrum of the Indian Army's "shock and awe" armoured battle plans. The force has 63 armoured regiments with around 800 T-90S, 124 Arjun and 2,400 older T-72 tanks as of now.

After the first 657 T-90S tanks were imported, the Avadi heavy vehicles Factory under the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is progressively "producing" 1,000 more tanks with Russian kits. In November last year, the defence ministry had approved the procurement of 464 T-90S tanks from the OFB for Rs 13,448 crore to add to the 536 tanks ordered earlier.

The DRDO remains upset+ that the Army has not yet ordered upgraded Arjun Mark-II tanks after inducting the first lot of 124 Mark-I variants, stressing the indigenous tanks did better than the T-90S tanks in comparative trials in 2010.
The Army, however, contends that the 62-tonne Arjun, with its excessive weight and width, has poor operational mobility and flexibility. It has also launched a hunt for a "future ready combat vehicle (FRCV)" to meet its requirements after 2027.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan's #IT industry exports jump 19% last year hit all-time high near $1 Billion. #technology http://bit.ly/2w82sgr via @techjuicepk

Pakistan’s IT exports have hit an all-time high in the outgoing financial year of 2016-2017.

The country is witnessing a growth boom in the IT industry like never before and the government is also taking steps to support the IT infrastructure. And the numbers prove that the positive activity in the IT industry is delivering good results. According to ProPakistani, figures provided by the State Bank of Pakistan(SBP) indicate that the IT industry’s exports – which includes telecom, and computer and information services – in the outgoing financial year were of $938.640 million. The exports made in the previous financial year of 2015-2016 were worth $788.640 million. This indicates a year-on-year growth of 19%.

The Pakistan Software Exchange Board(PSEB), on the other hand, has reported figures that are three times greater than those reported by the SBP. According to the PSEB, the IT exports stand at a whopping $2.8 billion. There is a huge disparity in the numbers that have been reported by the SBP and the PSEB. However, it should be noted here that the SBP and the PSEB calculate the final figure of IT exports in a different manner. The PSEB reports in different sectors such as financial services, healthcare sector, e-commerce, e-health, but to estimate the final figure of total exports it takes into consideration all the exports done by local software houses to international clients.

If Pakistan’s IT industry keeps thriving at this rate, it certainly rings good news for the country’s economy. Could Pakistan hit the target of $6 billion software exports by 2020 or the target of $10 billion IT exports by 2025? We’ll have to wait and see. But the present certainly does look good.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s IT exports reached an all-time high for the outgoing financial year of 2016-17 with receipts of nearly $1 billion received through the banking channel.

According to the statistics provided by the State Bank of Pakistan, exports of IT industry classified as telecommunication, computer and information services surged to the level of $938.640 million in the last financial year.

The exports earning of the IT industry registered a double digit growth of 19 percent or $ 150 million from the financial year 2015-16 which stood at $788.640 million.

Exports of IT or ICT services – in broad terms – are largely delivered to countries and regions such as USA, Middle East and South African countries.


https://propakistani.pk/2017/08/15/pakistans-exports-cross-1-billion-fy16-17-sbp/?utm_source=all_users&utm_medium=notif
PSEB Stats
Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), on the other hand, reported 3 times higher exports as compared to SBP’s numbers ($2.81 billion) through the input of companies/software houses.

PSEB’s estimation is based on the services various IT companies and software houses rendered to different countries but their reporting is done in different sectors such as financial services, healthcare sector and etc, as well as e-commerce, e-health and e-education.

Besides, the reporting of the freelance work is usually reported through overseas remittances. It should be mentioned that Pakistan is considered as the fourth largest freelance market in the world. The estimation of PSEB suggested that exports of freelancer of IT sector stands at more than $200 million per year.

Hence, the foreign exchange inflows in IT sector is not reported as its original potential.

Breakup of IT industry Exports of Services and Products


Source: State Bank of Pakistan

IT and Telecommunication is counted as a single industry in Pakistan either under one ministry, or by reporting the inflows of this sector.

SBP Is Working To Streamline IT Forex Inflows
State Bank of Pakistan has taken a series of concrete steps to streamline exports income of the IT industry through the banking sector, which could reduce the under-reporting foreign exchange earning of IT and its enabled services.

The implementation of the instructions of the central banks to commercial banks and software houses will lead to identify the nearest figure of IT exports values on monthly and annually basis, which will also help all stakeholders to realize the potential and status of IT sector in the country.

6-Year Exports at a Glance


Source: State Bank of Pakistan

IT industry has the biggest potential in Pakistan with a capacity to expand itself domestically and internationally for exports of services when it comes to support of the government through policies and tax incentives.

Government’s Incentives for IT Sector
The government realizes that it has an important role in providing a conducive environment for the growth of the IT industry through infrastructure and HR development. The government has set a vision to enhance the exports of this sector to $5 billion per annum by 2020, which is not an impossible target.


Riaz Haq said…
#US denies #Turkey permission to use #F16 pilots from #Pakistan to train #Turkish Air Force pilots. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-refuses-to-send-f-16-training-pilots-to-turkey-prevents-pakistan-from-doing-so--.aspx?PageID=238&NID=117363&NewsCatID=510 …

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has been trying to increase the number of its jet pilots after the Air Forces were hit by dismissals carried out after the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

During the thwarted coup, 25 coup pilots flew with F-16 jets and 11 of them bombed strategic sites.

After the thwarted coup, it was revealed that a significant number of followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fehullah Gülen were in the Air Forces Command and 1,752 personnel were dismissed with state of emergency decrees.

According to official numbers, between 300 and 350 of those dismissed were warplane pilots and as a result the ratio of number of seats and the number of pilots decreased to 1/0.8, when it should be 1/1.5.
The F-16 jets of American firm Lockheed Martin constitute a majority of Turkey’s warplane fleet with 240 jets.

The government, which has been focused on measures that would increase the number of jet pilots, is searching for F-16 trainers abroad. Pakistan was the only country to accept Turkey’s request.

However, the U.S. objected to Pakistan sending F-16 jet pilot trainers to Turkey, based on the agreement that U.S.-origin equipment’s purchase, sale, maintenance and training between third countries needed approval from Washington.

Upon the prevention of Pakistani trainers from coming to Turkey, Ankara renewed its request from the U.S.
According to information obtained by daily Hürriyet, the Pentagon has once again rejected Ankara’s request, saying “there is no program regarding training pilots abroad.”

“If you send your F-16 pilots to the U.S., we can train them here,” the U.S. response read, while Ankara insisted on pilots receiving treatment in the bases in Turkey and in their own geographical conditions.

The fact that a majority of U.S. jet pilots are on active duty against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria is reportedly among the reasons why Washington is reluctant to send pilots to Turkey at present.
Riaz Haq said…
PAKISTAN ASPIRES FOR CPEC-DRIVEN AVIATION INDUSTRY GROWTH

http://quwa.org/2017/09/03/pakistan-aspires-cpec-driven-aviation-industry-growth/

In a one-day symposium – titled “CPEC vis-à-vis Opportunities for Aviation Industry and Way Forward” – the Government of Pakistan, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) and members of the private sector collectively expressed hope that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would spur growth in Pakistan’s aviation sector.

The Daily Times (Pakistan) compiled a report outlining the thoughts and aspirations of each symposium participant, which included the Federal Interior Minister Dr. Ahsan Iqbal, the PAF Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sohail Aman and other leading officials and industry representatives.

Short-term objectives center on guaranteeing the security of CPEC projects. In this respect, the PAF had outlined its success in building a capable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) element for providing situational awareness for all relevant parties, including its sister services the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF had also expressed confidence in its ability to counter asymmetrical threats through precision-guided airstrikes. It is also committed to providing search-and-rescue support.

The panel’s long-term aspirations echoed earlier government sentiments, namely of channeling projected economic growth from CPEC to effect industry gains. In this case, it is aviation.

PCAA Additional Director of Air Transport International Regulation Syed Muzaffar Alam projected that air travel in Pakistan will see an additional three million passengers in the next three to four years. Alam believed that this growth will present opportunities for growth in Pakistan’s commercial airline sector, be it new airlines or expanded ground support providers. In relation, PAF Air Vice Marshal Razi Nawab, the Deputy Managing Director of the Shaheen Foundation, stressed that investment be made in raising new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) entities and airlines in Pakistan to support growth in air travel.

Interior Minister Dr. Ahsan Iqbal called for developing Pakistan’s aviation development and manufacturing sectors, particularly through “Technology Intensive Clusters” at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra. He also advocated for research and development, joint-ventures and public-private partnerships.

The participating stakeholders proposed raising a joint working group comprising of representatives from the Government of Pakistan, the PAF, PCAA, the private sector and academic institutions to steward the objectives discussed at the symposium.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s largest Olympiad ‘AirTect ’17’ to be conducted by Air University in Islamabad

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/12/05/pakistans-largest-olympiad-airtect-17-to-be-conducted-by-air-university-in-islamabad/

Air University Vice-Chancellor Air Vice Marshal (retd) Faaiz Amir announced during a press conference on Tuesday that Pakistan’s largest technical and scientific Olympiad “Airtech’17” will be held at the main campus of Air University from December 7-10.

The Olympiad would include 26 technological competitions as well as other value-added events like an AirTech conference, embedded workshops, a national photography competition, project expo, an aeromodelling show, an air techno-show, bonfire, sky lantern show and more.

Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman will deliver his keynote address as chief guest on the occasion of AirTech’17 Conference.

“AirTech’17 is designed to serve as a platform where a fair and competitive environment will be provided to young students to design, build & present technical solutions and perform innovative tasks in respective fields by utilising their creative skills blended with their scientific academic knowledge and technical capabilities”, the Vice-Chancellor said during the briefing.

While talking to media, Students Affairs Deputy Director Ms Fazaila Ali Qazi said that the chief guest would deliver his keynote address on “leadership, education & society development” on December 7. It will include various topics related to robotics, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. Furthermore, student competitions will be held on the second day and would be divided into five key categories – robotics, mechanical, electrical, computer sciences and applied sciences.

A “TechnoShow” will be held on day 3 of the Olympiad. The show will include events like “AirBot”, “Robo War”, “Quadro Show” and “Robo Dance”. As a secondary activity, a workshop on international scholarships will also be held on the occasion. On day 4 (Sunday), a tremendous Air Show will be presented over F-9 Park in Islamabad. The Project Expo will also be held on the concluding day, followed by a sky lantern show.

A number of industry leaders, decision-makers and professionals are invited to appreciate students’ efforts and to identify opportunities to collaborate with students and discuss future prospects

AirTech’17 aims to enhance and polish the conceptual, analytical and practical skills and expertise of youth, with the intention of cultivating and nurturing their talent, thus enabling them to envision themselves to be the future of a dynamic and technologically advanced Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Tests An Indigenously Developed Anti-Ship Cruise Missile
Pakistan introduces the Harbah, a cruise missile with anti-ship and land-attack roles.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/01/pakistan-tests-an-indigenously-developed-anti-ship-cruise-missile/


By Ankit Panda
January 08, 2018

Last week, the Pakistani Navy carried out the first-ever test launch of its Harbah anti-ship and land-attack cruise missile (LACM/ASCM). The test was carried out in the North Arabian Sea on January 3, according to a press release from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

“The successful live weapon firing has once again demonstrated the credible fire power of Pakistan Navy and the impeccable level of indigenization in high tech weaponry achieved by Pakistan’s defence industry,” ISPR noted in a statement. “The missile accurately hit its target signifying the impressive capabilities of Harbah Naval Weapon System.”

The Harbah is thought to be derived from Pakistan’s Babur family of cruise missiles. Pakistan has tested multiple Babur variants, beginning with the ground-launched Babur-I to the submarine-launched Babur-III, which was first tested last January. Though ISPR made no comment on the missile’s payload capabilities, its origin in the Babur family would suggest that it could be converted for both conventional and nuclear payload delivery.

According to Pakistani media reports, Pakistan’s Ministry of Defense Production had planned to develop a missile system for the PNS Himmat by October 2018. According to the Ministry’s 2014-2015 yearbook, the Directorate General of Munitions Production (DGMP) had been tasked with “the indigenous (sic) developing of ship-borne system with Land Attack Missile [LACM] and Anti ship Missile” by that date.

The missile was launched from an Azmat-class fast attack craft, PNS Himmat. PNS Himmat was commissioned into the Pakistan Navy last summer after extensive sea trials. Along with PNS Himmat, PNS Azmat and PNS Deshat are likely to also operate the Harbah ASCM once the system is declared operational.

Pakistan’s test-firing of the Harbah came shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to end U.S. military aid to the country in a tweet. While U.S. aid does not go toward Pakistan’s indigenous strategic weapons research and development, the ISPR statement noted that Pakistan’s chief of naval staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, said that Pakistan needed to “reduce reliance on foreign countries” and “emphasized the need to capitalize on indigenous defense capabilities.”
Riaz Haq said…
POSSIBLE MALE UAV CONCEPTS AT PAKISTAN’S AVIATION DESIGN INSTITUTE

https://quwa.org/2018/01/09/possible-male-uav-concepts-at-pakistans-aviation-design-institute/

In a promotional video for the breaking-ground event for Air University’s Aerospace and Aviation Campus in Kamra, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) revealed design concepts of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designs made by the Aviation Design Institute (AvDI) which may be related to “Project Azm.”

Under Project Azm, AvDI – which is part of PAC – was tasked by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to design and develop a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV.

While preliminary and tentative, AvDI’s mock-ups broadly mirrored the MALE UAVs being produced in China and Turkey, such as the Wing Loong as well as CH-4 and the Anka, respectively. However, technical specifics such as prospective powerplant, payload, hardpoints and weaponization were not disclosed.

In December 2017, the PAF CAS reportedly stated that the AvDI MALE UAV will materialize in 18 months.

The PAF Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sohail Aman formally announced Project Azm in July 2017 in the inauguration event of the Kamra Aviation City complex, which is envisaged as the home of PAC, AvDI, Air University and other state-owned and potentially private sector aviation companies.

Recently, analysts belonging to the Center for Study of the Drone at Bard College, New York identified a Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) Wing Loong UAV stationed at PAF M.M. Alam in Mianwali by using commercial satellite imagery. It appears that the Wing Loong arrived to Mianwali in late November 2017.

Currently, it appears that Pakistan is continuing its tests of the Wing Loong, having flown it through 2016 under “experimental flights.” CAIG is also test-flying the improved Wing Loong II, which has a payload of 400 kg, top speed of 370 km/h, service ceiling of 30,000 ft and endurance of 32 hours. The Chinese press claim that the Wing Loong II secured its launch export orders before its flight, but it is unknown who has the drones on order, though it is said to be the largest overseas sale of Chinese drones to-date.

Notes & Comments:

The PAF’s UAV attack UAV is the Burraq, produced by the National Engineering and Scientific Commission. It can carry up two laser-guided air-to-ground missiles. Thus far, it appears that the PAF has been using the Burraq for time-sensitive and/or targeted strikes as part of its counterinsurgency (COIN) and counter-terrorism (CT) operations. The PAF has been using the Leonardo Falco and General Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS) Shahpar for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) in its COIN/CT operations.

Pakistan began inducting the Falco in 2009 under a co-production agreement involving PAC and Leonardo. The Falco has a payload of 25 kg available for electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) turrets. The Falco was later joined by the Shahpar, which has a payload of 50 kg and endurance of seven hours.

The introduction of MALE UAVs – be it the Wing Loong-series or a potentially original design by PAC and AvDI – would provide the PAF with increased attack capabilities and ISR coverages through the use of its drones. It could also spur the introduction of using heavier munitions, such as 100 kg precision-guided bombs, from drones. This would extend the use of these aircraft from time-sensitive strikes and targeted attacks against individuals to close air support (CAS)-level missions in COIN/CT, such as attacking moving vehicles and neutralizing enemy firing positions. In terms of ISR, the PAF can equip these new drones with synthetic aperture radars for real-time image intelligence and use ground-moving target-indication for target acquisition – this information could be provided to other airborne and/or land units via data-link. Pakistan can leverage the endurance of a MALE UAV to sustain a ISR coverage unit for a longer time period.
Riaz Haq said…
Turkey's Aselsan to supply targeting pods for Pakistan's JF-17 fighters, says report
http://www.janes.com/article/70935/turkey-s-aselsan-to-supply-targeting-pods-for-pakistan-s-jf-17-fighters-says-report

Turkish defence company Aselsan has secured a USD24.9 million contract from an overseas customer for the integration of its Aselpod electro-optical targeting pods into aerial platforms, according to a statement published by the Turkish Public Disclosure Platform (KAP) on 26 May.

Aselsan has secured a USD24.9 million contract to supply its Aselpod targeting pods for Pakistan's JF-17 fighters, according to Turkish media. (Aselsan)

The announcement was followed two days later by a report by Turkish newspaper Daily Sabahidentifying Pakistan as the customer, and pointing out that this is the second order for the system placed by the South Asian country.

"Aselsan realised the first Aselpod exports last June to Pakistan, which has re-ordered a year later. The said system will be used on the JF-17 aircraft that Pakistan has jointly developed with China," the paper said in an article that was republished by Turkey's Directorate General of Press Information.

In its 2015-2016 yearbook Pakistan's Ministry of Defence Production had listed a USD24.9 million purchase of eight Aselpod targeting pods for the country's JF-17 Thunder multirole combat aircraft.

According to Jane's World Air Forces , the Pakistan Air Force currently operates an estimated 86 JF-17s.

The latest deal between Pakistan and Turkey is yet another indication of the growing defence industrial ties between the two countries. Earlier this month Turkey signed a contract with the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra for the procurement of 52 MFI-17 Super Mushshak primary trainers.

At the same time Pakistan's Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited (KSEW) signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Turkish defence engineering firm Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret (STM) for the local construction of four Ada (MILGEM)-class corvettes for the Pakistan Navy.

Both deals were signed on 10 May at the 2017 IDEF defence exhibition in Istanbul in a ceremony presided over by Turkish defence minister Fikri Isik and Pakistan's minister for defence production, Tanvir Hussain.

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan successfully test-fires bvr (beyond visual range) infrared #missile from #JF17 Thunder jet fighter. #PAF #infrared

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1624982/1-pakistan-successfully-test-fires-beyond-visual-range-missile-jf-17-thunder/

It was a landmark occasion for Pakistan Air Force (PAF) as well as the whole nation, when the indigenously produced JF-17 Thunder shot down a slow speed target with BVR (Beyond Visual Range) and IR (Infrared) missile with a pin-point accuracy at Sonmiani firing range on Friday.

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman witnessed the live demonstration, displaying PAF’s capability to successfully locate and destroy high/ slow speed moving targets by employing high-tech inventory of aircraft and missiles, said a PAF press release.

Addressing the ceremony, the air chief said, “We are thankful to Allah Almighty who has given us the strength to achieve this extraordinary milestone. The successful testing of these sophisticated weapons is a testimony of JF-17 Thunder’s multirole capabilities.”

He said it was a matter of immense pride that six PAF fighter squadrons had already been equipped with the pride of the nation JF-17 Thunder aircraft, making it the backbone of our aerial defence.

The air chief also lauded the hard work put in by PAF and Chinese personnel in making the event a success.

“The day marked a monumental episode in the glorious history of PAF as a state-of-the-art Weapon Test Range has been made operational to track the complete trajectory of the aircraft and launched missiles,” read the press release.

The facility, developed in collaboration with Chinese authorities, is equipped with real time tracking and measuring equipment to qualify the indigenously developed and procured weapon systems.

Earlier, Air Vice Marshal Haseeb Paracha, Air Officer Commanding, Southern Air Command received the chief guest on his arrival at the venue. High ranking PAF officers along with civil and military officials also witnessed this historic event.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan needs a balanced mix of quality skilled workers, technicians, technologists, engineers, researchers and development scientists to promote the country's industrialization. National University of Technology is Pakistan government's answer to fulfill this need.

https://youtu.be/ZDQ2dy3cBSY

The problem with Pakistan’s technological education hitherto has been a surfeit of theory adept engineers, who lack practical skills upon graduation and are therefore of limited use for industry that demands hands on technologists, who could run industrial processes with the desired degree of competence. NUTECH seeks to fill that void through degree programs that will give both respectability and international recognition to the technologists who would undergo four year degree programs in different disciplines of engineering technology. These engineering technology graduates would be exposed to a curriculum geared towards practical aspects of technology that come in handy for an industrial employer. While the engineering degree holders would concentrate on designing and policy aspects the graduates of NUTECH would be focused on actual execution of technological tasks on shop floor. With a practical orientation these engineering technology graduates would already be adept in engineering practices on graduation unlike a normal engineering graduate whose learning starts upon graduation.

The production of top quality engineering technologists accredited to top class international technology regimes like the ‘Dublin, Sydney, and Bologna Accords’ would be a big shot in the arm for our human resource starved industrial sector. As a pioneer technology university under the Ministry of Education and affiliated with the Higher Education Commission, the University is charged with forging a direct linkage with the industry. While NUTECH would be mainly conducting Degree Programs, it is capable of reaching out to less developed areas through its widespread network of technical and vocational training institutes, producing skilled workers for the industry. With more focus on hands on practical training and inclusion of the industrial sector as a stakeholder in designing of curricula, it would synergise the academic output for the benefit of industry.

Pakistan that has suffered because it has completely bypassed industrial development by taking a shortcut to the services sector. Without industrial sinews, no country in the contemporary world can enjoy sustainable economic development. The time has come to correct that egregious flaw in our national development planning through sustainable initiatives. NUTECH is one such initiative, which was long overdue.

https://dailytimes.com.pk/246297/technical-education-industrial-development-and-pakistan/
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan on Wednesday (in June 2017) became a full signatory of the Washington Accord that facilitates mobility of engineering graduates and professionals at the international level.

Pakistan became the full signatory of Washington Accord on June 21, reported Dunya News.


As a result of the new agreement, the engineers from Pakistan would no further have to take exams for getting new jobs and admission abroad.

In the first stage, graduates from UET Lahore, UET Taxila, GIK and NUST would benefit from the new agreement.

Pakistan was granted provisional membership of the Washington Accord in the year 2010.

The Washington Accord, signed in 1989, is an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes.

It recognises the substantial equivalency of programs accredited by those bodies and recommends that graduates of programs accredited by any of the signatory bodies be recognised by the other bodies as having met the academic requirements for the entry to the practice of engineering.

At present, the Washington Accord member countries include Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Pakistan, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.



https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/pakistan-becomes-full-signatory-of-washington-accord-117062201418_1.html
Riaz Haq said…
One million youth to be trained each year under new TVET policy: Cheema

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/320986-one-million-youth-to-be-trained-each-year-under-new-tvet-policy-cheema

Islamabad: This national policy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), sets out for the first time in our country’s history – the commitment to invest in skill development is vital fast-changing and transforming global economy. The government is committed to increasing access, relevant and the quality of technical &vocational training. We are improving higher education provision. But as this TVET policy document demonstrates so clearly, as a nation we must develop skills to transform on youth into an asset-instead of a burden. The government of Pakistan has stoic resolve and commitment to ensure the implementation of the TVET policy, encouraging technical and vocational training for national and international labour markets.

TVET policy envisages the need for expansion of provision and a greater role for the private sector. It also ensuring the creation of a national quality assurance and qualification system. The importance of developing a new approach to planning and implementation is also part of this policy. This involves partnership working and greater emphasis on performance, accountability and evidence-based decision-making.

NAVTTC Chief Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema has said that National TVET Policy is an important milestone towards strengthening the TVET sector which would contribute to boost our economy.

“This is indeed a historic moment for us and a clear demonstration of the importance of skills development to achieve sustained economic growth, to increase productivity and to provide opportunities for people to contribute to the economy and to their communities, particularly the country’s growing young population”, he said.

The Head of NAVTTC thanked the cabinet members, provincial TEVTAs, development partners of TVET Reform Support Program, GIZ, Industrial sector of Pakistan and the industrial sector for their cooperation and support.

The National TVET Policy has following salient features:

Secure a national commitment to the importance of skills development to achieve sustained economic growth, to increase productivity and to provide opportunities for people to contribute to the economy and to their communities, particularly the country’s growing youthful population.

Increase the number and quality of training opportunities so that in the short-term at least one million youth will be trained each year. By 2025, the objective is to train 20 percent of all school-leavers, in addition to up-skilling and re-skilling existing workers. Such expansion will not be achieved by the public sector alone and the active engagement of the private sector will be required.

To introduce a national standards-based qualification, assessment and certification system.

To design and deliver competency-based education and training programmes that concentrate on the skills required to perform jobs.

To forge new partnerships between the public and private sectors and to encourage employers to train more directly and to contribute to the reform of public TVET provision.

Maintenance and expansion of the export of labour by encouraging people to obtain internationally recognized qualifications.

Encourage the informal sector of the economy by providing people with opportunities to gain formal certification. Continue the reform and revitalization of the TVET sector.

Development of an integrated TVET to strengthen collaboration and consultation with the provincial TEVTAS.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Positioning For #Aerospace Services Growth. Pakistan is hoping to lean on skills and experience garnered from assembling jet trainers and combat #aircraft in a bid to attract international aerospace companies to invest. #defense #aviation http://aviationweek.com/defense/pakistan-positioning-aerospace-services-growth

Pakistan is hoping to lean on skills and experience garnered from assembling jet trainers and combat aircraft in a bid to attract international aerospace companies to invest. Islamabad is pouring money into the creation of its first aerospace cluster, the National Aerospace Science and Technology Park (NASTP), part of its future vision to create an Aviation City around Kamra, home to the country’s aerospace efforts. The NASTP aerospace cluster will be located at Kamra, west of ...
Riaz Haq said…
#Turkey's STM will organize training in #cybersecurity and #infornation #tech at #Pakistan Air #University; organize international conferences; give consultancy to research projects and support infrastructure for National Cyber Security Center at Air Uni. https://www.armyrecognition.com/ideas_2018_news_official_show_daily/ideas_2018_stm_signs_dou_for_pakistan_cyber_security.html

At IDEAS 2018, a Document of Understanding (DoU) was signed by STM and Pakistan Air University under the leadership of the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) of the Presidency of Rebuplic of Turkey. With this agreement, STM will provide significant solutions in integrated cyber security, big data and IT domains.

STM SavunmaTeknolojileriMühendislikveTicaret A.Ş. expands its business in Pakistan. Following the cooperation in naval programs under the leadership of the Presidency of Defence Industries, it now moves to different areas.

The signing ceremony was held with the participation of Mustafa Murat Şeker, SSB Vice President; Murat İkinci, STM General Manager; Air Vice Marshal Faaiz Amir, Vice Chancellor of Pakistan Air University; and officials. The agreement will increase the cyber security capabilities of Pakistan Air University, which sets up cyber security strategies of Pakistan and is responsible for the establishment of Pakistan’s National Center of Cyber Security (NCCS).

STM will organize special training and internship programs in cyber security and IT for Pakistan Air University students and faculty; organize international conferences and workshops; give consultancy to research projects in graduate programs; and support the infrastructure for the establishment of the National Cyber Security Center (NCCS) at the university. This agreement aims to increase the national cyber security capabilities of the friendly country Pakistan thanks to STM's integrated cyber security efforts and capabilities.
Riaz Haq said…
IDEAS 2018: PROJECT AZM UPDATES

https://quwa.org/2018/12/20/ideas-2018-project-azm-updates-2/

During the 2018 International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS), the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Mujahid Anwar Khan stated that Project Azm, the PAF’s next-generation fighter, was “indigenous” and “not dependent upon western or eastern partners.”

The statement outlined an ambitious scope, to say the least. However, one would be right to be skeptical considering that Pakistan lacks the industrial inputs necessary to design and develop such a fighter. There are a handful of countries in the world with all those inputs; in most cases, a foreign partner is needed.

In his statements before retiring, the previous CAS, ACM Sohail Aman, had said (in December 2017) that “Pakistan is engaged with Chinese experts in manufacturing the next generation aircraft.”

This is the most realistic scenario because — besides the fact that China is Pakistan’s top defence partner — but because China is the most accessible turnkey industrial power available to Pakistan. One can argue that besides the US, France, Russia, and China, there are no countries that can contribute to any part of a next-generation fighter. But for Pakistan, the US, France, and Russia are non-factors in this respect.

Recently, the New York Times reported that a proposal was made to form “a special economic zone (SEZ) [in Pakistan]…to produce a new generation of fighter jets.” This SEZ would produce critical subsystems, such as “navigation systems, radar systems and onboard weapons.”

Based on the two aspects (e.g., the PAF stating that its next-generation fighter is ‘indigenous’ and the fact that Pakistan will likely need China), one might be hard-pressed to find alignment. However, it is certainly there, albeit with caveats – i.e., Pakistan will not be independent from all foreign partners…
Riaz Haq said…
Evolution of JF-17

Excerpt from Quora answer by Danial Shazly, Ex Editor Asian Defence and Diplomacy

https://www.quora.com/Have-the-Chinese-copied-the-F-16-s-design-and-made-the-JF-17-for-Pakistan
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!
Riaz Haq said…
From Wikipedia on Project Sabre II:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.
Riaz Haq said…
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.
Riaz Haq said…
#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

Riaz Haq said…
#JF17Thunder Block III Production Starts. Fighter will feature #AESCAN radar, new electronic warfare system, upgraded avionics with a 3-axis fly-by-wire digital flight controls, and helmet-mounted display and sight system. #Pakistan #China @Diplomat_APAC http://thediplomat.com/2019/03/report-jf-17-thunder-block-iii-fighter-jet-production-is-underway/

Development and production of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17 “Thunder” Block III multirole fighter aircraft is reportedly underway, the chief designer of the fighter jet, Yang Wei, said at press conference in China last week.

“All related work is being carried out,” Yang was quoted as saying by Chinese state media. “The third block will see the JF-17’s informatized warfare capability and weapons upgraded.” As I reported previously, JF-Block-III fighter jets are expected to receive the Chinese-made KLJ-7A active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system. It would be the Pakistan Air Force’s first AESA-equipped fighter aircraft.

JF-17 Block III aircraft will reportedly also feature a new electronic warfare system, upgraded avionics including a three-axis fly-by-wire digital flight control system, and a helmet-mounted display and sight system. With its new integrated sensor package, the aircraft will have the capability for quick information sharing and network-enabled operations that facilitate earlier detection and interception of enemy aircraft.


When discussing the start of aircraft production, Yang was most likely referring to the manufacturing of the JF-17’s airframe, with PAC reportedly producing 58 percent and CAC 42 percent of it. The development status of any of the new Block III subsystems is not known. However, once the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology (NRIET) completes development of the new AESA radar system, it “can be fitted on the airframe very fast, ensuring a quick delivery time,” Yang emphasized.

(Notably, Yang in his comments named neither NRIET nor the exact AESA radar system to be installed on the JF-17 Block III.)

JF-17 Block I and Block II aircraft, of which the PAF operates around 85 in total as of March 2019, have been fitted with NRIET’s older KLJ-7 X-band fire control radar. All three JF-17 variants are powered by a Chinese license-built Klimov RD-93 (an RD-33 derivative) turbofan engine. The JF-17 has an approximate combat radius of up to 1,200 kilometers without refueling and can reach a maximum speed of up to Mach 1.6.

The JF-17 costs $25 million per unit, although the Block III per-unit price is expected to go up as a result of the new subsystems, including the expensive new AESA radar system. The PAF intends to procure up to 50 new Block III aircraft.

The aircraft can alternatively be armed with air-to-air, air-to-surface, and anti-ship missiles. It will also be able to fire beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAM). An unnamed BVRAAM was test fired by the PAF last month and possibly today.

During a recent military standoff with India, a PAF JF-17 may have engaged an Indian Air Force fighter jet.
Riaz Haq said…
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.
Riaz Haq said…
From Quora:
Who will buy the JF-17?
Danial Shazly
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

AESA Radar
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
Riaz Haq said…
#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.
Riaz Haq said…
#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
https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/main-article/qatar-rafale-pak-hands-733696.html @deccanherald

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.
Riaz Haq said…
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."


https://tribune.com.pk/story/855837/50-years-on-memories-of-the-1973-arab-israeli-conflict/
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan to develop private sector #defense industry. Pakistan's Integrated Dynamics (ID) has exported its #drone to U.S. Border Patrol. It also developed Shahpar #UAV, later turned into Burraq. #China weaponized & exporting it as the CH-3/5 series.
https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2019/07/25/pakistan-wants-to-create-a-self-reliant-self-sustained-defense-industry/#.XTnBr0oJAGw.twitter

The Pakistani government is promoting aims to increase public-private cooperation and develop a self-reliant, self-sustained defense industry. But the private sector is skeptical.

The aims were outlined by Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in a government-hosted seminar earlier this month, which included public and private sector representatives.

The seminar recommended establishment of a task force to develop a roadmap for aiding indigenous defense production, establishing a raw material industry in conjunction with the private sector, utilizing surplus production capacity for export, and establishing ‘digital parks’ to exploit software industry potential and promote university level research and development.

However, Shehzad Ahmed Mir, managing director of Bow Systems Ltd, a private sector defense contracting company, says bureaucratic resistance needs to be overcome.

“Army chiefs come and go, only policies stay. So far there is no government policy to support such repetitive statements made by many an armed forces chief,” he said.

Mir blames Pakistan’s civilian bureaucracy for resisting change.

“The problem lies in the acceptance of the bare fact that private industry can do the job far better, and at much lower cost than these bureaucrats. Unless the defense ministry in Pakistan seriously invites the private industry to sit across the table, go through a lengthy and complex process of negotiations to formulate a standard policy for such matters, such statements are worthless in the business world.”

Exports are a key aspect of the drive, but the problems Mir highlights have already taken their toll. Among other things, Pakistan may already have killed off a golden egg laying goose.

The head of UAV firm Integrated Dynamics (ID), Raja S Khan, says the once thriving private UAV industry essentially collapsed when state bodies took their projects in house.

ID has had notable export success, including with U.S. Border Patrol. It is most renowned though for developing the Shahpar UAV, later developed into the Burraq armed drone. China weaponized the drone, further developing and successfully exporting it as the CH-3/5 series, for which Pakistan appears to receive nothing.

Khan believes the “major element” required to revive the industry and make it an export competitor is a UAV regulatory policy to “allow private sector entities to develop and test their designs.”

“India has recently introduced its UAV regulatory policy and is far more proactive in allowing its private sector a foothold in the global UAV industry by freely allowing test zones, development and access to regulatory permissions for registered users," he noted. “Nothing of the sort exists in Pakistan and even a company with the track record of ID is at a loss to test new developments in the absence of regulatory permissions and no accessible or designated flight test zones.”

He is not optimistic for the future.

“The future of development and our export potential looks bleak unless these issues are addressed with policies formulated with UAV professionals on board.”

Mir agrees.
Riaz Haq said…
After #ImranKhan's meeting with #Trump, #Pakistan's F-16 P&W engines to be upgraded with some advanced F-22 Raptor and F-35 features, according to #Indian defense/security analyst Bharat Karnad. https://bharatkarnad.com/2019/07/27/payoffs-post-trump-imran-meeting/ via @BharatKarnad

Imran returned home a hero having consolidated Pakistan’s status — surprise! surprise! — as the indispensable front line state the US desperately needs to zero out its military presence in Afghanistan at any and all cost, along with a goodies bag for the Pakistan armed services, which indubitably is the first tranche of upfront payoffs — a $125 million package to retrofit 12 PAF F-16Cs and six two-seater trainer version F-16Ds with the technologically updated Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 jet engine with 79 kiloNewton dry thrust and 129.7 kN with afterburner. Most likely, senior PAF officers accompanying the COAS General Qamar Bajwa, who was part of Imran’s delegation, wangled the EEP (Engine Enhancement Program) version.

The P&W website reveals the EEP as incorporating advances in such areas as turbine materials, cooling management techniques, compressor aerodynamics, and electronic controls, from the F-22 Raptor’s turbofan engine and from the propulsion system in the latest American combat aircraft F-35 jet power plant, thereby increasing the “Depot maintenance interval” of the warplane from 4,300 to 6,000 hours or, to put it differently, from 7 to 10 years, while easing upkeep procedures and reducing the lifetime costs by almost a third. In other words, PAF is well on its way to at once refurbishing its entire F-16 fleet, lengthening its life, and making it more affordable.

Again by design and, perhaps, to suppress any hard reaction from Delhi, the US insisted on placing 60 Lockheed representatives in Pakistan (whether on PAF air bases, is not clear) constituting a Technical Security Team (TST) to monitor the end-use of these revamped F-16s. Except, a Pentagon official told Indian news agency, PTI, that the Americans would be there to also, as he put it, protect the engine technology, presumably from being onpassed to China — one of the usual channels Beijing has used over the years to access US technologies. Pakistan, for instance, shipped an F-16 for Chinese engineers to study and reverse engineer its many technologies when it was first inducted into PAF in 1982 and, likewise, moved the high-performance, silenced, rotor system in the US helicopter that crashed during the 2011 American Operation Neptune Spear to take out Osama bin Laden, to China for a decent amount of time before returning the damaged ‘copter to America.

The fact is even with Americans exercising physical oversight of the revamped F-16s, there’s no way they can prevent these aircraft from being flown to satellite air fields ostensibly on routine exercise either for the Chinese aviation designers and engineers to closely inspect them there, or to embark them on offensive sorties (assuming the TST is really there to deter such uses, which is doubtful).

Curiously, at the same time as the F-16 deal was announced in Washington a couple of days after Imran’s departure, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency issued a statement saying that India had asked to buy spare parts and test equipment for IAF’s C-17 transport planes, and that it “is seeking personnel training, among other things, “for an estimated cost of $670 million.” India, it added, “needs this follow-on support to maintain its operational readiness and ability to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) assistance in the region…[and] will have no difficulty absorbing this support into its armed forces.” Both the press releases announcing the F-16 upgrade and the the Indian buy of C-17 support, iterated that these sales “will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan close to buying 36 fighter jets from Egypt

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190905-pakistan-close-to-buying-36-fighter-jets-from-egypt/

Pakistan’s Air Force is close to closing a deal with Egypt to buy Dassault Mirage-V aircraft after long negotiations head towards a close.

The Egyptian Air Force has retired the aircraft from service which means they will have to be refurbished before going into service.

Last year Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met with Pakistan’s Joint Chief of Staff Committee Chairman Generl Zubair Mahmood Hayat to discuss military cooperation and the fight against terror.

The two countries have had a long and steady relationship. Last year they celebrated 70 years of diplomatic relations after Egypt was the first country to open an embassy in Pakistan after it achieved independence.

In June Egypt’s ambassador to Pakistan said his country values relations with Pakistan. In May Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Al-Sisi and the leaders agreed to upgrade cooperation.

Egyptian Minister of Planning Hala Al-Saeed said she was keen to promote and develop bilateral relations in various fields and has said: “Long live Egypt. Long live Pakistan.”

Pakistan also has strategic relations with some of Egypt’s major allies, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Yesterday Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir and UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan met their counterpart Shah Mamood Qureshi and Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss the issue of Kashmir in a symbolic show of unity, according to Pakistan.

The visit comes after the UAE honoured Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi in a highly controversial decision.

After India revoked the special status of Kashmir neighbouring Pakistan said it would downgrade diplomatic ties with India and called on New Delhi to reverse its “illegal annexation of Kashmir”.

On Sunday, thousands of Pakistanis protested for the fourth week against India’s decision
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan has kept its ageing Mirage jets flying after 50 years with DIY repairs and upgrades
Fifty years after Pakistan bought its first Mirages, many planes in the venerable fleet are still being patched up, overhauled and upgraded for use in combat

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/2143898/pakistan-has-kept-its-ageing-mirage-jets-flying-after-50-years

The sprawling complex at Kamra, west of Islamabad, reverbates at the thundering take-off of a Mirage Rose-1, the latest ageing fighter jet to have been gutted and reassembled by the Pakistani Air Force.
Fifty years after Pakistan bought its first Mirages, many planes in the venerable fleet are still being patched up, overhauled and upgraded for use in combat, years after conventional wisdom dictates they should be grounded.
That includes one of the first two planes originally purchased from France’s Dassault in 1967, which was in a hangar at Kamra after its record fifth overhaul.
The techniques they have developed are reminiscent of – but far more hi-tech and lethal than – the improvised methods used to keep classic American cars running on the streets of Havana.
“We have achieved such a capability that our experts can integrate any latest system with the ageing Mirages,” says Air Commodore Salman M. Farooqi, deputy managing director of the Mirage Rebuild Factory (MRF) at the Kamra complex.
Pakistan bought its first Mirages to diversify its fleet, which in the late 1960s largely consisted of US-built planes: F-104 Starfighters, T-37 Tweety Birds and F-86 Sabres.

----

But Mirages flew on, also carrying out reconnaissance missions in India, and intercepting and shooting down Soviet and Afghan planes that violated Pakistani airspace during the Soviet war.
Usually the jet has two or three life cycles, each spanning around 12 years. But overhauling them abroad was expensive for Pakistan, a developing country whose budget is already disproportionately tilted towards its military and which has historically received billions in military help from countries such as the US.

So, with the help of experts from Dassault, the air force decided if you want something done for the right price, you’ve got to do it yourself.
The Mirage Rebuild Factory was established at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in 1978, and in the years since has saved “billions” of dollars for Pakistan, according to Group Captain Muhammad Farooq, in charge of one of the maintenance hangars – though he said the exact figure was difficult to pin down.
The planes take some seven weeks to be overhauled and repainted, he said, adding that usually the MRF has the capacity for more than a dozen planes a year. Its calendar for the next decade or so is already booked up.


At least eight different Mirage variants, including the Mirage 5-EF, Mirage III-DP and Mirage-III Rose-I, were in one of the maintenance hangers when AFP visited.
Engineers and technicians were dismantling cockpit instrument panels and landing gear while undertaking a “non-destructive inspection”, essentially an X-ray to detect faults in the wings and airframe.
Dozens of engines awaiting overhaul were piled in one hangar. Even planes that had suffered accidents such as fires breaking out have been patched back together at the facility.
Pakistan has also been buying up discarded Mirages from other countries to bring through the facility, said retired Air Marshal Shahid Lateef.

The most important technological improvement, developed with the help of South Africa, is the ability to integrate air-to-air refuelling, Farooqi said.
The “identification of friend and foe” (IFF) system, which detects when a Mirage has been locked on to by the system of another plane, was also a key development, he said.

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