Analysis: Pakistan’s Fighter Modernization Roadmap (Part-1)
October 19, 2017

Analysis: Pakistan’s Fighter Modernization Roadmap (Part-1)

22 February 2016

By Bilal Khan

A recent episode of ‘Defence and Diplomacy’, a policy news and analysis show hosted by retired Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Group Captain Sultan Hali, offered a number of interesting insights into the PAF’s apparent modernization roadmap, particularly with regards to its fighter fleet. This analysis will touch upon a few key points raised in the episode (which also included retired Air Marshals Shahid Lateef and Yousuf Chaudhry), especially in regards to the PAF’s rationale for pursuing the F-16 as well as its reluctance to induct a comparable alternative, such as the Chengdu FC-20 (i.e. J-10).

For the foreseeable future, the PAF will center its fighter acquisition plans on the JF-17 and F-16. Before continuing into how the PAF would pursue each fighter, it is important to understand the driving forces behind the PAF’s decision. To put it frankly, the main issue is Pakistan’s troubled economy. In other words, the PAF has very limited financial flexibility to depend on in order to replace its heavily aged fighters, i.e. the Dassault Mirage III/5 and Chengdu F-7P. The next several years will be critical for the PAF as it intends to phase-out a significant number of its legacy fighters by 2020.

In terms of the F-16, the PAF is currently looking to procure eight new F-16C/D Block-52+ from the U.S. It is important to note that the PAF is hoping to acquire these fighters with considerable Foreign Military Financing (FMF) support. In other words, it expects the U.S. to subsidize nearly half of the total cost (which is $700 million U.S.). If acquired, this batch would raise the PAF’s total F-16 fleet to 84 aircraft: 26 F-16C/D Block-52+, 45 F-16A/B MLU [Mid-Life-Update], and 13 F-16A/B ADF (Air Defence Fighter).

Through a mix of new-built and used aircraft, the PAF is probably looking to expand the F-16 fleet to 110, which it had originally planned for in the late 1980s, before the U.S. placed sanctions on Pakistan over the latter’s nuclear weapons program. Additional new-built F-16s could be acquired on an incremental and gradual basis whereby the PAF orders numerous small batches over a period of several years. If future acquisitions were to cost in the realm of $350 million U.S. per-order (especially with FMF support), the PAF could succeed in building a relatively sizable Block-52+ fleet by 2020.

The PAF may also pursue used F-16s from the U.S. through the Excess Defence Articles (EDA) program, which would enable it to buy airframes for very cheaply. It could also speak to other air forces, just as it did with Jordan in 2013-2014. It could opt to push these F-16s through a service-life extension program (SLEP), which would add life to their aged airframes. It might also consider upgrading them with a radar and avionics package identical to that found on its existing Block-52+ and MLUs.

However, the cost of replenishing and upgrading these F-16s ($30-35 million U.S. per unit) would basically amount to the cost of a new-built JF-17. The PAF could ultimately acquire used airframes without upgrading them, which would enable it to quickly replace outgoing F-7s and Mirages. In fact, a non-upgraded F-16 would be a substantial upgrade over old F-7 units involved in basic air defence duties (i.e. without the use of beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles or BVRAAM).

In terms of capability, the PAF’s F-16s are equipped for precision-strike as well as air-to-air warfare. The PAF has 500 AIM-120C5 BVRAAMs, Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), and Paveway Guided Bomb Units (GBU) in its inventory. Unfortunately, despite having its F-16s equipped with the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), a helmet-mounted display and sight system (HMD/S), it has not yet acquired the AIM-9X high off-boresight (HOBS) within-visual-range air-to-air missile (WVRAAM). At present, the F-16’s WVRAAM capabilities are centered on the AIM-9M-8/9, which is a fairly capable current-generation all-aspect missile. Moreover, the PAF’s F-16s lack stand-off munitions and anti-ship missiles.

Since the PAF intends to continue procuring additional F-16s, especially new-built fighters such as the Block-52+, it is imperative that it secure these munitions. The main inhibitor would be the U.S., which will avoid tipping the balance of air warfare capabilities between India and Pakistan in Pakistan’s favour. That said, this technology is making into Pakistan via the JF-17, which – by Block-III – will be equipped with a HOBS AAM (and it is already being integrated with various stand-off munitions). The release of the AIM-9X, AGM-154 JSOW and AGM-84L Harpoon Block-II ought to be on the PAF’s roadmap.

With these limitations and issues in mind, one may ask why the PAF is not looking at the Chengdu FC-20 (i.e. J-10), especially as an alternative to the F-16. The reasoning is quite simple. If the PAF were to procure the J-10, it would simply be acquiring another medium-weight fighter. In other words, its inclusion does not necessarily add to the PAF’s existing capabilities, at least in a significant enough way to warrant the induction of an entirely new platform. Yes, the J-10 would offer additional range, payload, and capability boosts (e.g. radar output) compared to the JF-17, but are these advantages significant enough to warrant the costs of introducing a completely new maintenance channel, especially for what will inevitably be a relatively small number of aircraft (i.e. two squadrons)? It will not.

If this is the case, one might ask why the PAF is focusing on the F-16 at all, why not double-down on the JF-17? The question assumes that the PAF is not doubling down on the JF-17. At this point, the PAF is not even looking to buy a significant number of new-built F-16s. It only has eight aircraft on the table, and that too with substantial financial support from the U.S. If one were to consider what is in store for the JF-17 Block-III, then it would be evident that much of the PAF’s fighter budget is in fact going towards the development and induction of the JF-17.

Beyond the JF-17, the PAF has scarcely little financial flexibility. If it were not for FMF, it is unlikely the PAF would even procure the new F-16s. However, the addition of these new F-16s will add to its existing fleet, which will enable the PAF to exploit its existing maintenance infrastructure as well as build its fleet, until such time that a true next-generation fighter is available. On Wednesday, we will take a look at that as well as review the JF-17’s role as the future backbone fighter.




  • jigsaww

    I see JF-17 to be bypassing F-16 capabilities by 2020 (provided F-16 block 61 is not supplied to PAF), in which case JF-17 block 3 will be poised as front line fighter and F-16 in support role.

    J-10 is a no go zone for PAF.

    In any case, JF-17 and F-16s will make the backbone for years to come, but a need for 3rd fighter will automatically rise by 2020 because of large retirements.

    PAF’s next fighter will be J-31, beyond 2020.

    Next area of focus is next gen air defense. Nothing substantial is done there except Spada in recent years.

    • MT

      1.Rd 93 can never beat GE 404
      which has cheaper life cycle cost, and have higher thrust with FADEC engine
      Pakistan imports 90+% JF17 parts. Kamra complex barely assemble 58% of fuselage which imports frames from china given pak
      dont have industry to build alloy.

      flyaway cost for f16 is almost nill with free Us aid but cistt for maintenance of jf17 is very high with engine lasting only 2200 hours.

      2. Pakistan will probably import chinese air defence HQ9.

      Pak despite having licensed produced shaheen missile/M11 &M18 with chinese 1.4 meter diameter and navigation/guidance systems ; cant make a low range SAM.

      India on other hand is testing anti radiation missile in April with range of 100-130km with dual pulse solid rocket motor

      • jigsaww

        India is begging Israel, France, Russia, and France for weaponry with redirected aid from USAID and misquoted false figures of GDP growth to divert more money to arms manufacturing at the behest of 500 million slum dwellers forced to put up their organs on sale. All this is enforced by india’s officially recognised export of terrorism in pakistan and pathankot type cheap budget false flags.

        India air force has worst standards of technicians and engineers. When the same RD-93 is in IAF, it keeps crashing, when it goes to PAF, it becomes the engine to form backbone of PAF JF-17s without having a single engine failure in 10 years of 50,000 plus sorties.

        Yeah, you’re testing and you’ll keep testing. India can’t manufacture a wall socket on its own. Every domestic project of india has failed or is on track of failing. Period.

        • pakimusla

          FC 31 will also get RD 93

          • jigsaww

            Until 5th gen engines are ready for deployment. Eventually it will require supercruise engines. You can expect that by 2030.

        • MT

          India uses RD33MK which is more powerful & have FADEC.
          India navy Mig29 UPG and airforce Mig29MKIb uses the engine

          Pakistan haven’t flown more 300hours/plane.
          You ll see problem once you fly them 1000hours.

          You spelt wrong. Sadly pakistan don’t even make steel.

          India is among top 10 manufacturer in world. Indian companies make radars satellites space rocket thermal plants steam turbine nuclear plant.

          Nag missile with modified IIR MWIR seeker hit bulls eye in jan. Next version ll have MMW seeker.
          The mass production starts soon.

          Indian anti radiation missile is 100% indigenous unlike Astra whose MK1 version uses russian agat Ku band seeker.

          Note: Indian defence electronic chip are fabricated in friendly muslim country of Asia where indian IP are moulded into sub 20nm fab.The friendly country is dependent on Sukhoi parts from India

          • Abdullah Aman

            India don’t receive military aid form US that true but India biggest recipient of US economic assistance over 66-year period that not me saying that is USAID and 90+% JF17 parts are being imported what the hell are u talking about with technology transfer agreement Pakistan can built most of JF-17 and they are building most of the avionics in Pakistan if Pakistan want to build 100% JF-17 in Pakistan it can yes some parts are being
            import that also like pilot seat, engine and some other stuff but we can maintain and repair them in Pakistan unlike in India if u want to talk about 90+% being imported then look at your Tejas

          • MT

            1 Indian NGO gets aid from american missionary and govt who go around converting Hindus with their evangelicalism propaganda.

            => Indian govt barely receives any aid–

            Google amont of aid India received from US since 2000!

            =>Pakistan received 32 bill$ since 2002 while India received barely few 100 million $ in 15 years!

            2. According to the same agreement placed on Kamra website,

            Pakistan only produces 58% of fuselage/airframe-

            =>Calculate how much air-frame contribute as % of total cost to build the plane
            => Does Pakistani company produce alloy to make those airframes??

            =>Those alloys and plates are also all imported from China

            => Fuselage cost of plane is barely 18% of total cost- With 58% of fuselage produced in Pak; Pakistan total contribution is 18*0.58 which is 10%–Hence Pakistan imports 90+% components of JF17 from China,Russia,Italy!

            3. Tejas uses 35% local components and 61% components by value ( in $) as per CAG report published on Jan 2015.

            4. Pakistan R&D in defense industry is almost nill!

            a. Pak cant make Simple radar
            b. Name me any torpedo,SAM,AAM,anti tank missile made by Pak?
            c. Raad is made by Denel dynamics while Babur is gift from China
            d. shaheen missile is copy of M11,M18–The engine,guidance,inertial navigation of Shaheen is imported from China

          • Muhammad Shahid

            Why don’t india imports toilet seats from France, Israel, Russia or USA which is basic requirement of every indian citizen?

            By the way, Pak have produced such huge and powerful missiles which can penetrate every “sensitive place” of india. This is the result of successful R&D work by Pak.

          • MT

            lol. Pakistan cant make steel.
            shaheen missile is copy of M11 and M18.
            Pakistan license produce chines long march1 solid rocket engine.

          • MT

            Foegot to add that entire shaheen missile subsystem are imported that Includes navigation flight control and engine

          • Abdullah Aman

            lol do have the prof that shaheen missile subsystem are imported on M11 and M18 if u do not like reading about pakistan weapons then go to some other Indian form and Dongfeng (missile) really and what you saying why can’t be found on other forums is that the Indian information that only just Indian know is right so it must have to be all pakistani missiles were fully developed in pakistan it was said many time and if u still don’t want to believe it smash your head against the wall for all i care

            get you information right pakistan make steel and all the steel and steel related product for weapons comes from pakistan steel mill

          • MT

            Suparco started missile development project which was scrapped.
            Nuke smuggler a q khan got Korean nodong missile in exchange for stolen urenco centrifuge design.
            NESCOM was working with imported M11 & M18 missile.
            Chinese engineers were hired as consultant to improve those 70 era jet vanes missile with guidance and navigation system.

            Can you Name 5 components of those missile and list the sub systems which are made in pak.

            I ll like to remind you 1.4 meter diameter engine used in shaheen ii/lll are FG36 of long march 1 .

            Google: similarity between chinese and pak missile

          • Abdullah Aman

            that similarity between Chinese and pak missile that are u hearing what u wrote that is speculation let assume you are right did pakistan improved the engine for next generation of missile and i know people in deference sector they used it on 1st prototypes but engine wasn’t powerful for requirement so they made their on it was made by National Engineering and Scientific Commission
            2nd basics was taken from DF-11 but it cant take warhead it wasn’t have the 500K range so they reworked on whole thing information on DF-11 is on Wikipedia try to read from there

            3rd not a single Chinese engineers ever hired
            4th FG36 was never used on shaheen missiles it was too weak and pakistan made their own engine which was up for the task

          • MT

            NED and Nescom continues to use chinese Long march 1 : L spa B/140B
            Google: ”
            The striking similarity of some Chinese and Pakistani solid fuel missiles
            DF-11, DF-15, DF-16, DF-25 (?) as well as Ghaznavi, Shaheen-1, Shaheen-2 & 3″

            Pakistan still using jet vanes servo motors 70 era technology while india used secondary injection thrust vector control in agni1.
            Agni 2 to 5 have thrust vectoring.
            Indian space org uses Asian largest rocket booster with thrust vector nozzle.

            Babur too uses same jet vanes in solid booster.

          • Abdullah Aman

            i google it that article they only compare pictures and not a single missile inside picture from pakistani they found same solutions to missile to work it is saying like AK-47 and AK-74 is same gun because it look the same and has barrel
            i already said it was allegedly believed that pakistan took their idea for missiles from china but Pakistan that do have their on space program and satellites pakistan build a space rocket in 1960 Rehbar-I it a two-staged Solid fuel rocket and it was launch and tested between 1962 to 1972 i do not think we need any help from china in missiles

            Google: ” and also Wikipedia
            Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission Pakistan

          • MT

            Pakistan never went beyond launching sounding rockets!

            Pakistan SLV program never moved forward–All you could do was to modify some chinese M11, M18 with support from Chinese consultant!

          • Abdullah Aman

            and Indian defense produce only arjun and tejas both are piece of crap fine let say u are right what u going to about it
            u are idiot head moron who only want to believe what u think is right then what the hell are doing here u do not like what u read then get the hell out a here moron

          • MT

            I am talking based on facts— Read my previous comment on Arjun

            1. Arjun is preface to Main Battle tank development–
            The knowledge acquired during dev will be used to developed cheap indigenous tank
            Arjun I was hardly 45% indigenous which will go up to 60% for Arjun II

            Arjun II tank production cost is not feasible given the engine is imported from abroad which makes up for 30% of total cost

            Army will nver order Arjun if its costlier than T-90 which are license produced in India as Pak does with Chinese Al-Khalid tank

            By the way DRDO 1500 HP Tank engine is maturing:)

            2. Tejas is superior than Block II JF17 bcoz
            a. Superior engine with FADEC
            b. Higher Thrust to weight ratio
            c. More surface area but slightly lighter due to high % of composite
            d. Advanced Digital fly by Wire while Chinese JF17 uses mechanical controller

            e. Better radar

            Chinese Pak JF17 is more matured program & have added 70 planes otherwise technically it’s 3.5 Gen aircraft as compared to 4th gen for Tejas

            3. –Pakistan doesnt have a SLV program–Your missiles are licensed production— Look at Indian agni missiles, K- series, SLBM, ICBM, Indian space program, satellites production capability!

          • Abdullah Aman

            1st of all what u say is fact and what other say is not show how dumb a person u are JF-17 far
            1)LCA is Thrust/weight: 1.07
            JF-17 Thrust/weight: 1.09
            how is it better ?
            2)LCA can take 3700Kg
            JF-17 block II can take 4900KG and block I can take 3600KG
            with all composite construction LCA can only take 100KG more pakistan used composite material in block II it can take 1300KG more load and one more point with composite material now LCA have less chance to get light then JF-17
            3)LCA max speed is Mach 1.8 and JF-17 max speed is also Mach 1.8
            EL/M-2032 is same pulse Dopple as KLJ-7V2 ok little lighter 100KG vs 120KG

            and JF-17 is a 3rd generation plane how?
            what are the characteristic of 3rd generation planes and what characteristic of 4th generation of planes might want to look into it and google it

            that all talk about JF-17 3rd generation plane it is china’s 3rd generation plane not same thing 5th generation china’s plane with be china’s 4th generation plane

          • MT

            1. The Jf17 have 57% less wing area than Tejas

            But Tejas is still lighter than Jf17–So Tejas uses lighter denser mateiral-Composite
            —–JF17 can add 5000-10000 kg on top but those weight will affect TWR which is already poor and heavier—On the contrast, Tejas with delta wing provide more thrust !

            2. JF17 fan boys on wiki & blogs hav habit of lying figures–The combat radius of JF17 is not 1400 KM:)(which is 2.5 times higher than F-16)

            Infact it carry less fuel than Tejas-so it will have combat radius of <500 KM!

            3. LCA is 4th Gen fighter & Jf17 is 3.5 Generation bcoz of differences in these three essential features

            a. FBW- Tejas have full digital fly by wire —JF17 is partially digital and it uses electro-mechanical controller for yaw,pitch movement

            b. Tejas uses 45% composite vs Jf17 uses no/very minimal composite

            c. Tejas uses Ge404 engine with FADEC vs JF17 uses poor RD93 engine without FADEC(full authority digital engine controller)-

            Lately, World is not convinced of Chinese radar-KLJ-7,which is poor copy of Tejas Israeli's Elta EL-M/2032–

          • Abdullah Aman

            1st PaC Kamra have fudged figure related to speed because it hard to believe for u
            if u give facts you say it wrong u don’t want to believe it

            2nd F-16 Wing area is 300 ft² with is less then tajes are saying it’s maneuverability is better then F-16 give me break LCA fan boy
            maneuverability does not just depend on Wing area F-16 is still one of top 10 most maneuverable plane in the world Tejas have got a major glitch 😀 ’’Aspect ratio’’ shall i say the worst
            in the history of fighting aviation 😛 Thats why it produces less
            ’’Lift’’ in relation to ’’Drag’’,Which makes it aerodynamically poor and
            also affects its sustained turn ability unlike Thunder.The JF-17’s
            Aspect Ratio is 2.92 vs Tejas’s 1.75 and F-16,s is 3.2 and not only that LCA turn rate is slower then JF-17 also End of bullshit

            composite construction does not make a plane 4th generation (Sukhoi Su-27does not composite and also F-14 Tomcat too )

            JF17 also fully digital fly by wire system in it i have not idea where the hell u get your stupid and pointless information from

            we do not give a fuck about convince the world believe what ever you if do not like the information then stop look at it go some place different

          • MT

            The Tejas’ advantage lies in its low wing aspect ratio and its relatively low wave drag, which makes it superior to the Xiaolong in supersonic conditions.

          • Abdullah Aman

            Tejas’ advantage lies in supersonic conditions of Mach 1.4 or 1.6 that will be help full for interceptor plane they need get high faster and quicker but dog fight happens in below supersonic speed

          • MT

            It will use Levcon to reduce delta induced drag at sub sonic speed.
            Lca navy has been built with levvon.
            Dal seat naval version was introduced in 2014 while dual seat airforce trainer is undergoing testing.
            Levcon features get included in MK1A.

            The problem with jf is Thrust to weight. Rd 93 engine hoggs fuel and it barely produce 81.6 kn in afterburner mode as compared to 84.5 for ge404 IN20.

            I don’t use emergency thrust to calculate TWR but if you are interested to know then its 89.8 Kn for GE 404 IN20 vs84.7

          • Abdullah Aman

            LCA with Levcon will LCA Mk.2 that what is Indian navy is interested in when it going to come out Pakistan will have JF-17 block III further avionics advancements such as an AESA radar, more use of composites helmet mounted display, new engine RD93 upgrade Verizon or chines engine with a top speed of 2.0+ Mach and a two-seat Verizon
            i do not think u know much about Thrust to weight ratio in planes if a fighter Thrust to weight ratio is above then 1 that plane is pretty maneuverable
            84.7 KN Thrust vs 89.8 Kn not a hole lot of difference any way JF-17 going to get a new engine still now with 1.09 Thrust to weight if u think JF-17 have Thrust to weight problem i can not help man
            and there are other planes Thrust to weight ratio
            F-16=1.095 block 50
            F-15=1.07 block C
            Mig 29= 1.09
            SU-27=1.07 with 56% internal fuel

          • MT

            Bla bla.. Do u even know basic maths to calculate.go look back at thrust on klimov site for Rd93.

            I have cited them all in prev to prev post.

            Look at Tejas NP2 ..It has levcon.
            Np2 is Mk1 for Navy

          • MT

            Calculate % Alkhalid components made in Pak vs T90 sub system made in India!

            Both tank are Cheeni and Russian in origin!!

          • jigsaww

            India is the largest recipient of USAID, apart from aid from Japan, UK, and Europe.
            Indians are an inherently incapable nation and every “made in india” (supposedly) thing establishes that fact. If it were not for Russia, USA, Israel, and France, India would be rated militarily below burma, not that it still isn’t any better, it’s just using alot of aid to buy weaponry and quoting false GDP figures.
            Rest is all garbage and i ignore it.

          • MT

            Where did you come with these fake figures– Indian NGO gets aid from american missionary and govt who go around converting Hindus with their evangelicalism propaganda.

            1. Indian govt barely receives any aid– Google among of aid India received from US since 2000!

            2. India buys weapons from Israel, US,Europe—Japan only offers 0% interest loans if we buy their technology such as bullet train
            UK stopped aid to India-

            3. France and Israel sell their weapons to India–

            Do you understand difference between aid and sale??

            => India buys french and Israeli equipments which are 2 times overprices as compared to russia

            Name me 1 equipment made by Pakistan?? India spends 1% of gdp on R&D- It ranks 50 rank above Pak in innovation index

          • jigsaww

            Denial mode. Classic indian behavior.

            The United States, over the period 1946-2012, has given India
            the largest amount of economic assistance, while providing Israel the
            greatest quantity of military assistance over the same interval, USAID
            report revealed.

            Top 10 countries receiving US economic assistance from 1946-2012

            India: $65.1bn

            Israel: $65bn

            United Kingdom: $63.6bn

            Egypt: $59.6bn

            Pakistan: $44.4bn

            Vietnam: $41bn

            Iraq: $39.7bn

            South Korea: $36.5bn

            Germany: $33.3bn

            France: $31bn

          • MT

            Civilian aid to NGO doesnt help Indian cause–

            By the way
            1. Why not compare the aid flown to India vs Pak since 2002??

            2. Pakistan is 7 times less in population and it has received 70+ bill$ aid if we include military+civil while India have received much less

            Its military aid which matters–We all know about those NGO who received those aid

            India have received almost no military since 2000 while Pak received 32 bill$ in last 15yrs-

          • jigsaww

            Yes but pakistan is not the one with a personality disorder, india is. You are the ones shouting rising shining crap. Pakistan acknowledges its problems and is not hitting cheaply at India, India and indians are. You people are cheap.
            Secondly, Pakistan is a major non NATO ally with US. That has nothing to do with you indians. You should stay put leashed. Pakistan is fighting this war for last 15 years and its economy has taken a beating of more than 200 billion USD directly, indirect losses are in excess of 400 billion USD, for loss of investment and more.
            Pakistan has seen better time over India throughout its history with better human development, international presence, and respect. Until 2005, Pakistan was doing way better than India, only that Pakistanis do not hit cheaply over its pathetic neighbour day and night.

            I would say in last 15 years, we’ve people like you ruling Pakistan – backstabbers, apparently muslims but inherently losers, incapable, and traitors. Hence the problems.

            Pakistan will come out of it anyway. That is for sure. Focus on your own 600 million slum dwellers.

          • MT

            Rofl—Pakistan had no economy until US declared the war & started pouring doles

            Pak madrassa graduates from Jinn school of economics have habit of creating those random figure losses–

            Pak was almost bankrupt in 2001 post economic sanction– It has no money to pay bck debt–Joining war as backstabbers and protectorates of Taliban have helped Pakistan grab 35 bill$ in aid + 20 bill$ in debt rescheduling!

            The fake war where Pak have helped Taliban grow in last 15 years supplied more than 10+% yearly budget support from US! Look at the tax to gdp ration and count the billon$ doles US gave to Pak in 15 years!

            Pak have extorted US with the blackmail money–US should have realized that Pakistan not taliban is the problem in afghanistan!

          • jigsaww

            Focus on your own little survival, insecure little man.

        • Ashi Sidhu

          btw how many pilots have been killed in mushak trainer crashes

          • jigsaww

            Far less than what have been killed by india’s actual fighter jets, thanks to poor skill set and maintenance. That is a fact.

    • Tbh, FC-31 will be beyond 2030. The J-31 is an experimental design, proof-of-concept if anything. AVIC is looking for a partner for the FC-31, and that partner will likely be the PAF, but we’ve yet to see official confirmation (via MoU) for this, though it will probably happen.

      • jigsaww

        Agreed on J-31. It is a tech demonstrator for now and PAF outght to wait for it to mature. Clarity might come by 2020 but i think we can all agree it will see PAF roundels. Eventually it will all depend on India’s decisions on PAK-FA or F-18/F-16 or Rafale. PAF will not budge much unless threat perception changes fairly, which until now has not. Rafales is a faltering deal and so was no word given on S-400. With india, believe it when you see it and i believe PAF is only seeing for now.
        PAF ought to focus on HQ9 type SAMs now, perhaps you could cover PAF’s air defence needs in another piece.

    • Sulayman

      can you tell us when production of JF-17 Block 3 will start?

      • jigsaww

        Block 3 will not come into production before 2018. PAF is bringing a lot of changes to block 3 which require overcoming new integration and testing challenges. 2016 and 2017 will possibly go into that but details on what block 3 will comprise of (precisely) will come out in and during late 2016 and 2017. But by 2020, PAF will have one squadron of JF-17 block 3 ready.

        • Sulayman

          Thank you very much.

  • pakimusla

    i don’t know why PAF is not going for J 10 it’s an impressive agile machine with close similarities to saab agripen and euro fighter ( structurally, aerodynamically). also it is equipped with more powerful engine then JF 17

    • The only J-10 available for export is J-10A (i.e FC-20). Unfortunately, that isn’t going to give enough of a capability jump over the PAF’s F-16s. Why spend the money for inducting an entirely new platform when in the end it only matches an existing one? If the PAF had money to spend on 1-2 squadrons of new fighters, it’d go for Su-35, i.e a heavyweight design improving the PAF’s endurance, strike and air superiority capabilities. Unfortunately, that too is very unlikely.

      • Abdullah Aman

        specs of the JF-17 Block II

        Upgraded Radar – The “KLJ-7V2” was explicitly mentioned by Air Commodore Khalid Mahmoud to the publication ‘Defence Industry Bulletin’ during the Paris Air Show.

        Upgraded Avionics – Again, explicitly mentioned by AC Mahmoud

        IFR – AC Mahmoud, Jane’s, etc, common knowledge at this point

        Upgraded EW/ECM – Again, mentioned by AC Mahmoud, but Jane’s (during the Dubai Air Show) said the JF-17 now includes a Spanish ECM. That could mean ALR-400 or even ALQ-500, not clear.

        The extra 3000lb payload was referenced referenced by combataircraft

        AEW&C integration – implicitly mentioned by AC Mahmoud, in reference to a “national” data-link solution to link JF-17 to “on and off-board sensors.”

        Why we need J-10 it is also a single engine fighter

  • pakimusla

    plz do a piece on J 20 and FC 31

  • SP

    The €300 million PAF will pay from its own pocket for 8 F-16s would have been better spent on R&D on further blocks of JF-17, and enhancing manufacturing capability of PAC. PAF needs to invest in JF-17 and a heavier aircraft. JF-17 fulfills the role of F-16 more or less and has a new airframe and can be produced in greater numbers.

  • Abdullah Aman

    From 1st generation jets to 5th generation and their characteristic

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