Speaking to the Associated Press of Pakistan, the Chairman of the Pakistani Senate’s Standing Committee on Defence, Lt. Gen Abdul Qayyum (retd) stated that Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) was central to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF)’s efforts to restoring its Saab 2000-based Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) fleet. According to the Lt. Gen (retd) Qayyum, PAC had repaired two Erieye AEW&C.
Notes & Comments:
Pakistan ordered four Saab 2000-based Erieye AEW&C from Sweden in 2006. It had initially planned to acquire six, but the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir prompted Air Headquarters (AHQ) to reduce the order to four. To augment the Erieye, the PAF also procured four Y-8F600-based ZDK03 – designated Karakoram Eagle – AEW&C from China.
In August 2012, nine assailants belonging to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had infiltrated and attacked PAF Minhas, the air base which was housing the PAF’s newly acquired Erieye AEW&C fleet at the time. Of the three units stationed on that day, two were damaged and one had been written-off (i.e. destroyed). In effect, the PAF had one active Erieye AEW&C.
In September 2015, Pakistan announced – and flew – a repaired Erieye unit, and the Senate Defence Committee Chairman’s recent statements fully indicate that the PAF now has three active Erieye units. The PAF has yet to officially confirm if it is in the process of replacing the written-off unit.