There are reports of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) co-producing 48 Wing Loong II unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in collaboration with Chengdu Aircraft Industries Group (CAIG).
The news originally came from a Facebook Page purporting to be an official account of the Sherdils, which are the PAF’s aerial display team. However, Quwa was unable to verify the authenticity of the account or whether it was associated with the PAF. In fact, the account does not even list the official PAF website (or that of the PAF Media Directorate); rather, it directs to a news website called “PAF Falcons.”
In effect, this news – despite being widely picked-up – cannot be verified. In fact, each and every source that reported this news had pointed to this specific Facebook Page, which is not even linked to the PAF.
Besides this, there have been no official statements by the PAF, PAC or Ministry of Defence Production or any quotes attributed to Pakistani officials. Thus, the news is, until proven otherwise, a rumour.
That said, Pakistan had been test-flying a Wing Loong UAV as recently as November 2017. Considering the PAF’s longstanding relationship with CAIG (via the JF-17), seeing the PAF procure the Wing Loong II is also plausible. However, the PAF has its own medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV program running through Project Azm. The Project Azm UAV is reportedly due to materialize in some form in 2019.
One might draw a link between Project Azm and the Wing Loong II, but this too is uncertain.
Firstly, PAC’s mock-ups show a MALE UAV design that, while broadly similar to other MALE UAV designs (i.e. inspiration from the Predator), has several design differences from the Wing Loong II. These include an engine intake underneath the fuselage (as opposed to the Wing Loong II, which has it above).
Secondly, in May PAC signed a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) with the Turkish electronics vendor Havelsan to co-develop various subsystems for UAVs. These systems include mission computers, ground control stations, sensor integration and weapon control computers. Considering the scope, it is likely that the MoU is geared towards a major UAV program, i.e. Project Azm…[full article continued here]
Pakistan is expanding its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fleet through the procurement of new medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) drones, most notably with Project Azm (resolve), under which a MALE UAV is being developed along with a fifth-generation fighter (FGF) for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). | Read More.
On 12 October, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) concluded ACES MEET 2018, a multi-national air exercise held at Mushaf Air Base in Sargodha. This is the second iteration of ACES MEET, which was launched in 2017.
The Turkish Air Force (TuAF) – through three F-16s – participated in ACES MEET 2018, just as it had in the previous year. It is unclear if the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), which had participated in 2017, took part in the exercise this past week. In contrast to Indus Viper, which was a bilateral exercise held by Pakistan and Turkey, ACES MEET is a multi-lateral effort open to various countries…[full article continued here]
According to a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) press release, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Maj. Gen. (retired) Ahmad Kingravi, assured the NAF that Pakistan will support the NAF’s development.
The NAF’s Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal (AM) Sadique Abubakar called on the NAF and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to ‘fast-track’ the induction of JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighters. Nigeria has three JF-17s on order from Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). Abuja has allocated its final two payments to PAC in its most recent budget (i.e. $47 million US, adding to the $14 million US paid in 2016)…[full article continued here]
 Facebook Post. PAF Sherdils. 06 October 2018. URL: https://www.facebook.com/PAFSherdilsAerobaticTeam/photos/a.648841788626643/1083887038455447/?type=3&theater (Last Accessed: 10 October 2018).
 “ACES Meet Drill.” Memleket. 06 October 2018. URL: http://www.memleket.com.tr/aces-meet-tatbikati-1518750h.htm (Last Accessed: 09 October 2018).
 Press Release. “Pakistan Assures NAF of Increased Strategic Partnership in Equipment Acquisition, Training, Others.” Nigerian Air Force. 04 October 2018. URL: http://www.airforce.mil.ng/post-pakistan_assures_naf_of_increased_strategic_partnership_in_equipment_acquisition__training__others (Last Accessed: 10 October 2018).