The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is to receive another batch of J-10CEs, while the Pakistan Navy (PN) inducted its second Type-054A/P or Tughril-class frigate.
However, while new Chinese systems headline Pakistan’s efforts, it seems that the PAF is acquiring used C-130s from Belgium. Could this be part of a wider effort to shore up mainstay U.S.-origin equipment with used airframes? Can mothballed F-16s be next?
Finally, the PAF seems to have inducted the Turkish-origin Bayraktar TB2 drone. This could be a sign that the footage from the promotional video (showcasing the AVIC Wing Loong 2 as well as Bayraktar TB2 and Akıncı) is accurate. If so, how far do Pakistan’s drone ambitions truly go?
Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) is preparing the second batch of J-10CE Firebird multi-role fighter aircraft for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). According to observers, a photo emerged of a Pakistani J-10CE sporting the serial number 22-111.
The PAF officially inducted the J-10CE in March 2022. Pakistan ordered the J-10CE from the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) in June 2021.
Joining the PAF’s No.15 Squadron, Cobras, CATIC and CAC delivered the first J-10CE batch in around nine months. This was an exceptionally fast turnaround period as it typically takes around two years to induct a new fighter aircraft from contract date to delivery.
The J-10CE is the culmination of the PAF’s efforts to acquire an alternate 4+/4.5-generation fighter to the F-16. In 2015, the PAF had intended to grow its F-16C/D fleet. However, a chill in Pakistan’s ties with the U.S. resulted in the stoppage of Coalition Support Funds (CSF) and Foreign Military Financing (FMF). The freeze in CSF and FMF prevented Pakistan from financing new American-origin weapons…
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On 23 June 2022, the Pakistan Navy (PN) commissioned its second Tughril-class (Type 054A/P) frigate, the PNS Taimur. The PN conducted the ceremony at the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in China.
Pakistan ordered four Type 054A/Ps from China Shipbuilding Trading Co. Ltd (CSTC) in two batches in 2017 and 2018. CSTC launched the lead frigate for sea trials in August 2020 and the PN inducted the ship – PNS Tughril (F-261) – in January 2022. CSTC launched the PNS Taimur for sea trials in January 2021. Both the third and fourth Tughril-class frigates are undergoing sea trials.
The Tughril-class frigate is a key part of the PN’s fleet revitalization efforts. Not only is the PN replacing its older ships with new types, but it is also expanding its fleet of ‘major surface vessels’ to over 20 ships. In that roadmap, the Tughril-class frigate is and will remain the PN’s largest ship type, it has a displacement of around 4,000 tons. The next largest ship type will be the Jinnah-class frigate at 3,300 tons.
Today, the Tughril-class frigate is the PN’s most capable warship type…
Observers say they have spotted a Bayraktar TB2 in Pakistan, specifically at Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Base Murid. PAF Murid is a major operating base of the PAF’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). If accurate, this could confirm the PAF as a Bayraktar TB2 user.
In March 2022, the PAF released a promotional video showcasing its equipment. In the video, the PAF also showed clips of the Wing Loong 2, Bayraktar TB2, and Bayraktar Akıncı UAVs. One would assume that the PAF showed the footage as a way to reveal upcoming procurement plans.
The Bayraktar TB2 is a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV. It offers an endurance of 27 hours, top speed of 70-120 knots, payload capacity of 150 kg, and flight ceiling of 18,000 ft to 25,000 ft.
As of November 2021, the TB2 chalked 400,000 operational flight hours. The UAV has seen significant use in a wide range of combat operations. Not only has it been used in counterinsurgency (COIN) operations, which is fairly typical of UAVs, but it has also seen service against conventional military targets. In terms of the latter, the Ukraine War and the Nagorno-Karabakh War are the most notable cases…
Recently, a photo emerged of a previously Belgian C-130H in Pakistan Air Force (PAF) livery. This suggests is in the process of acquiring second-hand C-130Hs from the Belgian Air Force.
It is not known if the PAF will acquire all of Belgium’s C-130Hs. The C-130H is similar to the C-130B/E variants the PAF is already flying. With a fully-established logistics, training, and maintenance network in place for the legacy Hercules, the PAF can absorb additional airframes relatively smoothly…
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