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Qatar finalizes purchase of Super Mushshak trainers from Pakistan

The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) has signed a deal with Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) for an undisclosed number of Super Mushshak basic flight trainers.

Comment and Analysis

In February, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) made a goodwill visit to Qatar with two Super Mushshak trainers and two JF-17 multi-role fighters. The recent sale to Qatar adds to the Mushshak platform’s success in the Arab Gulf (joining Saudi Arabia and Oman).

At the time of the goodwill visit, Alan Warnes, a leading Pakistan defence aviation watcher and writer, indicated that the QEAF was looking at the idea of acquiring the JF-17 to replace its Alpha Jet, which is used by the QEAF for training and ground attack missions (e.g. close air support).

While an interesting and worthwhile idea, it is important to recognize that this is far from being a realistic prospect. For one thing, the first dual-seat JF-17B only entered production at the end of April. It will be some time until the JF-17B can emerge as an exportable item.

Furthermore, Qatar’s increasingly ambitious defence modernization objectives may predispose it to very capable lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) platforms such as the Leonardo-Finmeccanica M-346 Master and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50 Golden Eagle, respectively. In fact, Leonardo may be willing to offer an attractive package considering Qatar is already a customer of its radar and electronics products.

Against such competition, PAC’s best bet may rest with a dual-seat variant of the JF-17 Block-III (and that too equipped with a more efficient engine, such as the RD-33MK). Of course, “best bet” does not necessarily mean “sure bet.” The chances of the QEAF procuring the JF-17 of any version is incredibly low, but an aspirational effort on PAC’s part could set it up for success in other markets.

Moreover, defence relations between the two countries should not be confined to sales. Since Qatar is poised to be a much more significant military power by the mid-2020s, military-to-military cooperation in the form of exercises and joint-operations could be a more interesting and valuable area for both sides.

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  • by MT
    Posted June 24, 2016 1:37 am 0Likes

    Saab safari & Mushak are same aircraft??

  • by Sami Shahid
    Posted June 24, 2016 12:45 pm 0Likes

    hope Qatar will buy JF-17B or Jf-17 block 3

  • by Hafeez
    Posted June 24, 2016 8:11 pm 0Likes

    Not same…. this is with improved avionics on MFD

  • by Keyser
    Posted June 24, 2016 9:11 pm 0Likes

    I wouldn’t bother with them. MT is just a poorly informed troll

  • by Bilal Khan - Quwa
    Posted June 24, 2016 10:59 pm 0Likes

    Yea – but in the end I think they’ll go for the M-346 Master or FA-50 Golden Eagle. I don’t mean to say the QEAF prefers Western, but unlike JF-17B (much less Block-III JF-17B), these platforms are already available (and certified for use).

  • by MT
    Posted June 25, 2016 12:31 am 0Likes

    Back it up with proof.

    To most mushak is kit assembly of saab safari

  • by Bilal Khan - Quwa
    Posted June 25, 2016 1:29 am 0Likes

    Saab Safari production in Sweden ended a long time ago. Can you provide proof as to the claim that Pakistan is still receiving knock-down kits?

  • by Sami Shahid
    Posted June 25, 2016 2:10 am 0Likes

    A dual-seat version will help PAC to promote JF-17 more effectively

  • by Guest
    Posted June 25, 2016 7:35 am 0Likes

    It’s completely manufactured in Pakistan since 1983. Super Mushshak has Garmin glas cockpit and more powerful engine tha Mushshak

  • by Keyser
    Posted June 25, 2016 9:53 am 0Likes

    Advanced 260 hp engine, electrical instruments, dual flight control systems and a Bendix RSA fuel injection system.

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