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Monthly Defense News Recap: February 2022

In February 2022, more of Pakistan’s marque defence programs have come to light, including the J-10CE and JF-17 Block-3. Moreover, the Pakistan Navy again confirmed that it will induct a new shallow-water attack submarine (SWATS) and continue its offshore patrol vessel (OPV) program.

Photos Emerge of Pakistan’s New Fighter Aircraft

The first photos of the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) forthcoming J-10CE and JF-17 Block-3 multirole fighters have emerged on social media. These two aircraft models are the focus of the PAF’s fighter modernization efforts through the 2020s. The aircraft will introduce a range of new capabilities to the PAF fleet, including active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars and high off-boresight air-to-air missiles (HOBS AAM).

In terms of the J-10CE, observers have spotted aircraft with the serial numbers 22-106, 22-103, 22-102, and 22-101. Given that these aircraft are sporting the PAF’s livery, it appears that Pakistan could receive a relatively large batch of fighters in the coming weeks, if not earlier.

One clear image of the PAF J-10CE (22-106) confirms that Pakistan is also inducting an infrared search and track (IRST) capability. IRST is a ‘passive’ sensor that tracks targets based on their heat signatures. It offers fighter crews the option to build or retain situational awareness without relying on radar. This could be a useful capability if the pilot must switch off their radars (e.g. to negate the effects of enemy jamming)…

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Pakistan Navy Confirms New Procurement Programs

In a recent interview, the Pakistan Navy (PN) Chief of Naval Staff for Projects, Vice Admiral Imran Ahmed, revealed that the PN is working on several new procurement programs. These include the induction of a new shallow-water attack submarine (SWATS) and four off-shore patrol vessels (OPV).

The OPV is likely a continuation of the Yarmouk-class corvette the PN procured from Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards Group. The PN signed a deal with Damen Shipyards Group to supply two OPVs in 2017. Vice Adm. Ahmed’s statements seem to confirm that the PN OPV program had involved four ships in total, but in two equal batches. It appears that the PN is activating the follow-on option.

Based on the Damen OPV 1900, the Yarmouk-class has a displacement of 2,300 tons and length of 90 m. The PN will use the Yarmouk-class as a multi-mission asset capable of ‘anti-surface operations’, ‘anti-air operations’, ‘surveillance and intelligence gathering,’ and combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) operations…

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