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IHS Jane’s 360 DSA 2016: Pakistan bullish on JF-17 sales By Richard D Fisher Jr, Kuala Lumpur – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

A Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Thunder at the 2015 Paris Air Show. Source: IHS/Patrick Allen

Despite a high-profile reversal for the JF-17 fighter in Malaysia last December, officials from the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) attending the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2016 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur remain optimistic about regional sales and offered details about the fighter co-developed with China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group.
In December 2015 Malaysia’s high commissioner to Pakistan said Malaysia was considering purchasing the JF-17 and might make a decision “very soon”. Malaysia’s defense minister denied this the following day.

Nevertheless, PAC officials attending DSA remain optimistic about a future sale to Malaysia. Myanmar has been widely reported as the first JF-17 customer.

Indian Propaganda After Failure of LCA

PAC officials also countered recent negative reports about the JF-17 in Western media. They denied a JF-17 had broken up in flight due to faulty wing design, as had been reported earlier this year. According to press reports, India recently advanced criticism of the JF-17 to lobby against the JF-17’s sale to Sri Lanka.

Regarding future JF-17 development, on multiple occasions Pakistani officials have affirmed their commitment to the 8.7-ton-thrust Klimov RD-93 turbofan. However, officials speaking to IHS Jane’s at DSA 2016 said that for the goal of advancing aircraft performance, they were open to considering China’s 9-ton-thrust WS-13 or the 9.4-ton-thrust Klimov RD-33MK.

Russian industry sources at DSA 2016 noted that the WS-13 remains at an early stage of development and has an estimated service life of 2,000 hours compared with 4,000 hours for the RD-33MK.

PAC officials also confirmed that the new JF-17 refuelling probe design, recently seen in China, will be the configuration for the JF-17. These officials also noted that Pakistan has an anti-ship variant of the new China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC)-developed hypersonic CM-400 air-to-surface missile. They said a twin-seat JF-17 would begin test flights in late 2016 or early 2017.

Courtesy: IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

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NEXT STEPS FOR PAC AND THE JF-17 THUNDER

 
JF-17-20

Jf-17

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

NEXT STEPS FOR PAC AND THE JF-17 THUNDER

 
 
 

 

Our mounting aversion to the idea of Pakistan spending any money towards new-built F-16C/D Block-52+ is no secret, and our strong support for the JF-17 Thunder is well-established.

As a general point, the greatest value of the JF-17 (at least for Pakistan) does not rest in its performance, but in the reality that Pakistan has authority over the platform. By “authority” we refer to the fact that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) can configure the JF-17 according to its will. This is the most essential point. While the F-16 is inherently the superior platform in terms of performance and quality, the PAF does not have the luxury to push the Viper to its available potential.

Just consider the fact that the PAF cannot readily integrate ahigh off-boresight (HOBS) air-to-air missile (AAM) onto its F-16s without U.S. approval of some shape or form. Even HOBS AAM that have been technically cleared for the F-16, such as the IRIS-T (developed by the German company Diehl BGT), cannot be configured onto the PAF’s F-16s without the U.S.’ approval. It would basically have to wait on America’s willingness to release the comparable AIM-9X; and this story is repetitive – the PAF’s F-16s have yet to be equipped with stand-off weapons (SOW), anti-ship missiles (AShM),and anti-radiation missiles (ARM).

On the other hand, despite the JF-17’s comparatively limited performance, the PAF has been able to arm the JF-17 with the C-802 AShM, and has the H-2/H-4 SOW and MAR-1 ARM in the pipeline (if not in the process of integration). And as we have repeatedly stated in earlier articles, it is the JF-17 that has a HOBS AAM, active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar, infrared search and track (IRST), and air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) integration in the pipeline – not the PAF’s F-16s. What benefit does the F-16’s multi-role prowess offer the PAF when that prowess is gradually eroding in the face of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy (IN)’s impressive qualitative advancements?

Finally, there is the reality that unlike the F-16, the PAF benefits from an increasingly adept domestic base capable of thoroughly supporting the JF-17. Yes, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) is a novice in terms of being an aerospace industry entity, but it is gradually and incrementally becoming capable, despite the difficult political and economic limitations Pakistan throws onto itself. The workshare agreement has shifted 58% of the JF-17’s airframe manufacturing to Kamra, and efforts are underway to bring a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) for Klimov turbofans as well. With the maintenance and support channel being domestic, the PAF can draw upon the benefits of assured and affordable accessibility. The necessities produced in Pakistan (and in some cases imported from China and Russia) are at the affordable side of the cost-spectrum; the money that goes back into PAC also goes back into Pakistan.

To be honest, the points being explained in this article are mostly earlier ideas being conveyed from a different set of angles, but they set the basis of why it is important to consider ideas about next steps, not just for the PAF, but for PAC and the JF-17 Thunder program.

The F-16 (and import route generally) has become a difficult path to take on, hence the reason why it is imperative that domestic development now take on a much higher level of importance. The PAF ought to seriously consider the value of bringing more of the airframe manufacturing to Kamra. China has been a dependable partner, but urgency and the desire to not take relationships for granted needs to be adopted.

There is a learning curve and a lot of building blocks to set-up, but the expertise and infrastructure built for the JF-17 will prove valuable for future projects. Make no mistake, a unique and independent program is not going to happen, but Pakistan could potentially (one day) offer something of tangible value to an outside partner. We are not talking about ground-breaking research, but at least a chance at becoming a viable co-production partner (that could help pull costs down), or capable licensed manufacturer of more sophisticated sub-systems, etc. It would be a huge shame if – like the K-8 Karakoram – the JF-17 program ends up at a plateau, and then just stays flat from an indigenization and development standpoint.

The PAF should also be critically averse to the notion of capping the JF-17. In other words, the fighter must not be relegated into becoming just a ‘second-tier’ fighter (relative to other fighter options for the PAF). For all intents the purposes, the geo-political and economic reality has made the JF-17 the backbone and edge-driver of the PAF fighter fleet. By “edge-driver” we refer to the idea of it being the platform where the PAF has the flexibility to keep up with qualitative changes in South Asia, such as the eventual entry of AESA radars. While the PAF must not waste funds, the PAF ought to ensure that the JF-17 Block-III (and potentially Block-IV and Block-V) are equipped with the most appropriate – in terms of the cost-to-performance ratio – subsystems available. It would be a shame to see a less capable AESA radar (e.g. via less transmit/receive modules than possible) due to prohibitive costs (which could have been avoided by walking away from a certain F-16 deal).

Finally, it is no secret that the PAF and PAC have been seeking to secure export clients for the JF-17. There is some substantive potential, but again, it is important that the PAF/PAC are careful with next steps. At some point, it may be prudent to clearly separate work between domestic and export variants of the JF-17. In terms of export, some areas could be accelerated, such as the procurement of a helmet-mounted display and sight (HMD/S) or HOBS AAM. Subsystems such as radars and electronic warfare (EW) and electronic countermeasure (ECM) suites for export-grade JF-17s could be acquired from the market; the risk for the PAF is minimal because it would not necessarily intend to use those systems for itself. The PAF cannot let its own requirements get guided by the market, but on the other hand, it cannot muddle the needs of prospective clients with its own (which is what happened with the omission of the dual-seat JF-17 in the initial years of the JF-17’s development).

See more at: http://quwa.org/2016/05/02/next-steps-pac-jf-17-thunder/#sthash.KyATYr5o.dpuf

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WHY IS JF 17 THUNDER A REAL THREAT TO PAKISTAN’S ENEMIES? THUNDER IN SINO-PAKISTAN RELATIONS

WHY IS JF 17 THUNDER A REAL THREAT TO PAKISTAN’S ENEMIES? THUNDER IN SINO-PAKISTAN RELATIONS


Why is JF-17 Thunder a Real Threat by dm_50d9ab0679d41

Jf-17 Thunder Block 2

THUNDER IN SINO-PAKISTANI RELATIONS

PUBLICATION: CHINA BRIEF VOLUME: 6 ISSUE: 5

December 31, 1969 07:00 PM
By: Tarique Niazi, PAKISTAN THINK TANK ARCHIVES

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1951, Sino-Pakistani relations have steadily deepened, and the two countries have never had a public disagreement over any bilateral, regional, or global issue. If there was any wrinkle in their mutual relations, it was amicably resolved in private, outside the view of the world’s eye. The key to this closeness has been the frequency of highest-level contacts between the two countries, which yielded unprecedented results. A case in point is the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Pakistan in April last year, which led to the signing of the “Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Good Neighborly Relations” (Dawn, April 6, 2005). The treaty binds both signatories to desist from joining “any alliance or bloc which infringes upon the sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity of the other side” (Ibid.).

 

Similarly, General Musharraf’s third state visit to Beijing on February 19-23, which was a week apart from President Bush’s planned visit to South Asia in March, further strengthened the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Good Neighborly Relations. On February 20, China and Pakistan signed 13 agreements in Beijing, while President Hu Jintao and General Musharraf remained present at the signing ceremony. Of these, agreements on defense production, particularly the manufacture of multi-role JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, nuclear power generation, and strategic infrastructure-building, including the widening of the Karakorum Highway, are critically important to the future direction of Islamabad’s relations with Beijing.

 

Joint Defense Production: JF-17s

 

Nothing explains Pakistan’s Sino-centric relations better than its defense and strategic ties with Beijing. Since the 1970s, these relations have continued to deepen and widen with progressive expansion in defense cooperation. Joint defense production, however, peaked in the 2000s. Today, all three branches of the Pakistani military—land, air and navy (in that order)—are equipped with Chinese weapons systems. Taxila Heavy Industrial Complex, situated near Islamabad, was the first seed of mutual collaboration that sprouted to branch off into building components for air defense. As a result, a state-of-the-art Aeronautical Complex was built at Kamra, a small town in Attock district of the Punjab province. Most recently, Beijing has offered Islamabad a helping hand in building two frigates at its naval base in Karachi, which will be a landmark breakthrough in their joint naval defense production as well. General Musharraf, at the conclusion of his five-day visit to Beijing, declared that “defense relations have been the bedrock of Sino-Pakistan relations” (Dawn, February 25). The hallmark of their decades-long defense collaboration, however, is the joint production of JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, which General Musharraf described as a “great success.” He favorably compared JF-17s with the U.S. Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets “in platform engine, maneuverability, avionics and capability of carrying various modern weapon systems” (Ibid.).

 

JF-17s are being manufactured in Chengdu, capital of China’s Sichuan province. In 1999, Chengdu Aircraft Industry Company (CATIC) signed an agreement with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) for joint production of JF-17s. Since then, CATIC, Chengdu Aircraft Designing Institute and the PAF have been working on this project. They rolled out the prototype of JF-17 on September 3, 2003, the test-flight of which satisfied both Chinese and Pakistani pilots. Almost two-and-a-half years later, General Musharraf watched the demonstration flight of the aircraft on February 22 when he visited Chengdu, Sichuan, which is China’s center of high-tech defense production. General Musharraf was so impressed by the manufacture of JF-17s that he had a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between China and Pakistan to declare Sichuan and Punjab (Pakistan’s most populous province that predominantly contributes “manpower” to the country’s three services) as “sister provinces” (Dawn, February 22). Pakistan is now celebrating JF-17s as worthy substitutes for F-16s.

 

Although Pakistan did receive 40 F-16s from the U.S. in the 1980s and is expected to receive an additional 80 F-16s this year, it still faces problems in their maintenance and service as its access to spare parts and manufacture technology is highly regulated (Dawn, February 25). This is what, Pakistan thinks, makes the U.S. an “unreliable” arms supplier, pushing Islamabad into the instinctive embrace of Beijing, which it considers an “all-weather friend” (Daily Times, February 24). Since 9/11, the U.S., however, has taken important measures to rebuild Pakistan-U.S. relations into longer-lasting cooperation. A case in point is Pakistan’s upgraded status as a major non-NATO ally of the U.S. to the perceptible unease of India, its arch rival. Yet Pakistan views such steps as symbolic as compared to the emerging strategic partnership between India and the U.S.

 

Nuclear Power Production

 

Pakistan is especially wary of the Indo-U.S. agreement on the transfer of nuclear power technology to Delhi, which is expected to be finalized during President Bush’s visit to India later this week. Since the signing of the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement on July 18, 2005, when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a state visit to the U.S., Pakistan has been lobbying the U.S. to allow it the same access to nuclear power technology, but to no avail. It is not just the ruling Republican Party in the U.S. that is averse to providing Islamabad with nuclear reactors; leaders of the Democratic Party are even more adamant on this issue. Senator John Kerry, who visited Pakistan this year on January 14-15, told a news conference in Islamabad: “India is a democracy and it has adhered to the non-proliferation agreement in all the years of its involvement with nuclear facilities. This is not yet true of Pakistan, though Pakistan is moving in that direction” (The Hindu, January 16). Pakistan is, nevertheless, pursuing a plan to generate 8,000 MW of electrical power from nuclear fuel by 2020, an ambitious plan that makes it look to Beijing for support.

 

Beijing has already provided Islamabad a 300-MW nuclear reactor (Chashma-I), which is sited in a small town—Chashma—of the Punjab province. Beijing has now agreed to provide another nuclear power plant—Chashma-II—which will be sited next to Chashma-I. It will take five years before Chashma-II becomes operational. In addition, Pakistan is in talks with Beijing to buy six to eight nuclear power reactors of 600 MW each over the next decade (Press Trust of India, January 3). If the talks are successful, Pakistan will buy a number of nuclear reactors at the cost $10 billion to produce 4,800 MW of electricity. Pakistan’s current production of nuclear power is just 425 MW (Ibid.). Although Pakistan denies any such talks, it did sign an agreement with Beijing on February 20 to further “deepen cooperation in peaceful application of nuclear power.” In addition, Pakistan and China signed an “energy cooperation framework agreement,” which will explore the possibility of a gas pipeline between Iran and China through Pakistan (Dawn, February 22).

 

Strategic Infrastructure: the Karakorum Highway

 

Besides, China and Pakistan are engaged in building key strategic infrastructures to further strengthen their defense ties. The construction of the Karakorum Highway (KKH)—which connects western China and its largest autonomous region of Xinjiang with Pakistan’s Northern Areas (NAs) all the way through Islamabad—was the first such major project. Since its completion in the 1970s, the Karakorum Highway has been used for limited trade and travel, however. In harsh winters, the stretch running through the Northern Areas and Xinjiang becomes unusable for motorized traffic due to heavy snowfall. Chinese and Pakistani engineers have since been trying to render it into an all-weather passageway. Yet limited trade and travel remained a poor incentive for such an expensive undertaking, until its renewed strategic significance became all too apparent in recent days. In a strict strategic sense, KKH is considered priceless. It gives Beijing unhindered access to Jammu and Kashmir in India, in addition to enabling it to the India’s movement along Aksai Chin, which China seized from India in 1962, severing India’s land-link to China’s turbulent autonomous regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. For Pakistan, the KKH is an added security for its turbulent Northern Areas, all the way up to Siachin where Indian and Pakistani troops have been in a stand-off since the mid-1980s.

 

On February 20, China and Pakistan agreed to widen KKH for larger vehicles with heavier freight. The rebuilding of KKH will enable China to ship its energy supplies from the Middle East from Gwader Port in Baluchistan through the land route of KKH to western China, which is its development hub. This alternative energy supply route will reduce Beijing’s dependence on the Malacca Straits. General Musharraf also wants to set up a “crude transit route” through Gwader Port for Beijing’s energy shipments from Iran and Africa. For this reason, Pakistan is building oil refineries, natural gas terminals, oil and gas equipment, and transit facilities in Baluchistan. China has agreed to help Pakistan with its plans for the development of its oil and gas industry. With this planned elaborate energy infrastructure, KKH has assumed an added significance as an alternative land link between China and its energy sources, of which Iran sits atop.

 

Beijing and Tehran are now all set to sign a $100 billion agreement on developing Iran’s Yadavaran oil field in southern Iran as early as March this year (Reuters, February 17). Under this agreement, China will buy 10 million tons of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Iran each year over the next 25 years. KKH would be the shortest and safest land route to ship Iranian LNG to western China. In return for LNG, China will develop the Yadavaran oil field, which is estimated to have three billion barrels of oil and is expected to produce about 300,000 barrels of oil per day, which is equivalent to China’s current imports from Iran (Ibid.). General Musharraf wants to turn Pakistan into China’s “energy corridor” for Chinese energy imports from the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Africa (Daily Times, February 18). He also wants Pakistan to be China’s “trade corridor” for its exports to Central Asia. For the latter reason, Pakistan has recently built the Torkham-Jalalabad road in northwestern Pakistan (i.e., Pakhtunkhaw province) and Chaman-Kandahar railroad link in Baluchistan to carry Chinese manufactured goods to Central Asia through Afghanistan.

 

China generously recognizes General Musharraf’s contribution to forging even closer relations between Beijing and Islamabad. It also wants Pakistan to play a bigger role in the region, for which General Musharraf has asked Beijing to upgrade Pakistan’s observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to full membership. China will notify all SCO member states of Pakistan’s request to consider it at the SCO’s scheduled summit meeting this year (Dawn, February 20). To honor his contribution and his visit to Beijing, China put General Musharraf’s face on its postage stamps, which is a rare gesture even by Chinese standards.

 

Conclusion

 

Defense and strategic ties are the bedrock of Sino-Pakistan relations, which are too solid for any hint of weakness. Their ambitious future agenda for high-tech defense production (such as JF-17s and Frigates), nuclear power generation, and strategic infrastructure building (such as KKH and deep-sea Gwader Port) will further energize their ties. Although Sino-Pakistan relations have flourished under all military governments in Islamabad, General Musharraf has taken them to even greater heights by signing a territorial defense treaty in April last year, and literally and metaphorically putting (JF-17) “thunder” in Sino-Pakistan relations.

Sale of JF-17 Thunder jets to start next year

 
October 25, 2013
 

 
Sale of JF-17 Thunder jets to start next year
 

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has decided to start sale of state of the art JF-17 Thunder combat jets developed in collaboration with China to other countries from next year.
According to sources, a sum of $100 million has also been released to Pakistan Ordinance Factories Wah in connection with up-gradation of its machinery.
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra has carried out up-gradation of Cobra Helicopters presently under the use of army besides installing high tech system therein. Pakistan will also import modern helicopters from Turkey. The Ministry of Defence Production sources said as many as 42 JF-17 Thunder planes have been developed so far under joint venture with China. The Pakistan Air Force has been assigned target of exporting 5 to 7 JF-17 Thunder planes next year and discussions in this regard are under way with Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Qatar and other friendly countries.
The Ministry of Defence Production officials have expressed optimism that Pakistan would succeed in exporting these modern planes during the next year.
The sources said Heavy Industries Taxila has manufactured prototype of Buraq vehicle to defuse land mines and remote control explosive material.
It has also been learnt that Pakistan is continuing dialogue process with Turkey to acquire T 120 high tech helicopters from the latter. Pakistan is also endeavouring to launch a joint venture with Turkey with reference to manufacturing of these helicopters. If both the countries don’t agree over it then Pakistan will execute agreement with Turkey to purchase these helicopters.
The sources said that PAC Kamra has refurbished several helicopters being used by Army Aviation. Pakistan has acquired these helicopters from the US and they have now been upgraded.

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WHY IS JF 17 THUNDER A REAL THREAT TO PAKISTAN’S ENEMIES? THUNDER IN SINO-PAKISTAN RELATIONS

 


Why is JF-17 Thunder a Real Threat by dm_50d9ab0679d41

Jf-17 Thunder Block 2THUNDER IN SINO-PAKISTANI RELATIONS

PUBLICATION: CHINA BRIEF VOLUME: 6 ISSUE: 5

December 31, 1969 07:00 PM Age: 43 yrs
By: Tarique Niazi, PAKISTAN THINK TANK ARCHIVES

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1951, Sino-Pakistani relations have steadily deepened, and the two countries have never had a public disagreement over any bilateral, regional, or global issue. If there was any wrinkle in their mutual relations, it was amicably resolved in private, outside the view of the world’s eye. The key to this closeness has been the frequency of highest-level contacts between the two countries, which yielded unprecedented results. A case in point is the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Pakistan in April last year, which led to the signing of the “Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Good Neighborly Relations” (Dawn, April 6, 2005). The treaty binds both signatories to desist from joining “any alliance or bloc which infringes upon the sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity of the other side” (Ibid.).

 

Similarly, General Musharraf’s third state visit to Beijing on February 19-23, which was a week apart from President Bush’s planned visit to South Asia in March, further strengthened the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Good Neighborly Relations. On February 20, China and Pakistan signed 13 agreements in Beijing, while President Hu Jintao and General Musharraf remained present at the signing ceremony. Of these, agreements on defense production, particularly the manufacture of multi-role JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, nuclear power generation, and strategic infrastructure-building, including the widening of the Karakorum Highway, are critically important to the future direction of Islamabad’s relations with Beijing.

 

Joint Defense Production: JF-17s

 

Nothing explains Pakistan’s Sino-centric relations better than its defense and strategic ties with Beijing. Since the 1970s, these relations have continued to deepen and widen with progressive expansion in defense cooperation. Joint defense production, however, peaked in the 2000s. Today, all three branches of the Pakistani military—land, air and navy (in that order)—are equipped with Chinese weapons systems. Taxila Heavy Industrial Complex, situated near Islamabad, was the first seed of mutual collaboration that sprouted to branch off into building components for air defense. As a result, a state-of-the-art Aeronautical Complex was built at Kamra, a small town in Attock district of the Punjab province. Most recently, Beijing has offered Islamabad a helping hand in building two frigates at its naval base in Karachi, which will be a landmark breakthrough in their joint naval defense production as well. General Musharraf, at the conclusion of his five-day visit to Beijing, declared that “defense relations have been the bedrock of Sino-Pakistan relations” (Dawn, February 25). The hallmark of their decades-long defense collaboration, however, is the joint production of JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, which General Musharraf described as a “great success.” He favorably compared JF-17s with the U.S. Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets “in platform engine, maneuverability, avionics and capability of carrying various modern weapon systems” (Ibid.).

 

JF-17s are being manufactured in Chengdu, capital of China’s Sichuan province. In 1999, Chengdu Aircraft Industry Company (CATIC) signed an agreement with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) for joint production of JF-17s. Since then, CATIC, Chengdu Aircraft Designing Institute and the PAF have been working on this project. They rolled out the prototype of JF-17 on September 3, 2003, the test-flight of which satisfied both Chinese and Pakistani pilots. Almost two-and-a-half years later, General Musharraf watched the demonstration flight of the aircraft on February 22 when he visited Chengdu, Sichuan, which is China’s center of high-tech defense production. General Musharraf was so impressed by the manufacture of JF-17s that he had a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between China and Pakistan to declare Sichuan and Punjab (Pakistan’s most populous province that predominantly contributes “manpower” to the country’s three services) as “sister provinces” (Dawn, February 22). Pakistan is now celebrating JF-17s as worthy substitutes for F-16s.

 

Although Pakistan did receive 40 F-16s from the U.S. in the 1980s and is expected to receive an additional 80 F-16s this year, it still faces problems in their maintenance and service as its access to spare parts and manufacture technology is highly regulated (Dawn, February 25). This is what, Pakistan thinks, makes the U.S. an “unreliable” arms supplier, pushing Islamabad into the instinctive embrace of Beijing, which it considers an “all-weather friend” (Daily Times, February 24). Since 9/11, the U.S., however, has taken important measures to rebuild Pakistan-U.S. relations into longer-lasting cooperation. A case in point is Pakistan’s upgraded status as a major non-NATO ally of the U.S. to the perceptible unease of India, its arch rival. Yet Pakistan views such steps as symbolic as compared to the emerging strategic partnership between India and the U.S.

 

Nuclear Power Production

 

Pakistan is especially wary of the Indo-U.S. agreement on the transfer of nuclear power technology to Delhi, which is expected to be finalized during President Bush’s visit to India later this week. Since the signing of the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement on July 18, 2005, when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a state visit to the U.S., Pakistan has been lobbying the U.S. to allow it the same access to nuclear power technology, but to no avail. It is not just the ruling Republican Party in the U.S. that is averse to providing Islamabad with nuclear reactors; leaders of the Democratic Party are even more adamant on this issue. Senator John Kerry, who visited Pakistan this year on January 14-15, told a news conference in Islamabad: “India is a democracy and it has adhered to the non-proliferation agreement in all the years of its involvement with nuclear facilities. This is not yet true of Pakistan, though Pakistan is moving in that direction” (The Hindu, January 16). Pakistan is, nevertheless, pursuing a plan to generate 8,000 MW of electrical power from nuclear fuel by 2020, an ambitious plan that makes it look to Beijing for support.

 

Beijing has already provided Islamabad a 300-MW nuclear reactor (Chashma-I), which is sited in a small town—Chashma—of the Punjab province. Beijing has now agreed to provide another nuclear power plant—Chashma-II—which will be sited next to Chashma-I. It will take five years before Chashma-II becomes operational. In addition, Pakistan is in talks with Beijing to buy six to eight nuclear power reactors of 600 MW each over the next decade (Press Trust of India, January 3). If the talks are successful, Pakistan will buy a number of nuclear reactors at the cost $10 billion to produce 4,800 MW of electricity. Pakistan’s current production of nuclear power is just 425 MW (Ibid.). Although Pakistan denies any such talks, it did sign an agreement with Beijing on February 20 to further “deepen cooperation in peaceful application of nuclear power.” In addition, Pakistan and China signed an “energy cooperation framework agreement,” which will explore the possibility of a gas pipeline between Iran and China through Pakistan (Dawn, February 22).

 

Strategic Infrastructure: the Karakorum Highway

 

Besides, China and Pakistan are engaged in building key strategic infrastructures to further strengthen their defense ties. The construction of the Karakorum Highway (KKH)—which connects western China and its largest autonomous region of Xinjiang with Pakistan’s Northern Areas (NAs) all the way through Islamabad—was the first such major project. Since its completion in the 1970s, the Karakorum Highway has been used for limited trade and travel, however. In harsh winters, the stretch running through the Northern Areas and Xinjiang becomes unusable for motorized traffic due to heavy snowfall. Chinese and Pakistani engineers have since been trying to render it into an all-weather passageway. Yet limited trade and travel remained a poor incentive for such an expensive undertaking, until its renewed strategic significance became all too apparent in recent days. In a strict strategic sense, KKH is considered priceless. It gives Beijing unhindered access to Jammu and Kashmir in India, in addition to enabling it to the India’s movement along Aksai Chin, which China seized from India in 1962, severing India’s land-link to China’s turbulent autonomous regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. For Pakistan, the KKH is an added security for its turbulent Northern Areas, all the way up to Siachin where Indian and Pakistani troops have been in a stand-off since the mid-1980s.

 

On February 20, China and Pakistan agreed to widen KKH for larger vehicles with heavier freight. The rebuilding of KKH will enable China to ship its energy supplies from the Middle East from Gwader Port in Baluchistan through the land route of KKH to western China, which is its development hub. This alternative energy supply route will reduce Beijing’s dependence on the Malacca Straits. General Musharraf also wants to set up a “crude transit route” through Gwader Port for Beijing’s energy shipments from Iran and Africa. For this reason, Pakistan is building oil refineries, natural gas terminals, oil and gas equipment, and transit facilities in Baluchistan. China has agreed to help Pakistan with its plans for the development of its oil and gas industry. With this planned elaborate energy infrastructure, KKH has assumed an added significance as an alternative land link between China and its energy sources, of which Iran sits atop.

 

Beijing and Tehran are now all set to sign a $100 billion agreement on developing Iran’s Yadavaran oil field in southern Iran as early as March this year (Reuters, February 17). Under this agreement, China will buy 10 million tons of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Iran each year over the next 25 years. KKH would be the shortest and safest land route to ship Iranian LNG to western China. In return for LNG, China will develop the Yadavaran oil field, which is estimated to have three billion barrels of oil and is expected to produce about 300,000 barrels of oil per day, which is equivalent to China’s current imports from Iran (Ibid.). General Musharraf wants to turn Pakistan into China’s “energy corridor” for Chinese energy imports from the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Africa (Daily Times, February 18). He also wants Pakistan to be China’s “trade corridor” for its exports to Central Asia. For the latter reason, Pakistan has recently built the Torkham-Jalalabad road in northwestern Pakistan (i.e., Pakhtunkhaw province) and Chaman-Kandahar railroad link in Baluchistan to carry Chinese manufactured goods to Central Asia through Afghanistan.

 

China generously recognizes General Musharraf’s contribution to forging even closer relations between Beijing and Islamabad. It also wants Pakistan to play a bigger role in the region, for which General Musharraf has asked Beijing to upgrade Pakistan’s observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to full membership. China will notify all SCO member states of Pakistan’s request to consider it at the SCO’s scheduled summit meeting this year (Dawn, February 20). To honor his contribution and his visit to Beijing, China put General Musharraf’s face on its postage stamps, which is a rare gesture even by Chinese standards.

 

Conclusion

 

Defense and strategic ties are the bedrock of Sino-Pakistan relations, which are too solid for any hint of weakness. Their ambitious future agenda for high-tech defense production (such as JF-17s and Frigates), nuclear power generation, and strategic infrastructure building (such as KKH and deep-sea Gwader Port) will further energize their ties. Although Sino-Pakistan relations have flourished under all military governments in Islamabad, General Musharraf has taken them to even greater heights by signing a territorial defense treaty in April last year, and literally and metaphorically putting (JF-17) “thunder” in Sino-Pakistan relations.

Sale of JF-17 Thunder jets to start next year
 
October 25, 2013
 

 
Sale of JF-17 Thunder jets to start next year
 

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has decided to start sale of state of the art JF-17 Thunder combat jets developed in collaboration with China to other countries from next year.
According to sources, a sum of $100 million has also been released to Pakistan Ordinance Factories Wah in connection with up-gradation of its machinery.
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra has carried out up-gradation of Cobra Helicopters presently under the use of army besides installing high tech system therein. Pakistan will also import modern helicopters from Turkey. The Ministry of Defence Production sources said as many as 42 JF-17 Thunder planes have been developed so far under joint venture with China. The Pakistan Air Force has been assigned target of exporting 5 to 7 JF-17 Thunder planes next year and discussions in this regard are under way with Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Qatar and other friendly countries.
The Ministry of Defence Production officials have expressed optimism that Pakistan would succeed in exporting these modern planes during the next year.
The sources said Heavy Industries Taxila has manufactured prototype of Buraq vehicle to defuse land mines and remote control explosive material.
It has also been learnt that Pakistan is continuing dialogue process with Turkey to acquire T 120 high tech helicopters from the latter. Pakistan is also endeavouring to launch a joint venture with Turkey with reference to manufacturing of these helicopters. If both the countries don’t agree over it then Pakistan will execute agreement with Turkey to purchase these helicopters.
The sources said that PAC Kamra has refurbished several helicopters being used by Army Aviation. Pakistan has acquired these helicopters from the US and they have now been upgraded. Modern technology has been installed therein while the US voiced its concern over it.

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JF-17 armed with hypersonic anti-ship, “Aircraft-Carrier Killer,” CM-400AKG missile

JF-17 armed with hypersonic anti-ship CM-400AKG missile
April 3, 2013

Air Commodore Mahmood Khalid said “The CM-400AKG is a very high-speed missile that is very tough to intercept. It hits the target at Mach 4 or above and its kinetic impact alone is enough to destroy any high-value target, like an aircraft carrier.”

The missile has an estimated range of 180-250 Km. It is a fire and forget 400 kg solid-rocket-powered weapon that can be fitted with different seekers and warheads. The missile’s impact velocity is greater than Mach 5.

Unknown-18

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